Send-home pay

Has the crisis affected remittances from migrants abroad? One survey has found that migrants from Latin America based in the US are still sending money home even if that means cutting expenses, taking second jobs, working more hours or, if they have lost their jobs, dipping into their savings.

However, while remittances tend to be much less volatile than other flows, even exports, the same survey shows that the value of those remittances to the region dropped 11% in 2009. This was largely due to huge job losses in some sectors of the US economy that traditionally attract immigrant labour, such as construction. Spain is undergoing a similar downturn in construction. Japan, which is also an important source of remittances to Brazil and Peru, has seen declining industrial production as export demand has slumped.

Historically, remittances to Latin America are not only large relative to the size of local economies, they are also large relative to other capital inflows. They are comparable in size to foreign direct investment flows and greater than official development assistance, for instance. And total remittances have grown since 1990 (see graph). Remittances accounted for less than 0.1% of GDP in 1980; by 2007, that proportion had risen to 1.5%.

Latin American Economic Outlook 2010 is available at, ISBN 978-92-64-07521-4

Economic data


Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly

Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017