Gender Differences in Remittance Behavior: Evidence from Vietnam

Examining the motives underlying remittance behavior
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This paper uses data drawn from the 2004 Vietnam Migration Survey to investigate the role of gender in remittance behavior among migrants. The survey interviewed both, migrants and non-migrants, and covered various topics including the migration process, migrants' socioeconomic characteristics and household demographic composition. The survey revealed that:

  • Women are more likely to remit than men, but men remit a greater amount;
  • Endowment differences explain the overall gender difference;
  • Prominent factors that drive endowment differentials relate to head of household status and labor market earnings;
  • Gender differences in remittances are not due to behavioral differences between men and women;
  • Both, male and female migrants remit home in response to altruism and insurance needs.

These results have some the following policy implications:

  • Women exhibit more reliable remittance behavior, suggesting that their contribution to household well-being should not be underestimated;
  • Women find a relatively large representation among Vietnams internal migrants, reflecting emerging employment opportunities for young women;
  • The larger amounts earned by men leads to questions about gender inequality in the Vietnamese job scene.

About this Publication

By Niimi, Y. & Reilly, B.