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Job market paper

Migration and Transfers in Extended Family Networks

Workers in developing nations rely on migration for income as they leave their families behind in the care of the extended family or other support networks in the local community. Such migrant-sending households at the origin require monetary and time transfers from extended family, and migration adds further complexity to transfer arrangements in such networks. This paper examines the role of extended families in how households decide to engage in income diversification methods between informal resource transfers and migration. Using the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS) from RAND, I create an extended family network using split-off households from the parent households in the initial survey round. I use a discrete factor random-effects model to estimate migration effects on transfer contracts within an extended family network. The estimation results highlight the importance of the network composition in the type of transfer contracts that occur using both time and money transfers and, as a result, the changes in household consumption.


Development economics, Labor economics

  • Letter writers

  • David Guilkey
  • Luca Flabbi
  • Elizabeth Frankenburg