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Local economic development and migrant remittances in rural Zimbabwe

Author

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  • Ncube, G.
  • Gómez, G.M.

Abstract

The paper explores the impact of migrant remittances on local economic development in a locality where more than half of the households have been recipients for at least five years. The study has taken place in rural Zimbabwe and uses an ethnographic method devised for this research. The method was termed “follow the money” and consists of a scrutiny of several rounds of economic exchange of goods and services in the locality, starting when households receive the cash. Consistent with previous research, the study found that remittances boost the consumption of receiving households and have a limited but positive effect on non-receiving households. Part of the cash transfers are used for equipment and investment, mostly in traditional agricultural activities. This study highlights that remittances are responsible for the creation of a significant number of jobs locally, although insecure and low waged, and a small number of growth-oriented businesses, mostly by non-recipients and oriented to the local market. The study highlights the potential for government intervention to further enterprise development with the last group of entrepreneurs in order to localise the longer-term effects of remittances.

Suggested Citation

  • Ncube, G. & Gómez, G.M., 2011. "Local economic development and migrant remittances in rural Zimbabwe," ISS Working Papers - General Series 23272, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:23272
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    File URL: https://repub.eur.nl/pub/23272/wp523.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "People Flows in Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 145-170, Spring.
    2. Frank Ellis, 1998. "Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 1-38.
    3. France Maphosa, 2007. "Remittances and development: the impact of migration to South Africa on rural livelihoods in southern Zimbabwe," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 123-136.
    4. Etienne Nel & Tony Binns, 2001. "Initiating 'Developmental Local Government' in South Africa: Evolving Local Economic Development Policy," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 355-362.
    5. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
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    Cited by:

    1. Djajić, Slobodan & Vinogradova, Alexandra, 2015. "Overshooting the Savings Target: Temporary Migration, Investment in Housing and Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 110-121.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Zimbabwe; employment creation; enterprise creation; local development; migration; remittances;

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