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Revisiting the Motivations behind Remittance Behavior: Evidence of Debt-Financed Migration from Afghanistan


  • Craig Loschmann

    () (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance & UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, Netherlands.)

  • Melissa Siegel

    (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance & UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, Netherlands.)


In an insecure environment like Afghanistan it is believed that many families consider establishing household members at different geographic locations, frequently abroad, as a way to hedge against risks to a sustainable livelihood. With this in mind, this study examines whether such a migration strategy rests on remittance transfers as an alternative source of income, exploiting the way in which migration is financed as a discriminating factor. Our results show remittance transfers are lower for debt-financed migrants, and the influence of certain individual and household characteristics are in line with what we would expect if altruism is the dominating motivation. In light of this finding, we speculate that the sending of household members abroad as a risk-coping strategy may be less about having an alternative source of income and more about having an alternative location to escape to if the security situation happens to take a turn for the worse.

Suggested Citation

  • Craig Loschmann & Melissa Siegel, 2015. "Revisiting the Motivations behind Remittance Behavior: Evidence of Debt-Financed Migration from Afghanistan," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 12(1), pages 38-49, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:12:y:2015:i:1:p:38-49

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:mig:remrev:v:2:y:2017:i:1:p:31-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gazi M. Hassan & Mark J. Holmes, 2017. "How Do Workers' Remittances Respond to Lending Rates?," Working Papers in Economics 17/02, University of Waikato.


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