Money Will Come from Abroad: Household Expectations and Uncertainties about their Migrant Members

Samuel Kojo Antobam, University of the Witwatersrand

In many developing countries migration has become a mechanism households use to smooth economic shocks. Economic demography studies on household expected benefits from migration of members, especially the ones based on the theory of new economics of migration, have assumed good knowledge of migrants’ socioeconomic conditions in the destination country. Unfortunately other studies have found that household members left behind do not know much about the economic livelihood of their migrant members and yet they place some levels of expectations that potential migrant or recent migrant must meet. Using a specially designed survey data collected early this year (2009) on households and their migrant members as well as expectations, this paper argues that in absence of adequate knowledge of economic condition of migrant members household members left at home maximize their levels of expectations based on the what previous migrants have done at home of origin.

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Presented in Poster Session 1