PEP-PAGE video series

The "PEP-PAGE video series" was created to present each of the projects selected for support under the new PEP research and capacity building initiative for Policy Analysis on Growth and Employment (PAGE) in developing countries. The PAGE program is co-funded by UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and Canada's International Development Research Center (IDRC).

Click here to find more information on the PAGE program.

In June 2013, 23 projects were selected to receive support under the first round of PAGE funding. This is one of these projects:


Youth self-employment in households receiving remittances in Macedonia

Objectives, background and method

This proposed research aims to explore if remittances may be used to support the entrepreneurial activities of unemployed youth in households receiving remittances in Macedonia.

Low job creation and high unemployment are the most important problems of Macedonia, where the youth unemployment rate of 55% remains persistently high.

Amid the global economic crisis, tightened credit conditions, lack of venture capital financing and the malfunctioning labour market, youth restrain their entrepreneurial aspirations and rarely risk new venture.On the other hand, Macedonia receives remittances of outward migration in the amount of approximately 20% of GDP annually. Their usage, however, remains largely unknown.

The underlying question is whether remittances deal solely with short-term poverty relief - without providing the poor with the tools to exit poverty by their own means - or if remittances may potentially have a positive effect on entrepreneurship.

To produce a reliable assessment of the probability that a young person will enter self-employment if his/her household receive remittances, the research team (see below) will apply advanced analytical techniques (instrumental variables) on nationally-representative datasets, that resulted from two distinct surveys conducted in 2009 and 2012 in Macedonia.

Research team

  • Ms. Nikica Mojsoska-Blazevsk
    Dean and Professor at the  School of Business Economics and Management
    University American College Skopje
  • Ms. Blagica Petreski
    Chief Economist, Finance Think
  • Mr. Edi Smokvarski
    Assistant Professor at the  School of Business Economics and Management
    University American College Skopje
  • Ms. Maja Nestorovska
    Research Associate at the Laboratory for Socioeconomic Research
    University American College Skopje
  • Mr. Marjan Petreski
    Assistant Professor and Vice-Dean for Research
    University American College Skopje



Project links and documents

Find out more about this project - its analytical approach and outcomes - through the following links/documents:


PEP project PMMA-12415 (web page)


Project proposal (Word doc)


Interim research report (Word doc)


Final research report


Working paper


Policy brief


Slide presentation


Policy engagement

Recent project updates

Since the  begining of their PEP project, the team has held further consultation meetings with national-level policymakers:

Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP), the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank.


More recently, some of the team members have met directly with the Macedonian Minister of Foreign Investment, Mr Bill Pavleski, to inform him of relevant implications of the ongoing project's expected outcomes.


During the fall of 2013, some of the research team members also had the opportunity to present their work via several large-scale platforms, and thus further disseminate the information regarding this PEP project and its expected outcomes. 

  • The researchers presented the project's preliminary findings during a national conference entitled "Remittances and development in the Western Balkans", held in Skopje (Macedonia) on November 4, 2013. Their presentation and recommendations were featured in a special report from the regional (Balkans) Al Jazeera television network, entitled "Big money from the diaspora and for the small businesses". (Find it here on the Al Jazeera website - see at 1:20) 
  • Dr. Markan Petreski was invited to present it at a high-level international Policy Dialogue on Youth Employment in Southeast Europe, organized by the World Bank and the wiiw, in Vienna (Austria) on October 21, 2013. (more about the event)
  • Dr. Petreski was also invited to discuss the issue as a special guest speaker on an "Economic magazine" TV show, broadcasted by the national TV station Alsat-M. You can view the interview here (for those who speak/understand Macedonian or Albanian) : on Youtube

Statements from Dr. Marjan Petreski have also been featured in a national daily newspaper - in an article focused on the project's issues (remittances and self-employment) and entitled "The migrants' cake melts down". Read/find the article through this link (in Macedonian)

Finally, he has published himself several columns in the most prominent national magazine "Economics and Business", the texts of which are made available on his personal blog:



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