This conceptual note explores remittances—money sent by immigrants to their families living in their native countries. The note begins by defining remittances and then outlines the typical methods for sending them. The overall size and scope of global remittances is highlighted, followed by descriptions of what types of political and economic factors can affect them. Both the positive and negative effects of remittances are presented, along with a profile of Somalia—a country whose poverty-stricken population counts on remittances to survive. The note concludes with observations about the future of remittances.
Note on Remittances
by: John Branch, Steven Kardel
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After reading and discussing the material, students should:
- Define remittances and describe the three most common methods for sending them.
- Name the top two remittance-receiving countries in 2017, and explain why.
- Discuss why remittances are such a high percentage of GDP in Kyrgyzstan and Haiti.
- Identify the reasons why some people think remittances do not help lower-income countries.
- Analyze the effects remittances have had in Somalia over the past two decades.
- Identify how economic outcomes from migrant remittances could be improved.