The MIRAB Model, Evidence Supporting It and Its Consequences
MIRAB is an acronym for Migration (MI) Remittances (R), Foreign Aid (A) and the Public Bureaucracy (B); the essential components of the MIRAB model.
It is helpful to decompose the MIRAB model into two distinct processes: (1) the aid process and (2) the emigration and remittance process.
Process I depends on the provision of foreign aid which in MIRAB economies is mainly used to fund the government bureaucracy.
Process II involves the sending of remittances by emigrants from MIRAB economies to relatives (and to others) remaining at home.
There is strong evidence that globally the total amount of international remittances to developing countries significantly exceeds the total value of their Official Development Assistance (Ratha and Silwal, 2012), and this is probably so for most MIRAB economies in the Pacific.
A significant side-effect of both the MIRAB processes illustrated by Figures 1 and 2 is that they encourage migration to central urban areas from the peripheries of Pacific microstates.
2) observed that there were limited opportunities for commercial economic investment in the MIRAB economies which he and Watters studied (Bertram and Watters, 1985).
Poirine (1997) has studied this aspect in detail as far as investment in the education of children in MIRAB economies is concerned and stresses its importance.
How Widely Applicable Is the MIRAB Model to Microstates?
The question has arisen of the extent to which the economies of Pacific island microstates satisfy the MIRAB model.