Advertisement

More than Altruism: Cultural Norms and Remittances Among Hispanics in the USA

  • Mónika López-Anuarbe
  • Maria Amparo Cruz-SacoEmail author
  • Yongjin Park
Article

Abstract

Cultural norms embody the communalism and familism that characterize social structures and traditions of care among certain identity groups, notably, Hispanics. In turn, they affect remitting behavior as they do family dynamics thereby extending care transnationally. Using the 2006 Latino National Survey, the largest instrument that captures socioeconomic variables and political perspectives among Hispanics residing in the USA, we constructed a Hispanic identity index that is used to capture the role of cultural norms in remittance behavior. This index is used as an explanatory variable in a logit model for the probability and frequency of remitting money. We find that both the probability and frequency of remitting increase with higher levels of self-defined familism as reflected by the Hispanic index. This effect is stronger among males, renters, foreign-born non-US citizens, and migrants with fewer years of residence in the USA. Incorporating variables such as our Hispanic identity index may shed light on a relatively unexplored area in the field of economics that explains remitting behavior.

Keywords

Migration Remittances Familism Latino studies Interdisciplinary studies 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Prof. Evelyn Hu-Dehart (Brown University) and Prof. Ron Flores (Connecticut College) who provided us with access to the LNS 2006 survey. We also thank travel and research grants from Connecticut College that allowed us to present earlier versions of this paper at conferences that, in turn, provided opportunities to receive useful feedback. Finally, we thank comments and suggestions from two anonymous reviewers.

