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South-South Migration and Remittances

  • Dilip Ratha
  • William Shaw

South-South Migration and Remittances reports on preliminary results from an ongoing effort to improve data on bilateral migration stocks. It sets out some working hypotheses on the determinants and socioeconomic implications of South-South migration. Contrary to popular perception that migration is mostly a South-North phenomenon, South-South migration is large. Available data from national censuses suggest that nearly half of the migrants from developing countries reside in other developing countries. Almost 80 percent of South-South migration takes place between countries with contiguous borders. Estimates of South-South remittances range from 9 to 30 percent of developing countries' remittance receipts in 2005. Although the impact of South-South migration on the income of migrants and natives is smaller than for South-North migration, small increases in income can have substantial welfare implications for the poor. The costs of South-South remittances are even higher than those of North-South remittances. These findings suggest that policymakers should pay attention to the complex challenges that developing countries face not only as countries of origin, but also as countries of destination.

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This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 6733 and published in 2007.
ISBN: 0-8213-7072-3
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:6733
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  1. J.S. Eades, 2005. "East Asia," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 34 Edward Elgar.
  2. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," NBER Working Papers 9273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3559, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. McKenzie, David J., 2005. "Paper walls are easier to tear down : passport costs and legal barriers to emigration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3783, The World Bank.
  5. Lucas, Robert E B, 1987. "Emigration to South Africa's Mines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 313-30, June.
  6. Beals, Ralph E & Menezes, C F, 1970. "Migrant Labour and Agricultural Output in Ghana," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 109-27, March.
  7. Xaba, Jantjie & Horn, Pat & Motala, Shirin & Singh, Andrea, 2002. "Informal sector in Sub-Saharan Africa," ILO Working Papers 355190, International Labour Organization.
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