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Does Migration Support Technology Diffusion in Developing Countries?

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Michael Hübler, Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, Leibniz Universität Hannover

Presented at the ReSAKSS-Asia conference “Agriculture and Rural Transformation in Asia: Past Experiences and Future Opportunities”. An international conference jointly organized by ReSAKSS-Asia, IFPRI, TDRI, and TVSEP project of Leibniz Universit Hannover with support from USAID and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand December 12–14, 2017.

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Does Migration Support Technology Diffusion in Developing Countries?

  1. 1. Does Migration Support Technology Diffusion in Developing Countries? Michael Hübler Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim, Germany Agriculture and Rural Transformation in Asia, Bangkok 2017
  2. 2. 2 Underlying publications Regression analyses using our TVSEP survey data for Thailand, Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia in 2013:  Hübler, Michael (2015). Labor Mobility and Technology Diffusion: a New Concept and its Application to Rural Southeast Asia. Journal of Asian Economics 39, 137-151.  Village data  Hübler, Michael (2016). Does Migration Support Technology Diffusion in Developing Countries? World Development 83, 148- 162.  Household data Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  3. 3. 3 Trade literature  Technology spillovers via trade & FDI  Brain drain via migration  Technology spillovers and „technology drain“ via migration hardly explored Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany cliparts101.com
  4. 4. 4 Phone literature  Determinants of wide-spread mobile phones  Especially, Africa  Effects of mobile phones, e.g., on market prices  For example, India  Southeast Asia hardly researched w.r.t. phones Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany cliparting.com
  5. 5. 5Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  6. 6. 6 Technology hypotheses  Technology gain hypothesis: immigrants/ emigrants enhance technology use/diffusion  Creation of technological knowledge and preferences, or linkages to high-tech locations  Technology impair/drain hypothesis: immigrants/ emigrants reduce technology use/diffusion  Loss of local knowledge and preferences, or linkages to low-tech locations Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  7. 7. 7 Research questions Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany  Does migration support or hinder technology diffusion?  Which other socio-economic factors are relevant?
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  9. 9. 9 Migration results  Technology drain via emigration to rural destinations (within the same country) but technology gain for urban ones  Also labor mobility, business relations etc.  But effects not identifiable for daily commuters  Also technology impairment via immigration possible  Effect of migration beyond monetary remittances  International migration plays a small role (in this survey)  Technology gain via education & younger age of migrants Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  10. 10. 10 Socio-economic results  Migration often poverty-driven (in the survey)  Strong rural technology diffusion (spatial correlation)  Mobile phones shared within households Technology diffusion (mobile phones) is enhanced by:  Existing technologies: electricity, Internet, cars  Complements – but also income indicators  Geographic accessibility (infrastructure & distances) Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  11. 11. 11 Conclusion  Migration can help overcome social & geographic obstacles to rural development via technology diffusion  Mainly rural-urban migration relevant  Also labor mobility, business relations etc.  Connections with high-tech/high-income locations  But there is also the risk of technology drain/impairment  Policy: provide educational, infrastructural & financial support Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  12. 12. 12 Discussion & outlook  Methodological difficulties:  Reverse causality: technology → migration  Transfer of knowledge, devices or money (remittances)?  Further research: smartphones, Internet & their applications Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  13. 13. Thank you very much for your kind attention Michael Hübler - Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany huebler@iuw.uni-hannover.de

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