January 2008

IZA DP No. 3322: Migration, Risk and the Intra-Household Allocation of Labor in El Salvador

substantially revised version published as IZA DP No. 4903, April 2010

We use panel data from El Salvador and investigate the intra-household allocation of labor as a risk-coping strategy. Adverse agricultural productivity shocks both increased male migration to the US and male agricultural labor supply. This is not a contradiction if there were non-monotonic effects on shadow wages within the survey period. In contrast, damage sustained from the 2001 earthquakes exclusively stunted female migration. This is consistent with the earthquakes increasing the demand for home production.