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Staff Paper No. 581 - Abstract

Rural-Urban Migration and Remittances in Vietnam: Evidence from Migrant Tracer Data

Diep Phan [phand@beloit.edu]
Ian Coxhead [ian.coxhead@wisc.edu]

Staff Paper No. 581, March 2016, 28p.


We examine remittance behavior of rural-urban migrants in Vietnam using a unique data set that links the 2012 round of the Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey (VHLSS) with a 2013 tracer study of migrants from VHLSS households. We estimate factors associated with remittances, taking migrant selection issues into account. Consistent with the altruism hypothesis for remittances, we find that remittance flows are larger when migrants have higher wages and less attachment to the destination, and when rural households have lower per-capita earning capacity. We do not find support for a self-interest remittance motive. We also estimate impacts of net remittances on per capita income in migrant-sending rural households, taking into account the endogeneity of remittances. We find that migration and remittances increase the incomes of rural households. However, the estimated direct income effects are small, and become smaller still as migrants become more established in their new place of residence. Members of ethnic minority groups gain far less than others from migration and remittances. More data and research are needed to broaden these assessments to include non-economic benefits and costs of migration.
Last updated on Fri, Mar 11, 2016 9:13am