Estimation data on remittances by the World bank


Supply is a term that refers to the amount of particular commodity, item, service, or product that sellers provide in the market for a certain price.  Demand, on the other hand, refers to the number of services, products, and commodities that buyers are able to buy for a given price. For any company competing in the market, the economic theory of supply and demand affects them. By understanding the demand and supply issues impacting on sales and purchases in the market, companies are able to make smart and informed decisions. On the side of demand, any increase means that the price of a particular product rises, and if the demand is low, the prices lower. If the supply of a particular product in the market increases, then the prices lower while a decrease in the supply of commodity makes the prices rise. A good example of the relationship between supply and demand is the fashion industry. The demand for new fashion trends leads to an increase in the supply of new fashion items.

Remittances generally refer to money or commodities sent by migrants to friends or relatives in their home countries. They are normal resources that migrants have set aside as personal savings that, when sent back home, are used to provide for food, shelter, among other needs. Every year, billions in dollars are transferred by people in foreign countries to their native countries. By estimation, the general value of remittances is greater than 200 billion dollars. For many developing countries, the amount of money they receive as remittances exceed the foreign aid they get. Remittances present developing nations with the opportunity to invest in development projects of their choice.

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The World Bank is the leader in providing estimation data on remittance flows annually. Such estimations are based on the national balance of payment statistics whose data is collected by the IMF in collaboration with central banks (Sonia, 2018). Remittance data includes the resources that migrants send to their home country as well as those that are sent from the same countries. Resources originating from countries are less focused on during the debates on migration and development. Notably, such data can be useful when the remittance outflows become more than inflows. This usually indicates that the amount of immigration into a particular country has increased. During the collection of estimated data on remittances, information on weighted migrant stock, a weighted income of migrants on the basis of per capita income of their native nations, and weighted income of the migrants’ native nation are all put under consideration (Sonia, 2018).

From the World Bank, a big data set that covers countries around the globe may be obtained. This empowers a person to comprehend better the broadness and trends involved in remittance transfers. They also become equipped to conduct a comparison between money transfers and other transfers, which includes the Official Development Assistance (ODA) (Alvarez et al., 2015). Statistics indicate that if a migrant spends a minimum time of 12 months in a foreign country, they naturally become inseparable from the rest of the people who were already living there. The reason being statistics are usually founded on residence instead of people’s migration status. Personal transfers, the second part of remittances, states that a transfer that is made across borders is still put into consideration by the IMF. The IMF does not check the residency status or the basis of residence for individuals because the data is not recorded.

Data collection

Data is not collected on senders or receivers transacting in remittances who may have links to other nations or be migrants themselves. This presents a possibility for remittances to be summed up with various vast amounts of money sent either by private investors in the purchase of property, finance transactions, investments in business and members in the diaspora. The addition of the two values usually results in an overestimation of the transferred money. According to Vaaler (2011), estimations don’t necessarily indicate the true values. This is due to various encounters in the estimation methodology. The IMF has explained the state of ‘compensation for employees.’ In this state, there are overestimations in remittances when it comes to balancing of payments. Such situations occur where a particular country has a big United Nations or the presence of embassies (Vaaler, 2011). In addition, the country may contain transnationally owned industries with big numbers of migrant workers. The salaries from these workers are usually considered as remittances when being put to the account. The official numbers from the World Bank and IMF are therefore necessarily not correct. They may be overvalued since embassies, the United Nations, and working salaries for workers in foreign industries can be added to remittances.

Estimations by IMF and World Bank can be noted to have put emphasis on money transfers made through formal means like banks. Some countries lack financial transfer operators such as mobile transfer companies, western union, and post office where minimum transactions can be conducted by migrants. Also, the central bank may leave out unofficial transfers since they are not found in all countries. Unofficial transfers in remittances may amount to huge numbers and are not counted by central banks. South Sudan, for instance, has had its remittances under reported by a big 50 percentage (Vaaler, 2011). Some nations don’t include remittance datain their balance of payments. This is mainly contributed by the vast amount of informal transactions. Different countries also have different national legislative, policy frameworks, and availability of information. This makes remittance data greatly vary with different countries.

