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Migraciones internacionales

Print version ISSN 1665-8906

Abstract

VILLACRES, Daniela N.. A View from the Inside: Grounding the Remittance-Development Link. Migr. Inter [online]. 2009, vol.5, n.2, pp.39-73. ISSN 1665-8906.

Research on the remittance-development link and policies for leveraging remittances for development have led to polarization and have obscured vital nuances in the relationship. One school of thought has adopted an overly optimistic view, placing an exaggerated emphasis on maximizing remittances as viable development tools. The other has assumed an overly pessimistic position, dismissing remittances as economic crutches and ephemeral solutions to poverty. Researchers have typically utilized quantitative methods that provide detached analyses. Against that backdrop, this article uses evidence from one Salvadoran municipality to provide an in-depth view of the remittance-development link at the local level, and it proposes four scenarios in which it manifests. Findings counter overly simplistic and polarized depictions in the literature and expose how those who live the remittance-development link perceive and experience it first hand in their households and communities. This article draws conclusions about the development potential of family versus collective remittances, as well as the importance of a balanced understanding of remittance-driven development that must be considered when furthering research and formulating policy.

Keywords : local development; remittances; hometown associations; remittance-development link; El Salvador.

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