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Guyanese remittance motivations: altruistic?

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Purpose ‐ This paper aims to examine the remittance behavior of Guyanese immigrants living in three communities of New York City, USA to assess their remittance behavior and if these are motivated by altruism or the intent to return to live in Guyana. Over the last two decades, remittances accounted for approximately 17 percent of the GDP of the Guyanese economy and continue to grow. The bulk of these remittances are significant from its native sons and daughters residing in the USA. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This case study uses non-experimental survey research design with survey data collected from 300 participants living in New York, with 236 selected for analysis. Findings ‐ Guyanese living in New York City remit monies to Guyana because of a pure altruistic motive as well as believing that their contributions have a positive impact on the economic development of their nations regardless of their intention to return to Guyana. These findings support the altruistic model on remittance motivation. Research limitations/implications ‐ The data gathered for this survey are restricted to three communities in the USA where Guyanese are significant in numbers, thus limiting generalizations and findings to other countries such as Canada, England, where there are significant enclaves of Guyanese immigrants. Practical implications ‐ New York-based Guyanese deem their remittances as contributing to the economic development of their country. This suggest that there may room for a coordinated policy on the part of the Government of Guyana to develop a coordinated plan to engage overseas-based Guyanese to remit more to help with Guyana economic development efforts. Originality/value ‐ This is the first study to survey Guyanese in their host countries to gather information on remittances motivation and the perceived impact of these remittances from the sender's perspective. The paper highlights the significant remittance contributions of US-based Guyanese and their net private flows to Guyana.
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Keywords: Developing countries; Development; Governance; Human development; Local economies; Migration/immigration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 4, 2014

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