- Open Access
Migration, Development, Gender and the ‘Black Box’ of Remittances: Comparative Findings from Albania and Ecuador
Comparative Migration Studies volume 1, pages69–96(2013)
Set within the growing literature on migration and development, this paper has two interlinked objectives. First, it examines remittances, a key element of the migration-development nexus, from a gendered perspective. Second it does so in a comparative empirical perspective, focusing on remittance behaviour in two contrasting settings, Albania and Ecuador. Both countries have experienced mass emigration in recent decades. Research is based on household surveys with remittance receivers in selected rural areas of both countries, supplemented by in-depth interviews with both senders and receivers of remittances. By using the concept of ‘remittance dyads’ — person-to-person transfers of money and gifts — we examine the gendered mechanics of conveying and managing remittances to see if they have the potential to reshape gender relations in these migrant households. They do, but the effects are limited.
Abadan-Unat, N., Keleş, R., Penninx, R. et al. (1974). Migration and Development: A Study of the Effects of International Labor Migration on Boğazliyan District. Ankara: Ajans-Türk Press.
Bakewell, O. (2007). ‘Keeping them in their place’: The Ambivalent Relationship between Development and Migration in Africa. Oxford: University of Oxford, International Migration Institute, Working Paper 8.
Baldwin-Edwards, M. (2004). Albanian emigration and the Greek labour market: economic symbiosis and social ambiguity, South-East Europe Review 7(1), 51–66.
Bastia, T. and Busse, E. (2011). Transnational migration and changing gender relations in Peruvian and Bolivian cities, Diversities 13(1), 19–33.
Bhagwati, J. (1976). The Brain Drain and Taxation: Theory and Empirical Analysis. Amsterdam: North-Holland.
Black, R. (2011). Migration as a public good: can migration work for development? In B. Berendsen (ed.) Common Goods in a Divided World. Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, pp.98–118.
Boccagni, P. (2009). Tracce Transnazionali: Vite in Italia e Proiezione verso Casa tra i Migranti Ecuadoriani. Milan: Franco Angeli.
Carling, J. (2007). The Prevalence and Substance of Transnational Ties: A Model Applied to the Study of Remittances. Oslo: PRIO Working Paper.
Carling, J. (2008a). Interrogating remittances: core questions for a deeper insight and better policies, in S. Castles and R. Delgado Wise (eds) Migration and Development: Perspectives from the South. Geneva: International Organization for Migration, pp.43–64.
Carling, J. (2008b). The determinants of migrant remittances, Oxford Review of Economic Policy 24(3), 582–599.
Carpio Benalcázar, P. (1992). Entre Pueblosy Metrópolis: Migración Transandina en Comunidades Austroandinas en el Ecuador. Quito: Instituto Latinoamericano de Investigaciones Sociales.
Castles, S. (2009). Development and migration — migration and development: what comes first? Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 18(4), 441–469.
Castles, S and Kosack, G. (1973). Immigrant Workers and Class Structure in Western Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dalakoglou, D. (2010). Migrating-remitting-building-dwelling: house-making as a ‘proxy’ presence in postsocialist Albania, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 16(3), 761–777.
de Haas, H. (2007a). Remittances, Migration and Social Development: A Conceptual Review of the Literature. Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Social Policy and Development Programme Paper 34.
de Haas, H. (2007b). Turning the tide? Why development will not stop migration, Development and Change 38(5), 819–841.
de Haas, H. (2010). Migration and development: a theoretical perspective, International Migration Review 44(1), 227–264.
de Haas, H. (2012). The migration and development pendulum: a critical review on research and policy, International Migration 50(3), 8–25.
Delgado Wise, R. and Márquez Covarrubias, H. (2011). The dialectic between uneven development and forced migration: toward a political economy framework, in T. Faist, M. Fauser and P. Kivisto (eds) The Migration-Development Nexus: A Transnational Perspective. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.57–82.
de Waal, C. (2005). Albania Today: A Portrait of Post-Communist Turbulence. London: I.B. Tauris.
de Zwager, N., Gedeshi, I., Germenji, E. and Nikas, C. (2005). Competing for Remittances. Tirana: IOM.
Faist, T. and Fauser, M. (2011). The migration-development nexus: toward a transnational perspective, in T. Faist, M. Fauser and P. Kivisto (eds) The Migration-Development Nexus: A Transnational Perspective. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.1–26.
Frank, A.G. (1969). Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Glick Schiller, N., Basch, L. and Szanton Blanc, C. (1995). From immigrant to transmigrant: theorizing transnational migration, Anthropological Quarterly 68(1), 48–63.
Gratton, B. (2007). Ecuadorians in the United States and Spain: history, gender and niche formation, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 33(4), 581–599.
Guarnizo, L.E (2003). The economics of transnational living, International Migration Review 37(3), 666–699.
Hatziprokopiou, P. (2003). Albanian immigrants in Thessaloniki, Greece: processes of economic and social incorporation, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 29(6), 1033–1057.
Julca, A. (2005). Socioeconomics and conflict in sending remittances from New York’s unstable labour market to Peru, in S. Jayaraman and I. Ness (eds) The New Immigrant Workforce: Innovative Models for Labor Organizing. New York: M.E. Sharpe, pp.9–32.
Kapur, D. (2004). Remittances: The New Development Mantra. Geneva: UNCTAD and G24 Discussion Paper Series, 29.
