Motives and Giving Norms Behind Remittances: The Case of Filipino Overseas Workers and Their Recipient Households

PEP Working Paper 2011-06

56 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011 Last revised: 16 Jul 2018

See all articles by Michael M. Alba

Michael M. Alba

Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS)

Jessaine Soraya C. Sugui

Asian Development Bank

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 1, 2011

Abstract

The literature has focused on motives to explain remittance behavior. But as non-anonymous transfers, remittances are liable to be influenced by giving norms as well. We formulate an empirical specification that takes account of remittance motives involving worker-household pairs. We find that altruism dominates the exchange motive among overseas workers who are likely to be the primary breadwinners of their recipient households. We also find that, in the subsample in which overseas workers are likely to be secondary breadwinners, (a) household labor income is an endogenous explanatory variable and (b) the error covariance of the household income and remittance selection equations is positive. A possible reason for (a) is that secondary breadwinners use household income as an imperfect signal of opportunity cost or to detect unobserved effort, i.e., moral hazard, in generating income. As for (b), we surmise that it indicates the presence of incentive-compatible mechanisms against moral hazard. On giving norms, we find that in samples that include overseas workers who are secondary breadwinners, remittance amounts are afflicted with negative selectivity. We present evidence that this is consistent with Filipino giving practices, in which everyone gives but in modest amounts.

Keywords: Remittances, remittance motives, giving norms

JEL Classification: F24

Suggested Citation

Alba, Michael M. and Sugui, Jessaine Soraya C., Motives and Giving Norms Behind Remittances: The Case of Filipino Overseas Workers and Their Recipient Households (January 1, 2011). PEP Working Paper 2011-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1817748 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1817748

Michael M. Alba

Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) ( email )

Philippines

Jessaine Soraya C. Sugui (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank ( email )

Philippines

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