Migrations And Determinants Of Remittances To Southern Mediterranean Countries: When History Matters !
In this paper we analyze the main determinants of migrant's remittances by measuring directly the role of non observable variables related to subjective motivations and historical context of the emigration process. Subjective variables, such as attachment feeling and intent to return to the country of origin can also play a role in explaining the final uses of remittances. We have used two surveys in order to understand the types of behaviour linked to remittances from France to Southern Mediterranean countries and to Sub-Saharan Africa. The first survey used in this paper is a new DREES survey on the track and the profile of migrants and the second one is the 2MO survey which we have conducted in French post offices. Our first result shows that, after controlling for all the variables linked to income, education, age or nationality, subjective variables such as to the home country, history and the institutional context of emigration play a determinant role in explaining remittance behaviour. Our second result shows that migrants, who are in France for a long time and who have low education levels, also send remittances in order to invest (including investments other than housing) in their home country. These findings contradict the theoretical hypothesis of an alteration of the migrant's links with the home country as the duration of the stay in the host country increases. This can be explained by the fact that the duration of stay does not make any sense unless it is contextualized in the history of emigration, the conditions of arrival in the host country and the conditions of departure from the home country. The degree of the migrant's attachment to his home country thus appears as a discriminating subjective variable according to these historical conditions. By contrast, the migrants from Sub-Saharan African countries send money for current expenditures rather than for investment. The obligation feeling seems to be the important subjective variable for remitting money.
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