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Bilateral real exchange rates and migration

Références

  • publications
  • 2016
  • Editeur : Taylor et Francis online
  • publié Applied Economics
  • Vol. 48 , n° 31
  • p. 2937-2951
  • Référence : A2016.05
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    Auteur(s) : KEITA [S]
    Abstract / Résumé : Migrants who move across borders are, to a large extent, motivated by the prospect of earning higher incomes at destination, which can be partly transferred back to their countries of origin via remittances. This suggests that the real exchange rate can influence the incentives to migrate, as it determines the purchasing power of expected income in terms of the currency of the origin country. This article investigates empirically how bilateral real exchange rate fluctuations influence international migration flows. To do so, we build a dataset of 30 OECD destination countries and 165 origin countries over the period 1980–2011 and estimate an equation derived from a micro-founded random utility maximization model that allows for unobserved heterogeneity between migrants and non-migrants. Our results show that migration flows are highly responsive to bilateral real exchange rates: A 10% real appreciation of the currency of the destination country is associated with an 18.2–19.4% increase in migration flows.