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The impact of Remittances and Foreign Aid on Savings/Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Yéro Baldé

    (LAPE - Laboratoire d'Analyse et de Prospective Economique - IR SHS UNILIM - Institut Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société - UNILIM - Université de Limoges)


Migrant remittances reached $21 billion in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2008 according to the World Bank estimates. Despite these important flows, few macroeconomic studies have been conducted on this topic in SSA compared to other developing regions. The existing studies on the impact of remittances in SSA have been mostly in the form of case studies at the microeconomic level or reports. The objective of this study is to fill in this gap by investigating the impact of remittances on savings and investment in respective samples of 37 and 34 SSA countries over the period 1980-2004. It also analyzes comparatively the effectiveness of remittances and foreign aid in promoting savings and investment. OLS and instrumental variables (2SLS) with country fixed-effects are used as estimations methods. We find that both remittances and foreign aid positively and significantly influence savings and investment in SSA, meaning that contrary to most conclusions found in the literature, migrant remittances in SSA are not only and entirely spent in basic consumption needs. We also find that, although the volume and share of remittances are lower than foreign aid, remittances have more positive impact on savings and investment. Remittances, by being directly received by people in need and not by governments as intermediaries, would serve more households' interests and be more effective in favouring economic development than foreign aid. However, when efficiently used in a good institutional, political and economic environment, foreign aid can act as a complement to remittances by allowing vulnerable households to have income above the threshold subsistence's level so they (or migrants) can use a larger share of remittances for savings and investment purposes. Our results also suggest that remittances may have indirect positive effects on growth in SSA through savings and investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Yéro Baldé, 2011. "The impact of Remittances and Foreign Aid on Savings/Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa," Post-Print hal-00785220, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00785220
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8268.2011.00284.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Simplice A. Asongu Ph.D & Joseph Nnanna, . "Foreign Aid And Sustainable Inclusive Human Development In Africa," Journal of Economic and Sustainable Growth 2, Office Of The Chief Economist, Development Bank of Nigeria.
    2. repec:bla:socsci:v:98:y:2017:i:1:p:282-298 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2017. "Foreign Aid and Inclusive Development: Updated Evidence from Africa, 2005–2012," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 98(1), pages 282-298, March.
    4. Mthuli Ncube & Zuzana Brixiova, 2013. "Working Paper 188 - Remittances and their Macroeconomic Impact: Evidence from Africa," Working Paper Series 996, African Development Bank.
    5. Dorsaf Srdid & Wafa Ghardallou, 2019. "Remittances and Disaggregated Country Risk Ratings in Tunisia: An ARDL Approach," Working Papers 1326, Economic Research Forum, revised 21 Aug 2019.
    6. repec:eee:inteco:v:150:y:2017:i:c:p:19-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:spr:inrvec:v:65:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s12232-018-0305-z is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:cii:cepiie:2017-q2-150-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Delwar Hossain, 2014. "Differential Impacts of Foreign Capital and Remittance Inflows on Domestic Savings in the Developing Countries: A Dynamic Heterogeneous Panel Analysis," Departmental Working Papers 2014-07, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    10. Simplice Asongu, 2014. "A brief clarification to the questionable economics of foreign aid for inclusive human development," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 14/028, African Governance and Development Institute..
    11. repec:dbn:journx:2002 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Gloria Clarissa O. Dzeha, 2016. "The decipher, theory or empirics: a review of remittance studies," African Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(2), pages 113-134.

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