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Remittances Publications

This section contains public documents, working papers, assessment methodologies and other related tools produced by the World Bank and Bank staff in the area of Remittances.

  • The Remittance Market in India: Opportunities, Challenges and Policy Options. This report  examines the Indian remittance market and analyzes its characteristics based on the General Principles for International Remittance Services (GPs). It identifies some of the key actions and public policy measures for the improvement and future development of this market. With an estimated US$55 billion in remittance inflows in 2010, India is the world’s foremost remittance destination. Yet despite substantial progress over the past 15 years, the provision of accessible, efficient, and cost-effective remittance services in India can still be improved. The World Bank, by G. G. Afram, February 2012.
  • Outlook for Remittance Flows 2012-14. Remittance flows to developing countries to exceed $350 billion in 2011. The World Bank, Migration and Development Brief 17, by D. Ratha, S. Mohapatra and A. Silwal, December 2011.
  • Outlook for Remittance Flows 2011-13. Remittance Flows Recover to Pre-Crisis Levels. Officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries recovered quickly to $325 billion in 2010 after the global financial crisis. But they have not kept pace with rising prices in recipient countries. Remittance flows are expected to grow at lower but more sustainable rates of 7-8 percent annually during 2011-13 to reach $404 billion by 2013. The World Bank, Migration and Development Brief 16, by D. Ratha, S. Mohapatra and A. Silwal, May 2011.
  • Diaspora for Development in Africa. The book discusses concrete examples of diaspora initiatives that are being implemented in Africa. There are comprehensive reviews on how the diaspora can promote trade and investment linkages. The book directly addresses the issues of remittances-linked financial instruments, investments by the diaspora, diaspora bonds, contributions of skilled and unskilled diaspora in transferring knowledge, analytical research on return migration, and concrete circular migration experiences. There is a need to have a better understanding of these initiatives and to see whether they can be scaled up or replicated in other countries worldwide. The World Bank, by S. Plaza and D. Ratha, March 2011.
  • Leveraging Migration for Africa: Remittances, Skills, and Investments. This report provides information on migration and remittance trends, as well as an analysis of the determinants of migration and a discussion of policies that Africa and its partners should adopt to improve the developmental impact of migration. The report also outlines various means through which diaspora resources can be harnessed to promote economic development in Africa. The World Bank, March 2011.
  • Role of Post Offices in Remittances and Financial Inclusion. This paper describes the efforts being made in Sub-Saharan Africa to increase access to remittance services through post offices in small towns and rural areas, and discusses how this improved access could be used to develop crucial savings and other financial services for the poor in low-income countries. The World Bank, by N. Clotteau and J. Ansón, March 2011.
  • Preliminary Estimates of Diaspora Savings. Preliminary estimates suggest that annual diaspora savings of developing countries could be in the range of $400 billion. Diaspora saving as a share of GDP is estimated to be 2.3 percent in middle-income countries and as high as 9 percent in low-income countries. The World Bank, by D. Ratha and S. Mohapatra, February 2011.
  • Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011. According to the Factbook 2011, the top migrant destination country is the United States, followed by Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. The top immigration countries relative to population are Qatar (87 percent), Monaco (72 percent), the United Arab Emirates (70 percent), Kuwait (69 percent), and Andorra (64 percent). Mexico–United States is expected to be the largest migration corridor in the world this year, followed by Russia–Ukraine, Ukraine–Russia, and Bangladesh–India. The World Bank, by D. Ratha, S. Mohapatra and A. Silwal, November 2010.
  • Outlook for Remittance Flows 2011-12: Recovery after the crisis, but risks lie ahead. Officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries are estimated to increase by 6 percent to $325 billion in 2010. This marks a healthy recovery from a 5.5 percent decline registered in 2009. Remittance flows are expected to increase by 6.2 percent in 2011 and 8.1 percent in 2012, to reach $374 billion by 2012. The World Bank, by D. Ratha, S. Mohapatra and A. Silwal, November 2010.
