Friday, April 19, 2013

Migration and Remittances during the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond

The financial crisis of 2008 started with the collapse of the financial sector in the United States and Western Europe, then quickly spread to countries around the globe. At a time when migrants travel from south to north and east to west (as well as south to south), it was critical to ask what the impact of the crisis was and is, not just for developing countries, but for the migrants who hail from them. For many developing countries, migrant remittances were and are central to economic well-being—not just for the nation, but for its citizens as well.

Understanding the impact of the crisis on global markets, developing nations, and the practices of their migrant communities drives this study. Migration and Remittances during the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond explores several important topics including how the crisis impacted remittance practices globally and how migrants adjusted to meet the challenge of the resulting recession. The authors show how, in most cases, remittances did not drop as quickly or precipitously as did other economic indicators. Migrants from around the globe faced the challenges of the crisis and strategically responded, rethinking their roles, work, and remittances practices. Most important, the authors document that migrants did not and do not drain resources from struggling national economies. Instead, migrants and their remittances are central to the economic health of the households and countries from which they have come.

'The number of international migrants doubled to 215 million in the quarter-century to 2010, while remittances to developing countries more than quadrupled to over $300 billion. There were fears that the 2008-09 global recession would result in the widespread return of migrants and declining remittances to developing countries. These fears were not realized, and this important book explains why. Countries that sent migrants to many countries had the fewest returns and the smallest drops in remittances, and freer-migration corridors reacted most quickly to changing economic conditions, as Poles left Ireland within the EU. The contributors to this book include leading experts on migration and its effects in developing countries, making the book of lasting value.'

Philip L. Martin, Professor and Chair, Comparative Immigration and Integration Program, Department of Agriculture Economics, University of California, Davis

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