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

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  • Serdar Sayan

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Serdar Sayan, 2006. "Business Cycles and Workers' Remittances; How Do Migrant Workers Respond to Cyclical Movements of GDP At Home?," IMF Working Papers 06/52, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/52
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    1. Pallage, Stephane & Robe, Michel A, 2001. "Foreign Aid and the Business Cycle," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 641-672, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Osman Tuncay Aydas & Kivilcim Metin-Ozcan & Bilin Neyapti, 2005. "Determinants of Workers' Remittances : The Case of Turkey," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 53-69, May.
    4. Ralph Chami & Connel Fullenkamp & Samir Jahjah, 2005. "Are Immigrant Remittance Flows a Source of Capital for Development?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(1), pages 55-81, April.
    5. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    6. C. Emre Alper, 2002. "Business Cycles, Excess Volatility, and Capital Flows: Evidence from Mexico and Turkey," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 25-58, August.
    7. Lücke Bernd, 2005. "Is Germany's GDP Trend-Stationary? A Measurement-With-Theory Approach / Ist das deutsche BIP trendstationär: Ein Measurement-With-Theory Ansatz," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 225(1), pages 60-76, February.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Russell, Sharon Stanton, 1986. "Remittances from international migration: A review in perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 677-696, June.
    11. 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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