Labor migration, remittances and household income: A comparison between Filipino and Filipina overseas workers

Moshe Semyonov, Anastasia Gorodzeisky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


The major purpose of the research is to examine 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. Data for the analysis were obtained from the Survey of Households and Children of Overseas Workers (a representative sample of households drawn in 1999-2000 from four major "labor sending" areas in the Philippines). The analysis focuses on 1,128 households with overseas workers. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-68
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Migration Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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