Ongoing Research


MISTY migration, transformation, sustainability

While there is widespread discussion of both sustainability and migration, with the latter focused particularly on the potentially destabilizing impacts of unmanaged movement, there is little understanding on the connections between the two. MISTY migration, transformation, sustainability seeks to explore the ways that migration interacts with sustainability concerns in destination cities, with an emphasis on the unrecognised benefits that it can bring.

Drawing on research in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, the global focus of this project will support the emergence of a more empathetic and evidence-based approach to migration management in cities. While migration is frequently presented in terms of threat or crisis, this research will draw out the substantial opportunities it presents to strengthen urban sustainability.

Transformation theories assume static populations and fail to recognize both positive and negative impacts of the movement of people. This gap limits explanations and intervention strategies for sustainability. The objective of this project is therefore to use theory and rigorous empirical research to expand knowledge of transformations to sustainability by incorporating migration dynamics. These specifically include: the impact of aggregate flows of people on sustainability; the individual lifecourse dimensions of sustainability; and the governance of migration and sustainability.

IMPACT OF INTERNATIONAL SHORT TERM CONTRACT MIGRATION ON POVERTY AND DEVELOPMENT: PANEL SURVEY-WAVE III

Funded by: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) 

Objectives of panel survey-Wave III
a. Specific Objectives of the third round of the Survey:
• In order to make the evidences robust, any panel data requires studying the households for 4-5 times. The third round survey will be designed to make the panel data robust.
• In the second round of the survey around 1500 new households were added. While comparing household situation between the 2 surveys these households remained outside. The third round of survey will allow analysis based on all 6000 households.

b. Importance of Panel Data

On labour migration from Bangladesh, SDC and RMMRU household survey is the only panel data. This data set will serve different purposes ranging from helping national planning to higher studies.

Dynamic analysis against static: The first and second round of SDC and RMMRU survey has already established baseline data on migration. It provides information on the situation of respective families at the beginning of the process of migration. How were their socio-economic conditions prior to migration – income, expenditure, savings, resource endowment, living conditions, and educational achievement? What changes have migrant families experienced over the duration of migration? How such changes compare with households not having had any migration experience? What is the level of poverty of migrant households compared to non-migrant ones? In what avenues do the migrants invest? How do they contribute in community development? The robustness of the differences that was detected among migrant and non-migrant households in respect to poverty and consumption, between the first and second round of survey can be explained through adding new sets of questions.

Panel data and regression analysis: Panel data has a number of fundamental advantages over cross sectional with respect to regression analysis. First, findings are not confounded by the presence of time invariant omitted variables, such as ability, as fixed effects models can be implemented on panel data effectively correcting the bias caused by omitted variables. Second, possible concerns over reverse causation – for example is a positive association between wealth and migration because migration facilitates the accumulation of wealth or because only the relatively well-off can afford to migrate – can be addressed using such panel data specific tools as difference in difference estimation and granger causality tests. Finally, panel data allows for much more precise identification of parameters than an otherwise similar cross section, as the effective numbers of observations are increased with each wave of the panel.

Monitoring impact of migration: Besides underscoring various changes experienced over time, panel households will further enable monitoring possible impacts of migration and inflow of remittances. Migration is prone to fluctuations in level, destination, composition and terms and conditions of employment particularly with respect to different variants of international migration. Political instability, war, ethnic problems could cause a sudden return flow of migrants; changing labour market situation could significantly underscore the composition of migrants; or decline in overseas market demand could have a dampening effect on terms and conditions of employment. Now presence of panel households could help immensely to monitor possible impact of any external shock to migration.

Policy appraisal and programme evaluation: No less important, a panel household can prove instrumental in designing and evaluating policies and programme aimed at maximizing latent opportunities of migration and minimizing any adverse consequences thereof. Data generated from regular monitoring of these households and following sudden changes in external situation will prove useful in understanding the need for and effectiveness of alternative policies. For instance, how effective were different policies taken by the government from time to time toward helping migrant families adjust to the absence of adult family members, what underscores effective channeling of remittances into productive purposes, what contribution has migration played in easing the poverty situation in migrant localities? All such questions can be answered through proper monitoring and evaluating the experiences of panel households.