References

  1. Acosta, P., Calderón, C., Fajnzylber, P., & López, H. (2008). What is the impact of international remittances on poverty and inequality in Latin America? World Development, 36, 89–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, V. C., Jr., Lachance, C., Rios-Ellis, B., & Kaphingst, K. A. (2011). Issues in the assessment of “race” among Latinos: implications for research and policy. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 33, 41–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amuedo-Dorantes, C., & Pozo, S. (2006). Remittances as insurance: evidence from Mexican immigrants. Journal of Population Economics, 19(2), 227–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anzoategui, D., Demirguc-Kunt A., & Martínez Pería, M. S. (2011). Remittances and financial inclusion. Evidence from El Salvador. Policy research working paper 5839, The World Bank Development Research Group. Also at http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/IW3P/IB/2011/10/06/000158349_20111006135759/Rendered/PDF/WPS5839.pdf.
  5. Aranda, M. P., Ray, L. A., Snih, S. A., Ottenbacher, K. J., & Markides, K. S. (2011). The protective effect of neighbourhood composition on increasing frailty among older Mexican Americans: a barrio advantage? Journal of Aging & Health, 23, 1189–1217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baker, S. S. (2002). Understanding mainland Puerto Rican poverty. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bengtson, V. L., & Mangen, D. J. (1988). Family intergenerational solidarity revisited: suggestions for future management. In D. J. Mangen & K. Y. McChesney (Eds.), Measurement of intergenerational relations (pp. 222–238). Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  8. Bermúdez, J. M., Kirkpatrick, D., Hecker, L., & Torres-Robles, C. (2010). Describing Latinos families and their help-seeking attitudes: challenging the family therapy literature. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 32, 155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bettin, G., Lucchetti, R., & Zazzaro, A. (2009). Income, consumption and remittances: evidence from immigrants to Australia. EconPapers. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.1498325. no. 34, Money and Finance Research group, University Politecnica Marche. Also at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1498325.Google Scholar
  10. Beyene, Y., Becker, G., & Mayen, N. (2002). Perception of aging and sense of well-being among Latino elderly. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 17, 155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Blue, S. A. (2004). State policy, economics crisis, gender and family ties: determinants of family remittances to Cuba. Economic Geography, 80(1), 63–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bollard, A., McKenzie, D., & Morten, M. (2010). The remitting patterns of African migrants in the OECD. Journal of African Economies, 19(5), 605–634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Boswell, C. (2008). Combining economics and sociology in migration theory. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34, 549–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Boswell, C., & Mueser, P. R. (2008). Introduction: economics and interdisciplinary approaches in migration research. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34, 519–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brewer, L. (2001). Gender socialization and the cultural construction of elder caregivers. Journal of Aging Studies, 15, 217–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Burr, J. A., & Mutchler, J. E. (2003). English language skills, ethnic concentration, and household composition: older Mexican immigrants. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, 58B, S83–S92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Calderón-Tena, C. O., & Knight, G. P. (2011). The socialization of prosocial behavioural tendencies among Mexican American adolescents: the role of familism values. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17(1), 98–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Castles, S., & Miller, M. J. (2009). The age of migration. London: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
  19. Cohen, J. H. (2010). Oaxacan migration and remittances as they relate to Mexican migration patterns. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36, 149–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cruz-Saco, M. A. (2010). Intergenerational solidarity. In M. A. Cruz-Saco & S. Zelenev (Eds.), Intergenerational solidarity. Strengthening economic and social ties (pp. 9–34). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cruz-Saco, M. A., & López-Anuarbe, M. (2013). Familism and social inclusion: Hispanics in New London, Connecticut. Social Inclusion, 1(2), 113–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dennis, J., Basañez, T., & Farahmand, A. (2009). Intergenerational conflicts among Latinos in early adulthood: separating values conflicts with parents from acculturation conflicts. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 32, 118–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Desmond, M., & López Turley, R. N. (2009). The role of familism in explaining the Hispanic-white college application gap. Social Problems, 56(2), 311–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Donato, K. M., Gabaccia, D., Holdaway, J., Manalansan, M., & Pessar, P. R. (2006). A glass half full? Gender in migration studies. International Migration Review, 40(1), 3–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Donato, K. M., Hiskey, J., Durand, J., & Massey, D. S. (2010). Migration in the Americas: Mexico and Latin America in comparative context. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 630(1), 6–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Economist Intelligence Unit. (2008). Building a future back home. leveraging migrant worker remittances for development in Asia. The Economist, sponsored by Western Union (pp 1–30).Google Scholar
  27. Ellis, M., & Almgren, G. (2009). Local contexts of immigrant and second-generation integration in the United States. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35, 1059–1076.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Epstein, G. S. (2008). Herd and network effects in migration decision-making. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34, 567–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ermisch, J. F. (2003). An economic analysis of the family. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Fajnzylber, P. & López, J. H. (2007). Close to home. The development impact of remittances in Latin America, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, (pp 1–73).Google Scholar
  31. García-Fuentes, P. A. & Kennedy, P. L. (2009). Remittances and economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean: the impact of human capital development. Presented at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia.Google Scholar
  32. Göbel, K. (2013). Remittances, expenditure patterns, and gender: parametric and semiparametric evidence from Ecuador. IZA Journal of Migration, 2(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. González, H. M., Vega, W. A., & Tarraf, W. (2010). The health care quality perceptions among foreign-born Latinos and the importance of speaking the same language. Journal of the American Board of Medicine, 23, 745–752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Haug, S. (2008). Migration networks and migration decision-making. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34, 585–605.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hilton, J. M., Gonzalez, C. A., Saleh, M., Maitoza, R., & Anngela-Cole, L. (2012). Perceptions of successful aging among older Latinos in cross-cultural context. Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology, 27, 183–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hoddinott, J. (1994). A model of migration and remittances applied to Western Kenya. Oxford Economic Papers, 46(3), 459–476.Google Scholar
