Migrant Remittance as a Transnational Activity within the Context of Exit and Reception: A Comparative Study of Overseas Filipinos in the US, Japan and Saudi Arabia

Seok Hyeon Choi, Yonsei University

The paper deals with factors that account for variations in migrant remittance patterns, comparing those of Filipino migrants residing in the US, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Transnationalism theory contends that migrants pursue constant transnational activity across ‘here’ and ‘there’, with the aim of maximising their economic interests beyond national boundaries. In this regard, the quantitative evidence from the Survey on Overseas Filipinos that the Philippines government has provided shows that the more favourable the context of reception is for immigrants’ long term economic activity, or the more hostile the context of exit is for immigrants’ return, the lower is the amount of migrant remittances. Further, the results show that the motive behind migrant remittances may have more to do with migrants’ self-interest than altruism. This research helps to confirm empirically the transnationalism argument by analysing Filipino migrants’ remittances.

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Presented in Session 185: Comparative Perspectives on Immigration