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Migrant Remittance Flows : Findings from a Global Survey of Central Banks

Author

Listed:
  • Jacqueline Irving
  • Sanket Mohapatra
  • Dilip Ratha

Abstract

Drawing on the findings from responses to a survey conducted in 2008-09 from 114 central banks worldwide (of which 33 are in Africa), this paper aims to better understand how central banks and other national institutions regulate and collect data and other information on cross-border remittance flows. Findings indicate that, although the vast majority of countries, in both sending and receiving countries, collect data on remittances, and 43 percent of receiving countries estimate informal remittances, there is a need for more frequent and better coordinated data collection, both across national institutions and among different divisions within the same national institution, as well as between countries. Survey results also indicate that many new market entrants' transfer activities are unregulated. Countries must take into account new channels and technologies, such as mobile phone service providers, in monitoring remittance flows. It will be important for national regulatory authorities to work closely with mobile telecoms network operators to strike the right regulatory balance, to better understand these new channels' associated risks and fully tap their potential for fostering inexpensive, efficient remittance transfer services. The high cost of transfers was cited in the survey as the top factor inhibiting migrants from using formal channels. Many countries, particularly in Africa, have made progress in rendering exclusivity contracts illegal, which can help increase competitiveness and reduce transfer costs. Further policy reforms and initiatives are needed to address the high costs of remittances.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacqueline Irving & Sanket Mohapatra & Dilip Ratha, 2010. "Migrant Remittance Flows : Findings from a Global Survey of Central Banks," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 5929, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:5929
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Aggarwal, Reena & Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Pería, Maria Soledad Martínez, 2011. "Do remittances promote financial development?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 255-264, November.
    2. World Bank, 2011. "Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 : Second Edition," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2522, November.
    3. Kumar, Ronald/R, 2011. "Role of Trade, Aid, Remittances and Financial Development in Pakistan," MPRA Paper 38871, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kumar, Ronald R., 2010. "Impact of trade openness, remittances, capital inflows & financial development on income in Vanuatu," MPRA Paper 33221, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Jayaraman, T. K. & Choong, Chee-Keong & Kumar, Ronald, 2011. "Role of Remittances in Economic Development: An Empirical Study of World’s Two Most Remittances Dependent Pacific Island Economies," MPRA Paper 33197, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Kumar, Ronald R., 2011. "Role of Financial and Technology Inclusion, Remittances and Exports vis-à-vis growth: A study of Nepal," MPRA Paper 38850, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 May 2012.
    7. Ratha, Dilip & Mohapatra, Sanket & Scheja, Elina, 2011. "Impact of migration on economic and social development : a review of evidence and emerging issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5558, The World Bank.
    8. Josef Brada & Ali Kutan & Goran Vukšić, 2011. "The costs of moving money across borders and the volume of capital flight: the case of Russia and other CIS countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 147(4), pages 717-744, November.

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