Remittances and the promise of financial democracy: critical reflections from the US-Mexico case

Matt Bakker


This article presents critical analysis of a recent "financial democracy" initiative carried out collaboratively between agencies of the Mexican and US governments. The significant governmental work that officials put into the design of a low-cost remittance transfer service, marketing that service to banks and credit unions, and encouraging migrants to use it are described and analyzed. Despite all this effort, the service has not been taken up by large numbers of migrants; different explanations for these dismal results are discussed. The article concludes by emphasizing the value of the type of critical remittances research presented and suggesting a new critical research agenda.


remittances; financial democracy; neoliberal populism; Mexico; United States

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