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Abstract

We estimate the present-day effects on rural Moroccan households of past international migration--specifically, recruitment to work in the French mines sixty years--and its associated remittances and pensions. Using cluster analysis twice—once to categorize households as poor and non-poor in the early 1960s and again to categorize the directly-descended household in 2014—we identify the households that moved upward economically over the intervening period. Seemingly-unrelated probit estimation is then used to gauge the degree to which migration facilitated this process. We find that migration significantly increased the likelihood that the sending family's current-day members would presently be non-poor. Surprisingly, we also find that the simple act of applying to migrate also has a similar effect. For the poorest (in the pre-migration period) of households, recruitment for work could well have been exogenous. For these households, migration to work in the French mines is, by far, the strongest predictor of escaping poverty sixty years later.

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