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Migrant Remittances

  • Dean Yang

This article is about the economics of migrant remittances sent to developing countries. I review the overall magnitude of remittances and what current research reveals about the motivations for migrant remittances and what effects they have. I discuss field experimental evidence on migrant desires for control over the uses of their remittances. I highlight some key distinctive characteristics of remittances—such as their high frequency and relatively small individual magnitudes—as well as recent experimental evidence on the effect of reductions in remittance transaction fees, and outline a research agenda on the microeconomics of remittance decision making. Finally, I discuss what the future holds for remittances, considering aggregate trends but also approaches likely to be taken by international development agencies, national governments, the private sector, and academic economists.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.25.3.129
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 129-52

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:25:y:2011:i:3:p:129-52
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.25.3.129
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/
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  1. John Gibson & David Mckenzie, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," Working Papers in Economics 10/05, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  2. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  3. 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.
  4. Dean Yang, 2006. "Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 715-735, November.
  5. Cox, Donald & Eser, Zekeriya & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1998. "Motives for private transfers over the life cycle: An analytical framework and evidence for Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 57-80, February.
  6. Anjini Kochar, 1999. "Smoothing Consumption by Smoothing Income: Hours-of-Work Responses to Idiosyncratic Agricultural Shocks in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 50-61, February.
  7. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Cynthis Bansak & Susan Pozo, 2005. "On the remitting patterns of immigrants: evidence from Mexican survey data," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 1, pages 37-58.
  8. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frederic, 2006. "The Economics of Migrants' Remittances," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  9. 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, vol. 68(2), pages 309-328, August.
  10. Albert Bollard & David McKenzie & Melanie Morten & Hillel Rapoport, 2009. "Remittances and the Brain Drain Revisited: The microdata show that more educated migrants remit more," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0926, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  11. 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.
  12. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-26, August.
  13. Melvin Stephens Jr., 2003. ""3rd of tha Month": Do Social Security Recipients Smooth Consumption Between Checks?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 406-422, March.
  14. McCormick, Barry & Wahba, Jackline, 2001. "Overseas Work Experience, Savings and Entrepreneurship amongst Return Migrants to LDCs," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(2), pages 164-78, May.
  15. Ilahi, Nadeem & Jafarey, Saqib, 1999. "Guestworker migration, remittances and the extended family: evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 485-512, April.
  16. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
  17. Erik Lueth & Marta Ruiz-Arranz, 2007. "Are workers' remittances a hedge against macroeconomic shocks? The case of Sri Lanka," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 14(1), pages 25-39, June.
  18. Dean Yang, 2006. "Coping with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2002," NBER Working Papers 12794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. John A. List, 2011. "The Market for Charitable Giving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 157-80, Spring.
  20. Poirine, Bernard, 1997. "A theory of remittances as an implicit family loan arrangement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 589-611, January.
  21. Gemechu Ayana Aga & Christian Eigen-Zucchi & Sonia Plaza & Ani Rudra Silwal, 2013. "Migration and Development Brief, No. 20," World Bank Other Operational Studies 17020, The World Bank.
  22. Udry, Christopher, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526, July.
  23. Luis Miotti & El Mouhoub Mouhoud & Joel Oudinet, 2009. "Migrations And Determinants Of Remittances To Southern Mediterranean Countries: When History Matters !," Post-Print hal-00483303, HAL.
  24. 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 wp341, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  25. Torero, Máximo & Viceisza, Angelino, 2015. "To remit, or not to remit: that is the question. A remittance field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 221-236.
  26. 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.
  27. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Halahingano Rohorua, 2006. "How Cost Elastic are Remittances? Estimates from Tongan Migrants in New Zealand," Working Papers in Economics 06/02, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
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