Migration and Development Brief
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Migration and Development Briefs are prepared by the Migration and Remittances Unit, Development Economics (DEC). The brief aims to provide an update on key developments in the area of migration and remittance flows and related policies over the past six months. It also provides medium-term projections of remittance flows to developing countries. A special topic is included in each brief. The brief is produced twice a year.
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Outlook for Remittance Flows 2008-2010 : Growth Expected to Moderate Significantly, But Flows to Remain Resilient(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-11) Ratha, Dilip ; Mohapatra, Sanket ; Xu, ZhimeiThe outlook for remittances for the rest of 2008 and 2009-10 remains as uncertain as the outlook for global growth, oil and non-oil commodity prices, and currency exchange rates. In the past, remittances have been noted to be stable or even counter-cyclical, during an economic downturn in the recipient economy, and resilient in the face of a slowdown in the source country. This time, however, the crisis has affected all countries, creating additional uncertainties.
Revisions to remittance trends 2007(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-07) Ratha, Dilip ; Mohapatra, Sanket ; Vijayalakshmi, K. M. ; Xu, ZhimeiRevised estimates show that remittance flows to developing countries were $251 billion in 2007, up 11 percent from 2006. This Brief discusses the slowdown in remittance flows to Mexico in the first part of 2008. Remittances to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala), and Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the Philippines) continue to grow robustly.
Remittance Trends 2007(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-11) Ratha, Dilip ; Mohapatra, Sanket ; Vijayalakshmi, K. M. ; Xu, ZhimeiThis note describes broad regional and country specific trends in remittance flows worldwide, and highlights some structural changes that will affect remittance flows in the future. The main messages are: remittance flows to Latin America and the Caribbean slowed on the back of a weakening U.S. economy and tighter enforcement of immigration laws. Nevertheless, the growth of remittances to developing countries remains robust because of strong growth in Europe and Asia. The remittance industry is experiencing some positive structural changes with the advent of cell phone and internet-based remittance instruments. These changes may have profound effects on remittance flows to previously underserved areas. The diffusion of these structural changes, however, is slowed by a lack of clarity on key regulations (including those relating to money laundering and other financial crimes). Remittance costs have fallen, but not far enough, especially in the South-South corridors.
Remittance Trends 2006(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-11) Mohapatra, Sanket ; Ratha, Dilip ; Xu, ZhimeiIn nominal dollar terms Latin America and the Caribbean region remains the largest recipient of (recorded) remittances 2006. However, as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) remittances are highest in the Middle East and North Africa region. Due to a lack of data, remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa are grossly underestimated. Recorded remittance flows have grown robustly in virtually every region, although most quickly in Europe and Central Asia and in East Asia and the Pacific. The doubling of recorded remittances over the past five years is a result of: (a) increased scrutiny of flows since the terrorist attacks of September 2001; (b) reduction in remittance costs and expanding networks in the remittance industry; (c) the depreciation of the U.S. dollar (which raises the value of remittances denominated in other currencies); and (d) growth in the migrant stock and incomes. Although the United States remains the largest single source of remittances, many remittance-receiving developing countries also have a significant number of migrants in countries in the Euro area. Since remittances receipts in developing countries are typically measured in US dollars, movement in the Euro-dollar exchange rates can have a significant valuation effects on remittance, even without accounting for the wealth effect when the Euro appreciates or depreciates in real terms relative to the dollar.