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Abstract

Economists’ understanding of the effects of migration has been largely limited to what can be gleaned from separate surveys of migrants and their origin households. This is problematic when the interaction between the two parties affects patterns of resource allocation, above and beyond the direct effects of migration in income and household composition. Using a unique panel dataset from Bangladesh that includes linked data on migrants and origin households, we assess the cost of information asymmetries that arise with migration. Variation in migrant travel times is used to generate variation in the cost of communication between migrants and origin households. However, because migration, as well as the destination, may be chosen with information asymmetries in mind, two sets of instrumental variables are employed: lagged employment shocks at potential destinations and historical migrant networks.

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