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Migration, Development, Gender and the ‘Black Box’ of Remittances: Comparative Findings from Albania and Ecuador

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Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Russell King.

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Keywords

  • migration
  • development
  • remittances
  • gender
  • Albania
  • Ecuador