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Business Cycles and Workers' Remittances: How Do Migrant Workers Respond to Cyclical Movements of GDP At Home?

  • Serdar Sayan

Workers'' remittances are often argued to have a tendency to move countercyclically with the GDP in recipient countries since migrant workers are expected to remit more during down cycles of economic activity back home. Yet, how much to remit is a complex decision involving other factors, and different variables driving remittance behavior are differently affected by the state of economic activity over the business cycle. This paper investigates the behavior of workers'' remittances flows into 12 developing countries over their respective business cycles during 1976-2003 and finds that countercyclicality of receipts is not commonly observed across these countries.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 06/52.

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Length: 21
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/52
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  1. Bernd Lucke, 2005. "Is Germany's GDP Trend-Stationary? A Measurement-With Theory Approach," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 225(1), pages 60-76, January.
  2. Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981. "Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1990. "Business cycles: real facts and a monetary myth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-18.
  4. Russell, Sharon Stanton, 1986. "Remittances from international migration: A review in perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 677-696, June.
  5. Osman Tuncay Aydas & Kivilcim Metin-Ozcan & Bilin Neyapti, 2005. "Determinants of Workers' Remittances : The Case of Turkey," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 41(3), pages 53-69, May.
  6. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Samir Jahjah & Ralph Chami & Connel Fullenkamp, 2003. "Are Immigrant Remittance Flows a Source of Capital for Development," IMF Working Papers 03/189, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Kuckulenz, Anja & Buch, Claudia M., 2004. "Worker Remittances and Capital Flows to Developing Countries," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-31, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Claudia M. Buch & Anja Kuckulenz & Marie-Helene Le Manchec, 2002. "Worker Remittances and Capital Flows," Kiel Working Papers 1130, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  10. C. Emre Alper, 2002. "Business Cycles, Excess Volatility, and Capital Flows: Evidence from Mexico and Turkey," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 38(4), pages 25-58, August.
  11. Stephane Pallage & Michel Robe, 1998. "Foreign Aid and the Business Cycle," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 63, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  12. Lucas, Robert E., 1977. "Understanding business cycles," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 7-29, January.
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