Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Remittance Practices of Burmese Refugees in the United States
by Haynes, Erin, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2014, 71; 10305849
Abstract (Summary)

Scholars often describe remittances as a “lifeline” for poor families. However, what we now know about remittance impacts on poverty is almost entirely what could be learned from official data gathered from formal financial institutions. In the case of Myanmar, remittance records are largely unreliable, if available, at all. This has resulted in a large hole in remittance research, though a couple of large studies have gathered some important empirical research and demonstrated the particular complexities of the Burmese case. Because Myanmar is a major recipient of remittances and its new “quasi-democratic” government has been enacting economic, political and social reforms over the past few years, reaching a more complete understanding of the remittance practices and motivators of the country's inhabitants, as well as its far-flung diasporas, is crucial to leaders who are involved with its development.

Drawing from existing remittance scholarship regarding the micro and macroeconomic potential of remittances in developing countries, as well as literature concerning the specific economic complexities of conflict-affected states, the author conducted field research as a participant-observer with the IRC in Dallas, TX. Focused interviews accompanied by questionnaires were administered to nine participants during home visits. Because statistical representation was irrelevant to the qualitative data sought from the interviews, the sample size was purposefully small and respondents were chosen using 'snowballing' and 'convenience' techniques. The results confirm the previous studies' claims that accessibility issues, not widespread distrust of the government and formal institutions, are the main deterrent excluding migrants from formal transfer institutions. With this in mind, Myanmar would be wise to continue the development of its financial sector and increase availability to formal financial institutions, especially within its ethnic border regions.

Keywords: remittances / Burma / refugees / post conflict / diaspora

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Feingold, David
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: International Affairs
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian American Studies, International Relations
Keywords: Burmese, Diaspora, Postconflict, Refugees, Remittances
Publication Number: 10305849
ISBN: 978-1-369-49413-6
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