The Capacity and Desire to Remit: Comparing Local and Transnational Influences

Journal article

Carling, Jørgen & Kristian Hoelscher (2013) The Capacity and Desire to Remit: Comparing Local and Transnational Influences, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 39 (6): 939–958.

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This article explores the relationship between transnationalism and integration by examining the determinants of remittance-sending practices. We base our analysis on the premise that remittance-sending is shaped by a combination of the capacity and the desire of migrants to remit. The capacity to remit depends on access to funds that can be remitted, be it through wages, other income or savings. The desire to remit determines how remittance-sending is prioritised in relation to alternative expenditures. We assume that capacity is shaped by circumstances in the country of residence while desire depends on attachment and commitments in both the country of residence and the country of origin. Our analysis is based on survey data on immigrants in Norway (N=3,053). We find that economic integration is important for remittance-sending, and point to different mechanisms through which this effect could operate. Migrants' socio-cultural integration, however, appears not to have significant effects on remittance-sending. Our approach and results illustrate how different aspects of integration can have divergent impacts on transnationalism.

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