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The World Region

Remittances to developing countries decline for an unprecedented 2nd year in a row

Dilip Ratha's picture
We just launched the latest edition of the Migration and Development Brief and an accompanying Press Release.
 
Remittances to developing countries decreased by 2.4 percent to an estimated $429 billion in 2016. This is the second consecutive year that remittances have declined. Such a trend has not been seen in the last 30 years. Even during the global financial crisis, remittances contracted only during 2009, bouncing back in the following year.

Trends in Remittances, 2016: A New Normal of Slow Growth

Dilip Ratha's picture
Against a backdrop of tepid global growth, remittance flows to low and middle income countries (LMICs) seem to have entered a “new normal” of slow growth. In 2016, remittance flows to LMICs are projected to reach $442 billion, marking an increase of 0.8 percent over 2015 (figure 1 and table 1). The modest recovery in 2016 is largely driven by the increase in remittance flows to Latin America and the Caribbean on the back of a stronger economy in the United States; by contrast remittance flows to all other developing regions either declined or recorded a deceleration in growth.  

Call for papers: Development policies that facilitate internal migration

Dilip Ratha's picture

BACKGROUND
The World Bank’s the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) program is a global hub of knowledge and policy expertise on migration and development issues. Among 13 TWGs, the Thematic Working Group on Internal Migration and Urbanization (TWG 12) aims to better understand the relationship between internal migration and development including rural/urban development, by identifying good practices that help develop sustainable livelihoods, create jobs in rural and urban areas and increase connectivity between rural and urban areas, while leveraging the migration process for poverty reduction and development. In this context, this call for papers aims to bring researchers to analyze and evaluate development policies which have influenced the outcome of internal migration, for migrants and their families, as well as for migrant host and sending communities.
 

Humanitarians working on cash transfer and remittance researchers need to work together

Kevin Savage's picture
I had the pleasure of attending a workshop organized by KNOMAD at which a cross-disciplinary group of researchers (economics, anthropology, law, health, finance) came together to consider how to strengthen the evidence base of understanding remittances to and from refugees and IDPs.

How do we measure impacts of refugees and IDPs on host countries and host communities?

Kirsten Schuettler's picture

Nearly 60 million persons were forcibly displaced worldwide due to conflict and persecution at the end of 2014—the highest number since World War II. Forced displacement is not only a humanitarian issue, but also has important economic, social, political, and environmental impacts on the places of origin and destination. The development impacts of forced displacement, however, remain poorly understood. There is very limited work to date on the socioeconomic impact of refugees on host and regional economies. Social scientists have largely neglected these important policy and conceptual challenges, in contrast to the countless qualitative studies on refugee livelihoods. As the number of protracted displacement situations is increasing, the lack of rigorous impact assessments is a major gap that needs to be filled. Recently, a number of calls for proposals on the topic have been issued and case studies have been undertaken by the World Bank, UNHCR, independent researchers, and other actors. Efforts have also been made to develop a coherent methodology on how to measure the impacts of forced displacement.

Worldwide Remittance Flows updated to $483 billion for 2011

Dilip Ratha's picture

We have updated the data on worldwide remittance flows -  including flows to developing countries and high income countries - to $483 billion in 2011. Of this, developing countries received $351 billion in 2011.  Worldwide remittance flows are expected to reach $593 billion in 2014.

International Women’s Day: How Do Female Migrants Contribute to their Home Countries’ Development?

Sanket Mohapatra's picture

The New York Times recently featured an article on the contribution of female migrants to their families and to their countries of origin and destination. According to the Times, “Eleven years into the 21st century, women migrants have become a formidable force for development — and for the rise of women in developed countries whose careers depend on affordable child care.” Remittances sent by female migrants “…appear to be more frequent, regular and reliable even in times of crisis.”

Female migrants account for about half of an estimated 215 million international migrants in 2010 (UNPD). The share of women in skilled occupations has increased in OECD countries. However, there are very few rigorous studies that specifically consider the role of gender in migration. A few available studies suggest that female migrants typically send money for – and female recipients spend remittances on – human capital investments such as food, education and healthcare of family members (see evidence for Ghana).

Are migration motives and remittances behavior different for women?

Sonia Plaza's picture

Migration is a strategy followed by women when they face poverty or when they widowed or divorced. In India, women mainly migrate because they get married. In other countries women migrate to get better job opportunities, for education purposes or for family reunification. For example in Lesotho, since divorced women or widowers do not count with the income of a male migrant wage-earner, they are the ones who have to support their families.

Case study evidence of migrants’ labor market performance in receiving countries shows that most immigrants from developing countries, regardless of their destination, suffer an earnings penalty and higher inactivity levels and unemployment rates than nationals. In Europe, unemployment rates for immigrants originating from developing countries are uniformly higher than those from more developed economies. This gap is more pronounced for women than men across all skill levels (Page and Plaza, 2006). The situation is not different for immigrants in South Africa. The majority of female workers from Lesotho work in low-paying jobs since they have an irregular migration status. However, they get more money compared to what they get in Lesotho for the same work  that they do in South Africa. The majority of women from Lesotho work as domestic workers, followed by agricultural jobs and in the informal sector (Crush, Dodson, Gay and Leduka, 2010).

Professor Bhagwati on a Knowledge Platform on Migration and Global Development

Dilip Ratha's picture

As I had mentioned in my blog on December 7, we at the Bank are working on a proposal to create an open knowledge platform on migration and global development. The proposed knowledge platform will: 

  • provide an open platform for debate and discussion; it will include divergent views, but with strong emphasis on rigor, peer review and quality control
  • act as a knowledge broker
  • attract researchers and practitioners from different disciplines
  • deliver a menu of policy options on migration

We asked Professor Jagdish Bhagwati for his thoughts on the knowledge platform. He likes it! He kindly agreed to record a video presentation for us (you can view it here).

Thank you Professor Bhagwati!

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