There has been a positive change in the way remittances growth is measured around the globe. Such changes have been as a result of derivation from the previous ones. This should be put in mind when putting an estimation on remittances transferred with time. From 1990-2010, there has been a recorded rise in the number of remittances by 80 percent (Alvarez et al., 2015). This rise can be attributed to changes in remittance measurement techniques. The remaining 20 percent of the increase in remittance amounts can be attributed to the increase in the number of migrants around the globe. This is in addition to the money migrants are able to get when employed abroad. Also, migrants working abroad are constantly improving to use formal ways when transferring money. This has also been encouraged by the presence of operations against money laundering.


Limitations on of data on the migrant stock are a challenge that affects the approximation of bilateral remittances. Approximations are usually on the basis of gross national income per capita of the nations which individuals have originated from. This, however, does not explain why GNI is more in such countries, given that the data assumes people move to countries having more income rates. The World Bank notably has confirmed that challenges are experienced when trying to identify transactions and their country of origin, especially when the transaction comes from a bank recognized internationally. It’s evident that Ratha (2005) and Vaaler (2011) have the same opinions about the strength of remittance data. They acknowledge the lack of enough information about the migrant workers. The data is also prejudice since illegal migrant employees prefer unofficial means in the transfer of remittances. Alvarez et al. (2015) present a different argument. They suggest that derivations have been made on the measurement of remittances to ensure most of the data is accounted for making the current data applicable (Alvarez et al., 2015)

Critical questions and answers.

  1. Should IMF and World Bank consider unofficial transfers in the calculation of remittances?

Yes. With strict rules governing immigration in many countries, migrants often work illegally. In an attempt to send remittances back home, they choose the less official channels in an attempt to escape detection. Since the World Bank and IMF don’t account for such transfers, their data, in a way, becomes prejudice considering huge amounts are sent via informal channels.

  1. Do remittances impact the economy of developing nations?

Yes. Transfer of remittances can help in promoting financial markets as well as developments when it comes to developing countries (Sonia, 2018). In addition, money from remittances is important in raising the credit ceiling for the less fortunate and promote resource allocation.

  1. Does the provision of remittances lead to negative impacts?

Yes. Criminal organizations need to clean their money before using it. Dirty money may, therefore, be cleaned using remittance transfers (Bussolo, 2008). This is because vast amounts are transferred in remittances, making it favorable for laundering money. This supports criminal organizations that continue to do harm to society.

  1. Which nation records the highest number of remittance inflow?

India records the highest amount of remittance inflows. In 2018, remittances amounted to 80 billion dollars in the year 2018 alone (Sonia, 2018). The United States of America records the highest number of remittance outflows.

  1. Apart from money laundering, why are remittances regulated?

Regulations on remittances are provided by various governments. Such regulations are put in place so that investments in their products and services can be considered. This also avertsthe loss of local company profits (Vaaler, 2011).


Bussolo, M. and Medvedev, D. (2008) ‘Do remittances have a flip side? A general equilibrium analysis of remittances, labor supply responses, and policy options for Jamaica’, Journal of Economic Integration, 23 (3), pp. 734-764

Ratha, D. (2014): The hidden force in global economics: Sending money home’, TED Talk

Alvarez, P.S. et al. (2015):‘Remittances: How reliable are the data?’ Migration policy practice V (2): 42-46

Sonia, A. A., Akter, R., & Islam, M. S. (2018). Remittance inflow and GDP growth: Evidence from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Asian Economic and Financial Review, 8(11), 1340-1353.

Vaaler, P. M. (2011). Immigrant remittances and the venture investment environment of developing countries. Journal of International Business Studies, 42(9), 1121-1149.

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