Monday, 26 February, 2024

Davit Adunts: Essays on International Migration

Dissertation Committee:

doc. Nikolas Mittag, Ph.D. (CERGE-EI, chair)

prof. Randall K. Filer, Ph.D. (City University of New York)

Andreas Menzel, Ph.D. (CERGE-EI)

doc. Ing. Daniel Münich, Ph.D. (CERGE-EI)

doc. Ing. Mariola Pytliková, Ph.D. (CERGE-EI)

Defense Committee:

prof. Ing. Štěpán Jurajda, Ph.D. (CERGE-EI, chair)

Christian Ochsner, Ph.D. (CERGE-EI)

doc. PhDr. Lubomír Cingl, Ph.D. (VŠE)


Benjamin Elsner, Ph.D. (University College Dublin)

Taryn Dinkelman, Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame)

Please find the link and the password for the online connection below:


Passcode: 9821


This thesis explores the effects of international migration on human capital formation in countries of origin. The first chapter investigates the short-run effect of paternal absence due to circular migration on the perseverance skills of children left behind. Using exogenous variation in the timing of return migration induced by bilateral migration laws between Ukraine and Poland, I show that current paternal absence due to circular migration negatively affects the perseverance skills of children left behind. This result is not explained by cognitive skills and is robust to including school and classroom fixed effects.

The second chapter (jointly with Bohdana Kurylo) examines the impact of international migration opportunities on origin-country skills composition by exploiting changes in migration opportunities induced by visa liberalization between EU countries and Ukraine. Our results suggest that greater opportunities to emigrate to EU countries increased the probability students will choose subjects that are more likely to lead to internationally transferable skills in Ukraine. We find no evidence that greater opportunities to emigrate to the EU significantly affect student performance or the probability of failing exams in subjects that are likely to lead to more internationally transferable skills. This suggests that the observed increase in the share of students choosing more internationally transferable subjects was not accompanied by a decrease in student performance or in the competitiveness of the study programs.

The third chapter (jointly with Geghetsik Afunts, Mariola Pytlikova) uses across-region variation in exposure to the sharp fall in the value of the Russian ruble in 2014 to examine the impact of remittances on classroom-level educational performance in Armenia. We find that the 2014 decrease in the value of remittances significantly decreased the performance of 12th-grade students in math. The negative effect was larger for boys than for girls. We provide suggestive evidence that this is likely driven by an increase in employment for boys relative to girls, as boys are more likely to engage in paid work to compensate for a loss of income due to reduced remittances. However, we find no evidence that remittances affected the performance of fourth- and ninth-grade students.

Full Text: "Essays on International Migration"