Asymmetric information and remittances: Evidence from matched administrative data

Thomas Joseph, Yaw Nyarko, Shing Yi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using new large-scale, administrative data matching remittances and monthly payroll disbursals, we demonstrate how migrants' earnings in the United Arab Emirates affect their remittances. We consider several types of income changes: Ramadan, weather shocks, a labor reform and returns to time in the UAE. We demonstrate that two key characteristics of the income changes that affect the income elasticity of remittances are the observability of the income and whether the income change is positive or negative. The results are consistent with a private information model where remittances are viewed as payments in an income-sharing contract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-100
Number of pages43
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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