Remittances, in their most common usage, are the transfer of a portion of a migrant worker's wages back to his or her family. A more encompassing definition of remittances includes so-called social remittances: the sending of products (foodstuff, electronics, automobiles, etc.) and the transfer of ideas formed and beliefs adopted from migrant destination workplaces to native communities. In this entry, remittances will refer to the simple monetary definition.

Figure 1 Global remittance flows 2007

Source: International Monetary Fund. (2008). Balance of payment statistics yearbook. Washington, DC: Author.

Remittances are an important geographic phenomenon due to the sheer volume and extent of monetary flow from more affluent to poorer nations and the fact that they are disproportionately received by poorer members of these developing countries. Such wealth transfer ...

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