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Migration, Remittances and Public Transfers: Evidence from South Africa

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  • Alex Sienaert

Abstract

What drives migration and remittance behaviour in South Africa, and what are the implications for public policy? This paper evaluates existing empirical evidence, posits a simple theoretical model and undertakes a fresh evaluation using longitudinal data spanning 1993 to 2004 from KwaZula-Natal province. Findings generally accord with expectations if migration is a family income-optimising strategy, with remittances sustained by migrant altruism. The key policy-relevant result is that receipt of public transfer income raises the likelihood of migration (most likely because migration is costly and households face liquidity constraints) and hence crowds in private transfers on average.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Sienaert, 2007. "Migration, Remittances and Public Transfers: Evidence from South Africa," Economics Series Working Papers 351, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:351
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper351.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    South Africa; Migration; Remittances; Public Pensions;

    JEL classification:

    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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