Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/145244
Authors: 
Gibson, John
McKenzie, David
Rohorua, Halahingano
Stillman, Steven
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 10110
Abstract: 
We study how migration from a poor to a rich country affects key economic beliefs, preference parameters, and transnational household decision-making efficiency. Our setting is the migration of Tongans to New Zealand through a migration lottery program. In a ten-year follow-up survey of individuals applying for this program we elicit risk and time preferences and pro-market beliefs. We also link migrants and potential migrants to a partner household consisting of family members who would stay behind if they moved. We play lab-in-the-field games designed to measure the degree of intra-family trust and the efficiency of intra-family decision-making. Migration provides a large and permanent positive shock to income, a large change in economic institutions, and a reduction in interactions with partner household members. Despite these changes, we find no significant impacts of migration on risk and time preferences, pro-market beliefs, or in the decision-making efficiency of transnational households. This stability in the face of such a large and life-changing event lends credence to economic models of migration that treat these determinants of decision-making as time-invariant, and contrasts with recent evidence on preference changes after negative shocks.
Subjects: 
migration
economic beliefs
preferences
household efficiency
transnational household
JEL: 
O12
F22
D13
D81
P1
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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