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On altruism and remittances

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  • Alexis Antoniades
  • Ganesh Seshan
  • Roberto A. Weber
  • Robertas Zubrickas

Abstract

We provide a direct test of the impact of altruism on remittances. From a sample of 105 male migrant workers from Kerala, India working in Qatar, we elicit the propensity to share with others from their responses in a dictator game, and use it as a proxy for altruism. When the entire sample is considered, we find that only migrants' income robustly explains remittances. Altruism does not seem to matter. However, we document a strong positive relationship between altruism and remittances for those migrants that report a loan obligation back home, which is nearly half the sample. We explain the role of loan obligations with a standard remittance model, extended with reference-dependent preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 131.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:131

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Keywords: Remittances; altruism; reference-dependent preferences; dictator game; Qatar;

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  1. Osili, Una Okonkwo, 2007. "Remittances and savings from international migration: Theory and evidence using a matched sample," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 446-465, July.
  2. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Jonathan Morduch, 2008. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence From Rural India," Working Papers IES 2008/28, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2008.
  3. 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.
  4. Mandelman, Federico S. & Zlate, Andrei, 2012. "Immigration, remittances and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 196-213.
  5. Vincent P Crawford & Juanjuan Meng, 2008. "New York City Cabdrivers’ Labor Supply Revisited: Reference-Dependent Preferences with Rational-Expectations Targets for Hours and Income," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002281, David K. Levine.
  6. Johannes Abeler & Armin Falk & Lorenz Goette & David Huffman, 2009. "Reference Points and Effort Provision," Discussion Papers 2009-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  7. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000341, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  9. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-18, October.
  10. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  12. Funkhouser, Edward, 1995. "Remittances from International Migration: A Comparison of El Salvador and Nicaragua," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 137-46, February.
  13. Giulia Bettin & Riccardo Lucchetti & Alberto Zazzaro, 2011. "Financial development and remittances: micro-econometric evidence," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 56, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  14. Jørgen Carling, 2008. "The determinants of migrant remittances," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 582-599, Autumn.
  15. Poirine, Bernard, 1997. "A theory of remittances as an implicit family loan arrangement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 589-611, January.
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