Labor Migration, Remittances and Economic
Well-being of Households in the Philippines
Moshe Semyonov Æ Anastasia Gorodzeisky
Received: 11 December 2006 / Accepted: 4 June 2007 / Published online: 24 June 2008
Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008
Abstract Labor Migration has long been viewed as a strategy adopted by the
household unit to allocate family resources rationally to increase the ﬂows of income
and to raise family standard of living. The research reported here examines the extent
to which remittances sent by Filipino overseas workers increase the income and
standard of living of households in the Philippines. Data for the analysis were
obtained from a representative sample of 2,388 households drawn in 1999–2000
from four major ‘‘labor sending’’ areas in the Philippines. The analysis compares
households with and without overseas workers to estimate the contribution of
remittances to household income and to household standard of living (measured once
by an ‘objective’ indicator and once by a ‘subjective’ assessment). The data reveal
that due to remittances the income of households with overseas labor migrants is
considerably higher than the income of households without overseas workers. The
data also reveal that remittances are used mostly for consumption purposes (e.g.
purchase of food, clothing, education, and goods) and that most of the difference in
standard of living (whether measured on the ‘objective’ or the ‘subjective’ scale)
between households with and without overseas workers are attributed to remittances.
The implications of labor migration and the policy that encourages and supports
labor migration for the Filipino society are evaluated and discussed.
Originality Disclaimer: This paper is based on an original analysis of data conducted by the authors. The
paper has not been submitted for review in any other journal and the authors are responsible for the
conclusions. Early version of the paper was presented at the XVIII Villa Mondragone International
Economic Conference, Rome, Italy, June 2006.
M. Semyonov (&) Á A. Gorodzeisky
Department of Sociology, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
Popul Res Policy Rev (2008) 27:619–637