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Given the persistent problems in the balance of trade in LDCs, the limited effect of foreign aid, and the difficulties of borrowing, the often huge amounts of migrant remittances can substitute for the inadequacies of these forms of foreign exchange. As market flows of foreign exchange, remittances have complex positive and negative effects on development. In this paper, I deal with this role of migrant remittances in the theoretical framework of development economics, as related to the importance of foreign exchange as an indispensable factor of growth and structural change in LDCs. Various channels transmitting the impact of remittances on development are investigated based on the experience of countries from both sides of the Mediterranean basin.