From Passport to Pennies: Theorizing the Effects of Dual Citizenship on Migrant Remittances




Remittances, migration, reverse flows, social policy, The Migration Conference, TMC 2019


Migrant remittances are critical elements of the economic development agenda in many parts of the world. Extending dual citizenship to emigrants has been suggested as government policy to encourage and stabilize migrants’ financial transfers. This essay theorizes the causal relationship between passports and pennies, or between citizenship policies and transnational economic activities, such as remittances. It reads the conceptualizations from a grounded theory study on the effects of status passages related to citizenship, as well as findings from economic sociology into the micro-economic literature on the determinants of remittances. Based on a study of India’s diasporic membership status, the Overseas Citizenship of India, the essay shows that four principal effects—the rights, identity, naturalization and good-will effect—affect various populations differently. The conceptualizations serve to generate empirically grounded hypotheses about the relationship between economic transfers and citizenship status, as well as to understand the underlying (and sometimes competing) mechanisms.

Author Biography

Daniel Naujoks, Columbia University

Daniel Naujoks is the director a.i. International Organization & UN Studies Specializationat Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He has previously taught at The New School’s Studely Graduate Programs in International Affairs and Jawarhar Lal Nehur University. His research focuses on the effects of migration, refugees, and citizenship on social, economic, and political development, migrants’ and refugee rights, ethnic identity and the genesis of diaspora and citizenship policies, including his book ‘Migration, Citizenship, and Development. Diasporic Membership Policies and Overseas Indians in the United States’ (2013, Oxford University Press). His recent research sheds light on the integration of migration and displacement into public policies and the links to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dr. Naujoks regularly advises governments and international organzations on issues of migration, diaspora engagement, human rights, displacement, and development. He serves as chair of the International Studies Association’s Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Studies section. 


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How to Cite

Naujoks, D. (2020). From Passport to Pennies: Theorizing the Effects of Dual Citizenship on Migrant Remittances. Remittances Review, 5(1), 55-82.