Standard Article

Remittances and poverty alleviation in poor countries

Migration A–Z

R

  1. Dilip Ratha

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm441

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Ratha, D. 2013. Remittances and poverty alleviation in poor countries. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

Remittances sent by migrant workers to their families and friends provide the most tangible and least controversial link between migration and development. A discussion of the developmental impacts of remittances necessarily involves an understanding of migration that precedes remittances. Only 3 percent (about 200 million) of the world's population has migrated to another country; 97 percent of the population have not (United Nations 2010). This implies that migration cannot be a substitute for domestic development and job creation except in the case of very small countries. Of the small fraction of the population that has migrated, over 90 percent have done so for economic reasons, implying that migration is usually beneficial to the employer, the migrant worker, and to the sending and the receiving countries. It also implies that remittances, typically a fraction of a migrant worker's income, are not a “drain” on the host economy.

Keywords:

  • capitalism;
  • employment and unemployment;
  • labor;
  • labor supply;
  • poverty;
  • twentieth century;
  • twenty-first century