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That's not necessarily true, although certainly a possibility. Quite a bit of work is currently being done in this area related to the phenomenon of migrants sending remittance payments to family members in their countries' of origin, which has exploded in volume in the last 20 years all over the world.  Sociologists (Massey and Stark being the most prominent in this) have tested specifically for altruism or reciprocity, and most of the evidence comes down on the side of reciprocity -- migrants' families provide something, or provide a source of security of the migrant's interests, in return for remittance payments which smooth consumption patterns of their families back home.  
by santiago on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 11:14:18 AM EST
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