What do migrants say? Investigating the content and impact of social remittances


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Speaker: Sarah Prince, PhD Candidate, Political Science, UC Davis


Sarah Prince is a PhD candidate in the department of Political Science. She is a Bilinski Dissertation fellow and has been awarded for excellent teaching. Her research focuses on international migration, political behavior, and the provision of public services utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Her current project examines the relationship between social remittances and public service demands. 


I argue that social remittances (information and ideas sent to contacts in emigrants’ countries of origin) have the capacity to make individuals more critical of their origin government and motivate them to seek better services in context-dependent ways. Utilizing individual- level public opinion data from the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), I identify preliminary evidence in support of this argument. Interviews with individuals in Latin America who have friends and family abroad should provide substantive knowledge to better illuminate this relationship. If social remittances are impactful, then they likely influence the spread of political, social, and economic changes around the world.

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