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22 Oct 2015

MRS No. 49 - The South-South remittance corridor between Argentina and Bolivia

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South–South remittance corridors still remain a largely unexplored research area, despite the fact that for a few years already, international organizations, such as the International Organization for Migration and the World Bank, have been highlighting the importance of South–South migration and remittance flows. In South America, the Argentina–Bolivia corridor is the third most relevant South–South corridor in terms of annual volumes, after Venezuela–Colombia and Argentina–Paraguay.

This publication provides a diagnostic report on the access to and use of remittance services by Bolivian migrants in Argentina, showing the main obstacles and challenges faced to achieve a productive use of remittances. The study examines the legal and regulatory frameworks of remittance-related transactions, together with the sending process from Argentina to Bolivia, with its chain of intermediation and different money transfer schemes.

Field research was carried out through a survey and qualitative interviews with Bolivian immigrants living in Greater Buenos Aires and Greater La Plata, divided into two sub-samples of clients and nonclients of microfinance institutions. Research outcomes highlight a series of ways for policymakers and international organizations to facilitate the flow of South–South remittances, from a standpoint of progressive financial inclusion of migrants and their families.

This study provides key recommendations for public policies and actions aimed at maximizing the positive impact of remittances in terms of local development, focusing on two intervention pillars: financial education and transparency of the remittance services market.

  • Acknowledgements
  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • 1. Evolution and characteristics of Bolivian remittances
  • 2. Institutional aspects
  • 3. Sending and paying remittances in the Argentina–Bolivia corridor
  • 4. Access of Bolivian migrants to remittance services
  • 5. Conclusions and guidelines for public policy proposals on remittances
  • Endnotes
  • Bibliography