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Cairo Papers in Social Science


Cairo Papers in Social Science


Migration is a complex social phenomenon whose causes, motivations and consequences are diverse. The economist, therefore, cannot presume the mono­poly of its explanation. He, like specialists of other disciplines, emphasizes the variables of his concern. This monograph treats migration from an economic point of view; migra­tion is conceptualized as a means of promoting efficient utilization of re­sources., an fovestment aiming at increasing the productivity of human resources, an investment which has costs and which also generates return (Schultz, 1971: 18, Bowan et al, 1967:875-98; Sjaastad, 1962:8-83.) It is an attempt to appraise Egypt's policy to invest in huma.n capital through export, i.e. cost-benefit analysis. Both the internal rate of return and the net present value criteria have been used to test the hypothesis that seconding Egyptian school teachers to Saudia Arabia and Kuwait is profitable for Egypt as the emigration country. From the private welfare perspective, the objective function is to maximize the income of a particular group, and from the development perspective, the objective function is to maximize gross domestic product. The research outline in treating this subject has been as follows: In part one, we examine the demand for Egyptian labor in Arab countries. giving different estimates of the number of Egyptians actually working there. Then we discuss the triad of Egypt's economic problems (foreign exchange shor­tage, population pressure, and surplus labor) which have been plaguing the economy since the sixties, and which gathered momentum in the seventies to finally compel the Egyptian government to resort to liberalization of migra­tion as an outlet. From this, we proceed in part 2 to review the evolution of Egypt's migration policy since the Revolution. In this period, the tone of official Egyptian policy has ranged from antagonism, to ambivalence to liberalization. The reference to policy includes migration policies,secondment policies, and remittances policies. Having discussed Egypt's migratjon policy, we turn in part 3 to a survey of status of migration theory and its recent appfication to migration. This survey consists of listing the different approaches used in the study of emigration phenomenon and the perspective followed in this study (human capital approach:empirical application). Part 4 contains a detailed explanation of the methodology used in this study, its relevance and limitations. The hypothesis which·;: to be tested within the framework of the private welfare perspective and the development perspective is spelled out, followed by the sources of data for empirical application of the model. In part 5, the Saudi Arabian survey is examined. This survey is exam­ined in relation to the construction of the questionnaire schedules, the res­pondents' characteristics, attitudes, preferences and expenditures pattern abroad and upon return to Egypt. This survey focuses primarily on the impor­tance of remittances and repatriated earnings of the respondents and of the original population as a whole and their magnitude and significance relative to the Egyptian economy. This chapter also includes an assessment of Egypt's remittance policy in light of our findings. The same pattern of analysis has been pursued in part 6 for the Kuwaiti case. In part 7, an attempt is made to apply the model empirically to our findings in the two surveys within the framework of the private welfare and development perspectives and to interpret the results in part 8, our conclusions are presented and policy recommendations based on our findings are proposed.

Publication Date

Spring 1983


American University in Cairo Press




teachers, schools, Saudi Arabia, migration, Gulf, Kuwait, Egyptian school teachers


Cairo Papers in Social Science 3(4) [new edition]


Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Other Teacher Education and Professional Development

Export of Egyptian school teachers