Beam, Emily. 2012. "Perceived Returns to Job Search Overseas: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in the Philippines." PAA Presentation 12-2.
The Philippines is one of the world's largest exporters of labor. The roughly 1.5 million Filipino workers deployed overseas each year send back remittances that account for 10 percent of GDP. The benefits of migration have been more difficult to access for rural Filipinos, who face relatively high informational and financial overseas search costs. I conduct a randomized control trial to evaluate the impact of providing rural Filipinos with information about average overseas wages and directly subsidizing job search. Reducing the cost of job search directly increases the likelihood of search, but induces negative selection. Updating individuals' expectations about average wages reduces job search effort on the extensive margin among individuals with low perceived probabilities of finding a job.
Country of focus: Philippines.