|By:||Álvaro del Real|
Globalization, which involves progressive integration of countries’ economies, has resulted in an increasing number of people moving from one country to another, without losing their ties to their original home economies. Increasingly, immigrants are sending money to their home countries (remittances). These remittances have raised great interest in developing countries, not only because of their signifi cant volume and impact on local economies, but also because of their potential effects on the fi nancial system and on economic development and growth. Chile has not escaped this phenomenon. Although it has not reached levels comparable to those of other Latin American economies, growing immigration from neighboring countries and the emigration process that occurred in past decades have made it necessary to investigate the issue and to measure Chile’s remittance fl ows to and from other countries. This document presents the concept of remittances and classifi cations according to international defi nitions by institutions focused on the subject, such as the World Bank, the CEMLA, the International Monetary Fund and the Group of Luxembourg. It then analyzes the mechanisms of remittance transfers currently used in the world and international experiences regarding sources and estimation methods. The main characteristics of this market in Chile are also shown. Finally, it shows the main results of the surveys carried out yearly between 2007 and 2010. These surveys were applied to money transfer companies working in Chile, which provided information about the transactions made in the period 2005-2009.