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Remittances as "philanthropy": The worst development idea I've seen this year

The latest Hudson Institute "Index of Global Philanthropy" just came out. It makes a very important point: that the United States gives an enormous amount of private, voluntary cash assistance to people in developing countries, far in excess of its official aid. Indeed, it shows that Americans give more to poor countries via private channels -- as a fraction of national income -- than any other rich country.

María and José Know How to Spend Their Remittances

Nearly every time there is a news story about the billions of dollars flowing to poor countries as remittances, someone worries that not “enough” of that money is being saved and invested. A case in point is today’s piece in the Washington Post. Latin American workers in the US will send home $45 billion this year, but “only a small portion … has gone to economic development.”

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