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Insurance motives to remit: Evidence from a matched sample of Ethiopian internal migrants

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  • de Brauw, Alan
  • Mueller, Valerie
  • Woldehanna, Tassew

Abstract

Migration and remittances can be used by rural households as a means of insurance, investment, and income augmentation. Ample attention has been given to studying international remittance flows, since for many countries such transfers comprise a significant fraction of income. Remittance flows from internal migrants are relatively understudied, particularly in Africa, where remittance rates are poor. We use a unique matched migrant sample to study what drives the low remittance rates in Ethiopia. Descriptive statistics suggest remitters are positively selected in terms of wealth characteristics compared with the average tracked migrant. Limited skill transferability and liquidity largely explain low remittance rates in Ethiopia. Weaker evidence suggests migrants are additionally motivated to remit as a form of self-insurance against own shocks to income and investments towards future inheritable assets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1090.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1090

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Keywords: Insurance; Migration; Remittances;

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  1. Tigran A. Melkonyan & David A. Grigorian, 2011. "Microeconomic Implications of Remittances in an Overlapping Generations Model with Altruism and a Motive to Receive Inheritance," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(8), pages 1026-1044, March.
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  7. Poirine, Bernard, 1997. "A theory of remittances as an implicit family loan arrangement," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 589-611, January.
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  14. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-18, October.
  15. Nava Ashraf & Diego Aycinena & Claudia Martínez & Dean Yang, 2011. "Remittances and the Problem of Control: A Field Experiment Among Migrants from El Salvador," Working Papers, University of Chile, Department of Economics wp341, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
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  17. Bollard, Albert & McKenzie, David & Morten, Melanie, 2010. "The remitting patterns of African migrants in the OECD," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5260, The World Bank.
  18. de la Briere, Benedicte & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain & Lambert, Sylvie, 2002. "The roles of destination, gender, and household composition in explaining remittances: an analysis for the Dominican Sierra," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 309-328, August.
  19. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2006. "Remittances as insurance: evidence from Mexican immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 227-254, June.
  20. Hoddinott, John, 1994. "A Model of Migration and Remittances Applied to Western Kenya," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 459-76, July.
  21. Tigran A. Melkonyan & David A. Grigorian, 2008. "Microeconomic Implications of Remittances in an Overlapping Generations Model with Altruism and Self-Interest," IMF Working Papers 08/19, International Monetary Fund.
  22. Du, Yang & Park, Albert & Wang, Sangui, 2005. "Migration and rural poverty in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 688-709, December.
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