New research studies effects of return migration

The recent Greek economic crisis hit the population of Albanian migrants in Greece particularly hard, spurring a wave of return migration which increased the Albanian labor force by 5% only between 2011 and 2014.

We study how this return migration affected the employment chances and earnings of Albanians who never migrated. We find positive effects on the wages of low-skilled non-migrants and overall positive effects on employment.

The gains partially offset the sharp drop in remittances in the observed period. The employment gains are concentrated in the agricultural sector, where most return migrants engage in self-employment and entrepreneurship. Businesses run by return migrants seem to pull Albanians from non-participation, self-employment and subsistence agriculture into commercial agriculture.

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