  • Improving Efficiency of the Market for Remittances: Outcomes of A Migrants' Survey in the Czech Republic. This publication presents the outcomes of a survey of 880 migrants from eight different nationalities, interviewed during the summer of 2009 in Prague. The World Bank identified key actions that could lead to safer and more efficient remittance services in the country, and possibly to a reduction in the cost of transferring money from and to the Czech Republic. The survey should serve as a guide for public authorities and private sector to promote a market that is competitive, transparent, accessible, and sound. The World Bank, by M. Nicolì, and C. Corazza, October 2010. Book widget 
  • An Analysis of Trends in the Average Total Cost of Migrant Remittance Services.The World Bank Group published the fourth update of the Remittance Prices Worldwide database, that tracks what migrant workers pay to send money to their family at home, showing that global average total cost for sending USD 200 is down to 8.72% but that average costs for some country corridors are still as high as 22%, with some providers offering services at a cost that exceeds 40%. This Policy Note has been produced based on the latest data collection in the Remittance Prices Worldwide database, and will be updated periodically as new data becomes available. The World Bank Group, April 2010. 
  • Migration and Development Brief 12: Remittance flows to developing countries remained resilient in 2009, expected to recover during 2010-11. Officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries reached $316 billion in 2009, down 6 percent from $336 billion in 2008. With improved prospects for the global economy, remittance flows to developing countries are expected to increase by 6.2 percent in 2010 and 7.1 percent in 2011, a faster pace of recovery in 2010 than our earlier forecasts. By D. Ratha, S. Mohapatra and A. Silwal, April 2010.
  • Migrant Remittance Flows: Findings from a Global Survey of Central Banks. Drawing on the findings from responses to a survey conducted in 2008-09 from 114 central banks worldwide (of which 33 are in Africa), this paper aims to better understand how central banks and other national institutions regulate and collect data and other information on cross-border remittance flows. The World Bank, by J. Irving, S. Mohapatra, and D. Ratha, March 2010. 
  • Migration and Development Brief 11: A Better-than-Expected Outcome for Migration and Remittance Flows in 2009, but Significant Risks Ahead. Newly available data show that officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries reached $338 billion in 2008. A recovery in migration and remittance flows in 2010 and 2011 is expected. The World Bank, by D. Ratha, S. Mohapatra and A. Silwal. November 2009. 
  • Outlook for Remittance Flows 2009-2011: Remittances expected to fall by 7-10 percent in 2009. In line with a recent downward revision in the World Bank’s forecast of global economic growth, the Migration and Remittances Team of the World Bank Development Prospects Group has also lowered its forecasts for remittance flows to developing countries to -7.3 percent in 2009 from the earlier forecast of -5 percent. The World Bank, by D. Ratha, S. Mohapatra and A. Silwal. July 2009. 
  • Revised Outlook for Remittance Flows 2009-2011. Revised forecasts for remittance flows to developing countries in the light of a downward revision to the World Bank's global economic outlook suggest a sharper decline of 5 to 8 percent in 2009 compared to our earlier projections. The World Bank, by Dilip Ratha and Sanket Mohapatra. March 2009.
  • The Malaysia - Indonesia Remittance Corridor. This report provides a descriptive overview of the Malaysia-Indonesia remittance corridor and suggests some policy avenues for improving access to formal remittance transfer channels; increasing the transparency of the flows and the cost structure; and facilitating the transfer of remittances, particularly for undocumented and female migrant workers. The World Bank, by Raul Hernandez-Coss, Gillian Brown, Chitrawati Buchori, Wameek Noor and Tita Navaolitha. December 2008.
  • Outlook for Remittances Flows 2008-2010. Growth is expected to moderate significantly, but flows will remain resilient, according to a recent study from the Migration and Remittance Team, Development Prospects Group of the World Bank. The World Bank, by Dilip Ratha, Sanket Mohapatra and Zhimei Xu. November 2008.
