From the Culture of Migration to the Culture of Remittances: Evidence from Immigrant-Sending Communities in China

Zai Liang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Qian Song, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

Extending the notion of “the culture of migration”, we propose and elaborate the concept of “the culture of remittances” to examine flows of remittances in immigrant-sending province Fujian, China. We argue that the culture of remittances influences two important variables in the study of remittances: amount of remittances and whether remittances are used for public projects for the community. Careful statistical analysis using data from Fujian province support our two major predictions. We also find that elite immigrants are also more likely to use remittances for public projects in immigrant-sending communities. Our policy discussion calls for more strategies and services to deal with major concerns with left behind family members (i.e. the elderly) in communities and increasingly land use issue as well as more proactive strategies to cultivate elite immigrants who are increasingly transnational and are likely to become catalysts for economic transformations in these communities.

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Presented in Poster Session 8