The Development Dimension

1990-1372 (online)
1990-1380 (print)
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A series of OECD books analyzing  the development aspects of policies in other domains, such as economic, financial, environmental, agricultural or trade policies. By systematically taking the development dimension of member country policies into account, OECD analysis and dialogue can help change behaviour in support of development in an ever more integrated, interdependent global economy.

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Migration, Remittances and Development

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15 Nov 2005
9789264013896 (PDF) ;9789264013889(print)

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This publication presents the current situation with regard to the magnitude and economic impact of migrants’ remittances to their countries of origin. In 2004, remittances exceeded official development aid in several emigration countries: they totalled USD 126 billion according to IMF estimates.

The book surveys the channels used to collect these funds; the role of banking systems and other financial institutions; the introduction of new technologies and their impact on fund collection; how the funds are transferred; and how to reduce the costs. Focus is also placed on the different ways in which migrants themselves participate -- together with non-governmental organisations, host countries and sending countries -- to open up new avenues for policies on development aid and co-development. The direct role that migrants can play at the local level is highlighted.

Several countries and regions are illustrated: Southern European countries, Mexico, Turkey, North African and sub-Saharan African countries, the Philippines and some Latin American countries.

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  • Executive Summary
    Developing countries, and in particular those which have provided the largest migration flows towards the OECD member countries since the middle of the 20th century, wish to be better integrated into the world economy. The renewed interest in migration for employment, the international mobility of skilled workers and the highly qualified, the increase in the number of foreign students, are elements in the globalisation of migration.
  • International Migrant Remittances and their Role in Development
    Migrant remittances are a steadily growing external source of capital for developing countries. While foreign direct investments and capital market flows fell sharply in the last years due to the recession in the high income countries, migrant remittances continued to grow, reaching USD 149.4 billion in 2002.
  • Migrant Remittances and their Impact on Development in the Home Economies: The Case of Africa
    According to the latest figures from the United Nations,1 the number of migrants throughout the world has more than doubled since 1975. At the turn of this new century it is reported to stand at around 175 million persons (including refugees), or 2.9% of the global population. Still largely from Europe in the 1950s, migration flows have undergone radical change and are now predominantly from the developing world.
  • The Remittances of Moroccan Emigrants and their Usage
    The Moroccan population living abroad is estimated at some 3 million people, that is, 10% of the population of Morocco.1 About four-fifths of Moroccans residing abroad (MRA) live in Europe. It is a comparatively old migration, dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. Thus migration has considerably increased since the 1960s.
  • Mexico: International Migration, Remittances and Development
    Migration between Mexico and the United States is a complex phenomenon, with a prolonged historical tradition since the end of the 19th century, and with structural roots on both sides of the frontier. According to Rodolfo Tuiran (2000), among the forces that have contributed to the structuring of this complex migration system, the most prominent are: the persistent demand for Mexican labour in the agricultural, industrial and service sectors of the United States;
  • Migration, Remittances and their Impact on Economic Development in Turkey
    This chapter outlines the major points discussed in the workshop organised by the OECD and Koç University on Migration, Remittances and the Economic Development of Turkey, held in Istanbul on 21 December 2004. It not only sets out the main issues of remittances in the Turkish context, but also relates them to the wider context of the migration-development nexus.
  • Migration Policies, Remittances and Economic Development in the Philippines
    The Philippine Overseas Employment Program (OEP) was institutionalised in 1974 with the enactment of the Philippine Labor Code. Regarded as a temporary programme or a stop-gap economic measure to address the high unemployment rate during the Marcos era, the programme eventually became an important fixture of national policy because of the recognition of the role of international labour markets in containing the problem of local unemployment.
  • Principal Channels and Costs of Remittances: The Case of Turkey
    The first major labour migration flows of Turks to Germany followed the bilateral agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Turkey on 30 October 1961. For Germany, a main goal of this agreement was to alleviate labour shortages in the booming post-war industry through labour immigration.
  • Western Union and the World Market for Remittances
    Numerous international organisations, be it the World Bank, the IMF or central banks worldwide, readily admit that remittances represent a very significant source of financial inflow for many countries. However, the regulation of the money remittance industry varies tremendously from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
  • The Moneysend and Mastercard™ Services
  • Migration, Remittances and Development: The Case of Portugal
  • What Is the Macroeconomic Impact of International Remittances on the Home Country?
    Migration has become a central feature of the current international economy. In the year 2000, around 175 million people were residing outside their country of birth or citizenship – 3% of the world’s population.2 Globalisation has led to the increase in labour movements between labour markets across national borders.
  • Macroeconomic Impact of Remittances
  • Emigrants' Remittances – a Potentially Important Development Tool: The Case of Italy

    At USD 126 billion in 2004,1 officially recorded workers’ remittances to developing countries have become the second largest source of external finance after foreign direct investment (FDI). If it were possible to take into account also unofficial flows and in-kindtransfers, remittances might already represent the largest aggregate financial flow fromdeveloped to developing economies.

