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.
(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-12-01) Mohapatra, Sanket; Ratha, Dilip; Silwal, Ani
Officially recorded remittance flows to
developing countries are estimated to have reached $351
billion in 2011, up 8 percent over 2010. For the first time
since the global financial crisis, remittance flows to all
six developing regions rose in 2011. Growth of remittances
in 2011 exceeded our earlier expectations in four regions,
especially in Europe and Central Asia (due to higher outward
flows from Russia that benefited from high oil prices) and
Sub-Saharan Africa (due to strong south-south flows and
weaker currencies in some countries that attracted larger
remittances). By contrast, growth in remittance flows to
Latin America and Caribbean was lower than previously
expected, due to continuing weakness in the U.S. economy and
Spain. Remittance costs have fallen steadily from 8.8
percent in 2008 to 7.3 percent in the third quarter of 2011.
However, remittance costs continue to remain high,
especially in Africa and in small nations where remittances
provide a life line to the poor.
(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-11) Ratha, Dilip; Vijayalakshmi, K. M.; Xu, Zhimei
This 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.