Posted: 24 Oct 2007 Last revised: 21 Jan 2008
Date Written: October 24, 2007
This Article is an exploration of remittances, the sending of money from immigrants back to their home countries. The Article begins by linking remittances to the excitement and acclaim that micro-lending and land-titling have received. Remittances, as the newest promising anti-poverty, development activity of the poor to be applauded by international institutions and economists, are worthy of close attention. This Article introduces the legal community to remittances, discusses remittance policy challenges, and presents conclusions regarding how to best develop the legal structure given remittance costs and behavior. In order to facilitate an understanding not only of broad theory but also of the practical workings and importance of remittances, general ideas are illustrated using the remittance experience of Latin America and, in particular, El Salvador, as a case study. What is both captivating and potentially dangerous about remittances is how remittances simultaneously represent the ability of vulnerable populations to help themselves and reflect the danger of institutional capture of a phenomenon that should be uniquely the realm of vulnerable populations.
Keywords: Remittances, Latin American, Development, Poverty
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