Publisher: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi.
Year of Publication: 2023
There has been growing interest in international migrants’ remittances because of their resilience and countercyclical nature, both of which foster economic stability, as well as their potential contribution to poverty reduction and the overall economic development of the receiving countries. However, a deeper knowledge of their impacts and uses is needed in order to devise specific policy guidelines that will allow developing economies to reap the maximum benefits from these financial flows.
Against this background, this book analyses the current issues of remittances in the developing world. The second chapter critically examines the different motives for remitting including the altruistic and the implicit family contract motive, among others. A review of literature on impacts of remittances on economic growth, poverty and inequality, government revenue, and education & health, among others, is also undertaken. The author points out that the impact of remittances on economic growth and development of a recipient country has been mixed. This chapter also addresses the linkages between remittances and financial inclusion and remittances and microfinance. Similarly, the chapter underscores the fact that remittances play a critical social insurance role in countries afflicted by crises (such as the global financial crisis [GFC]) and natural disasters (such as the COVID-19 pandemic).
The focus of the third chapter is on the uses of remittances. In this regard, after reviewing the different uses of remittances, an attempt is made to distinguish between productive uses and non-productive ones. This is followed by a discussion on the different policies and instruments used for enhancing the development impact of remittances. It is noted that remittances have taken place largely as a private sector-led phenomenon, and their development potential has not been tapped to the desired degree in most of the developing countries.
The fourth chapter briefly presents the experiences of some countries of South Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, focusing on the impact and uses of migrants’ remittances. A review of some studies pertaining to the impact and uses of remittances are examined for each of these countries together with an analysis of some tools that have been employed by them for maximizing the impact of these financial transfers. Although there has been an upsurge in remittance inflows to these countries, the growing challenge, according to the author, is how to deploy them more for productive uses.
The last chapter summarizes the study and provides some policy choices applicable to developing countries to leverage remittances’ economic benefits for growth and development.
Overall, the book is well organized and provides a summary of theoretical review, experiences from South Asia as well as (coherent and) well-expressed policy choices. It is written skillfully so that readers, even those who are not scholars of this particular field, can clearly understand the connections drawn between the flow of people and remittances and the collective impact of these financial transfers.
Finally, this publication appears to be a timely and useful resource for academics, development institutions, central banks, and policy makers, seeking migration and remittances as a path for development.
About the Author
Bhubanesh Pant is a former Executive Director of Nepal Rastra Bank (Central Bank of Nepal), where he was primarily involved in the Research Department. He also served as a consultant to various research institutions, and led studies on topics related to international trade and the financial sector.
Pant has contributed papers to numerous national and international journals. His published books include a) Trade and Development: Nepal’s Experiences, 1994; b) North-South Dialogue: Issues and Options (co-author), 1995; c) Obstacles to Growth: Some Experiences of Least Developed Countries, 1996; d) Financial Crises, Recovery and Reforms, 2001; e) Financial Crises: Lessons from Experience, 2021; and f) Trade, FDI and Remittances: Selected Writings, 2021. He has strong interest in assessing issues on international trade, remittances, foreign direct investment, financial crises, and financial inclusion. Pant holds a PhD in economics.