Remittance Behavior among Salvadoran and Filipino Immigrants in Los Angeles

Cecilia Menjívar, Julie DaVanzo, Lisa Green Well, R. Burciaga Valdez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


This article analyzes the factors that influence remittance behavior (the decision to remit and the amount sent) in the host country of Filipino and Salvadoran immigrants, two groups with high rates of U.S.-bound migration and of remittances. Data for this study come from a multipurpose survey fielded in Los Angeles in 1991 and are analyzed using logistic regressions and OLS. Individual characteristics and financial ability to remit, motivation to migrate, personal investments in the United States, and family obligations in the home and in the host countries are hypothesized to affect remittance behavior. No differences by country of origin in the proportion who send remittances were found, but there were significant differences in the amount remitted. Some variables affect the two country-of-origin groups differently. The size of remittances sent by Salvadorans tends to be relatively insensitive to their characteristics compared with Filipinos. Filipinos' remittances are more affected by age, family income, having taken English classes in the United States, and living alone than are the remittances of Salvadorans. For both groups, the most consistent factors affecting remittances are family income and the place of residence of close family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-126
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Migration Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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