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Remittances and Gender: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence

  • Elke Holst
  • Andrea Schäfer
  • Mechthild Schrooten

In this paper, we focus on network- and gender-specific determinants of remittances, which are often explained theoretically by way of intra-family contracts. We develop a basic formal concept that includes aspects of the transnational network and derive hypotheses from it. For our empirical investigation, we use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) for the years 2001-2006. Our findings show: first, the fact that foreign women remit less money than foreign men can be explained by the underlying transnational network contract. Second, remittances sent by foreigners and naturalized immigrants have at least partly different determinants. Acquiring German citizenship increases the probability of family reunification in the destination country and decreases remittances. Third, the structure of the existing social network in Germany and the network structure in the home country both play important roles in explaining remittances.

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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 354.

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Length: 37 p.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp354
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  1. Poirine, Bernard, 1997. "A theory of remittances as an implicit family loan arrangement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 589-611, January.
  2. Rachel Connelly & Kenneth Roberts & Zhenzhen Zheng, 2010. "The Impact of Circular Migration on the Position of Married Women in Rural China," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 3-41.
  3. de la Briere, Benedicte & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain & Lambert, Sylvie, 2002. "The roles of destination, gender, and household composition in explaining remittances: an analysis for the Dominican Sierra," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 309-328, August.
  4. Sinning, Mathias, 2007. "Determinants of Savings and Remittances: Empirical Evidence from Immigrants to Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 2966, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. François-Charles Wolff & Seymour Spilerman & Claudine Attias-Donfut, 2007. "Transfers From Migrants To Their Children: Evidence That Altruism And Cultural Factors Matter," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 619-644, December.
  7. Holst, Elke & Schrooten, Mechthild, 2006. "Migration and Money: What determines Remittances? Evidence from Germany," Discussion Paper Series a477, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  8. Merkle, Lucie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1992. "Savings, remittances, and return migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 77-81, January.
  9. Edgard R. Rodriguez & Susan Horton, 1995. "International Return Migration and Remittances in the Philippines," Working Papers horton-95-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. Joachim R. Frick & Olaf Groh-Samberg & Henning Lohmann, 2008. "Biography and Life History Data in the German Socio Economic Panel: (Up to Wave X, 2007)," Data Documentation 36, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2001. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, And The Family: Evidence From Transfer Behavior In Low-Income Rural Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 389-407, August.
  12. Joachim R. Frick & Jan Goebel (Eds.), 2011. "Biography and Life History Data in the German Socio Economic Panel (SOEP, v27, 1984-2010)," Data Documentation 61, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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