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Determinants of remittances : recent evidence using data on internal migrants in Vietnam

  • Niimi, Yoko
  • Pham, Thai Hung
  • Reilly, Barry

This paper examines the determinants of remittance behavior for Vietnam using data from the 2004 Vietnam Migration Survey on internal migrants. It considers how, among other things, the vulnerability of a migrant's life at the destination, their link to relatives back home, and the time spent at the destination affect remittances. The paper finds that migrants act as risk-averse economic agents and sendremittances back to the household of origin as part of an insurance exercise in the face of economic uncertainty. Remittances are also found to be driven by a migrant's labor market earnings level. The paper highlights the important role of remittances in providing an effective means of risk-coping and mutual support within the family.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4586.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4586
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  1. Dominique van de Walle & Dorothyjean Cratty, 2004. "Is the emerging non-farm market economy the route out of poverty in Vietnam?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(2), pages 237-274, 06.
  2. Richard Smith & Richard Blundell, 1983. "An Exogeneity Test for the Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model With an Application to Labour Supply," Working Papers 546, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  5. Agarwal, Reena & Horowitz, Andrew W., 2002. "Are International Remittances Altruism or Insurance? Evidence from Guyana Using Multiple-Migrant Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2033-2044, November.
  6. Dennis Ahlburg & Richard Brown, 1998. "Migrants' intentions to return home and capital transfers: A study of Tongans and Samoans in Australia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 125-151.
  7. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  8. Brown, Richard P. C., 1997. "Estimating remittance functions for Pacific Island Migrants," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 613-626, January.
  9. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2006. "Remittances as insurance: evidence from Mexican immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 227-254, June.
  10. Knight, J & Song, L & Huaibin, J, 1997. "Chinese Rural Migrants in Urban Enterprises : Three Perspectives," Economics Series Working Papers 99190, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Binh Nguyen & James Albrecht & Susan Vroman & Daniel Westbrook, 2003. "A Quantile Regression Decomposition of Urban-Rural Inequality in Vietnam," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-31, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  12. Qiming Liu & Barry Reilly, 2004. "Income transfers of Chinese rural migrants: some empirical evidence from Jinan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(12), pages 1295-1313.
  13. Flore Gubert, 2002. "Do Migrants Insure Those who Stay Behind? Evidence from the Kayes Area (Western Mali)," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 267-287.
  14. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt, 2002. "Agriculture and Income Distribution in Rural Vietnam under Economic Reforms: A Tale of Two Regions," Working Papers benjamin-02-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  15. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
  16. Giorgio Secondi, 1997. "Private monetary transfers in rural china: Are families altruistic?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 487-511.
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