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Should We Hate or Love MIRAB?

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Title:Should We Hate or Love MIRAB?
Authors:Poirine, Bernard
small island states
sustainable development
LC Subject Headings:Oceania -- Periodicals.
Date Issued:1998
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation:Poirine, B. 1998. Should We Hate or Love MIRAB? The Contemporary Pacific 10 (1): 65-105.
Abstract:Bertram and Watters defined the mirab model (Migration, Remittances, Aid,
and Bureaucracy) as a development process where remittances and foreign aid
are the main resources of small island economies. Bertram suggested that it is a
perfectly “sustainable” development strategy, as long as the “rent” from remittances
and international aid continues. But there is a great reluctance on the part
of officials and economists to accept the model as valid and sustainable. To them,
it does not seem right to live off international aid and migrant remittances. A
favorable case can be made for mirab. Pacific Island peoples and governments
should not feel guilty about accepting aid and remittances, because such “external
resources” may be seen as representing revenues from invisible exports to
industrialized countries. By exporting labor and geostrategic services, small
Pacific Island states make the best use of the only comparative advantage they
may have in international trade. Donor countries and migrant host countries also
gain from this arrangement. In this paper, I look at reasons why some people
hate mirab, then show why everyone should love mirab.
Appears in Collections: TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 1998 - Volume 10, Number 1

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