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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 4 / 2007 (509)

Informal Value Transfer System – Hawala

Ion Pohoata
Irina Caunic
Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Iasi

Abstract. Hawala plays a key role in facilitating remittances, especially those of migrant workers and is an integral part of the international finance system. There was, however little understanding of the concept, mechanism and its impact on the global financial channels. This research effort aims at providing a historical background to its origin, and discusses why it has lasted over the last several hundred years. The paper also presents the operational features that make the system attractive for both legitimate and illegitimate uses and its advantages over formal sector.

Keywords: hawala; informal value transfer systems; conventional banking sector; migrant workers.

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