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Do remittances boost economic development? Evidence from Mexican states

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  • Pia M. Orrenius
  • Madeline Zavodny
  • Jesús Cañas
  • Roberto Coronado

Abstract

Remittances have been promoted as a development tool because they can raise incomes and reduce poverty rates in developing countries. Remittances may also promote development by providing funds that recipients can spend on education or health care or invest in entrepreneurial activities. From a macroeconomic perspective, remittances can boost aggregate demand and thereby GDP as well as spur economic growth. However, remittances may also have adverse macroeconomic impacts by increasing income inequality and reducing labor supply among recipients. We use state-level data from Mexico during 2003–07 to examine the aggregate effect of remittances on employment, wages, unemployment rates, the wage distribution, and school enrollment rates. While employment, wages and school enrollment have risen over time in Mexican states, these trends are not accounted for by increasing remittances. However, two-stage least squares specifications among central Mexican states suggest that remittances shift the wage distribution to the right, reducing the fraction of workers earning the minimum wage or less.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Working Papers with number 1007.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:1007

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Keywords: Emigrant remittances - Latin America ; Economic development - Latin America ; Economic conditions - Mexico ; Labor market ; Income distribution ; Emigration and immigration;

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  1. McKenzie, David & Sasin, Marcin J., 2007. "Migration, remittances, poverty, and human capital : conceptual and empirical challenges," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4272, The World Bank.
  2. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Richard H. Adams, 2006. "International Remittances and the Household: Analysis and Review of Global Evidence," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 396-425, December.
  4. Pablo Acosta & Cesar Calderón & Pablo Fajnzylber & Humberto López, 2006. "Remittances and Development in Latin America," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(7), pages 957-987, 07.
  5. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2005. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 215-240, October.
  6. Acosta, Pablo & Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lopez, J. Humberto, 2007. "The impact of remittances on poverty and human capital : evidence from Latin American household surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4247, The World Bank.
  7. Cox-Edwards, Alejandra & Rodríguez-Oreggia, Eduardo, 2009. "Remittances and Labor Force Participation in Mexico: An Analysis Using Propensity Score Matching," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1004-1014, May.
  8. Borraz Fernando, 2005. "Assessing the Impact of Remittances on Schooling: the Mexican Experience," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, April.
  9. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
  10. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Can migration reduce educational attainment? Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 1331-1358, October.
  11. Pablo Ibarraran & Darren Lubotsky, 2005. "Mexican Immigration and Self-Selection: New Evidence from the 2000 Mexican Census," NBER Working Papers 11456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
  13. Barham, Bradford & Boucher, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, remittances, and inequality: estimating the net effects of migration on income distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 307-331, April.
  14. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Georges, Annie & Pozo, Susan, 2008. "Migration, Remittances and Children’s Schooling in Haiti," IZA Discussion Papers 3657, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
  16. Adams, Richard Jr. & Page, John, 2005. "Do international migration and remittances reduce poverty in developing countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1645-1669, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Aslihan Arslan & J. Edward Taylor, 2011. "Whole-household Migration, Inequality and Poverty in Rural Mexiko," Kiel Working Papers 1742, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Abdilahi Ali & Baris Alpaslan, 2013. "Do Migrant Remittances Complement Domestic Investment? New Evidence from Panel Cointegration," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1308, Economics, The University of Manchester.

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