This paper examines the importance of remittances from international migrants to those who stay behind. The paper looks in particular at the Zimbabwean case, and argues that while money sent from the 'other side' has a beneficial effect on close kin, remittances can also undermine the purchasing power of those households without migrating members. This is in part a result of asset price inflation, and in part due to the inflationary effects of parallel currency markets. The situation for those excluded from benefiting from foreign currency inputs is aggravated by chronic scarcity in the availability of consumables. The paper argues that further research is required to understand the costs, as well as the benefits, of money sent home by migrants, in terms of assessing the class and social agency of different groups of remittance senders and receivers. The paper suggests that one non-economic, but significant effect, of remittance-underwritten parallel markets might be an undermining of inclusive governance and democratic state accountability in the long-run. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms
- Global Development Institute