Migrants’ Remittances and Development: Myths, Rhetoric and Realities

Author: Bimal Ghosh
Partner: International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Publication date: 2006


Despite, or partly because of, the widening interest in remittances, the debate on the subject continues to be complex, and not infrequently confusing. For less affluent countries remittances hold significant potential for the promotion of family welfare and development, but excessive reliance on them also entails pitfalls. In the past, the development role of remittances has often been downplayed, and today the trend seems to be in the opposite direction. Clearly, an overemphasis either on the promises of remittances or on their pitfalls makes the debate unduly confusing and adds to the dilemma of policymakers.

The present study, prepared at the request of the Hague Process on Refugees and Migration (THP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) highlights the ways in which the development potential of remittances could be most effectively used, while avoiding the possible risks. In doing so, it seeks to help promote a more balanced approach to the issue of remittances and development, which, as indicated above, is now high on the global economic agenda.

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