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Citation Information

Type Journal Article
Title Migration and remittance motives among Nepalese migrants
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
As remittance has become a crucial source of income for households in developing countries, migrants’ motivations to remit have significant implications for migrant-sending societies. Using a cross-sectional dataset from 1996 and a monthly event history data from 1997 to 2000 from Chitwan district in Nepal, the paper tests the relative significance of altruism, semi-altruism, and self-interest motives along with other determinants of remittance behavior. The use of an improved statistical methodology enables corrections for potential self-selection bias in existing studies of remittance motives. The study further explores factors that motivate individuals to migrate for work, studies and other reasons.

The empirical results suggest that remittance behavior appears to be driven by self-interested motives for inheritance and future intentions to return home rather than semi-altruistic or pure altruistic motives. Neighborhood norms on remittance and socially defined gender roles and expectations also appear to influence remittance behavior while larger household size reduces the probability of receiving remittance. Finally, time spent in migration destination has a curvilinear effect on probability of remitting.

With respect to the determinants of migration, age has the typical curvilinear effect on migration for both work and studies while females are less likely to migrate for both reasons but more likely to migrate for other reasons. Single individuals are more prone to migration for education but less so for work, and ethnicity plays a significant role in predicting migration. Migrants for studies typically come from richer households while migrants for work originate in poorer households. Moreover, individuals from larger households and from neighborhoods with a higher level of development exhibit a lower tendency to migrate for work. Exposure to other migrants in the household and having less children increases mobility for all reasons and finally, presence of more male siblings increases mobility for work

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