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Remittances and Development in Latin America

Author

Listed:
  • Pablo Acosta
  • Cesar Calderón
  • Pablo Fajnzylber
  • Humberto López

Abstract

Flows of workers' remittances have become a major source of external finance for developing countries and are particularly important in Latin America and the Caribbean, where they are estimated to have reached $40 billion in 2004. Not surprisingly, academics, policymakers and development practitioners in general have been devoting increasing attention to the potential development impact that these flows may have on receiving countries. This paper contributes to this debate along four dimensions. First, it reviews the evolution of remittances flows to Latin America, using Balance of Payments data, and compares these statistics with estimates of remittances income based on Household Surveys. Second, the paper describes the varying profile of remittances recipients in ten Latin American countries. Third, the paper reviews the few macro- and microeconomic studies that have estimated the impact of remittances on poverty and inequality. Finally, the paper expands some of the existing works to investigate the extent to which that impact is different in Latin America and varies across countries in the region. Copyright 2006 The Authors Journal compilation 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:29:y:2006:i:7:p:957-987
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ça?lar Özden & Maurice Schiff, 2006. "International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6929.
    2. Yang Dean, 2008. "Coping with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2002," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-45, June.
    3. Taylor, J. Edward & Mora, Jorge & Adams, Richard H., Jr. & Lopez-Feldman, Alejandro, 2005. "Remittances, Inequality and Poverty: Evidence from Rural Mexico," Working Papers 60287, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    4. Giuliano, Paola & Ruiz-Arranz, Marta, 2009. "Remittances, financial development, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 144-152, September.
    5. Pablo Ibarraran & Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Mexican Immigration and Self-Selection: New Evidence from the 2000 Mexican Census," NBER Chapters,in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 159-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Guillermo E. Perry & Omar S. Arias & J. Humberto López & William F. Maloney & Luis Servén, 2006. "Poverty Reduction and Growth : Virtuous and Vicious Circles," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6997.
    7. Arvind Subramanian & Raghuram Rajan, 2005. "What Undermines Aid’s Impact on Growth?," IMF Working Papers 05/126, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Samuel Munzele Maimbo & Dilip Ratha, 2005. "Remittances: Development Impact and Future Prospects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7339.
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