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Are Workers' Remittances a Hedge Against Macroeconomic Shocks? the Case of Sri Lanka


  • Marta Ruiz-Arranz
  • Erik Lueth


We estimate a vector error correction (VEC) model for Sri Lanka to determine the response of remittance receipts to macroeconomic shocks. This is the first attempt of its kind in the literature. We find that remittance receipts are procyclical and decline when the island's currency weakens, undermining their usefulness as shock absorber. On the other hand, remittances increase in response to oil price shocks, reflecting the fact that most overseas. Sri Lankan are employed in the Gulf states. The procyclicality of remittances calls into question the notion that remittances are largely motivated by altruism.

Suggested Citation

  • Marta Ruiz-Arranz & Erik Lueth, 2007. "Are Workers' Remittances a Hedge Against Macroeconomic Shocks? the Case of Sri Lanka," IMF Working Papers 07/22, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/22

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frederic, 2006. "The Economics of Migrants' Remittances," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    2. Jacques Bouhga-Hagbe, 2004. "A Theory of Workers' Remittances with An Application to Morocco," IMF Working Papers 04/194, International Monetary Fund.
    3. El-Sakka, M. I. T. & McNabb, Robert, 1999. "The Macroeconomic Determinants of Emigrant Remittances," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1493-1502, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Poonam Gupta, 2005. "Macroeconomic Determinants of Remittances; Evidence from India," IMF Working Papers 05/224, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Arvind Subramanian & Raghuram Rajan, 2005. "What Undermines Aid’s Impact on Growth?," IMF Working Papers 05/126, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-1580, November.
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    1. repec:rss:jnljfe:v2i3p5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jean-Louis COMBES & Christian EBEKE & Mireille NTSAMA ETOUNDI, 2011. "Are Foreign Aid and Remittances a Hedge against Food Price Shocks in Developing Countries?," Working Papers 201121, CERDI.
    3. Farid Farid, 2014. "The impact of exchange rate policy on remittances in Morocco: A Threshold VAR analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(4), pages 2351-2360.
    4. Mazhar Y. Mughal & Junaid Ahmed, 2014. "Remittances and Business Cycles: Comparison of South Asian Countries," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 513-541, December.
    5. Jamal Bouoiyour & Refk Selmi & Amal Miftah, 2017. "Relationship Between Remittances and Macroeconomic Variables in Times of Political and Social Upheaval: Evidence from Tunisia's Arab Spring," Working Papers 1140, Economic Research Forum, revised 09 2003.
    6. Ceyhun Bora Durdu & Serdar Sayan, 2010. "Emerging Market Business Cycles with Remittance Fluctuations," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 57(2), pages 303-325, June.


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