Remittances and Well-Being Among Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China

36 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2012

See all articles by Alpaslan Akay

Alpaslan Akay

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Corrado Giulietti

Department of Economics

Juan Robalino

Universidad de Costa Rica - School of Economics

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Harvard University; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); University of Bonn; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to propose a systematic approach to empirically analyse the effect of remittances on the utility of migrants, as proxied by their subjective well-being (SWB). Using data from a new survey on China (RUMiC), we estimate models in which a measure of subjective well-being is regressed on the level of remittances, and we find a sizeable positive correlation. The effect of remittances on well-being varies with the socio-economic characteristics of migrants, migration experience and the diversity of family arrangements. As a complementary objective, we use SWB measures to elicit the motivations behind remittances and find evidence that both altruistic (such as pure altruism and reciprocity) and contractual motivations (such as co-insurance and investment) are at work among rural-to-urban migrants in China.

Keywords: migrants, subjective well-being, remittances

JEL Classification: J61, D63, D64, I3

Suggested Citation

Akay, Alpaslan and Giulietti, Corrado and Robalino, Juan and Zimmermann, Klaus F., Remittances and Well-Being Among Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6631. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2085218

Alpaslan Akay (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Corrado Giulietti

Department of Economics ( email )

University Rd.
Southampton SO17 1BJ, Hampshire SO17 1LP
United Kingdom

Juan Robalino

Universidad de Costa Rica - School of Economics ( email )

San Jose
Costa Rica

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

University of Bonn

Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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