Alexander J. Fertig
I am a PhD Candidate in Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan; my current research interests are in development economics and political economy.
I previously worked as a Research Manager with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) in Namibia and Myanmar. I have a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Wesleyan University and an MPA from Columbia University.
PUBLISHED in Journal of Development Economics - "Measuring Remittances"
Remittances received by households from international migrants are of interest in an increasing number of microeconomic analyses. Making use of novel data, we measure misreporting of remittances sent by migrants in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to remittance recipients in the Philippines. We obtained administrative transaction data from a sample of Filipino migrants who were clients of a popular money transfer operator (MTO). We then surveyed these migrants as well as their primary remittance recipients about the same remittance flows. Migrant-reported remittances are only 6% lower than MTO administrative records, and we cannot reject their equality. A custom smartphone app designed to facilitate migrant remittance reporting does not help raise reporting accuracy. Recipient-reported remittances are 23% lower than migrant reports on average. Recipients under-report even more when they receive remittances less frequently and when remittances make up a lower share of household income.