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Overseas Workers' Remittances in Asian Development

Charles W. Stahl and Fred Arnold
The International Migration Review
Vol. 20, No. 4, Special Issue: Temporary Worker Programs: Mechanisms, Conditions, Consequences (Winter, 1986), pp. 899-925
DOI: 10.2307/2545742
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2545742
Page Count: 27
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Overseas Workers' Remittances in Asian Development
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Abstract

In recent years, overseas workers from Asia have been sending remittances of about $8 billion annually to their home countries. These remittances are an important source of precious foreign exchange for the major labor-exporting countries. The overall development impact of remittances, however, has not been well established. Remittances are spent primarily on day-to-day consumption expenditures, housing, land purchase, and debt repayment. Although only a small proportion of remittances are directed into productive investments, this does not warrant the conclusion that the developmental value of remittances is negligible. In fact, remittances spent on domestic goods and services in Asia provide an important stimulus to indigenous industries and to the economies of the labor supplying countries.

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