The Impact of International Migration on the Labour Market Behaviour of Women Left-Behind: Evidence from Senegal

Sorana Toma, CREST and Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique (ENSAE)
Cora Mezger, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

This paper examines the impact of male international migration on the labour market behaviour of women left-behind in Senegal. While previous studies rely largely on cross-sectional data collected only in origin countries, this analysis takes advantage of a new longitudinal and multi-sited dataset on international migration. Results from a random effects logistic panel regression do not support previous findings of a positive effect of husbands’ migration; instead, we find evidence of lower activity rates for spouses of migrants. The finding seems mostly driven by women whose union is transnational from the start (i.e. who marry someone who is already a migrant). Our paper further contribution to the literature by taking into account the household composition of left-behind women. We find this to be an important moderating factor, as living with their migrant husband’s family represents an additional negative impact on women's economic participation.

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 Presented in Session 210. Economic and Social Effects of Migration