November 2015

IZA DP No. 9516: Migrants' Remittances: Channelling Globalization

A revised version is published in: Leila Simona Talani and Simon McMahon (eds.), Handbook of the International Political Economy of Migration, Edward Elgar 2015, Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, USA, Chapter 11, 234-258.

In the past twenty years the ever-growing levels of migrants' remittances made state agencies, international organizations, scholars and practitioners to increasingly consider remittances as one of the main engines to promote globalization and growth in the developing world. By transferring home large amounts of money, information, ideas and practices, migrants and migrant organizations are often seen as able to produce significant changes in countries and localities of origin. Focusing on cases from former socialist countries and around the world, this paper discusses the main debates surrounding the effects and uses of migrant remittances. Furthermore, using different case studies from Europe and Asia, the paper addresses the notion of social remittances, namely the transfers of ideas, practices and norms between societies of origin and destination. It highlights the ideas and practices migrants transfer home, the types of social norms it generates, and the extent to which migration produces transformations in countries of origin.