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Migrant Networks as a Basis for Social Control : Remittance Obligations among Senegalese in France and Italy

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  • Senne, Jean-Noel
  • Chort, Isabelle
  • Gubert, Flore

Abstract

The economic literature provides much evidence of the positive impacts of social capital on migrants' economic outcomes, in particular through assistance upon arrival and insurance in times of hardship. Yet, although much less documented, migrant networks may well have a great influence on migrants' remittances to their home country and particularly to their origin household. Given all the services provided by the network, the fear of being ostracized by its members and being left with no support system could then provide an additional incentive for migrants to commit to prevailing remittances behavior, as an affirmation of their community membership. In this paper, we thus analyze to what extent migrant networks in the destination country influence the degree to which migrants meet the claims of those left behind. We first develop a simple principal-agent model in which remittances are the result of a contractual agreement between the migrant and his origin household and the network works as an enforcement device. We thus depart from existing models of motives for remitting which generally do not account for the close-knit networks migrants are embedded in. We then use an original data set covering Senegalese migrants residing in France and Italy to test the main predictions of our model.

Suggested Citation

  • Senne, Jean-Noel & Chort, Isabelle & Gubert, Flore, 2011. "Migrant Networks as a Basis for Social Control : Remittance Obligations among Senegalese in France and Italy," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 73, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:73
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    1. Jorge Durand & William Kandel & Emilio Parrado & Douglas Massey, 1996. "International migration and development in mexican communities," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 33(2), pages 249-264, May.
    2. de la Briere, Benedicte & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain & Lambert, Sylvie, 2002. "The roles of destination, gender, and household composition in explaining remittances: an analysis for the Dominican Sierra," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 309-328, August.
    3. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    4. David J. McKenzie & Johan Mistiaen, 2009. "Surveying migrant households: a comparison of census-based, snowball and intercept point surveys," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(2), pages 339-360.
    5. Michael Bernabé Aguilera, 2002. "The Impact of Social Capital on Labor Force Participation: Evidence from the 2000 Social Capital Benchmark Survey," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 83(3), pages 853-874.
    6. Isabelle Chort, 2012. "Migration Networks in Senegal," PSE Working Papers halshs-00689460, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cris Beauchemin & Hugues Lagrange & Mirna Safi, 2011. "Transnationalism and immigrant assimilation in France : between here and there ?," Working Papers 172, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
    2. Ilka Vari-Lavoisier, 2014. "The Circulation of Monies and Ideas between Paris, Dakar, and New York: The Impact of Remittances on Corruption," Working Papers 15-01g, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Migration and Development..

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