Migrant Remittances and Information Flows: Evidence from a Field Experiment

NOVAFRICA Working Paper No. 1306

35 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2014

See all articles by Catia Batista

Catia Batista

Nova School of Business and Economics; CReAM; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; NOVAFRICA

Gaia Narciso

Trinity College Dublin

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 1, 2013

Abstract

Do information flows matter for remittance behavior? We design and implement a randomized control trial to quantitatively assess the role of communication between migrants and their contacts abroad on the extent and value of remittance flows. In the experiment, a random sample of 1,500 migrants residing in Ireland was offered the possibility of contacting their networks outside the host country for free over a varying number of months. We find a sizable, positive impact of our intervention on the value of migrant remittances sent. Our results exclude that the remittance effect we identify is a simple substitution effect. Instead, our analysis points to this effect being a likely result of improved information via factors such as better migrant control over remittance use, enhanced trust in remittance channels due to experience sharing, or increased remittance recipients’ social pressure on migrants.

Keywords: information flows, international migration, migrant networks, remittances, randomized control trial

JEL Classification: F22, J61, O15

Suggested Citation

Batista, Catia and Narciso, Gaia, Migrant Remittances and Information Flows: Evidence from a Field Experiment (December 1, 2013). NOVAFRICA Working Paper No. 1306, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2384627 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2384627

Catia Batista (Contact Author)

Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Rua da Holanda, 1
Carcavelos, 2775-405
Portugal

CReAM

Drayton House
30 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AX
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/

NOVAFRICA ( email )

Nova School of Business and Economics
Rua da Holanda, 1
Carcavelos, 2775-405
Portugal

HOME PAGE: http://www.novafrica.org

Gaia Narciso

Trinity College Dublin ( email )

Dublin
Ireland

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