Dilip Ratha 




Working to lower remittance fees and provide innovative financing solutions for people, businesses, and governments




Diaspora Bonds


A close up of a screen

Description generated with high confidenceMost migrants save as much money in the host country as they send home as remittances. We have estimated diaspora savings are as high as $500 billion, of which a significant part is deposited in banks and credit unions, often earning very little interest. If the migrant’s country or a company sells bonds in small denominations, offering a small interest rate, and ensuring that the bond proceeds are invested in good projects, the migrant is likely to buy these bonds. These diaspora bonds, in other words, are retail bonds sold to members of the diaspora to raise development financing. It can be sold by governments or by reputable private companies. One should expect a significant discount – patriotic discount (see figure) – in the form of lower interest rates on these bonds.

A great resource for diaspora bonds and a few other market-based (as opposed to public-finance-based) innovative financing ideas is Innovative Financing for Development published in October 2008. Or if you prefer a 4-pager, check out New Paths to Funding, June 2009.

A $100 Billion Idea: Harnessing migration for financing development goals, July 2015

A Note on International Migrants’ Savings and Incomes, September 2014

Diaspora Bonds for Funding Education, October 2011

Harnessing Diasporas, September 2011

A Bond for the Homeland, May 2011

Homeward Bond. March 2011

Diaspora Bonds: Tapping the Diaspora During Difficult Times, October 2010