Remittances from Italy to Developing Countries

Quaderni, No. 12, 1996

22 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2005

See all articles by Arnaldo Mauri

Arnaldo Mauri

Università Degli Studi di Milano


Migration flows affecting countries of European south have undergone significant changes since 70s. In this context Italy has reversed its position from exporter of labour to net importer of people and the reasons why this crucial change has occurred are likely to continue to influence migration trends in the future. Predicting migration is certainly not an easy job in a globalized economy and this reversal of stream was not perceived promptly by Italian government in order to take due action at the earliest possible stage. It followed for years a vacuum both in admittance legislation as well as in public policies directed to face this dramatic problem. Migrants' remittances were one of the several neglected corners of the whole picture. The paper focuses on migrants' remittances with main reference to Northern Italy, where a field research was conducted. Firstly, it discusses the main factors affecting the extent of this phenomenon also from the microeconomic point of view considering in particular motivations to remit by temporary and permanent migrants and driving forces behind remittance behaviour. Then the most important channels, both formal and informal, through which remittances flow away are analyzed. While remittances by regular immigrants flow through both channels, unlawful immigration, connected with hidden economy and criminal world, has to make use only of informal channels. Official statistics are likely to understate true remittances, as a large share is believed to flow through informal channels. However, relevant regional variations may be found: informal cannels predominate for remittances to Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe, play a less significant role for remittances to Latin America and a minor role for those to South and East Asia. In general the flow of remittances is steadily growing and formal remittances' share shows an increasing trend. Formal channels are provided by financial intermediaries, while informal remittances rely on underground networks and individual devices.

Note: Downloadable document is in Italian.

Keywords: Remittances, savings, migration, Italy

JEL Classification: F22, F39

Suggested Citation

Mauri, Arnaldo, Remittances from Italy to Developing Countries. Quaderni, No. 12, 1996, Available at SSRN:

Arnaldo Mauri (Contact Author)

Università Degli Studi di Milano ( email )

Milan, 20122

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