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Constructing Homes, Building Relationships: Migrant Investments In Houses

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  • LOTHAR SMITH
  • VALENTINA MAZZUCATO

Abstract

Studies around the world have shown the interest of migrants to invest in houses in their countries of origin. Yet scholarly and political debates have mainly focused on the productivity of these investments, arguing that the money spent might have found more productive uses. We argue that this is too limited a view, as it fails to take into consideration two dimensions: Why do investments in houses take place, a question that is not only economic but also social and cultural in nature. Second, how do transnational investments in houses take place? This is important given that migrants are seldom able to construct their own homes, instead depending on actors in their country of origin. This paper shows the importance of unravelling the transnational relationships involved with migrant investments in houses in order to understand the meaning of these investments. Copyright (c) 2009 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG.

Suggested Citation

  • Lothar Smith & Valentina Mazzucato, 2009. "Constructing Homes, Building Relationships: Migrant Investments In Houses," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 100(5), pages 662-673, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:tvecsg:v:100:y:2009:i:5:p:662-673
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Leroi Henry & Giles Mohan, 2003. "Making homes: the Ghanaian diaspora, institutions and development," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 611-622.
    2. Mazzucato, Valentina, 2009. "Informal Insurance Arrangements in Ghanaian Migrants' Transnational Networks: The Role of Reverse Remittances and Geographic Proximity," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1105-1115, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vincent Z. Kuuire & Godwin Arku & Isaac Luginaah & Teresa Abada & Michael Buzzelli, 2016. "Impact of Remittance Behaviour on Immigrant Homeownership Trajectories: An Analysis of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Canada from 2001 to 2005," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 1135-1156, July.

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