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Remittances and Well-Being among Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China

Listed author(s):
  • Akay, Alpaslan

    ()

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Giulietti, Corrado

    ()

    (University of Southampton)

  • Robalino, Juan David

    ()

    (Cornell University)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

The main objective of this paper is to propose a systematic approach to empirically analyse the effect of remittances on the utility of migrants, as proxied by their subjective well-being (SWB). Using data from a new survey on China (RUMiC), we estimate models in which a measure of subjective well- being is regressed on the level of remittances, and we find a sizeable positive correlation. The effect of remittances on well-being varies with the socio- economic characteristics of migrants, migration experience and the diversity of family arrangements. As a complementary objective, we use SWB measures to elicit the motivations behind remittances and find evidence that both altruistic (such as pure altruism and reciprocity) and contractual motivations (such as co-insurance and investment) are at work among rural-to-urban migrants in China.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6631.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6631
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