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The Remitting Patterns of African Migrants in the OECD

  • Albert Bollard

    (Stanford University)

  • David McKenzie

    ()

    (Development Research Group, World Bank)

  • Melanie Morten

    (Yale University)

Recorded remittances to Africa have grown dramatically over the past decade. Yet data limitations still mean relatively little is known about which migrants remit, how much they remit, and how their remitting behavior varies with gender, education, income levels, and duration abroad. We construct the most comprehensive remittance database on immigrants in the OECD currently available, containing microdata on over 12,000 African immigrants. Using this microdata we establish several basic facts about remitting patterns of Africans, and then explore how key characteristics of policy interest relate to remittance behavior. Africans are found to remit twice as much on average as migrants from other developing countries, while those from poorer African countries are more likely to remit than those from richer African countries. We find male migrants remit more than female migrants, particularly among those with a spouse remaining in the home country; that more educated migrants remit more than less educated migrants; and that while the amount remitted increases with income earned, the gradient is quite flat over a large range of income. Finally, we find little evidence that the amount remitted decays with time spent abroad, with reductions in the likelihood in remitting offset by increases in the amount remitted conditional on remitting.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 0921.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0921
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  1. Bollard, Albert & McKenzie, David & Morten, Melanie & Rapoport, Hillel, 2009. "Remittances and the Brain Drain Revisited: The Microdata Show That More Educated Migrants Remit More," IZA Discussion Papers 4534, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Philippe De Vreyer & Flore Gubert & François Roubaud, 2007. "Migration, Self-selection and Returns to Education in the WAEMU," Working Papers DT/2007/10, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  3. Dilip Ratha & Sanket Mohapatra & Ani Silwal, 2009. "Outlook for Remittance Flows 2009-2011 : Remittances Expected to Fall by 7-10 Percent in 2009," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10975, The World Bank.
  4. Azam, Jean-Paul & Gubert, Flore, 2006. "Migrants' Remittances and the Household in Africa: A Review of Evidence," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5126, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. Luis Miotti & El Mouhoub Mouhoud & Joel Oudinet, 2009. "Migrations And Determinants Of Remittances To Southern Mediterranean Countries: When History Matters !," Post-Print hal-00483303, HAL.
  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. Sanjeev Gupta & Catherine A. Pattillo & Smita Wagh, 2007. "Impact of Remittanceson Poverty and Financial Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 07/38, International Monetary Fund.
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