the bulk of scholarship on emigration as a social and political process tends to focus on those who migrate and their situation in the host country. in contrast, only limited attention has been given to the study of those who remain in the home country. one of the distinctive features of this article is that it does not stress the classical migration issues or adopt the traditional focus on emigrants. on the contrary, and based on one of the most important emigratory waves in uruguayan history (the one that took place in the first years of this new century), it seeks to explore emigration's effect on poor non-migrants' welfare. it argues that as a consequence of the erosion of social capital produced by the emigration of a household member, vulnerable households from montevideo could be prone to welfare losses. this argument challenges the conventional wisdom about globalization's effects. in short, though non-migrants in developing countries receive emigrants' remittances, harmful effects are also possible.