Local economic development and migrant remittances in rural Zimbabwe: building on sand or solid ground?

Grascious Ncube, Georgina M. Gómez

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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The paper explores the impact of migrant remittances on local economic development in a locality where more than half of the households have been recipients for at least five years. The study has taken place in rural Zimbabwe and uses an ethnographic method devised for this research. The method was termed “follow the money” and consists of a scrutiny of several rounds of economic exchange of goods and services in the locality, starting when households receive the cash. Consistent with previous research, the study found that remittances boost the consumption of receiving households and have a limited but positive effect on non-receiving households. Part of the cash transfers are used for equipment and investment, mostly in traditional agricultural activities. This study highlights that remittances are responsible for the creation of a significant number of jobs locally, although insecure and low waged, and a small number of growth-oriented businesses, mostly by non-recipients and oriented to the local market. The study highlights the potential for government intervention to further enterprise development with the last group of entrepreneurs in order to localise the longer-term effects of remittances.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers series. General series

Bibliographical note

ISSN 0921-0210

Research programs



  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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