Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Transnationalism and Development: The Impact of Remittances to Timor-Leste

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posted on 2021-11-22, 00:47 authored by Brites Soares, Brigida

The aim of this thesis is to Explorer the impact of remittances, sent from Timorese workers in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, South Korea and Australia, on the Development of Timor-Leste.  The research in this study is from three different perspectives. Firstly, the migration processes and the remittance service providers, which are involved in managing the transfer of remittances from Timorese workers overseas to their families at home. Secondly, the remittance is used by recipient familieson the consumption (durable and non durable goods). Finally, the remittance is used on human capital invest-ment and business investment. From these three perspectives, this thesis examines how remittances con tribute to the development of Timor-Leste. Using a qualitative method, the study addresses one main question: What is the impact of remittances to Timor-Leste?  The study was underpinned by qualitative research conducted in Timor-Leste, which has a total popula-tion of 1.1 million. I administered the field research in 7 locations to 30 participants. These included 10 remittance receiving households in the urban district of Dili and 10 from the rural areas of Baucau, Lospa-los, Viqueque, Ainaro, Covalima and Oecusse. Another 10 interviewees were migrant workers domiciled in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, South Korea and Australia. The interviews also conducted with relevant Government institutions regarding the process of emigration to work in United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, South Korea and Australia. Also, bank and non-bank institusions as the channel used to transfers remittances from the host countries of the migrants to their families at home.  In adopting a combination of theoretical approaches, especially the New Economy of Labour Migration, I argue that remittances have a positive contribution to the development of household participants‟ welfare, the development of human capital and they enable remitters and their families in Timor-Leste to start small and medium businesses. The study also found that the ultimate use of remittances is variously in-vested in productive and unproductive sectors. I further argue that the positive impact of remittances on peoples‟ lives significantly increases the numbers of overseas migrants, which attracts a greater flow of remittances into the country and that urgent government policies are needed to facilitate these more easily.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Development Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Development Studies

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Gamlen, Alan