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The latest economic downturn has affected large sectors of the population in developed and developing nations and international immigrants have not been the exception. This study documents the recent slowdown in workers’ remittances, the money that international immigrants send back home. Current data indicates that remittance flows have slowed for all regions of the globe. Latin America stands out by reporting an almost zero percent growth rate of remittances for 2008. Among Latin American countries, Mexico (the largest recipient of remittances in the region in terms of volume) seems to be the most affected with a decrease of more than US$900 million between 2007 and 2008. This article also presents evidence of the impact of some of the factors associated with the current economic crisis on remittances flows. The evidence indicates that there is a strong link between state level housing activity and unemployment in the United States and remittances flows.



Working paper


International Migration Institute

Publication Date




Total pages



migration, remittances, financial crisis