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Determinants of workers’ remittances: evidence from the European Neighbouring Region

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  • Schiopu, Ioana
  • Siegfried, Nikolaus

Abstract

Workers’ remittances have become the second largest source of net financial flows to developing countries. However, the main motives for sending remittances remain controversial. This paper examines the importance of altruistic versus investment motives using a new panel data set of bilateral flows from 21 Western European to 7 EU neighbouring countries. We find that altruism is important for remitting, as the GDP differential between sending and receiving countries is positively correlated with the average remittance per migrant. By contrast, interest rate differentials are insignificant, suggesting a weak investment motive. Finally, migrants’ skills raise remittances, while a large informal economy in the sending country depresses official remittance flows. JEL Classification: D13, D64, F22, F24, O15

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0688.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20060688

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Keywords: altruism; balance of payments; migrants' skills; migration; remittances;

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  1. Gubert, Flore, 2002. "Do Migrants Insure Those who Stay Behind? Evidence from the Kayes Area (Western Mali)," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10842, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Donald Cox & Zekeriya Eser & Emmanuel Jimenez, 1996. "Motives for Private Transfers over the Life Cycle: An Analytical Framework and Evidence for Peru," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 327., Boston College Department of Economics.
  3. Elbadawi, Ibrahim & de Rezende Rocha, Robert, 1992. "Determinants of expatriate workers'remittances in North Africa and Europe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1038, The World Bank.
  4. El-Sakka, M. I. T. & McNabb, Robert, 1999. "The Macroeconomic Determinants of Emigrant Remittances," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1493-1502, August.
  5. Faini, Riccardo, 1994. "Workers Remittances and the Real Exchange Rate: A Quantitative Framework," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 235-45.
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