Temporary International Migration, Shocks and Informal Insurance: An Analysis for Kyrgyzstan.

A new GLO Discussion Paper finds that international migration of households in Kyrgyzstan increases with a drought shock but declines with winter and earthquake shocks.

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Tanika Chakraborty

GLO Discussion Paper No. 759, 2021

Temporary International Migration, Shocks and Informal Insurance: Analysis using panel dataDownload PDF
Chakraborty, Tanika & Pandey, Manish

GLO Fellow Tanika Chakraborty

Author Abstract: We use panel data for rural Kyrgyzstan to examine households’ international migration response when faced with shocks. Using a household fixed effects regression model, we find that while a drought shock increases the likelihood of migration, winter and earthquake shocks reduce the likelihood of migration. We use a simple theoretical framework to illustrate the trade-off between two effects of a shock for a household: loss of income and increase in the need of labor services. We show that migration increases when the former effect of a shock dominates, it reduces when the latter effect dominates. We explore these mechanisms by examining how the migration-response to shocks changes in the presence of alternate coping mechanisms and by evaluating the effect of shocks on a household’s decision to send and recall a migrant member. We find that when households have easier access to informal finance the migration-response is muted only for shocks for which the adverse income effect dominates. Our findings also suggest that while shocks for which the loss of income effect dominates have a greater effect on the decision to send a migrant, shocks for which the need of labor services effect dominates only affect the decision to recall a migrant. These findings provide evidence in favor of the proposed mechanisms through which shocks affect temporary migration.

GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.


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