In this paper we present the Emigrant Policies Index (EMIX), an index that summarizes the emigrant policies developed by 22 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) states. In recent decades sending states have increasingly adopted policies to keep economic, political or social links with their emigrants. These “emigrant policies” vary in scope and nature between different countries and include measures as diverse as dual citizenship policies, programs to stimulate remittances, the right to vote in the home country from abroad, and the creation of government agencies to administer emigrant issues. The EMIX proposes a useful tool to condense and compare a wide spectrum of policies across countries. Its development involved the collection of official data, as well as a critical review of secondary literature and input from experts as complementary sources. Through a rigorous framework for constructing the index, we show how emigrant policies can be aggregated to measure the overall degree and volume of emigrant policies in LAC states. The results of the EMIX portray a region that has indeed made serious efforts to assist their diaspora in the states of reception and to encourage their involvement in the political, economic and social fabric in the states of origin. The results, however, also reveal great variation in the emigrant policies and the administrative setting adopted by LAC states.
GIGA Focus Lateinamerika, 02/2019
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