Household composition, family migration, and community context: Migrant remittances in four countries

Mariano Sana, Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Objectives. We study migrant remittances among households surveyed in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, testing expectations derived from the new economics of labor migration (NELM) and from the historic-structural approach. Methods. We applied logistic regression analyses to survey data collected by the Mexican Migration Project and the Latin American Migration Project, focusing on the contrast between Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Results. In Mexico, remittances seem to be associated with the patriarchal traditional family, but in the Dominican Republic we verified the opposite. Receipt of remittances is positively associated with degree of development among Mexican households, but the association is negative in the Dominican Republic. In addition, Mexican remittances are negatively associated with the number of businesses in the local community. Conclusions. In Mexico, as predicted by NELM, the cohesive patriarchal family ensures the flow of remittances as part of a household strategy of risk diversification. Dominican remittances, however, seem to be mostly determined by lack of opportunities and household need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-528
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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