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Remittances by emigrants: issues and evidence

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Corporate author:
  • NU. CEPAL. División de Desarrollo Económico
UN symbol.: LC/L.1990-P ISBN: 9211214211 37 p. : diagrs., tabls. Editorial: ECLAC October 2003


Remittances are, currently, the second most important source of external finance to developing countries, after foreign direct investment. They do surpass foreign aid. Remittances tend to be more stable than volatile capital flows such as portfolio investment and international bank credit. Remittances are also an international redistribution from low-income migrants to their families in the home country. World-wide, remittances are relatively concentrated in a group of developing countries: the top 20-recipients countries of workers remittances capture around 80 percent of total workers remittances to the developing countries. The three main source countries of remittances are the U.S, Saudi Arabia and Germany. The three main recipient countries, in terms of value, are India, Mexico and the Philippines. The international market for remittances is segmented and costly for migrants. Money transmitter operators dominating the market charge high fees and use overvalued exchange rates for money transfers. Commercial banks of both source and recipient countries have a low share of the global remittances market.

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