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Many see both internal and international migration as a means for people from developing countries to move out of poverty. But are migration and remittances also important tools for dealing with large, unanticipated shocks, such as natural disasters?
In this seminar, Yanos Zylberberg (University of Bristol) presented evidence on how internal labour migration facilitates shock-coping in rural economies. By employing highly precise satellite data, in a paper with André Gröger, they identified objective variations in the inundations generated by the most severe typhoon in Vietnam for decades, and matched this treatment with a household panel survey before and after the shock.
Zylberg and Gröger found that, following the massive drop in income, households cope mainly though internal labour migration to urban areas: Households which had settled migrants before the disaster receive more remittances. More interestingly, non-migrant households react by sending new members away for work. These hastily-sent migrants earn slightly less than established migrants, but remit similar amounts in the short-term.
The CGD Europe Sandwich Seminars bring some of the world's leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations aim to meet an academic standard of quality and are at times technical, and retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policymakers. A light lunch is provided.