King, R., Dalipaj, M. and Mai, N. (2006). Gendering migration and remittances: evidence from London and northern Albania, Population, Space and Place 12(4), 409–434.
King, R. and Vullnetari, J. (2010). Gender and Remittances in Albania: Or Why ‘Are Women Better Remitters than Men?’ is not the Right Question. Brighton: Sussex Centre for Migration Research, Working Paper 58.
King, R., Castaldo, A. and Vullnetari, J. (2011). Gendered relations and filial duties along the Greek-Albanian remittance corridor, Economic Geography 87(4), 393–419.
Kunz, R. (2008). ‘Remittances are beautiful’? Gender implications of the new global remittances trend, Third World Quarterly 29(7), 1389–1409.
Kyle, D. (2000). Transnational Peasants: Migrations, Networks, and Ethnicity in Andean Ecuador. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
Levitt, P. (1998). Social remittances: migration driven local-level forms of cultural diffusion, International Migration Review 32(4), 926–948.
Levitt, P. and Lamba-Nieves, D. (2013). Rethinking social remittances and the migrationdevelopment nexus from the perspective of time, Migration Letters 10(1), 11–21.
Lipton, M. (1980). Migration from rural areas of poor countries: the impact on rural productivity and income distribution, World Development 8(1), 1–24.
Lucas, R.E.B. and Stark, O. (1985). Motivations to remit: evidence from Botswana, Journal of Political Economy 93(5), 901–918.
Mahler, S.J. and Pessar, P.R. (2001). Gendered geographies of power: analysing gender across transnational spaces, Identities 7(4), 441–459.
Massey, D. (1994). Space, Place and Gender. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Mata-Codesal, D. (2011). Material and Social Remittances in Highland Ecuador. Brighton: University of Sussex, PhD in Migration Studies.
Mata-Codesal, D., King, R. and Vullnetari, J. (2011). Of Corridors and Dyads: Unpacking the Family Dynamics of Remittance Transfers to Albania and Ecuador. Brighton: Sussex Centre for Migration Research, Working Paper 66.
Michail, D. (2013). Social development and transnational households: resilience and motivation for Albanian immigrants in Greece in the era of economic crisis, Southeast Europe and Black Sea Studies 13(2), 265–279.
Paine, S. (1974). Exporting Workers: The Turkish Case. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Piore, M.J. (1979). Birds of Passage: Migrant Labor and Industrial Societies. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Piper, N. (2009). The complex interconnections of the migration-development nexus: a social perspective, Population, Space and Place 15(2), 93–101.
Potts, L. (1990). The World Labour Market: A History of Migration. London: Zed Books.
Pribilsky, J. (2004). ‘Aprendemos a convivir’: conjugal relations, co-parenting, and family life among Ecuadorian transnational migrants in New York City and the Ecuadorian Andes, Global Networks 4(3), 313–334.
Pribilsky, J. (2007). ‘La Chulla Vida’: Gender, Migration, and the Family in Andean Ecuador and New York City. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.
Raghuram, P. (2009). Which migration, what development? Unsettling the edifice of migration and development, Population, Space and Place 15(2), 103–117.
Rahman, M.M. and Fee, L.K. (2009). Gender and the remittance process: Indonesian domestic workers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, Asian Population Studies 5(2), 103–125.
Ramírez, C., García Domínguez, M. and Míguez Morais, J. (2005). Crossing Borders: Remittances, Gender and Development. Santo Domingo: UN-INSTRAW Working Paper.
Rhoades, R.E. (1978). Intra-European return migration and rural development: lessons from the Spanish case, Human Organization 37(2), 136–147.
Saltmarshe, D. (2001). Identity in a Post-Communist Balkan State: An Albanian Village Study. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Seers, D. (1979). The periphery of Europe, in D. Seers, B. Schaffer and M-L. Kiljunen (eds) Underdeveloped Europe: Studies in Core-Periphery Relations. Hassocks: Harvester Press, pp.3–34.
Skeldon, R. (2008). International migration as a tool in development policy: a passing phase? Population and Development Review 34(1), 1–18.
Smith, E. (2009). ‘Gap-fillers’ or ‘clan destroyers’? Transnational female solidarity towards kin in the region of Fier, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 9(4), 555–573.
Stark, O. (1991). The Migration of Labor. Oxford: Blackwell.
Stark, O. and Bloom, D.E. (1985). The new economics of labor migration, American Economic Review 75(1), 173–178.
Thomas, B. (1954). Migration and Economic Growth: A Study of Great Britain and the Atlantic Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
UNDP (2009). Human Development Report 2009. Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Van Hear, N. and Sørensen, N. N. (eds) (2003). The Migration-Development Nexus. Geneva: United Nations and International Organization for Migration.
Vullnetari, J. (2007). Albanian Migration and Development: State-of-the-Art Review. Amsterdam: IMISCOE Working Paper 18.
Vullnetari, J. and King, R. (2011). Remittances, Gender and Development: Albania’s Society and Economy in Transition. London: I.B. Tauris.
Weismantel, M.J. (1988). Food, Gender, and Poverty in the Ecuadorian Andes. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
World Bank (2011). Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011. Washington DC: World Bank.
About this article
Cite this article
King, R., Mata-Codesal, D. & Vullnetari, J. Migration, Development, Gender and the ‘Black Box’ of Remittances: Comparative Findings from Albania and Ecuador. CMS 1, 69–96 (2013). https://doi.org/10.5117/CMS2013.1.KING