Migration and household finances: how a different framing can improve thinking about migration

Crawford School of Public Policy | Development Policy Centre

Event details


Date & time

Wednesday 10 June 2020


Online via Zoom


Timothy N. Ogden


Arichika Okazaki
02 6125 6805

» view presentation
» listen to the podcast

It is time to fundamentally reframe the research agenda on migration, remittances, payments and development. Many policymakers in the developing world, and researchers, tend to view migrant remittances as windfall income, rather than as returns on investment, which is how families with migrants tend to see remittances. Migration is thus, among other things, a strategy for financial management in poor households: location is an asset, migration an investment.

Some of the most basic questions about remittances and their effects remain inadequately answered, in part because of a blinded research agenda. Asking better questions is a step toward better policies, programs and regulations and, above all, to enable people on low incomes to improve their lives.

In this webinar, Timothy N. Ogden discussed some of the new and alternative research questions that emerge from the shift of perspective on remittances – from windfall to return on investment.


Timothy N. Ogden is Managing Director of the Financial Access Initiative, a research center housed at New York University’s (NYU) Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service focused on how financial services can better meet the needs and improve the lives of low-income households; and a senior fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program and Financial Security Program. He was also Managing Director of the US Financial Diaries project, a joint initiative between NYU and The Center for Financial Services Innovation which tracked the financial lives of 235 US household for a full year.

This webinar is based on the article: “Migration and household finances: How a different framing can improve thinking about migration”. Also check out the videos based on the article: “What’s Behind Door #3? Investment in Migration for the World’s Poor”, and “When is Income Not Income?”.

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