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Remittances, savings and return migration under uncertainty

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  • DELPIERRE Matthieu
  • VERHEYDEN Bertrand

Abstract

Recent empirical evidence links migrant remittances and return migration, and stresses the impact of uncertainty on migrant decisions. Theoretical analyses of the motives for remittances generally neglect these features, and do not include alternative strategies such as savings, which potentially have very different implications for both migrants and origin countries. This paper presents a model of endogenous remittances, savings and return decisions under uncertainty. This setting, which applies to long-term international migration, addresses the following questions. Which migrant characteristics affect their remittance-saving portfolio decisions? How do these decisions interact with migration success and return plans? In our framework, migrants make remittance and saving decisions at an early stage of migration, when migration success and return options are uncertain. Over time, information about professional prospects is acquired, and conditionally on past decisions, migrants adjust their return plans. We show that migrants anticipating a large wage in the host country, or a relatively low risk of migration failure are less likely to remit and to return, and more likely to save. These results are in line with recent empirical evidence, such as the large share of non-remitting migrants, the fact that migrants facing higher risks are more likely to remit, and the potentially poor economic performance of returnees. Finally, we provide a rationale for the support by relatives in the sending country of low-skill, illegal migration.

Suggested Citation

  • DELPIERRE Matthieu & VERHEYDEN Bertrand, 2014. "Remittances, savings and return migration under uncertainty," LISER Working Paper Series 2014-01, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2014-01
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    Cited by:

    1. MAWUSI, Charles, 2020. "Economic Uncertainty and Remittances Flow: Heterogeneity Matters," MPRA Paper 103097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Chabé-Ferret, Bastien & Machado, Joël & Wahba, Jackline, 2018. "Remigration intentions and migrants' behavior," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 56-72.
    3. Aaron Levi Garavito-Acosta & Maria Mercedes Collazos-Gaitan & Manuel Dario Hernandez-Bejarano & Enrique Montes-Uribe, 2019. "Migración internacional y determinantes de las remesas de trabajadores en Colombia," Borradores de Economia 1066, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    4. Matthieu Delpierre & Arnaud Dupuy & Michel Tenikue & Bertrand Verheyden, 2017. "The education motive for migrant remittances - Theory and evidence from India," DEM Discussion Paper Series 17-13, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    5. Effrosyni Adamopoulou & Ezgi Kaya, 2020. "Not just a work permit: EU citizenship and the consumption behaviour of documented and undocumented immigrants," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1552-1598, November.
    6. Aurelian-Petruş PLOPEANU & Daniel HOMOCIANU, 2020. "Why would Romanian migrants from Western Europe return to their country of origin? Abstract: After conducting a survey among Romanian individuals left abroad, we analyze the particular influences rela," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 11, pages 211-235, June.
    7. Kaufmann, Marc & Machado, Joël & Verheyden, Bertrand, 2021. "Why Do Migrants Stay Unexpectedly? Misperceptions and Implications for Integration," IZA Discussion Papers 14155, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Charles Mawusi, 2021. "Economic Uncertainty and Remittances to Developing Economies: A System GMM Approach," Working Papers hal-03147813, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Remittances; savings; risk; return migration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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