State dependence and unobserved heterogeneity in a double hurdle model for remittances: evidence from immigrants to Germany
2 PM, room 3E, Department of Economics and Management
Speaker: Giulia Bettin, Università Politecnica delle Marche
The empirical modelling of remitting behaviour has been the object of a considerable amount of micro-level literature. The increasing availability of panel datasets makes it possible to explore the persistence in transfer decisions as a result of intertemporal choices, that may be consistent with several motivations to remit. Building a dynamic model with panel data poses the additional problem of dealing properly with permanent unobserved heterogeneity; moreover, the specific censored nature of international
transfers must be accounted for as well.
In this paper, we propose a dynamic, random-effects double hurdle model for remittances: we combine the Maximum Likelihood estimator of the traditional double hurdle model for cross-section data (Jones, 1989) with the approach proposed by Heckman (1981b) for dealing with state dependence and unobserved heterogeneity in a non-linear setting. Our empirical evidence based on the German SOEP dataset suggests that there is significant state dependence in remitting behaviour consistent with migrants’ intertemporal allocation of savings; at the same time, transaction costs are likely to affect the steadiness of transfers over time.
JEL codes: F22, F24, C23, C34, C35
Keywords: Migration, Remittances, State dependence, Double hurdle, Intertemporal