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Keywords:

  • REMITTANCES;
  • REMITTANCE CHANNELS;
  • TRANSNATIONAL MIGRATION;
  • MOLDOVA

Abstract

Migrant remittances, particularly when transferred through the banking system, may contribute to financial development in migrants' home countries. We analyse the determinants of the choice of transfer channel (formal services versus informal operators or personal transfers) by Moldovan migrants in 2006. We estimate a multinomial logit model from household survey data. Our explanatory variables include socio-economic characteristics of the migrant and other household members, the pattern of migration (destination country, legal status, duration), and financial information (average amount and frequency of payments). Key reasons not to use a formal transfer channel are a migrant's emphasis on low transfer cost (rather than speed, convenience or security), irregular legal status in the host country, and short migration spells. Our findings demonstrate that migrants' transnational capacities and activities in their entirety bear upon the choice of transfer channel; any policy interventions to promote the use of formal channels should reflect this.