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A Study of Guyanese, Haitians and Jamaicans in Canada Alan Simmons & Dwaine Plaza Paper presented to the workshop on Lives and Livelihoods: Economic and Demographic Change in Modern Latin America University of Guelph, May 26-27, 2006 . Remittance Motivations and Practices:.

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A Study of Guyanese, Haitians and Jamaicans in Canada

Alan Simmons & Dwaine Plaza

Paper presented to the workshop on

Lives and Livelihoods: Economic and Demographic Change in

Modern Latin America

University of Guelph, May 26-27, 2006

Remittance Motivations and Practices:

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Preliminary findings!

Do not cite, quote or reproduce without permission from the authors!

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Map of the Presentation:

1. Goals of the Research

2. Background: immigration and settlement

3. Model of Household Remittance Flows

4. Data and Findings

5. Conclusions

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1. Goals of the Research:

  • How much is remitted? In what form?

  • To whom? For what goals?

  • Through what channels? With what transfer costs?

  • Motives & characteristics of the senders?

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2. Background

  • Immigration levels over time

  • Settlement patterns in Canada

  • Macro estimates of national remittance receipts over time (inflows from all sources)

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Guyanese in Toronto

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Haitians in Montreal

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Jamaicans in Toronto

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El Salvador






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3. Transnational Remittance Model

Resources & Motivations

Outcomes for Senders

Channels and Barriers

Amounts Remitted

Outcomes for Recipients

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4. Data & Findings

  • Survey design

  • Characteristics of survey respondents

  • Estimates of remittances sent (by households and individuals, 2005)

  • Channels and transfer cost

  • How remittances are used

  • Correlates of sending behavior

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Survey Design

  • Criterion sample of individuals:

    • Born in Haiti (Montreal) Guyanese (Toronto) and Jamaica (Toronto)

    • Eighteen years of age or over

    • Living in Canada for at least one year

    • Knowledgeable of household expenditures

    • Both males and females, at all income and schooling levels

    • In different parts of each city

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  • Individual level

  • Household level

  • Monetary remittances

  • Goods (via “barrel”, etc.)

  • Collective-institutional transfers

  • Measures of transnational links

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Respondents’ Characteristics

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Amounts Sent

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Destination of Funds Remitted

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Intended Purposes of Funds Sent

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Number of People Benefiting

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Main Recipients (percents)

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Money Transfer Channels

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Transfer Costs

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Barrels Sent to Home Country

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Content of Barrel Sent Home

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Who sends remittances?

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Total Household Remittances in 2004 by Household Income Category

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Transnational Family Contacts

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Mean Remittances Sent Controlling for Telephone Contact

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Involvement in Transnational “Projects”

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Feelings about demands placed by Transnational family

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Policy Oriented Conclusions

  • Reduce transfer fees & expand financial services

  • Tax exemption for remitters

  • State provision of matching funds to remittance receivers

  • Strengthen TN community links

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Future Research Questions

Are remittance flows shaped by:

  • Remittance fatigue?

  • Second generation?

  • Shifting centre of the transnational community?

  • Transnational identity?

  • Return migration plans?

  • Etc.

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  • Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), for project financing

  • Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, York University, for institutional support.

  • Centre D’Études Ethniques des Universités Montréalaises (CEETUM) and the Département de démographie, Université de Montréal, for support and collaboration.

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For further details:

  • Alan Simmons, CERLAC, York University

  • Dwaine Plaza, Oregon State U., Corvallis.

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