  • Remittances and Development: The Case of Greece
    Remittances impact on the economy in two basic ways: in the form of foreign exchange they alleviate the balance of payments burden and pay for imports, while in the form of local currency they increase demand for consumption goods and investment.Both functions are very important for poor or developing countries with high rates of emigration, which more often than not have chronic problems in their international transactions and deficiencies in their productive investment activity.
  • Do International Migration and Remittances Reduce Poverty in Developing Countries?
    International migration is one of the most important factors affecting economic relations between developed and developing countries in the 21st century. At the start of the century, it was estimated that about 175 million people – roughly 3% of the world population – lived and worked outside the country of their birth (United Nations, 2002).
  • Social Learning as a Productive Project: The Tres Por Uno (Three for One) Experience at Zacatecas, Mexico
    Fleshy organic peaches grown by former migrants who picked up state-of-the-art agricultural technologies while toiling in Napa’s organic vineyards, packed and shipped to exclusive grocery stores in wealthy urban areas in the United States; smoky mezcal bearing a label dedicating it to migrants who have crossed the border lining the shelves of liquor stores in the communities where those very migrants live and work;
  • Migration, Remittances and Economic Initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa
    Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa began to contribute to the development of their home countries as a result of two developments: the cycle of droughts in the 1970s that seriously affected these countries’ domestic economies, which are primarily based on agriculture, and the structural adjustment measures initiated in 1981, prescribed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, requiring countries to disengage from the agricultural sector and thereby depriving a significant portion of farmers of subsidies and technical support.
  • "Migration and Development"
    Historically, domestic migration preceded migration abroad. Internal migration flows are linked closely to development programmes in urban areas, to the detriment of rural areas. Industrialisation policies have resulted in the migration of workers from rural areas to the main urban centres of Casablanca, Rabat and Agadir.
  • Incorporating Insights from Migration Research into Policy on Remittances
    Research and policy on remittances engage a variety of economists, public policy specialists, and migration scholars, among others. Maximising the benefits of remittances for development is a formidable task that requires an inter-disciplinary approach. This chapter is intended to highlight the potential of migration studies perspectives to inform policy on remittances and development.
  • Turning Remittances into Investments
    The re-discovery of remittances as a major international financial flow has increased ambitions to manage and channel these funds into formal sector financial markets, to be used as loan funds for development projects or to be invested in the economy. Before devising grandiose schemes to re-direct them away from their current channels and uses, it should be remembered that remittances are privately owned funds.
  • Motivating Migrants for Social and Economic Development in Mali and Senegal
    Most West Africans who migrate to the OECD area are economic immigrants, from countries where development is such that the majority of the population cannot live decently and where key workers and technicians, in particular, are largely sufficient in number to ensure development but unable to find established jobs in line with their qualifications.
  • The Support of Non-Governmental Organisations in the Collection of Remittances
    International migration, immigrants’ remittances and their effects on the development of the country of origin depend on a number of factors and are the result of a wide range of motivations: the dominant elements are demographic, historico-social, economic, juridical and political, as much in the country of origin as in the receiving country.
  • Some Lessons from the Agence Francaise de Développement in the Field of Co-Development
    The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) (French Development Agency) has a long history of regarding migrants as "stakeholders in the development of their home country". This approach dates back to 1974, when the AFD (then known as the Caisse Centrale de Coopération Economique) introduced an occupational training programme for migrant workers volunteering for economic reintegration in highly skilled jobs that were unfilled in their home country.
  • Conclusions

    The focus of this conference has been on the links between migrants, remittances and the economic development of sending countries. It provided an overview of the current magnitude of remittances, the characteristics of the migrants in question and the transmission channels used to send their savings back to their countries of origin. Much attention was paid to the impacts of remittances in terms of supporting living standards and economic development in the countries of origin.

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