  • The New World Bank Remittance Price Database: Early Findings. The World Bank Group launched in September 2008 the first ever global database for international remittance prices. This article provides a summary of some of the most interesting early findings of the database, AccessFinance, Issue no. 24, by Massimo Cirasino & Gregory Watson. September 2008.
  • Migration & Remittances Factbook 2008. A snapshot of migration and remittances data for all countries, regions and income groups of the world, compiled from available data from various sources. The World Bank. March 2008.
  • Remittances and Development: Lessons from Latin America. Workers' remittances have become a major source of financing for developing countries. This book explores, in the specific context of Latin America and Caribbean countries, some of the main questions faced by policymakers when trying to respond to increasing remittances flows. The World Bank, by Pablo Fajnzylber and J. Humberto Lopez. February 2008.
  • Remittance Trends 2007. The brief describes broad regional and country specific trends in remittance flows worldwide, and highlights some structural changes that will affect future flows. The World Bank, by Dilip Ratha, Sanket Mohapatra, K. M. Vijayalakshmi, Zhimei Xu. November 2007.
  • The United Kingdom - Nigeria Remittance Corridor: Challenges of Embracing Formal Transfer Systems in a Dual Financial Environment. This report describes how United Kingdom residents of Nigerian origin transfer remittances home and how the funds are distributed to their beneficiaries in Nigeria. The review presents the remittance industry conditions existing in the UK-Nigeria remittance corridor at the origination and distribution stages of the transactions, and the intermediaries who facilitate the transfers. The World Bank, by Raul Hernandez-Coss, Chinyere Egwuagu Bun. July 2007.
  • What is the Impact of International Remittances on Poverty and Inequality in Latin America?
    This paper contributes to the literature on the effects of remittances on poverty and inequality along several dimensions, using both aggregate country-level data and nationally representative household surveys for ten Latin American and Caribbean (Latin American hereafter) countries. The World Bank, by Pablo Acosta, Cesar Calderón, Pablo Fajnzylber and Humberto Lopez. June 2007.
  • The Impact of Remittances on Labor Supply: the Case of Jamaica. This paper examines aspects of the labor supply in an effort to understand why high rates of unemployment have existed with increasing real wages. This is a sign of a badly functioning labor market. The cross-sectional analysis suggests that remittances have some impact on labor supply, especially on labor market participation. The World Bank, by K. Namsuk. 2007.
  • Migration and Remittances: Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. This report traces the trends of international migration and remittances in the region. The report also looks at international migration policy in the region and how current bilateral migration schemes can be improved. The World Bank, by Ali Mansoor and Bryce Quillin. January 2007.
  • Remittances and Economic Development in Somalia: An Overview. This collection of papers examines the role and impact of the remittance system in a country that has been without a government for over a decade, and is today a failed state and among the poorest in the world. The World Bank, by Samuel Munzele Maimbo. November 2006.
  • The Development Impact of Workers’ Remittances in Latin America. Workers’ remittances have become a major source of financing for developing countries, and are especially important in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), which is at the top of the ranking of remittances receiving regions in the world. Remittances in LAC represent about 70 percent of Foreign Direct Investment and are five times larger than Official Development Assistance. The World Bank. August 2006.
  • Do Workers’ Remittances Promote Financial Development? This paper uses data on workers’ remittance flows to 99 developing countries during 1975-2003 to study the impact of remittances on financial sector development. In particular, the authors examine whether remittances contribute to increasing the aggregate level of deposits and credit intermediated by the local banking sector. The World Bank, by Reena Aggarwal, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, and Maria Soledad Martinez Peria. July 2006.
  • The United States-Guatemala Remittance Corridor: Understanding Better the Drivers of Remittances Intermediation. This study reports on recent development and future potential for U.S.-based Guatemalan workers cross-border retail transfers to be more formal, cheaper, and disposed to the cross-sale of financial products and services. It also presents the key features of remittances senders, recipients, instruments, and intermediaries involved. The World Bank, by Hela Cheikhrohou, Rodrigo Jarque, Raul Hernandez-Coss and Radwa El-Swaify. July 2006.
