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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Migration as a risky enterprise: A diagnostic for Bangladesh

  • Author(s): Das, Narayan;
  • de Janvry, Alain;
  • Mahmood, Sakib;
  • Sadoulet, Elisabeth
  • et al.

We provide here a diagnostic of migration of Bangladeshi workers to foreign countries. We show that migration is an important contributor to the economy of Bangladesh and to the welfare of migrants, largely male workers from poor rural households. Based on high intensity recall data, we evidence, however, that migration failures may be as high as one third of attempts at migrating, with large financial losses for households with a failed migrant. The main causes of failure appear to be abuse by fraudulent agents and financial constraints. Failed migrants tend to have lesser support from community migrant networks and to be from more rural environments. Providing assistance to candidates to migration could thus be a major welfare enhancing initiative.

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