Overseas Work Experience, Savings and Entrepreneurship Amongst Return Migrants to LDCs



This paper contributes to a small but rapidly growing literature concerned with the potentially substantial implications of international migration for economic development in LDCs. We study the linkages between overseas employment, savings and entrepreneurial activity on return. In an econometric model of the probability of entrepreneurial activity, we find evidence supporting the hypotheses that both overseas savings, and the duration of stay overseas increase the probability of becoming an entrepreneur amongst literate returnees to Egypt. Amongst illiterate returnees, overseas savings alone increase the probability of becoming an entrepreneur. The results for literates suggest that skill acquisition overseas may matter more substantially than overcoming a savings constraint in explaining how overseas opportunities influence entrepreneurship on return. For illiterates, who usually accept menial positions overseas that offer little opportunity for learning, the opposite obtains.