  • Can Migration Reduce Educational Attainment? Evidence from Mexico. This paper examines the impact of migration on educational attainment in rural Mexico . Using historical migration rates by state to instrument for current migration, we find evidence of a significant negative effect of migration on schooling attendance and attainment of 12 to 18 year-old boys and 16 to 18 year-old girls. The World Bank, by David McKenziea and Hillel Rapoport. June 2006.
  • Remittance Service Providers in the United States: How Remittance Firms Operate and How They Perceive Their Business Environment. This paper presents the findings of a survey of 73 remittance firms in 6 U.S. states, where company executives were interviewed in person. The paper finds that the largest obstacles to doing business that remittance firms face are related to obtaining bank accounts, licensing and bond requirements, and competition from the informal sector. Along with obtaining licenses, building agent networks and compliance systems are seen as the major barriers to entry into the remittance business. The World Bank, by Ole E. Andreassen. June 2006.
  • The Germany-Serbia Remittance Corridor – Challenges of Establishing a Formal Money Transfer System. This report analyzes and examines why remittance flows take place outside the financial system and presents a series of practical recommendations to promote the use of financial institutions to transfer money home, reduce fees, encourage greater competition which will enhance the developmental impact of remittances, and improve the regulation and integrity of the money transfer industry. The World Bank, by José De Luna Martínez, Isaku Endo and Corrado Barberis. May 2006.
  • Labor Supply, School Attendance and Remittances from International Migration: The case of El Salvador. This publication explores the impact of international remittances on households in El Salvador. The World Bank, by Pablo Acosta. April 2006.
  • The Italy-Albania Remittance Corridor: Shifting from the Physical Transfer of Cash to a Formal Money Transfer Systems. This report provides policy-makers in Italy and Albania, as well as authorities in the Puglia Region, with a set of specific policy recommendations to maximize the developmental potential of remittances, strengthen the integrity of money transfer industry, reduce remittances fees, improve data collection practices, and improve the regulation of the money transfer industry. The World Bank, by Raul Hernandez-Coss, Jose de Luna Martinez, Andrea Amatuzio, Kamil Borowik and Federico Lagi. March 2006.
  • Remittances and Poverty in Ghana. This paper uses a large, nationally-representative household survey to analyze the impact of internal remittances (from Ghana) and international remittances (from African and other countries) on poverty in Ghana. The World Bank, by Richard H. Adams Jr. February 2006.
  • Sri Lanka's Migrant Labor Remittances: Enhancing the Quality and Outreach of the Rural Remittance Infrastructure. This paper complements the existing literature on migrant labor remittances to South Asia and extends that literature by providing specific policy-relevant guidance on short and long-term policies for enhancing the quality and outreach of rural remittance infrastructure. The World Bank World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3789, by Esperanza Lasagabaster, Samuel Munzele Maimbo and Sriyani M. Hulugalle. December 2005.
  • Global Economic Prospects 2006: Economic Implications of Remittances and Migration. This year’s edition of Global Economic Prospects focuses on the flow of international migrant remittances and improving their development impact. It presents available data on migration flows and examines current thinking on issues pertaining to migration and its development impact. The World Bank. November 2005.
  • International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain. International migration has enormous economic, social and cultural implications in both origin and destination countries. This publication examines the determinants of migration, the impact of remittances and migration on poverty, welfare, and investment decisions, and the consequences of brain drain, brain gain, and brain waste. The World Bank, by Maurice Schiff and Çaglar Özden. October 2005.
  • Remittances and Poverty in Migrants’ Home Areas: Evidence from the Philippines. This chapter exploits a unique natural experiment that helps identify the causal impact of remittances on poverty in migrants’ origin households and, more broadly, in remittance-receiving areas. The World Bank, by Dean Yang and Claudia A. Martínez. October 2005.
