Access to Banking Services and Money Transfers by Mexican Immigrants
Increased access to the U.S. financial system through banks’ recognition of the ‘matrícula consular’ identification card may encourage Mexican immigrants to save and transfer more money home. Using data from the Mexican Migration Project, we examine whether immigrants with bank accounts in the U.S. between 1970 and 2002 sent more funds to Mexico than their unbanked counterparts. While having a U.S. bank account does not raise monthly remittances by Mexican immigrants, it boosts the amount brought back home by more than $6000 per trip. These findings suggest that increased usage of banks by immigrants may enhance future flows of funds to Mexico.
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