Sociology Faculty Publications and Presentations

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This comparative study uses data collected in 1990 and 1991 to examine the remittance behavior of Brazilians who had recently arrived in Canada and the United States. These data permit an examination of remittance activity among immigrants relatively soon after their arrival in a pair of host destinations. Prior to contrasting the remittance activity of these newly arrived immigrants, we first document the high degree of similarity between the two groups at their time of arrival; a point that becomes important when contrasting their divergent outcomes. Next, this study contributes to the research literature on micro-level remittance patterns and behaviors by focusing on three policy relevant dependant variables. More specifically, multivariate analyses are undertaken to examine those individual-level factors that best determine: (1) who remits, (2) how much they remit, and (3) when funds are remitted for productive purposes. Because the data analyzed were collected with the same instrument, results are then contrasted for the two destinations.

One major finding to emerge from this cross-national study was that even immigrants who are extremely similar on all socio-economic measures at time of arrival may soon manifest divergent outcomes due to their distinctive country of destination experiences. Consequently, although some common predictors were found in both locales, there were far fewer than expected. For example, family obligation variables were usually significant in the predicted directions for the United States data, while this was almost never the case for the Canadian data. Furthermore, some variables often assumed to predict remittance behavior were insignificant in both locations. This study concludes by considering possible explanations for these results, as well as discussing the need for additional theoretical work and data collection in the area of immigrant remittance activity.


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International migration (Geneva, Switzerland)



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Sociology Commons



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