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Migration decisions, expected remittances, and altruism

  • Akira Shimada


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    We investigate the effects of altruism on migration decisions by the potential migrant as well as the effects of altruism on remittances by the migrant to clarify how altruism affects remittances that the household in the home country will receive, i.e., expected remittances. Previous studies did not pay adequate attention to the effects of altruism on migration decisions of the potential migrant when examining the effects of altruism on remittances that will be sent from aboard. We find that if migration does not incur any costs, the potential migrant always migrates, and altruism increases expected remittances monotonically. On the other hand, if migration incurs costs, the potential migrant does not necessarily migrate, and the potential migrant with a higher degree of altruism is less likely to migrate. As a result, with migration costs, altruism may decrease expected remittances. Therefore, altruism does not increase expected remittances monotonically. Our results falsify the usual assumption of monotonicity regarding the effects of altruism on remittances. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal International Review of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 59 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 285-296

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:inrvec:v:59:y:2012:i:3:p:285-296
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    1. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-18, October.
    2. Giorgio Secondi, 1997. "Private monetary transfers in rural china: Are families altruistic?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 487-511.
    3. Jacob Mincer, 1977. "Family Migration Decisions," NBER Working Papers 0199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frederic, 2006. "The Economics of Migrants' Remittances," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    5. Schiopu, Ioana & Siegfried, Nikolaus, 2006. "Determinants of workers’ remittances: evidence from the European Neighbouring Region," Working Paper Series 0688, European Central Bank.
    6. Osili, Una Okonkwo, 2007. "Remittances and savings from international migration: Theory and evidence using a matched sample," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 446-465, July.
    7. Shimada, Akira, 2010. "The Transfer of the Remittance Fee from the Migrant to the Household," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 25, pages 613-625.
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