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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Valerie Koechlin & Gianmarco Leon, 2007. "International Remittances and Income Inequality: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 123-141.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecprf:v:10:y:2007:i:2:p:123-141
    DOI: 10.1080/17487870701346514
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    References listed on IDEAS

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