Who is the money for? Remittances within and beyond the household in Pakistan

Journal article

Erdal, Marta Bivand (2012) Who is the money for? Remittances within and beyond the household in Pakistan, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 21 (4): 437–458.

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The household is usually the unit of analysis in the literature on migrant remittances, reflecting assumptions that remittances represent flows between family members and are pooled within households. By importing ideas from development studies and using the individual as the unit of analysis, this article challenges these assumptions and interrogates the household as a ‘black-box’ remittance-receiving entity. The study is based on a survey of remittance receivers in Pakistan, and a qualitative study of the Norway-Pakistan remittance corridor. The findings reveal that remittances in chain-migration often consist of transactions to targeted individuals within the household and to individuals beyond the household, exposing kinship, gender, and religious dimensions that are not as visible when the household is the unit of analysis.

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