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Cultural Differences in the Remittance Behaviour of Households: Evidence from Canadian Micro Data


  • Don J. DeVoretz
  • Florin P. Vadean



This paper analyses the effect of cultural differences amongst ethnic groups on the remittance behaviour of native and immigrant households in Canada. In contrast to the New Economic of Labour Migration (NELM) literature that examines remittance motivation in the framework of extended family agreements, we embed remittances in a formal demand system, suggesting that they represent expenditures on social relations with relatives and/or friends and contribute to membership in social/religious organizations respectively. The results indicate strong ethnic group cultural differences in the remittance behaviour of recent Asian immigrant households and highlight the importance of differentiating with respect to cultural background when analysing the determinants of remittances.

Suggested Citation

  • Don J. DeVoretz & Florin P. Vadean, 2008. "Cultural Differences in the Remittance Behaviour of Households: Evidence from Canadian Micro Data," Studies in Economics 0814, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0814

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frederic, 2006. "The Economics of Migrants' Remittances," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    2. J. V. Meenakshi & Ranjan Ray, 1999. "Regional differences in India's food expenditure pattern: a complete demand systems approach," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(1), pages 47-74.
    3. Teklu, T., 1996. "Food demand studies in Sub-Saharan Africa: a survey of empirical evidence," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 479-496, December.
    4. Ilahi, Nadeem & Jafarey, Saqib, 1999. "Guestworker migration, remittances and the extended family: evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 485-512, April.
    5. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-918, October.
    6. Christopher D. Carroll & Byung-Kun Rhee & Changyong Rhee, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-699.
    7. Krishna Pendakur, 2001. "Consumption Poverty in Canada, 1969 to 1998," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 27(2), pages 125-149, June.
    8. Cox, Donald & Eser, Zekeriya & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1998. "Motives for private transfers over the life cycle: An analytical framework and evidence for Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 57-80, February.
    9. Poirine, Bernard, 1997. "A theory of remittances as an implicit family loan arrangement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 589-611, January.
    10. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
    11. Bahram Adrangi & Kambiz Raffiee, 1997. "An econometric analysis of health care reform in the U.S," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 3(2), pages 181-192, May.
    12. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-326, June.
    13. Brown, Richard P. C., 1997. "Estimating remittance functions for Pacific Island Migrants," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 613-626, January.
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    More about this item


    International Migration; Household Behaviour; Remittances;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances

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