Enhance the links between migration and investment in education
The IPPMD findings point to several important linkages between migration and education in Cambodia. Remittance-receiving households spend more on education than households not receiving remittances, which indicates that remittances spur investments in human capital. At the same time, the results also show that secondary education drop-out rates are highest among boys in rural emigrant households. This may partly be driven by aspirations to emigrate to take-up low skilled jobs abroad, which in turn lowers the incentives to enrol in higher education. The positive effect of remittances on educational investments should be met with investments in education infrastructure to ensure access and quality. It is also important to ensure that young people, particularly in rural areas with high emigration rates, have the means and incentives to complete the full mandatory cycle of national education.
The type of education programmes analysed in this study does not seem to have much effect on household migration decisions. The results showed a positive association between having benefited from an education policy and receiving remittances, but such policies do not seem to affect emigration decisions. One potential explanation behind the weak link is that the programmes are highly based on in-kind support and of fairly limited coverage. Recommendations for policy include the following:
- • Increase investments in education infrastructure to ensure quality and access to meet the increasing demand for education driven by remittances.
- • Expand cash and in-kind distribution programmes in areas with high emigration rates to make sure that young people have the means to complete secondary education.