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Migrant Remittances and Information Flows: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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  • Batista, Catia

    ()
    (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

  • Narciso, Gaia

    ()
    (Trinity College Dublin)

Abstract

Do information flows matter for remittance behavior? We design and implement a randomized control trial to quantitatively assess the role of communication between migrants and their contacts abroad on the extent and value of remittance flows. In the experiment, a random sample of 1,500 migrants residing in Ireland was offered the possibility of contacting their networks outside the host country for free over a varying number of months. We find a sizable, positive impact of our intervention on the value of migrant remittances sent. Our results exclude that the remittance effect we identify is a simple substitution effect. Instead, our analysis points to this effect being a likely result of improved information via factors such as better migrant control over remittance use, enhanced trust in remittance channels due to experience sharing, or increased remittance recipients' social pressure on migrants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7839.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7839

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Keywords: information flows; international migration; migrant networks; remittances; randomized control trial;

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  1. Catia Batista & Dan Silverman & Dean Yang, 2013. "Directed Giving: Evidence from an Inter-Household Transfer Experiment," Norface Discussion Paper Series, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London 2013020, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Chort, Isabelle & Gubert, Flore & Senne, Jean-Noël, 2012. "Migrant networks as a basis for social control: Remittance incentives among Senegalese in France and Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 858-874.
  3. Beam, Emily & McKenzie, David & Yang, Dean, 2013. "Unilateral facilitation does not raise international labor migration from the Philippines," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 6689, The World Bank.
  4. Catia Batista & Janis Umblijs, 2014. "Do Migrants Send Remittances as a Way of Self-Insurance? Evidence from a Representative Immigrant Survey," Norface Discussion Paper Series, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London 2014005, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  5. Lídia Farré & Francesco Fasani, 2011. "Media Exposure and Internal Migration -Evidence from Indonesia," UFAE and IAE Working Papers, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) 883.11, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  6. 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.
  7. Dean Yang, 2011. "Migrant Remittances," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 129-52, Summer.
  8. Benjamin Elsner & Gaia Narciso & Jacco J. J. Thijssen, 2014. "Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1403, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  9. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2007. "A Land of Milk and Honey with Streets Paved with Gold: Do Emigrants Have Over-Optimistic Expectations about Incomes Abroad?," IZA Discussion Papers 2788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
  11. Chen, Joyce J., 2013. "Identifying non-cooperative behavior among spouses: Child outcomes in migrant-sending households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 1-18.
  12. Aker, Jenny C. & Clemens, Michael A. & Ksoll, Christopher, 2011. "Mobiles and mobility: The Effect of Mobile Phones on Migration in Niger," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics 2, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Batista, Catia & Silverman, Dan & Yang, Dean, 2013. "Directed Giving: Evidence from an Inter-Household Transfer Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7629, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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