Output growth volatility and remittances
Since output growth volatility has negative effects on growth, poverty and welfare, especially in poorer countries, it is crucial to identify the country-specific factors that affect it. The empirical literature has focused mostly on financial development, policy distortions and globalization variables. Among the latter, attention has been directed in particular to trade and financial openness. We contribute to this literature by adding what we see as the missing globalization variable, the one related to the increasingly important phenomenon of international migrations, namely emigrants' remittances. Remittances can help reduce output growth volatility thanks to their considerable magnitude, stability and low pro-cyclicality. Applying an empirical framework taken from the existing literature to a sample of about 60 emerging and developing economies over the period 1980-2003, we provide robust evidence that remittances are negatively correlated to output growth volatility. Instrumental variable estimation supports our intuition about the direction of causality.
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