Discipline: Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Research
- Spelman College
Co-Author(s): Eduardo Nakasone, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; Maximo Torero, World Bank, Washington, D.C.
It is well documented that migrant remittances are a significant driver of global development and serve as a pillar of economic stability (e.g. The World Bank 2015, Yang 2011). In fact, it is estimated that remittance flows to developing countries will reach US$ 479 billion in 2017 – a number that far exceeds official development assistance. Nonetheless, sending remittances remains costly. The World Bank estimates that, as of 2014, the global average cost of sending US$ 200 held steady at 8 percent of the transaction value. The creation of publicly available comparison databases containing detailed information on the costs, speed, and reliability of sending remittances has been identified as one of the most efficient means to achieve the above aims; as they did for the airline industry.
This study partners with RemitRight (www.remitright.com), the first World Bank-certified metasearch web and mobile platform for online money transfers from the US to top remittance-receiving countries, to test behavioral foundations and relevant attributes of online comparison-shopping for financial-remittance senders (such as Western Union, MoneyGram, banks, etc.) One of the study’s main intellectual merits lies in the fact that it uses non-choice (neuro) data in the form of eye tracking to unpack ‘the black box’ of experimentally elicited migrant remittance choices. In so doing, the study sheds light on (1) how neuroeconomic data can be used in field contexts to identify relevant attributes of choice and (2) the resulting welfare effects that could accrue to migrants and recipients from comparison-shopping and increased transparency.
From a broader standpoint, the study will also provide evidence for whether and if so how neureconomic data can be used to craft development policy and in turn impact outcomes. This poster presentation will focus on results from the first set of field experiments conducted with a sample of close to 400 Central American immigrants residing in the metro DC area. It will also shed light on the next wave of the study, which will occur during Spring to Summer 2018 ‘live’ on www.remitright.com.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This study is supported by an EAGER grant from the National Science Foundation, Award number: 164992
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,