Migrant workers more reliable than foreign investors in tough times

From the Wall Street Journal: According to a World Bank report released last week, in tough times remittances from migrant workers are the most reliable source of foreign exchange for developing countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and India. The 468-page report entitled“Migration and Remittances during the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond,” analyzed how remittances and migrant worker behavior were affected by the economic crisis which kicked off in 2008 and is still causing troubles around the world. Read the report here.

Overseas Filipino workers, also known as OFWs, actually sent more money home during the crisis as the plunging peso made it cheaper for them to invest at home. The reliable source of financial support they send home every year is among the reasons why the country recently received a debt ratings upgrade.

“Even as the global economic downturn continues to wreak havoc on world markets, the deployment of laborers from the Philippines carries on unabated,” said Ty Matejowsky, an associate professor of the department of anthropology at the University of Central Florida, in the report. “Most OFW households remain largely shielded from the crisis’s more adverse effects as the amount of money remitted home trends increasingly upwards.” Read the full WSJ article here.

Dr. Matejowsky is an associate professor who specializes in cultural anthropology. He received his Ph.D. in 2001 from Texas A&M University. His research interests include fast food, economic anthropology, globalization, urbanization, culture change and development, disaster studies. Dr. Matejowsky currently conducts his research in Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines.

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