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Remittances and the brain drain revisited : the microdata show that more educated migrants remit more

  • Bollard, Albert
  • McKenzie, David
  • Morten, Melanie
  • Rapoport, Hillel

Two of the most salient trends surrounding the issue of migration and development over the past two decades are the large rise in remittances, and an increased flow of skilled migration. However, recent literature based on cross-country regressions has claimed that more educated migrants remit less, leading to concerns that further increases in skilled migration will hamper remittance growth. This paper revisits the relationship between education and remitting behavior using microdata from surveys of immigrants in 11 major destination countries. The data show a mixed pattern between education and the likelihood of remitting, and a strong positive relationship between education and the amount remitted conditional on remitting. Combining these intensive and extensive margins gives an overall positive effect of education on the amount remitted. The microdata then allow investigation as to why the more educated remit more. The analysis finds that the higher income earned by migrants, rather than characteristics of their family situations, explains much of the higher remittances.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5113.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5113
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  1. Niimi, Yoko & Ozden, Caglar & Schiff, Maurice, 2008. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Skilled Migrants Do Remit Less," IZA Discussion Papers 3393, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frederic, 2006. "The Economics of Migrants' Remittances," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  3. Faini, Riccardo, 2006. "Remittances and the Brain Drain," CEPR Discussion Papers 5720, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Donald Cox & Zekeriya Eser & Emmanuel Jimenez, 1996. "Motives for Private Transfers over the Life Cycle: An Analytical Framework and Evidence for Peru," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 327., Boston College Department of Economics.
  5. Riccardo Faini, 2007. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Do More Skilled Migrants Remit More?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 177-191, May.
  6. World Bank, 2008. "The Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6383.
  7. Luis Miotti & El Mouhoub Mouhoud & Joel Oudinet, 2009. "Migrations And Determinants Of Remittances To Southern Mediterranean Countries: When History Matters !," Post-Print hal-00483303, HAL.
  8. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
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