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International Remittances and Income Inequality: An Empirical Investigation

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  • Valerie Koechlin
  • Gianmarco Leon

Abstract

Using several cross-sectional and panel data methodologies, this paper provides evidence of the existence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between international remittances and income inequality in a cross section of 78 countries. Our analysis supports previous theoretical work that describes how, at the first stages of migration history, there is an inequality-increasing effect of remittances on income inequality. Then, as the opportunity cost of migrating decreases due to this effect, remittances tend to lower inequality. We also show how education and the development of the financial sector can help countries reach faster the inequality-decreasing section of the curve.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Policy Reform.

Volume (Year): 10 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 123-141

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jpolrf:v:10:y:2007:i:2:p:123-141

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Related research

Keywords: Migration; international remittances; income distribution; GMM-IV;

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References

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  1. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2005. "Remittances : transaction costs, determinants, and informal flows," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3704, The World Bank.
  2. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2003. "Remittances and Inequality: A Dynamic Migration Model," Working Papers 2003-05, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
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  7. Chong, Alberto & Calderon, Cesar, 2000. "Institutional Quality and Income Distribution," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(4), pages 761-86, July.
  8. McKenzie, David J., 2005. "Paper walls are easier to tear down : passport costs and legal barriers to emigration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3783, The World Bank.
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  13. Ma. Cecilia Calderón & Alberto Chong, 2006. "Does Foreign Aid Help Reduce Income Inequality?," Research Department Publications 4437, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  14. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 73, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  15. Milanovic, Branko & DEC, 1994. "Determinants of cross-country income inequality : an augmented Kuznets hypothesis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1246, The World Bank.
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  17. Taylor, J. Edward, 1992. "Remittances and inequality reconsidered: Direct, indirect, and intertemporal effects," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 187-208, April.
  18. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  19. Adams, Richard H, Jr, 1989. "Worker Remittances and Inequality in Rural Egypt," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 45-71, October.
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  21. Alberto Chong, 2001. "Inequality, Democracy, and Persistence: Is There a Political Kuznets Curve?," Research Department Publications 4253, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christian EBEKE, 2009. "The power of Remittances on the Prevalence of Child Labor," Working Papers 200924, CERDI.
  2. Gupta, Sanjeev & Pattillo, Catherine A. & Wagh, Smita, 2009. "Effect of Remittances on Poverty and Financial Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 104-115, January.
  3. Simeon Karafolas & George Konteos, 2010. "Choice of Money Transfer Methods in the Case of Albanian Immigrants in Greece," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 962-978, February.
  4. Alassane DRABO & Christian EBEKE, 2010. "Remittances, Public Health Spending and Foreign Aid in the Access to Health Care Services in Developing Countries," Working Papers 201004, CERDI.
  5. Christian Ebeke, 2011. "Transferts des migrants, ouverture sur l'extérieur et dépenses publiques dans les pays en développement," Working Papers halshs-00552983, HAL.
  6. Ratha, Dilip & Mohapatra, Sanket & Scheja, Elina, 2011. "Impact of migration on economic and social development : a review of evidence and emerging issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5558, The World Bank.
  7. Ambrosius, Christian, 2011. "Are Remittances a 'Catalyst' for Financial Access? Evidence from Mexico," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 5, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  8. Simeon Karafolas & Nikolaos Sariannidis, 2009. "The Banking Network as a Transmission Channel of Migrant Remittances: The Case of Greek and Italian Banks in Albania," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 674-684, February.
  9. Mazhar MUGHAL & Amar Iqbal ANWAR, 2012. "Remittances, Inequality and Poverty in Pakistan: Macro and Microeconomic Evidence," Working Papers 2012-2013_2, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Aug 2012.
  10. Rafael Domínguez Martín, 2009. "Migraciones, Desigualdad y Desarrollo en los Estados de México," Documentos de trabajo sobre cooperación y desarrollo 200902, Cátedra de Cooperación Internacional y con Iberoamérica (COIBA), Universidad de Cantabria.
  11. Sanjeev Gupta & Catherine A. Pattillo & Smita Wagh, 2007. "Impact of Remittanceson Poverty and Financial Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 07/38, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Shahbaz, Muhammad & Ur Rehman, Ijaz & Ahmad Mahdzan, Nurul Shahnaz, 2013. "Linkages between Income Inequality, International Remittances and Economic Growth in Pakistan," MPRA Paper 45577, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Mar 2013.
  13. TCHAMANBÉ DJINÉ Louise, TDL & MIAMO WENDJI Clovis, MWC, 2012. "Transferts Financiers des Migrants et développement en Afrique subsaharienne," MPRA Paper 38139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00587797 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Filiz Garip, 2014. "The Impact of Migration and Remittances on Wealth Accumulation and Distribution in Rural Thailand," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 673-698, April.
  16. Filiz Garip, 2012. "Repeat Migration and Remittances as Mechanisms for Wealth Inequality in 119 Communities From the Mexican Migration Project Data," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 1335-1360, November.
  17. Garcia-Fuentes, Pablo A. & Kennedy, P. Lynn, 2009. "Remittances and economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Impact of the human capital development," 2009 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia 46751, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

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