Colombian Diaspora makes an economic difference


Mar 22, 2022

CSH scientist Ljubica Nedelkoska co-authored a study on Colombia’s diaspora to investigate how migrant Colombians impact their home country

 

From entrepreneurs to senior managers and scientists, many Colombian migrants are committed to make a difference back home, according to a study led by Ljubica Nedelkoska aimed at mapping the global Colombian diaspora, as well as analysing its engagement and attachment to its country of origin. 

 

“We investigated the characteristics that make a diaspora more likely to engage back home, and more likely to return,” explains Ljubica. “For instance, we found out attachment to family and friends in Colombia, past experience with entrepreneurship, and higher levels of education are important predictors of professional engagement”, adds the Hub senior researcher. 

 

Ljubica and her team examined different types of data on Colombians living abroad, including individual-level records of 1.7 million Colombians included in censuses and labor survey data in four countries; Twitter profiles of 3.5 million users of (presumed) Colombian origin; and a global database of firms featuring 560 Colombian managers in foreign companies. They also interviewed 12 Colombian entrepreneurs, managers and scholars, and carried out an online survey with 11,500 Colombians living abroad. 

 

“To our knowledge, this is the largest survey of a diaspora to date”, highlights Ljubica, who is also a senior research fellow at the Growth Lab at Harvard University, where she conducted the study in collaboration with the University of California Berkeley and Bielefeld University.

 

The Industrial Analytics Platform or UNIDO, the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability, published an article about the survey. 

 

 

To learn more about the study, access the working paper The role of the diaspora in the internationalization of the Colombian economy, by Ljubica Nedelkoska, Andre Assumpcao, Ana Grisanti, Matte Hartog, Julian Hinz, Jessie Lu, Daniela Muhaj, Eric Protzer, AnnaLee Saxenian and Ricardo Hausmann.

 


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