Social and Economic Inequality in International Labor Migration Systems
Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 12:00pm to Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 1:30pm
Social and Economic Inequality in International Labor Migration Systems

Although studies on the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) program of the Philippines exists, few of these have been conducted in framing the issue as an economic development strategy. In fact, in the five decades of Philippine labor exportation, the primacy of the roles of household and individual choice to work abroad is so ingrained into societal memory that substantial discussion of the macroeconomic and microeconomic pressures that have engendered, maintained, and even amplified this phenomenon is largely deficient in the literature. This research proposes to analyze the OFW program as a case study in economic development strategy using an integrated qualitative and quantitative approach. Furthermore, this research aims to critically explore the most basic premise and promise of the OFW program – that working overseas will result in sustained higher standards of living for workers and their families. This means shrinking the wage gap among citizens. However, the accelerating rate of labor outmigration from the Philippines may reflect a different reality – one of increasing inequality. To this end, the main research question I am proposing to answer with this research is, “To what extent has the OFW program alleviated or exacerbated social and economic inequality on various levels (international, national, community, and individual)?”

About the speaker:

Chris de Venecia is a 5th year Ph.D. student in Urban Studies with a concentration on economic development and social justice. Prior to moving to Portland, he received his MURP from the University of Hawai’i where he studied community-based economic development, natural resources management, and environmental planning. Chris hopes his proposed work in international labor and economic outcomes results in new insights about international work, outsourced labor, household reproduction, and labor immigrants themselves. 


Location: URBN 220