Migrant transnationalism, remittances and development

Book chapter

Erdal, Marta Bivand (2022) Migrant transnationalism, remittances and development, in Handbook on Transnationalism. Elgar online: Elgar (356–370).

Publisher's webpage

This chapter addresses how remittances as a transnational practice, intersect with development.

While there is little doubt that remittances contribute to improved living conditions for millions of families around the world, the relationship between remittances, migration and development is complex. The chapter thus begins with a reflection on this crucial connection between remittances and the migration-development nexus, considering remittances set within the context of migrant transnationalism. Remittance transaction costs matter greatly, and the subsequent section explains why. The remainder of the chapter considers seven ways in which migrants - through their transnational practices - might engage in development in places of origin: Remittances as private transfers; Social remittances; Return migration; Gender and remittances; Collective remittances and diaspora development engagements; Transnational political engagement and 'political remittances'; and How religion matters - illustrating how remittances are integral to migrant transnationalism, since economic exchanges are inevitably social by nature.

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