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Money Transfers among Banked and Unbanked Mexican Immigrants


  • Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

    () (Department of Economics, San Diego State University)

  • Cynthia Bansak

    () (Department of Economics, San Diego State University)


The recent recognition of the matrícula consular as an acceptable form of alien identification by financial institutions has increased undocumented Mexican immigrants' access to U.S. banking services. Usage of the banking system's low-cost wiring and money-transfer services may encourage Mexican immigrants to save and potentially transfer more money to Mexico. We use data from the Mexican Migration Project (MMP107) to examine the hypothesis that immigrants with access to banking services in the United States between 1970 and 2004 sent back more funds to Mexico than their unbanked counterparts. We find that banking among Mexican immigrants in our sample is limited. While having a U.S. bank account does not appear to significantly raise monthly remittance flows by Mexican immigrants, it does help boost the amount brought back home. Thus, our analysis sheds light on the potential effects of matrícula cards on the future flow of remittances to Mexico.

Suggested Citation

  • Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Cynthia Bansak, 2006. "Money Transfers among Banked and Unbanked Mexican Immigrants," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 374-401, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:73:2:y:2006:p:374-401

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel, 2009. "The Impact of Irregular Status on Human Development Outcomes for Migrants," MPRA Paper 19209, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Anneke Kosse & David-Jan Jansen, 2011. "Choosing how to pay: the influence of home country habits," DNB Working Papers 328, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Richard P. C. Brown & Fabrizio Carmignani & Ghada Fayad, 2013. "Migrants’ Remittances and Financial Development: Macro- and Micro-Level Evidence of a Perverse Relationship," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(5), pages 636-660, May.
    4. Simeon Karafolas & Nikolaos Sariannidis, 2009. "The Banking Network as a Transmission Channel of Migrant Remittances: The Case of Greek and Italian Banks in Albania," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 15(4), pages 674-684, February.
    5. Tigran A. Melkonyan & David A. Grigorian, 2008. "Microeconomic Implications of Remittances in an Overlapping Generations Model with Altruism and Self-Interest," IMF Working Papers 08/19, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Sami Ben Mim (ERUDITE) & Fatma Mabrouk (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2011. "Remittances and economic growth: what channels of transmission? (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-28, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    7. Simeon Karafolas & George Konteos, 2010. "Choice of Money Transfer Methods in the Case of Albanian Immigrants in Greece," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 16(4), pages 962-978, February.
    8. Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, 2009. "The Impact of Irregular Status on Human Development Outcomes for Migrants," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-26, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Jul 2009.
    9. Vaira-Lucero, Matias & Nahm, Daehoon & Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "The Impact of the 1996 US Immigration Policy Reform (IIRIRA) on Mexican Migrants' Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 6546, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2012. "Remittance Income Volatility and Labor Supply in Mexico," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 257-276, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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