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Remittances and the Brain Drain Revisited: The microdata show that more educated migrants remit more

  • Albert Bollard

    (Stanford University)

  • David McKenzie

    ()

    (Development Research Group, World Bank)

  • Melanie Morten

    (Yale University)

  • Hillel Rapoport

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University, EQUIPPE and CID, Harvard University)

Two of the most salient trends surrounding the issue of migration and development over the last two decades are the large rise in remittances, and an increased flow of skilled migration. However, recent literature based on cross-country regressions has claimed that more educated migrants remit less, leading to concerns that further increases in skilled migration will hamper remittance growth. We revisit the relationship between education and remitting behavior using microdata from surveys of immigrants in eleven major destination countries. The data show a mixed pattern between education and the likelihood of remitting, and a strong positive relationship between education and the amount remitted conditional on remitting. Combining these intensive and extensive margins gives an overall positive effect of education on the amount remitted. The microdata then allow investigation as to why the more educated remit more. We find the higher income earned by migrants, rather than characteristics of their family situations explains much of the higher remittances.

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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 0926.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0926
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  1. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  2. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Faini, Riccardo, 2006. "Remittances and the Brain Drain," CEPR Discussion Papers 5720, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Riccardo Faini, 2007. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Do More Skilled Migrants Remit More?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 177-191, May.
  5. Cox, Donald & Eser, Zekeriya & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1998. "Motives for private transfers over the life cycle: An analytical framework and evidence for Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 57-80, February.
  6. Niimi, Yoko & Ozden, Caglar & Schiff, Maurice, 2008. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Skilled Migrants Do Remit Less," IZA Discussion Papers 3393, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. World Bank, 2008. "The Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6383, September.
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