Date Added: Jun 2009
Human trafficking is a humanitarian problem of global scale, but quantitative research on the issue barely exists. This paper is a first attempt to explore the economic drivers of human trafficking and migrant exploitation using micro data. The authors argue that migration pressure combined with informal migration patterns and incomplete information are the key determinants of human trafficking. To test the argument, they use a unique new dataset of 5513 households from Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine. The main result is in line with the expectations: migrant families in high-migration areas and with larger migrant networks are much more likely to have a trafficked victim among their members.