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Reducing remittance costs and the financing for development strategy

Supriyo De's picture

In observance of International Migrants’ Day, December 18th
For a multimedia presentation with a first-hand account of a person sending remittances see:
Reducing remittance costs are a vital element of the Financing for Development strategy. It has been incorporated as a target in the Sustainable Development Goals (the broad set of global strategies and targets for setting the development agenda up to 2030) and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (the strategies to finance those development goals). Unlike most domestic resources (such as tax revenues redistributed as grants or public goods) or external resources (for example, foreign direct investment or overseas development assistance), remittances sent by migrants reach households directly. They are however, a private resource, and its deployment is best left at the household level.

Labor migration costs – Too high for low-skilled workers

Soonhwa Yi's picture

In observance of International Migrants’ Day, December 18th
In 2012, a 29-year old Pakistani went to Saudi Arabia to work as a driver. To get the job, he paid some 15 percent of his prospective 3-year income, or $4,800, almost half of what he would be earning in a year in Saudi Arabia. Although he found the job through a relative, most of what he paid went for a visa ($3,800). He worked 11 hours a day and earned $880 a month, far higher than what he earned in Pakistan but lower than what Saudis earn. He sent about 60 percent of his earnings home to support four family members. He was unable to freely express his views, and his travel documents were held by his employer.

Call for papers: Policies impacting gender outcomes for migrants

Dilip Ratha's picture

Also available in: Français | Español

To improve the understanding of the relationship between national policies and concerns about gender issues and migration, the working group for the cross-cutting theme of Gender within the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) is commissioning three papers analyzing national policies in a specific country, associated with migration-related outcomes for women and men (enhanced incomes, resilience to shocks, wellbeing, equality, empowerment, etc.).
The key issues to be addressed would be to establish a better understanding about the links between migration and gender in rural and urban development. More specifically, it will address the central question: In what ways a well-founded and constructive attention to gender issues within migration policies can boost national development, including improvement in public service provisions and a reassurance of human rights?

See detailed Terms of Reference here.

Please submit proposals no later than January 18, 2016 to
Rosemary Vargas-Lundis, Chair of KNOMAD’s CCT on Gender at, and Hanspeter Wyss, Focal Point for the CCT on Gender, KNOMAD Secretariat at

Migration as a solution to violent extremism

Khalid Koser's picture

In observance of International Migrants’ Day, December 18th

There has been a renewed focus on the intersections between migration and security during 2015, in particular in the context of growing attention on the phenomenon of violent extremism, which is only likely to become more intensive over the next year.

Overwhelmingly media coverage and political rhetoric has been negative, focusing on migration as a potential cause of violent extremism. First, there is a concern that Islamic State may infiltrate the significant asylum and migration flows into Europe. Second, planned refugee resettlement to several European countries has now been stalled because of security concerns, with a new emphasis on preventing radicalization to violent extremist agendas in refugee camps in the Middle East. Third, the growing number of ‘foreign terrorist fighters’ moving to Iraq and Syria has been interpreted as a failure of integration in the countries from which they originate.

Host countries in the European Union: Are they welfare magnets for other EU citizens? (Perceptions vs. the evidence)

Klára Fóti's picture

In observance of the International Migrants Day, Dec 18
Even before 2004, when eight central and eastern European countries (including Poland) joined the European Union (EU), there were fears that citizens from these Member States would flood the more affluent western European countries, placing a burden on their welfare systems. With two additional central and eastern European countries—Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU in 2007, and restrictions on free movement of citizens from these two countries were lifted in January 2014—the debate on “welfare tourism” has heated up further, especially considering the lingering effects of the economic crisis in Europe. The arguments voiced in the debate suggest that the “new” EU mobile citizens are attracted precisely by better-quality services and easier access to those services in the more affluent western Member States.

Human Mobility Should Be High on the Agenda in Paris

Susan Martin's picture

As governments meet in the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris (COP 21), addressing the consequences of environmental change on human mobility should be high on their agenda.  And they should be aware that the link between climate change and human mobility is much more complex than often assumed or depicted by the media.  People have been moving for thousands of years due to environmental change.  With climate change, however, such movements will likely accelerate. For many, voluntary migration will be an effective adaptation strategy if they are able to move in safety and dignity.

EU-WB Conference on Migration and the Global Development Agenda

Dilip Ratha's picture

December 9, 2015Room MC13-121, World Bank Headquarters
1818 H Street NW
Washington DC 20433
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Time: 9am – 6.30pm (US Eastern time)

Click here for the agenda

Watch the event live:

The event is open to the public. 

Sonia Plaza, email:; Tel: +1 202 473 4671;
Celine Zarina Mersch, email:; Tel: +1 202 469 2286;
Malkiat Singh, email:; Tel: +1 202 473 7711

Call for Papers: 9th International Conference on Migration and Development

Caglar Ozden's picture

Call for Papers: 9th International Conference on Migration and Development

Migration Policy Center, European University Institute, Florence, June 13-14, 2016

The French Development Agency (AFD) Research Department, the World Bank Development Research Group (DECRG) and the Migration Policy Center of the European University Institute (MPC-EUI) are jointly organizing the 9th International Conference on “Migration and Development”. The conference is devoted to investigating ways in which international migration affects economic and social change in developing countries. Possible topics include the effects of migration on poverty, inequality, and human capital formation; social networks and migration; diaspora externalities; remittances; brain drain; migration and institutional/technological change.
A selection of papers from the conference will be considered for a special issue of The Journal of Economic Geography.

Massimo Livi-Bacci, University of Florence
Gianmarco Ottaviano, London School of Economics

International conference on migration and the global development agenda - December 9, 2015

Dilip Ratha's picture

The EU Presidency of Luxembourg and the World Bank are organizing a “Conference on Migration and the Global Development Agenda”. The World Bank Group President, Mr. Jim Yong Kim, will give the opening remarks. This high-level event will be held at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C. on December 9, 2015 (9:00 AM – 6:30 PM). You are invited to participate in this conference and join researchers, government representatives, non-governmental representatives, private sector representatives, local governments, and international organizations and other colleagues in the discussions. Please find attached a concept note with a draft agenda.
As the first event after the finalization of the SDGs, this conference will bring together major stakeholders on migration and development to highlight the latest thinking on how to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks associated with migration for host, origin and transit countries as well as for the migrants and their families. Speakers will be invited to present various perspectives from a global, national, municipal, business and civil society. 

Venue: World Bank, Washington D.C. (Conference room MC 13-121)
Wednesday, December 9, 9:00 – 6:30 PM   Livestreaming:
RSVP to reserve your space:

Link to the Concept Note and Agenda

Estimating bilateral remittances

Dilip Ratha's picture
From time to time, we receive queries seeking more information on the estimation of bilateral remittances posted here. Data issues relating to remittances are well-known. We know that outward remittances reported by countries tend to underestimate the true size, because the sum of inflows worldwide is far larger than the sum of outward flows worldwide. We also know that many countries that are known to host large migrant populations report no data on remittances. And many countries tend to attribute a larger-than-real share of inward remittance flows to countries where correspondent banks are domiciled. See Ratha (2007, annex), Global Economic Prospects 2006 (p 105) and Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 (p xvi) for caveats relating to data on remittances. See also the IMF’s International Transactions in Remittances: Guide for Compilers and Users for more information on remittances data.

The original write-up (from Ratha and Shaw 2007) explaining how bilateral remittances are estimated, is reproduced below (click on the snapshot to download):