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Using Mobile Phone Records to Estimate the Effect of Local Labor Demand Shocks on Internal Migration and Local Wages

by Joshua Blumenstock, Dave Donaldson | Thursday, February 02, 2017

A central question in the study of migration concerns the role that migrants play in bringing an economy towards a more efficient use of its resources. Yet, the lack of reliable data on migration has hampered our ability to observe how migration affects labor markets. We develop new methods for studying migration using terabytes of mobile phone data from Rwanda. We describe patterns of migration at a timescale and spatial resolution that is impossible with traditional data. These methods also allow us to provide new insight into the role of migration in labor markets in low income countries.

Download the full policy brief here.

Click here for a brief introduction of the project.