In response to the growing interest in the possible contributions that migrants’ remittances can make to development, we have assembled an anthology of research articles that address this process as related to both internal and international migration.  The overall goal has been to provide access to articles that bring key conceptual, methodological, and theoretical approaches to topics of central interest to both researchers and policy makers through contemporary research drawn from across the social sciences.  Though much of the research is economic in approach, we also provide research based in anthropology, sociology, political science, and other disciplines.

This anthology is an experiment in publication.  By agreement with the authors and original publishers, the articles provided for free downloading here will be available for one year, until March 2010.  At that time we will reassess whether the anthology should and can be continued and, if so, in what form.  Most publishers have allowed free access to their publications; some have charged a fee or imposed other restrictions; others have refused to permit open access to their publications on a “third party” website, even for a fee.  Readers of this anthology are encouraged to download the articles provided for personal and educational use.

Grouped by topic, the articles comprising this anthology first provide general overviews of migrant remittances and development and then go on to address a number of methodological issues related to the concepts, data, and recording of types of remittances, both international and internal.  Then the anthology has grouped together articles that focus on factors that affect the sending of remittances, how remittances are used, and what effects they have on various aspects of economic development and social welfare.  Finally, we focus on the relation of remittances to other aspects of migration and development such as urbanization, diaspora activities, and environmental change.

In the last section we provide links to other web resources that provide valuable data, descriptive information, and analyses of the developmental impacts of remittances.

Cross-cutting all of these topics we have sought to present research that focuses on different levels of analysis (family, community, region, nation) and that covers a broad international geography of sending and receiving areas within and between countries.

We selected articles with the intention of helping not only to scholars seeking to design new research but also practitioners who are designing new policies and programs to enhance the developmental contributions of migrants remittances.

For their advice in creating this anthology, we are indebted the members of the International Committee on Migration and Development Research: Stephen Castles, Raúl Delgado Wise, Devesh Kapur, Amitabh Kundu, Frank Laczko, Peggy Levitt, Valentina Mazzucato, Kathleen Newland, Manuel Orozco, Patricia Pessar, Alejandro Portes, Gustave Ranis, Dilip Ratha, Ronald Skeldon, L. Alan Winters, Hania Zlotnick, and David Zweig.  In addition we thank Bimal Ghosh and Neil Fantom for their early contributions.  Finally, we are grateful for grant support of the Global Migration and Human Mobility Program of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which has made the anthology possible.

In selecting articles and web resources for this anthology, another team might have made different choices toward different goals.  We encourage readers to send their advice for revising and updating the anthology to and we will try to incorporate changes that are feasible and can make the anthology more useful.
The Editors –
Richard H. Adams, Jr.
Hein de Haas
Una Osili Ukonkwo
Editorial Advisor –
J. Edward Taylor
Project Coordinator –
Josh DeWind
Migration Program
Social Science Research Council
March, 2009