Formation of Subjective Remittance Expectations by Migrant-Family Relations Left Behind

Samuel Kojo Antobam, University of the Witwatersrand

When families participate in migration two lines of subjective expectations emerge. The first is the migrant’s expectation of having success in the destination country (first-order subjective expectations). The second is the family members' expectation of receiving remittances (second-order subjective expectations). Given the importance of expectations in understanding and predicting economic decisions, including migration-remittance behavior, especially in Africa where families are losing members through accidents on their way to 'sweet Europe,' the need to statistically study second-order subjective remittance expectations is crucial. After probabilistic elicitations of expectations failed to yield desired information, I construct time-adjusted subjective remittance expectations with a specially designed survey data. Selection models are run with various levels of information flows. Results show that relationships are more important in the formation of families' subjective remittance expectations than information flow and past performance of migrants. Information flow becomes important only when it interacts with migrant performance.

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Presented in Session 25: Immigrant Origin Areas: Issues and Impacts