  37. Holst, E., Schafer, A., & Schrooten, M. (2012). Remittance and gender: theoretical consideration and empirical evidence. Feminist Economics, 18(2), 201–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hondagneu-Sotelo, P. (1994). Gendered transitions. Mexican experiences of immigration. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  39. International Organization for Migration (IOM). (2010). The role of migrant care workers in ageing societies: report on research findings in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States. Geneva: IOM.Google Scholar
  40. International Organization for Migration (IOM). (2011). Gender, migration and remittances. http://www.iom.int/jahia/webdav/site/myjahiasite/shared/shared/mainsite/published_docs/brochures_and_info_sheets/Gender-migration-remittances-infosheet.pdf. Accessed Jan 2014.
  41. Karakaplan, M. U., Naufal, G.S., Vega-Silva, C. (2011). Gender, migration, remittances and household expenditures in Nicaragua. http://econweb.tamu.edu/karakaplan/Karakaplan%20-%20Migration.pdf. Accessed Jan 2014.
  42. Ketkar, S., & Ratha, D. (2009). New paths to funding. Finance and Development, 46, 43–45.Google Scholar
  43. Lindley, A. (2009). The early-morning phonecall: remittances from a refugee diaspora perspective. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35(8), 1315–1372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. López-Anuarbe, M. (2013). Intergenerational transfers in long term care. Review of Economics of the Household, 11(2), 235–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lozano-Ascencio, F. (2005). “Remittance behavior among Latin American immigrants in the United States.” (pp. 18–23). Tours: International Population Conference.Google Scholar
  46. Maimbo, S. M. & Ratha, D. (eds). (2005). Remittances. Development impact and future prospects, Washington DC International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank pp (1–378).Google Scholar
  47. Mangen, D. J., Bengtson, V. L., & Landry, P. H., Jr. (Eds.). (1988). Measurement of intergenerational relations. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  48. Mundaca, G. (2009). Remittances, financial markets development and economic growth: the case of Latin America and Caribbean. Review of Development Economics, 13, 288–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Naufal, G. (2008). Why remit? The case of Nicaragua. Institute for the study of labor (IZA). Discussion Paper no, 3276, 1–44.Google Scholar
  50. Oboler, S. (1995). Ethnic labels, Latino lives. Identity and the politics of (re) presentation in the United States. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  51. Orozco, M. (2012). Future trends in remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean. Inter-American dialogue report, http://www.thedialogue.org/PublicationFiles/IAD8642_Remittance_0424enFINAL.pdf. Accessed Jan 2014.
  52. Orozco, M., Lowell, B. L., & Schneider, J. (2006). Gender specific determinants of remittances: differences in structure and motivation. Mimeo: Georgetown University.Google Scholar
  53. Osaki, K. (1999). Economic interactions of migrants and their households of origin: are women more reliable supporters? Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 8(4), 447–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pessar, P. (2006). A glass half full? Gender in migration studies. International Migration Review, 40(1), 3–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pfeiffer, L., Richter, S., Fletcher, P., & Taylor, E. (2008). Gender in economic research on international migration and its impacts: a critical review. In Andrew R. Morrison, Maurice Schiff and Mirja Sjöblom, (eds) The international migration of women (pp. 11–49). The World Bank: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  56. Portes, A., Fernández-Kelly, P., & Haller, W. (2009). The adaptation of the immigrant second generation in America: a theoretical overview and recent evidence. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35, 1077–1104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Quinn, M. (2005). Remittances, savings, and relative rates of return. The Journal of Developing Areas, 38(2), 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Radina, E. M., & Barber, C. E. (2004). Utilization of formal support services among Hispanic Americans caring for aging parents. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 43, 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Radu, D. (2008). Social interactions in economic models of migration: a review and appraisal. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34, 531–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Ramírez, M. D. & Sharma, H. (2008). Remittances and growth in Latin America: a panel unit root and panel cointegration analysis. Yale Economics Department Working Paper No. 51.Google Scholar
  61. Ramírez, C., García Domínguez M., & Míguez Morais, J. (2005). Crossing Borders: remittances, Gender and Development. UN-INSTRAW Working Paper.Google Scholar
  62. Rapoport, H., & Docquier, F. (2006). The economics of migrant’s remittances. In S. C. Kolm & J. M. Ythier (Eds.), Handbook of the economics of giving, altruism and reciprocity (pp. 1135–1198). New York: Elsevier Science.Google Scholar
  63. Realo, A., Allik, J., & Greenfield, B. (2008). Radius of trust: social capital in relation to familism and institutional collectivism. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 39(4), 447–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Rivera, F., Guarnaccia, P., Mulvaney-Day, N., Lin, J. Y., Torres, M., & Alegría, M. (2008). Family cohesion and its relationship to psychological distress among Latino groups. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 30, 357–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Ruiz, M. E., & Ransford, H. E. (2012). Latino elders reframing familismo: implications for health and caregiving support. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 19, 50–57.Google Scholar
  66. Sabogal, F., Marin, G., Otero-Sabogal, R., & Marin, B. V. (1987). Latino familism and acculturation: what changes and what doesn’t? Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 9(4), 397–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sana, M. (2008). Growth of migrant remittances from the United States to Mexico, 1990–2004. Social Forces, 86, 995–1025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Schwartz, S. J. (2007). The applicability of familism to diverse ethnic groups: a preliminary study. Journal of Social Psychology, 147(2), 101–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Stark, O., & Lucas, R. (1988). Migration, remittances, and the family. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 36(3), 465–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Taylor, G., Wangaruro, J., & Papadopoulos, I. (2012). It is my turn to give: migrants’ perceptions of gift exchange and the maintenance of transnational identity. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 38(7), 1085–1100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. United Nations. (2009). International migration report 2006: a global assessment. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division.Google Scholar
  72. United Nations Development Program. (2009). Human development report. Overcoming barriers: human mobility and development, at http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2009/chapters/UN.
  73. United States 2010 Census at http://www.census.gov/2010census/
  74. World Bank. (2006). Global economic prospects. Economic implications of remittances and migration (pp. 1–157). World Bank: Washington DC.Google Scholar
  75. World Bank. (2014), Migration and remittances Brief 20.Google Scholar
  76. Yang, D. (2006). Why do migrants return to poor countries? Evidence from Philippine migrants’ responses to exchange rate shocks. Review of Economics and Statistics, 88(4), 715–735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Yang, D. (2008). International migration, remittances, and household investment: evidence from Philippine migrants’ exchange rate shocks. Economic Journal, 118(528), 591–630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Yang, D. (2011). Migrant remittances. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(3), 1–24.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mónika López-Anuarbe
    • 1
  • Maria Amparo Cruz-Saco
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yongjin Park
    • 1
  1. 1.Connecticut CollegeNew LondonUSA

Personalised recommendations