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Mental Accounting and Remittances: A Study of Malawian Households

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  • Davies, Simon
  • Easaw, Joshy
  • Ghoshray, Atanu

Abstract

In this paper we use a behavioural approach to studying household consumption behaviour in Malawi. In particular we are interested to know whether households use mental accounting when consuming different categories of good. It is useful for assessing the impact of remittances on household consumption behaviour. We use 1998 cross-sectional data to find the following key results: (i) mental accounting systems are in operation. Remittance income exhibits a high marginal propensity to save, (ii) household income influences consumption habits, (iii) receipt of remittance income impacts on saving and spending habits. This is in line with the theory of remittances and corresponding mental accounting theory, and, finally, (iv) both remittances and loans are used for consumption smoothing and investment purposes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 3603.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3603

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Keywords: Remittances; Household Behaviour; Consumer Economics; Economic Development; Africa; Malawi;

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References

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  1. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 305-46, April.
  2. Samir Jahjah & Ralph Chami & Connel Fullenkamp, 2003. "Are Immigrant Remittance Flows a Source of Capital for Development," IMF Working Papers 03/189, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Fumio Hayashi, 1985. "Tests for Liquidity Constraints: A Critical Survey," NBER Working Papers 1720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Levin, Laurence, 1998. "Are assets fungible?: Testing the behavioral theory of life-cycle savings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 59-83, July.
  5. Anderson, C. Leigh & Nevitte, Neil, 2006. "Teach your children well: Values of thrift and saving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 247-261, April.
  6. Alejandra Cox Edwards & Manuelita Ureta, 2003. "International Migration, Remittances, and Schooling: Evidence from El Salvador," NBER Working Papers 9766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Edwards, Alejandra Cox & Ureta, Manuelita, 2003. "International migration, remittances, and schooling: evidence from El Salvador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 429-461, December.
  8. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2005. "Remittances, household expenditure and investment in Guatemala," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3532, The World Bank.
  9. Alderman, Harold & Paxson, Christina H & DEC, 1992. "Do the poor insure? A synthesis of the literature on risk and consumption in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1008, The World Bank.
  10. Winnett, Adrian & Lewis, Alan, 1995. "Household accounts, mental accounts, and savings behaviour: Some old economics rediscovered?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 431-448, September.
  11. Mathias Dewatripont & Isabelle Brocas & Juan Carrillo, 2004. "Commitment devices under self-control problems: an overview," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9665, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Udry, Christopher, 1990. "Credit Markets in Northern Nigeria: Credit as Insurance in a Rural Economy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 251-69, September.
  13. George-Marios Angeletos, 2001. "The Hyberbolic Consumption Model: Calibration, Simulation, and Empirical Evaluation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 47-68, Summer.
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Cited by:
  1. Davies, Simon & Davey, James, 2007. "A regional multiplier approach to estimating the impact of cash transfers: The case of cash aid in rural Malawi," MPRA Paper 3724, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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