Labor Migration, Remittances and Household Income: A Comparison between Filipino and Filipina Overseas Workers

Semyonov, Moshe and Gorodzeisky, Anastasia

Based on a representative sample of 1,128 Filipino households with overseas workers, the article examines gender differences in patterns of labor market activity, economic behavior and economic outcomes among labor migrants. While focusing on Filipina and Filipino overseas workers, the article addresses the following questions: whether and to what extent earnings and remittances of overseas workers differ by gender; and whether and to what extent the gender of overseas workers differentially affects household income in the Philippines. The findings reveal that men and women are likely to take different jobs and to migrate to different destinations. The analysis also reveals that many more women were unemployed prior to migration and that the earnings of women are, on average, lower than those of men, even after controlling for variations in occupational distributions, country of destination, and sociodemographic attributes. Contrary to popular belief, men send more money back home than do women, even when taking into consideration earnings differentials between the genders. Further analysis demonstrates that income of households with men working overseas is significantly higher than income of households with women working overseas and that this difference can be fully attributed to the earnings disparities and to differences in amount of remittances sent home by overseas workers. The results suggest that gender inequality in the global economy has significant consequences for economic inequality among households in the local economy. The findings and their meaning are evaluated and discussed in light of the household theory of labor migration.

©2005 Wiley. Reproduced with permission of Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Published: 2005

Citation: Semyonov, Moshe and Gorodzeisky, Anastasia, "Labor Migration, Remittances and Household Income: A Comparison between Filipino and Filipina Overseas Workers," International Migration Review in 39(1), ed. , 2005, 45–68.

Collected in:

Topic 6 – Socio-Cultural Determinants of Remittances