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Effects of information asymmetries on subjective remittance expectations of those left behind

Samuel Kojo Antobam, University of the Witwatersrand

When families engage in migration the expectations of remittance flow from the migrant is an unwritten contract. And like any contract there is a need for monitoring so as to keep things in check or balance. A major avenue through which this contract can be checked is information flow between migrants and those left behind. Unfortunately due to cost associated with distance and other factors, there is bound to be some information asymmetries. Using a dataset from a specially designed survey in two districts of Ghana, a preliminary analysis shows that at the low levels of information flow, the effect of information on subjective remittance expectations is most likely to be positive. And the reverse is also true. This implies that families may encourage migration of members with high but inadequately informed expectations of returns. The resultant pressure on migrant to do something at home may equally be ill-informed.

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Presented in Session 113: Migration, remittances, and development in origin countries