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Informal Funds Transfer Systems; An Analysis of the Informal Hawala System


  • Mohammed El Qorchi
  • Samuel Munzele Maimbo
  • John F. Wilson


Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there has been increased public interest in informal funds transfer (IFT) systems. This paper examines the informal hawala system, an IFT system found predominantly in the Middle East and South Asia. The paper examines the historical and socioeconomic context within which the hawala has evolved, the operational features that make it susceptible to potential financial abuse, the fiscal and monetary implications for hawala-remitting and hawala-recipient countries, and current regulatory and supervisory responses.

Suggested Citation

  • Mohammed El Qorchi & Samuel Munzele Maimbo & John F. Wilson, 2003. "Informal Funds Transfer Systems; An Analysis of the Informal Hawala System," IMF Occasional Papers 222, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfocp:222

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maurice Obstfeld, 2001. "International Macroeconomics: Beyond the Mundell-Fleming Model," NBER Working Papers 8369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2002. "An estimated stochastic dynamic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Series 0171, European Central Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adams, Richard Jr. & Page, John, 2005. "Do international migration and remittances reduce poverty in developing countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1645-1669, October.
    2. Giuliano, Paola & Ruiz-Arranz, Marta, 2009. "Remittances, financial development, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 144-152, September.
    3. Randall Akee, Devesh Kapur, 2012. "Remittances and Rashomon- Working Paper 285," Working Papers 285, Center for Global Development.
    4. Schneider, Friedrich, 2010. "The (Hidden) Financial Flows of Terrorist and Organized Crime Organizations: A Literature Review and Some Preliminary Empirical Results," IZA Discussion Papers 4860, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Aiko Mineshima & Christopher Browne, 2007. "Remittances in the Pacific Region," IMF Working Papers 07/35, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Mohammad Joarder & Uddin Saleh, 2010. "Estimating the economic model of Hundi using micro-level data," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 61-75, June.
    7. World Bank, 2008. "Africa Development Indicators 2007," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12363, June.
    8. Siegel, Melissa & Lücke, Matthias, 2009. "What determines the choice of transfer channel for migrant remittances? The case of Moldova," Kiel Working Papers 1515, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. Singh, Bhupal, 2006. "Cross-border workers’ remittances: Transmission channels and measurement issues in India," MPRA Paper 12145, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Nkamleu, Guy Blaise & Fox, Louise, 2006. "Taking Stock of Research on Regional Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 15112, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Dulce Redín & Reyes Calderón & Ignacio Ferrero, 2014. "Exploring the Ethical Dimension of Hawala," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 124(2), pages 327-337, October.
    12. Friedrich Schneider, 2011. "The Financial Flows of the Transnational Crime: Some Preliminary Empirical Results," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 53, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Brigit Helms, 2006. "Access for All : Building Inclusive Financial Systems," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6973, June.
    14. Sanjeev Gupta & Catherine A Pattillo & Smita Wagh, 2007. "Impact of Remittances on Poverty and Financial Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 07/38, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Martin, Marina B.V., 2009. "Hundi/hawala: the problem of definition," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47415, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Robert M Burgess & V. Haksar, 2005. "Migration and Foreign Remittances in the Philippines," IMF Working Papers 05/111, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Gupta, Sanjeev & Pattillo, Catherine A. & Wagh, Smita, 2009. "Effect of Remittances on Poverty and Financial Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 104-115, January.
    18. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2005. "Remittances : transaction costs, determinants, and informal flows," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3704, The World Bank.


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