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ISER Working Paper Series 2016-13

Intended vs. unintended consequences of migration restriction policies: evidence from a natural experiment in Indonesia


Publication date

24 Nov 2016


We study the consequences of a series of migration policies that restricted the migration of Indonesian female domestic workers towards traditional destinations, namely Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Our difference-in-differences specification exploits the differential impact across Indonesian villages of this unique natural experiment, intended to stop repeated cases of mistreatment of Indonesians working overseas. Our results suggest that the moratoria had negative effects on economic activity and households’ welfare, and worsened labor market conditions, especially for women, in the origin communities. Our results highlight the unintended effects that migration restrictions may have precisely on those they were intended to benefit.


Law And Legislation, Human Capital, Rural Economics, Migration, Labour Market, Economics, Poverty, Living Standards, Public Policy, Income Dynamics, Household Economics, International Economic Relations, and Race Relations

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