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Financial literacy and remittance behavior of skilled and unskilled immigrant groups in Australia

  • Karunarathne, Wasana
  • Gibson, John

Studies of financial literacy show that many people are poorly prepared for making major financial decisions. One important sub-group rarely examined by financial literacy studies is immigrants, who have specialized financial needs related to remittances. This paper examines variation in financial literacy amongst two actively remitting immigrant groups in Australia – Sri Lankans and Samoans – using surveys designed and supervised by the authors. Paying attention to remittance-related and credit-related literacy, large gaps in the level of financial literacy of the two groups are shown, which are due especially to differences in educational attainment. The wide variation in transactions costs of various remittance channels suggest that many immigrants could save several hundred dollars per year if improved financial literacy helped to produce more efficient remittance choices.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Asian Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 54-62

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Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:30:y:2014:i:c:p:54-62
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/asieco

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  1. Karunarathne, Wasana & Gibson, John, 2014. "Financial literacy and remittance behavior of skilled and unskilled immigrant groups in Australia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 54-62.
  2. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  3. John Gibson & Geua Boe-Gibson & Halahingano Rohorua & David McKenzie, 2007. "Efficient remittance services for development in the Pacific," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 14(2), pages 55-74, December.
  4. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2006. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," DNB Working Papers 078, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  5. Mathia Sinning & Markus Hahn & Thomas K. Bauer, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for nonlinear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 480-492, December.
  6. David Neumark, 1987. "Employers' discriminatory behavior and the estimation of wage discrimination," Special Studies Papers 227, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Zia, Bilal, 2012. "The impact of financial literacy training for migrants," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6073, The World Bank.
  8. David J. McKenzie & Johan Mistiaen, 2009. "Surveying migrant households: a comparison of census-based, snowball and intercept point surveys," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(2), pages 339-360.
  9. Anna Paulson & Sherrie Rhine, 2008. "The Financial Assimilation of an Immigrant Group: Evidence on the Use of Checking and Savings Accounts and Currency Exchanges," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 264-278, June.
  10. Diana J. Beal & Sarath B. Delpachitra, 2003. "Financial Literacy Among Australian University Students," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 22(1), pages 65-78, 03.
  11. 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.
  12. Carpena, Fenella & Cole, Shawn & Shapiro, Jeremy & Zia, Bilal, 2011. "Unpacking the causal chain of financial literacy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5798, The World Bank.
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