Standard Article

Remittances, motivation

Migration A–Z


  1. Alex Julca

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm447

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Julca, A. 2013. Remittances, motivation. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


The literature on immigrant remittances has burgeoned over the past twenty-five years along with the phenomenon itself, and yet little analysis has focused on what motivates immigrants in unstable economic conditions to send remittances to people in their home countries. Socioeconomic ties between immigrants and their family (kin) and community (kith) back home play a significant role, as much as the living conditions of immigrants at their destinations. This essay argues that remittances are a result of the dynamics between immigrants' socioeconomic structure and labor market conditions. More importantly, remittance patterns end up changing the socioeconomic relations between origins and destinations of kin/kith. Thus, the kind of socioeconomic structure between immigrants and their kin and ethnic group affects remittance flows, whose patterns ultimately transform that structure. This argument can be summarized in the following equation.


  • poverty;
  • capitalism;
  • class;
  • labor supply;
  • political economy