The Impact of Remittances on Education in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon

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This Discussion Paper has been presented as a part of the workshop called The Social-Economic Situation of Middle East Youth on the Eve of the Arab Spring, hosted on December 8 - 9th, 2012 at the American University in Beirut. This paper uses micro data from three households’ surveys conducted in three neighboring countries in the Eastern Mediterranean (Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon) to study the impact of migrant remittances on education attendance and attainment. The paper relies on a model that depicts the relationship between migration and remittances from one end and human capital formation represented through education from the other. Empirical results show that migrant remittance receipt has a positive effect on education attendance. This finding is obtained while controlling for other socio-economic determinants of schooling behavior, and is robust to censorship and endogeneity bias. Results also show that the magnitude of the remittance impact on both education outcomes is larger for men compared to that of women in Jordan and Syria, but lower in Lebanon. This shows that in some countries around the region gender dimensions are still important in the household’s investment decisions in the sibling’s human capital.


Jad Chaaban, Wael Mansour

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