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Migration and Money - What Determines Remittances?: Evidence from Germany

By Elke Holst and Mechthild Schrooten


The determinants of migrants' remittances are the subject of this study based on German SOEP data. For our analysis of the probability and amount of remittances, we do not restrict ourselves on immigrants with a foreign citizenship, but focus on all individuals with a migration background. Major findings are: first, the degree of integration into German society matters. Second, the probability to remit is not dominated by income. Third, foreigners living in Germany are not a homogenous group concerning their remittance behavior: people with Turkish and former Yugoslavian citizenship, who are facing a comparable strong pressure for return migration, remit significantly more than others. The study points to potentially interesting directions for future research: (a) deeper investigations of the extent to which the legal status of the migrant influences cross-border transfer behavior and (b) reconsidering the theoretical arguments since the motive for remittances might have changed during the ongoing globalization process..Remittances, international migration, altruism

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