26 Apr 2011
Books/ Book Chapters
France’s Codevelopment Program: Financial and Fiscal Incentives to Promote Diaspora Entrepreneurship and Transfers
Book chapter by Marion Panizzon published in: Diaspora for Development in Africa (S. Plaza & D. Ratha, eds.), World Bank (2011), pp.183-229.
France’s co-development policy is one of Europe’s longest-standing conceptualizations in practice of the migration-and-development-nexus. Co-development associates France to a migrant Diaspora’s transnational engagements. According to this partnership paradigm, France co-funds remittances, networks, skills and knowledge transfers in view to stimulate source country development and reduce migratory pressure. This article explains the multi-level structure of co-development policy and traces its complex trajectory over time and space from a financial to a fiscal instrument. As it responded to Diaspora criticism, we find that migration control and security policy rationales were replaced by strategies to ease migrant source countries’ adjustments to a globalizing economy. A particular focus of this article is on how France invests into de-fiscalizing migrants’ revenue and what effects this shift from financial to fiscal measures may have on migratory flows. We identify five benefits of the co-development tax break: non-discriminatory application in terms of nationality, engaging the financial sector in migration policy formulation, lowering government expenditure, promoting the bancarization of savings and enhancing migrants’ trust in the use of savings. While the final verdict on co-development tax breaks for revenue-collection is still outstanding, France’s migration-fiscal policy-nexus may be an experiment worth replicating on a more global scale.