Do Overseas Remittances Finance Development? Geographic Insights through a Remittance Investment Climate Analysis in Rural Hometowns (RICART) Tool

Authors: Jeremaiah Manuel Opiniano*, University of Santo Tomas (Philippines) / The University of Adelaide (Australia)
Topics: Migration, Economic Geography, Rural Geography
Keywords: Overseas remittances, rural hometown investing, Remittance Investment Climate Analysis in Rural Hometowns (RICART), migration-and-development, financial geography, economic geography of remittances, mixed methods
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Capitol Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Since overseas remittances exponentially rose come the new millennium, development finance analysts and practitioners have dipped their hands into tapping this private resource for development. Remittances have been the single-biggest poverty reduction measure for developing countries. Nationally, remittances helped improved a country’s fiscal position (e.g. balance of payments) and triggered consumption and some investments given increased demand from remittance owners. What about in local communities, especially rural areas where all migration emanates? If overseas migrants still have their families residing in these communities, logically they will use the money there. This means overseas remittances have long been fuelling local economies and, given the decisions of remittance owners, have spurred some local entrepreneurship and investment. However, do hometown affinity and familial obligation by overseas-based townmates lead to an automatic usage of remittances for local development? This paper will present findings from a mixed methods tool called the Remittance Investment Climate Analysis in Rural Hometowns (RICART). Currently being implemented in the municipality of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte province, this RICART research will reveal: a) geography-related realities surrounding the local business climate and resource mobilization; b) the state of local economic competitiveness and financial inclusion; and c) the financial capabilities of local residents, especially overseas remitters and their families in the hometown to make these saving, investing and entrepreneurial decisions. Mixed methods findings will unearth local contexts that provide heterogenous outcomes on the positive and negative economic development outcomes of remittances.

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