• Dollars wrapped in love: remittances, barriers, and global relations

    At present there are about 230 million migrants living in states other than state of birth. About 180 million of those migrants send money to their family and friends in their home states regularly.

    According to the World Bank, international migrants sent $529 billion back to their home countries in 2012. In 2013, international migrants sent $413 billion home to families and friends — three times more than the total of global foreign aid.

    This money, known as remittances, makes a significant difference in the lives of those receiving it and may even plays a major role in relations among nations.

    In the above TED Talk, Economist Dilip Ratha describes the promise of these “dollars wrapped with love.”

    Ratha explains that remittances are more than three times the amount of foreign aid allocated by the donors of the world. Remittances are often a very large percentages of the GDP in states.

    Discussion starters:

    1. What might the policy implications be for these remittances?
    2. What might cash flow linkages say about conflict between states with high or low remittances?
  • Malala Yousafzai Youngest Ever Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

    Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi both won the Nobel peace prize 2014.

    The Nobel Peace Prize committee selected the Pakistani teenager and Indian children’s rights activist saying: “Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations.

    “This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.”

    Discussion starters:

    1. Clearly Malala Yousafzai’s actions, courage, and struggles should be celebrated. Did the committee give her the award too early in her life?
    2. What impact does the Nobel Peace Prize have on peace, culture, and the sharing of values?