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Money Transfers among Banked and Unbanked Mexican Immigrants

Listed author(s):
  • 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.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 73 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 374-401

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:73:2:y:2006:p:374-401
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