Remittances and the Healthcare Use of Populations in Origin Communities: Evidence from Mexico
Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, San Diego State University
Susan Pozo, Western Michigan University
Workers’ remittances to Mexico have grown to $14.5 billion. While a significant fraction appears to be sent to Mexico to finance the purchase of food, housing, education, land or businesses, the single largest category (57%) reported in surveys has been health expenses. Yet, little attention has been paid to assessing the impact of international remittances on the healthcare use of Mexicans. We examine the impact of remittances on the healthcare use of Mexicans in their origin communities. The Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos de los Hogares is used to estimate a simultaneous equation system of remittance receipt and healthcare use that addresses the following questions: (1) Do Mexican migrants send money back home for healthcare use reasons? and (2) Does the receipt of remittances alter healthcare use patterns? The second part of the study estimates the elasticity of healthcare use to remittance receipt by means of a hurdle model.