  • International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain. International migration has enormous economic, social and cultural implications in both origin and destination countries. This publication examines the determinants of migration, the impact of remittances and migration on poverty, welfare, and investment decisions, and the consequences of brain drain, brain gain, and brain waste. The World Bank, by Maurice Schiff and Çaglar Özden. October 2005.
  • Remittances: Development Impact and Future Prospects. This book demonstrates that governments in developing countries increasingly recognize the importance of remittance flows and are quickly addressing these constraints. Preview: Workers’ Remittances to Developing Countries: A Survey with Central Banks on Selected Public Policy Issues. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3638, by Samuel Munzele Maimbo and Dilip Ratha. June 2005.
  • Remittances and Poverty in Migrants’ Home Areas: Evidence from the Philippines. This chapter exploits a unique natural experiment that helps identify the causal impact of remittances on poverty in migrants’ origin households and, more broadly, in remittance-receiving areas. The World Bank, by Dean Yang and Claudia A. Martínez. October 2005.
  • Migrant Labor Remittances in South Asia. This paper provides a strategic overview of key issues relating to the remittance industry in the South Asia region. The World Bank, by Samuel Munzele Maimbo, Richard H. Adams Jr., Reena Aggarwal and Nikos Passas. June 2005.
  • Remittances: Development Impact and Future Prospects. This book demonstrates that governments in developing countries increasingly recognize the importance of remittance flows and are quickly addressing these constraints. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3638, by Samuel Munzele Maimbo and Dilip Ratha, June 2005.
  • Do International Migration and Remittances Reduce Poverty in Developing Countries? Do International Migration and Remittances Reduce Poverty in Developing Countries? Few studies have examined the impact of international migration and remittances on poverty in the developing world. This paper fills this lacuna by constructing and analyzing a new data set on international migration, remittances, inequality, and poverty from 71 developing countries. The World Bank, by Richard H. Adams Jr. and John Page. May 2005.
  • The Canada-Vietnam Remittance Corridor – Lessons on Shifting from Informal to Formal Transfer Systems. This paper examines the experience of the Canada-Vietnam Remittance Corridor over the past several years. Lessons for other remittance sending and receiving countries that seek to encourage formalization of the flows. The World Bank, by Raúl Hernández-Coss. April 2005.
  • Lessons from the US-Mexico Remittances Corridor on Shifting from Informal to Formal Transfer Systems. The case study seeks to contribute to the growing literature on remittance transfer systems and tries to underline the importance of the remittance flows to global development. Additionally, it emphasizes the need to create an adequate balance between the regulatory framework and the creation of incentives that foster the use of formal fund transfer systems. The World Bank, by Raúl Hernández-Coss. February 2005.
  • The Regulation and Supervision of Informal Remittance Systems: Emerging Oversight Strategies. This paper is a review of the recent regulatory and supervisory economic literature on informal remittance systems and discusses the emerging differences in approach to dealing with this phenomenon. The World Bank, by Samuel Munzele Maimbo. November 2004.
  • Understanding the Importance of Remittances. This article explores ways to improve on the knowledge and impact of remittances in development. The World Bank, by Dilip Ratha. October 2004.
  • Remittances and Poverty in Guatemala. Analyzes the impact of internal remittances (from Guatemala) and international remittances (from the United States) on poverty in Guatemala. The World Bank, by Richard H. Adams Jr. September 2004.
  • International Migration, Remittances and Poverty in Developing Countries. This paper tries to fill this lacuna by constructing a new data set on poverty, international migration and remittances for 74 low and middle-income developing countries. The World Bank, by Richard H. Adams, Jr. and John Page. December 2003.
  • Informal Funds Transfer Systems An Analysis of the Informal Hawala System. A Joint IMF–World Bank Paper, by Mohammed El Qorchi, Samuel Munzele Maimbo and John F. Wilson. August 2003.
  • Workers’ Remittances: An Important and Stable Source of External Development Finance. This chapter examines the relative importance of workers’ remittances as a source of development finance and discusses measures that industrial and developing countries could take to increase remittances. The World Bank, by Dilip Ratha. April 2003.

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