Migrant Money: A Peek at How Migrant Labor Impacts Development

Deven Desai

Deven Desai is an associate professor of law and ethics at the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology. He was also the first, and to date, only Academic Research Counsel at Google, Inc., and a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and the Yale Law School. Professor Desai’s scholarship examines how business interests, new technology, and economic theories shape privacy and intellectual property law and where those arguments explain productivity or where they fail to capture society’s interest in the free flow of information and development. His work has appeared in leading law reviews and journals including the Georgetown Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, and U.C. Davis Law Review.

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5 Responses

  1. Patrick S. O'Donnell says:


    Thanks for posting on this important topic.

    At the Poverty Law Prof Blog the bright and compassionate young scholar Ezra Rosser has posted notice of his paper, “Remittance,” available at SSRN http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1107485 [And I hope everyone reads another recent paper of his, ‘Obligations of Privilege’ also available through SSRN]

    The abstract:

    “Remittances, the sending of money from immigrants back to their home countries, are the newest anti-poverty, development activity of the poor to be applauded by international institutions and economists. Exceeding foreign aid and private investment to many developing countries, remittances are being hailed as a new, untapped resource with powerful poverty alleviation and potentially development attributes. After presenting the poverty, developmental, and economic characteristics of this new transnational connection between immigrants and their loved ones, as well as the dangerous effects of excessive remittance regulation, this paper argues that remittances should be understood as an anti-poverty tool, but not as a route to development.”

  2. Patrick S. O'Donnell says:

    Erratum: Rosser’s paper title is “Remittances.”

  3. Deven says:


    Great to hear from you and thanks for the leads on good reading.



  4. Remittances to sustain living conditions should be applauded. I also agree that it is not an effective means of stimulating the economy.

  5. Countries where energetic, hard-working people feel they have to go elsewhere to make a living would instinctively seem a poor choice in which another country should invest its development foreign aid. After all, if the citizens don’t feel their own country, led by fellow countrymen, is worth investing their time and effort why wwould outsiders conclude othewise?