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Migrant networks as a basis for social control: Remittance incentives among Senegalese in France and Italy

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  • Chort, Isabelle
  • Gubert, Flore
  • Senne, Jean-Noël

Abstract

The economic literature provides much evidence of the positive impact of social capital on migrants' economic outcomes, in particular through assistance upon arrival and insurance in times of hardship. Yet, although much less documented, migrant networks may well have a great influence on remittances to their home country and particularly to their origin households. Given all the services provided by the network, the fear of being ostracized by network members and being left with no support could provide incentives for migrants to commit to prevailing redistribution norms. In this perspective, remittances may be a fee that migrants pay to get access to network services. In this paper, we thus analyze to what extent migrant networks in the destination country influence the degree to which migrants meet the claims of those left behind. We first review existing models of remitting behavior and investigate how the potential role of networks could affect their main predictions. We then provide a simple illustrative theoretical framework to account for the double impact networks may have on remitting behavior, through the provision of services to migrants and the spread of information flows between home and host countries. We finally use an original dataset of 602 Senegalese migrants residing in France and Italy to explore the main predictions of our model.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 858-874

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:42:y:2012:i:5:p:858-874

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Keywords: Remittances; Migrant networks; Asymmetric information;

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  1. Mazzucato, Valentina, 2009. "Informal Insurance Arrangements in Ghanaian Migrants' Transnational Networks: The Role of Reverse Remittances and Geographic Proximity," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1105-1115, June.
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  3. Ã…slund, Olof & Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter, 2001. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2729, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
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  6. Krishna Patel & Francis Vella, 2013. "Immigrant Networks and Their Implications for Occupational Choice and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1249-1277, October.
  7. Topa, Giorgio, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 261-95, April.
  8. Philippe Gagnepain & Marc Ivaldi & David Martimort, 2009. "Renégociation de contrats dans l'industrie du transport urbain en France," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 60(4), pages 927-947.
  9. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  11. David J. McKenzie & Johan Mistiaen, 2009. "Surveying migrant households: a comparison of census-based, snowball and intercept point surveys," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(2), pages 339-360.
  12. Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
  13. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-18, December.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00877071 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Catia Batista & Gaia Narciso, 2014. "Migrant Remittances and Information Flows: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Norface Discussion Paper Series, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London 2014001, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Isabelle Chort & Jean-Noël Senne, 2013. "Intra-household Selection into Migration: Evidence from a Matched Sample of Migrants and Origin Households in Senegal," Working Papers DT/2013/14, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  4. Boltz-Laemmel, Marie & Villar, Paola, 2014. "Redistribution au sein de la famille étendue au Sénégal: Le rôle des migrants internes et internationaux," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1404, CEPREMAP.

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