Motivation to Go Home, Motivation to Remit: Evidence from Thai Migrant Wokers

Sang-Hyop Lee, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Jin-Young Choi, Sam Houston State University

The paper examines factors affecting the return migration and remittance behavior using a survey on migrants abroad, conducted by the Asian Research Center for Migration (ARCM) at Chulalongkorn University. The data collects information from those who had been working abroad in six major destination countries including information on remittance behavior and decision to go home. The empirical model is based on two distinct lines of theory; namely the disappointment theory and target income theory. Unlike previous studies, this study estimates the probability of return migration and the probability of sending remittance of Thai migrant workers simultaneously. Our results generally suggest that Thai migrant workers (at least from these samples) adopt mainly the maximizing lifetime earning strategy. However, after including remittance into the return migration model with accounting to the endogeneity of remittance, the results show that remittance is an important variable determining the probability to return.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 1