IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

International Remittances and Income Inequality: An Empirical Investigation

  • Gianmarco León
  • Valerie Koechlin

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.iadb.org/research/pub_hits.cfm?pub_id=WP-571&pub_file_name=pubWP-571.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4475.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4475
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1300 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20577
Phone: 202-623-1000
Web page: http://www.iadb.org/res
Email:


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.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Ma. Cecilia Calderón & Alberto Chong, 2006. "Does Foreign Aid Help Reduce Income Inequality?," Research Department Publications 4437, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  9. Gianmarco León & Alberto E. Chong, 2006. "Barriers to Exit," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6717, Inter-American Development Bank.
  10. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  11. Milanovic, Branko & DEC, 1994. "Determinants of cross-country income inequality : an augmented Kuznets hypothesis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1246, The World Bank.
  12. David Mckenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2004. "Network Effects and the Dynamics of Migration and Inequality: Theory and Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2004-3, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2005. "Remittances : transaction costs, determinants, and informal flows," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3704, The World Bank.
  17. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  18. 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.
  19. Ahluwalia, Montek S., 1976. "Inequality, poverty and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-342, December.
  20. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1986. "Remittances and Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 722-40, September.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.