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Migrant Remittances to Latin America: Reviewing the Literature

By Deborah Waller Meyers
May 1, 1998

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This paper is the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI)’s first product. Deborah Waller Meyers reviews the research on the demographics of Latin American immigrants (including residential patterns, household characteristics, income and education); the relevant literature on the sources, uses, and impact of remittances on receiving countries; and numerous ideas and proposals for increasing the developmental significance of remittances both for Latino immigrants and their communities of origin. She concludes by noting that "there is little doubt that this topic interests many, that it has potential for further study, and that remittances can (and do) make important contributions to the development of certain countries." Yet, despite the interest, remittances "have not received the sustained attention required, either by governments, international financial institutions, local communities, or by the private sector."