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Motivation of Remittances and the Potential for Diaspora Philanthropy: Empirical Studies of Rural Bangladesh, and the US-Bangladeshi Diaspora

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Author: Belal, Saika Shaolin
Advisor: Jensen, Eric R.
Committee Members: Basu, Arnab; Mullen, Rani D., 1967-
Issued Date: 2010-05-17
Subjects: Mirzapur
Diaspora philanthropy
Rural Bangladesh
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/2032
Description: International remittances are flowing in large amounts into developing countries and have been shown to have positive impacts at both household and aggregate levels. Yet there is still no widely applicable explanation for why migrants remit. In this paper, we conduct a primary study on households in the rural areas of Mirzapur, Bangladesh, to derive migrant and household level data. We employ a series of nested regression models to determine the impact of several different variables on the likelihood and importance of remittances received and to further determine the possibility of migrants remitting out of altruism, self-interest, or family-contract insurance or investment models. We find that lower-income households are more likely to receive remittances and conclude that it is unlikely that migrants in Mirzapur are remitting out of pure self-interest, with any intention of inheriting family wealth. This paper also introduces a relatively newer area of research for remittances in Bangladesh, diaspora philanthropy. We conduct a smaller primary study on members of the Bangladeshi diaspora in the United States to determine the potential of this diaspora to offer useful services and funds to support development in Bangladesh.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Economics

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