Gender, Migration, Remittances: Evidence from Germany
SOEP DIW Berlin, University of Flensburg Berlin, Germany
Bremen International Graduate School of Social and DIW Berlin Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences and DIW Berlin Berlin, Germany
SiB University of Applied Science Bremen Bremen, Germany
Gender-specific determinants of remittances from the senders' perspective are the subject of this study based on German SOEP data (2001-2006). In 2007, about 7 million foreigners were living in Germany. While the total number of foreigners has decreased over the last decade, female migration to Germany has increased. Until now a study that addresses gender-specific determinants of remittances from Germany is lacking. Focusing on gender roles and intra-family network effects we attempt to fill this gap.
Basically, we distinguish between two different groups of migrants: foreigners and Germans with migration background. Our findings show, above all: gender matters. Taking financial transfers into account, females remit less than males. However, this negative effect disappears after controlling for intra-family networks. Nevertheless, using gender-specific interaction terms reveals further insights to gender-specific determinants of remittances. Foreign females with children abroad remit significantly less than males. At a glance this finding might be confusing. However, it might result from traditional gender roles. It has to be taken into account that the probability to leave a child left abroad seems to be lower in the case of women than of men. In addition, it is argued that typically the economic power to transfer financial resources depends on gender effects. It can be assumed that females provide several non-monetary goods and services. Differences in the determinants of remittances between foreigners and Germans with migration background might result from their differences concerning the possibility to reunion the family in Germany.