A Critical Discussion of the Motivations to Remit in Albania and Moldova

Maastricht Graduate School of Governance Working Paper No. MGSoG/2007/WP007

42 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2008

See all articles by Jessica Hagen‐Zanker

Jessica Hagen‐Zanker

Maastricht University; Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Melissa Siegel

Maastricht University - Graduate School of Governance

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Since the 1980s, the theoretical and empirical literature on the motivations to remit has grown steadily. We review the microeconomic literature and show that the theoretical motivations to remit are overlapping while competing. We argue that in most cases this differentiation is unnecessary and makes the subsequent empirical applications weak. We apply the theories in Albania and Moldova, two countries that experience high migration and remittance flows, using household survey data. We focus on finding evidence for the theoretical motivations to remit such as altruism, loan repayment, co-insurance and the bequest motive and using a similar methodology and approach as previous empirical research. As for other empirical papers, the analysis leads to doubtful and multi-interpretable results. We argue that this problem is caused by weak operationalisation and inseparability of motives, compounded by data problems. Furthermore we argue that the decision to remit should not be looked at in isolation. It is apparent that the causes and patterns of migration in Albania and Moldova influence the remitting behaviour and most migrants migrate in order to remit. It is thus vital to link the decision to migrate with the decision to remit and to broaden the focus beyond the economic literature and consequently provide a more relevant and clearer answer to the question why remittances are sent.

Keywords: migration, remittances, Albania, Moldova

Suggested Citation

Hagen-Zanker, Jessica and Hagen-Zanker, Jessica and Siegel, Melissa, A Critical Discussion of the Motivations to Remit in Albania and Moldova (2007). Maastricht Graduate School of Governance Working Paper No. MGSoG/2007/WP007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1095746 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1095746

Jessica Hagen-Zanker (Contact Author)

Maastricht University ( email )

Keizer Karelplein 19
PO Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.governance.unimaas.nl

Overseas Development Institute (ODI) ( email )

111 Westminister Bridge Rd.
London, SE17JD
United Kingdom

Melissa Siegel

Maastricht University - Graduate School of Governance ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, Limburg 6200MD
Netherlands

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