Remittance Behaviors of International Migrants in Comparative Perspective: Evidence from Rural China
Qian Song, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Zai Liang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Extant studies on remittance behaviors have mostly focused on village economic contexts in the migration origin country and a single pathway of remittances from one destination country to communities in the origins. In this paper, we compare two pathways of remittances from the United States and Europe to two regions in China’s Fujian Province. Using data from a 2002-2003 survey on international migration from Fujian Province, we show that the propensity to remit was only responsive to household economic disadvantages in the underdeveloped Mingxi region, and substantial larger amount was received by households in Fuzhou, where longer emigration history and unique local norms were practiced to stimulate remittances. In addition, while policy contexts at both origin and destinations and local norms all helped to pattern the usage of remittances, local positional power only seemed to respond to the forces of local culture in directing them into public projects in Fuzhou.