International Remittances and Income Inequality: An Empirical Investigation
The aim of this paper is to provide comprehensive empirical evidence on the relationship between international remittances and income inequality. In simple cross-country regressions we find a non-monotonic link between these two variables when using ordinary least squares, instrumental variables; we also test our hypothesis using dynamic panel data methods. We provide evidence in support of existing theoretical work that accounts for network effects that describe how, in the first stages of migration history, there is an inequality-increasing effect of remittances on income inequality. Then, as the opportunity cost of migrating is lowered due to these effects, remittances sent to those households have a negative impact on inequality. We also show how education and the development of the financial sector can help countries to reach the inequality-decreasing section of the curve more quickly. Our results are robust to several empirical specifications, as well as for a wide variety of inequality measures.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1300 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20577|
Web page: http://www.iadb.org/res
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2005. "Remittances : transaction costs, determinants, and informal flows," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3704, The World Bank.
- Yves Bourdet & Hans Falck, 2006. "Emigrants' remittances and Dutch Disease in Cape Verde," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 267-284.
- I-Ling Shen & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2010.
"Remittances and inequality: a dynamic migration model,"
The Journal of Economic Inequality,
Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(2), pages 197-220, June.
- Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2003. "Remittances and Inequality: A Dynamic Migration Model," IZA Discussion Papers 808, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2003. "Remittances and Inequality: A Dynamic Migration Model," Working Papers 2003-05, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
- Frederic, DOCQUIER & Hillel, RAPOPORT & I-Leng Shen, 2007. "Remittances and inequality : A dynamic migration model," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007003, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
- Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport & I-Ling Shen, 2006. "Remittances and inequality: A dynamic migration model," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0614, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
- Adams, Richard H, Jr, 1989. "Worker Remittances and Inequality in Rural Egypt," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 45-71, October.
- Papanek, Gustav F. & Kyn, Oldrich, 1986. "The effect on income distribution of development, the growth rate and economic strategy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 55-65, September.
- McKenzie, David J., 2005.
"Paper walls are easier to tear down : passport costs and legal barriers to emigration,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3783, The World Bank.
- McKenzie, David, 2007. "Paper Walls Are Easier to Tear Down: Passport Costs and Legal Barriers to Emigration," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 2026-2039, November.
- Taylor, J. Edward, 1992. "Remittances and inequality reconsidered: Direct, indirect, and intertemporal effects," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 187-208, April.
- Milanovic, Branko & DEC, 1994. "Determinants of cross-country income inequality : an augmented Kuznets hypothesis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1246, The World Bank.
- Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995.
"Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
- M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Alberto E. Chong, 2001.
"Inequality, Democracy, and Persistence: Is There a Political Kuznets Curve?,"
IDB Publications (Working Papers)
6819, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Alberto Chong, 2004. "Inequality, Democracy, and Persistence: Is There a Political Kuznets Curve?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 189-212, 07.
- Alberto Chong, 2001. "Inequality, Democracy, and Persistence: Is There a Political Kuznets Curve?," Research Department Publications 4253, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- David Mckenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2004.
"Network Effects and the Dynamics of Migration and Inequality: Theory and Evidence from Mexico,"
2004-3, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998.
"Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
- Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 73, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Gabriel Gonzalez-Konig & Quentin Wodon, 2005. "Remittances and Inequality," Department of Economics and Finance Working Papers EC200506, Universidad de Guanajuato, Department of Economics and Finance.
- Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
- Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991.
"Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
- Tom Doan, . "RATS program to replicate Arellano-Bond 1991 dynamic panel," Statistical Software Components RTZ00169, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993.
"International comparisons of educational attainment,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
- Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1986. "Remittances and Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 722-40, September.
- Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
- Ahluwalia, Montek S., 1976. "Inequality, poverty and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-342, December.
- Chong, Alberto & Calderon, Cesar, 2000. "Institutional Quality and Income Distribution," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(4), pages 761-86, July.
- Chong, Alberto & León, Gianmarco, 2008.
"Barriers to exit,"
Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 93-97, April.
- 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.
- Ma. Cecilia Calderón & Alberto Chong, 2006. "Does Foreign Aid Help Reduce Income Inequality?," Research Department Publications 4437, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Richard H. Adams, Jr. & John Page, 2003. "International migration, remittances, and poverty in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3179, The World Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4475. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Monica Bazan)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.