In This Review

Outsourcing Welfare: How the Money Immigrants Send Home Contributes to Stability in Developing Countries
Outsourcing Welfare: How the Money Immigrants Send Home Contributes to Stability in Developing Countries
By Roy Germano
Oxford University Press, 2018, 240 pp

This illuminating book addresses an important but often overlooked consequence of international migration: remittances sent by immigrants to relatives in their countries of origin. Each year, these amount to an estimated $500 billion, three times the annual total spent by governments, aid agencies, and charities on foreign assistance to poor countries. Germano has carried out extensive fieldwork in the Americas, but the book also covers other parts of the world, including Africa and the Middle East. As he explains, remittances amount to a kind of “outsourcing” of welfare that immigrants’ home countries do not or cannot provide. Recipients use them to pay for a wide variety of things, including medical care, clothing, and food for themselves and their children.