A working paper by Riccardo Ciacci, Jorge García-Hombrados and Ayesha Zainudeen.
This study explores the effect of the expansion of mobile phone signal on migration decisions in Myanmar. The empirical strategy proposed follows Manacorda and Tesei (2019) and Andersen et al. (2011), it uses variation in lightning frequency across space as an instrumental variable for the expansion of mobile phone signal. Our results suggest that longer exposure to mobile phone network decreases migration. Specifically, an increase of 1 s.d. in the time exposed to mobile phone signal diminishes the probability of household members to migrate by 17%. We find empirical evidence suggesting that such findings are driven by the positive effects of access to mobile phone signal on labor market outcomes and on perceived well-being.
Keywords: mobile phones, migration, labor market outcomes.
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