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April 23, 2014

New Remittance Data, Ripe for Analysis

By Jean Lee

A collaboration between the Gates Foundation and the Gallup World Poll has gathered new data on remittances for a broad set of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and in South Asia, home to many growing markets for mobile banking and money transfers. 

Collected jointly with the Global Findex data, the new data include answers to questions such as: 

  • “Have you personally brought money in person or sent money to a family member or friend living in a different city or area in [your country of residence] in the last 30 days?”
  • “Have you personally brought money in person or sent money to a family member or friend living in a different country in the last 30 days?”
  • “Including any charges you may have incurred, was the largest amount of money you personally brought in person or sent to a family member or friend living in a different country in the last 30 days?”

The survey also collects data on how transfers are sent (in person, through wire transfer, through mobile banking, etc.) and on transfers received from friends, family, and government agencies.

We’re working with Jake Kendall of the Gates Foundation to extend some of the early analyses from the Africa data to the South Asia data. Such a rich and unique data set can provide insight into many questions—indeed making this data widely available was a motivating factor for funding and conducting the survey work. So while we are working on our own analysis, the data can be downloaded by anyone who is interested in conducting their own investigations. 

Below you will find links to the files you need to work with the Gates Gallup data. They include the zipped data files (in Stata format), sample questionnaires for Tanzania and India, and initial summary reports on the data compiled for Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, respectively.

In my first pass at the data, I took a look at domestic versus international remittances from South Asia (something Jake and his team had already looked at in the SSA data). I found that as in Sub-Saharan Africa, domestic remittances are much more common than international remittances (Table 1).

Domestic vs International Remittances, South Asia

Not only are domestic remittances more common, but they also dwarf international remittances in value.  This is an avenue for future work that we’re very excited to be engaging in with Gates and Gallup.

In the next few months we’ll launch a page dedicated to this data and further analysis of it. If you do some analysis and would like it featured on that page, be sure to let us know. And if you’re interested in data like this, be sure to keep an eye out for Intermedia’s upcoming data challenge based on financial inclusion data they’ve collected in seven countries

 

Zipped Data Files (download Stata files from DropBox)

Initial Summary Report- Africa.pdf

Initial Summary Report- Asia.pdf

Sample Questionnaire for India.pdf

Sample Questionnaire for Tanzania.pdf

 

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