Migration and Informal Social Protection in Rural Mozambique

Background paper to the ERD 2010


Mariapia Mendola, University of Milan Bicocca and LdA


Paper prepared in the framework of the European Report on Development 2010.


This paper uses a unique household survey from two southern regions in Mozambique to examine the extent to which dispatching family labour abroad is a source of informal social protection for households left behind. We do so by studying the relation between migration, remittances and participation in groups that provide informal social services to migrant-sending communities. We distinguish between a range of community associations related to insurance (funeral associations, risk-sharing arrangements, etc.), credit (Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (Roscas), groups with joint liability, etc.) and production provision (self-help groups with income generating activities), and we also correct for endogeneity concerns. The results show that migration associated with remittances is positively related to community group participation. In particular, while there is no significant relationship with group membership related to credit or self-help activities, households receiving remittances are more likely to join groups that provide insurance, suggesting that there is scope for enhancing the role of migration as a source of social protection at community level.

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