Monday, February 22, 2010

Remittance Economics

I ran across a very interesting article that may have application whether you are discussing national policies (as they relate to immigrant labor), entrepreneurship or exchange rates. The article is from the Middle-Eastern newspaper, The National, and is about remittances - the flow of payments from immigrant workers to their homes.

It provides a view of the issue we often don't think about, the flow from other countries with large numbers of immigrant workers. If you follow the immigration debate in the U.S. to any depth, you are bound to have run across the issue of remittances. Immigrant workers often send a significant amount of their pay home to support families in their home countries. Back in 2008, The Wall Street Journal had an excellent story (free at this writing) on the effect the then faltering U.S. economy was having on job opportunities and remittance flows for immigrant workers in the U.S.

However, back to the article that is the subject of this post. In addition to describing the importance of the flows from workers to their families (and the local economies where the families live), it describes some entrepreneurial activity (taking the process to the workers); as well as the value of exchange rate information.

I suggest you give it a read. It's short, but it's packed with opportunity. I look forward to your comments.

Looking a bit further, I found this article on the VOXEU website about the impact of remittance flows on sub-Saharan Africa, which can also help round out the picture. I hope you enjoy all of them. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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