Do Migrants Improve Their Hometowns? Remittances and Access to Public Services in Mexico, 1995-2000

Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 20, No. 10, September 2010

26 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2011 Last revised: 9 Nov 2011

Claire L. Adida

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Desha Girod

Georgetown University

Date Written: January 28, 2011

Abstract

How do citizens in developing countries access public services? Scholars study this question by emphasizing the role of government, measuring government performance as household access to public services, such as clean water and sanitation. however, the authors argue that the state does not hold a monopoly on provision of such utilities: citizens in developing countries often turn to nonstate providers of basic utilities. In Mexico, the authors find that direct money transfers from migrants, known as remittances, are used to provide household access to public services. The statistical analysis across Mexico's 2,438 municipalities demonstrates that citizens improve their own access. The results also contribute new evidence to the literature on remittances and development by offering a micro-level explanation for how remittances affect both the availability and the source of basic utilities. The findings suggest that the measures scholars typically associate with government performance may in fact capture nonstate provision of basic utilities.

Suggested Citation

Adida, Claire L. and Girod, Desha, Do Migrants Improve Their Hometowns? Remittances and Access to Public Services in Mexico, 1995-2000 (January 28, 2011). Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 20, No. 10, September 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1750397

Claire L. Adida (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://claire.adida.net

Desha Girod

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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