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Rainfall, Financial Development, and Remittances; Evidence From Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Rabah Arezki
  • Markus Bruckner

We use annual variation in rainfall to examine the effects that exogenous, transitory income shocks have on remittances in a panel of 42 Sub-Saharan African countries during the period 1960-2007. Our main finding is that these income shocks have a significant positive effect on remittances, but that the effect is significantly decreasing in the share of domestic credit to GDP. So much so, that at high levels of credit to GDP transitory increases in income had a significant negative effect on remittances. Our findings are consistent with the view that remittances take advantage of unexploited domestic investment opportunities that can exist due to domestic credit market frictions. Our findings also support the view that when barriers to financial flows are low, remittances effectively provide insurance against transitory income shocks.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 11/153.

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Length: 21
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/153
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  1. 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.
  2. Rabah Arezki & Markus Bruckner, 2011. "Rainfall, Financial Development, and Remittances: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," School of Economics Working Papers 2011-30, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  3. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2006. "Migration, Remittances, and Male and Female Employment Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 222-226, May.
  4. Dean Yang & HwaJung Choi, 2005. "Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines," Working Papers 535, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  5. Cynthia Bansak & Brian Chezum, 2009. "How Do Remittances Affect Human Capital Formation of School-Age Boys and Girls?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 145-48, May.
  6. Markus Brückner & Kerstin Gerling & Hans Grüner, 2010. "Wealth inequality and credit markets: evidence from three industrialized countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 155-176, June.
  7. Salvador Barrios & Luisito Bertinelli & Eric Strobl, 2010. "Trends in Rainfall and Economic Growth in Africa: A Neglected Cause of the African Growth Tragedy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 350-366, May.
  8. Gupta, Sanjeev & Pattillo, Catherine A. & Wagh, Smita, 2009. "Effect of Remittances on Poverty and Financial Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 104-115, January.
  9. Pablo A. Acosta & Emmanuel K.K. Lartey & Federico S. Mandelman, 2007. "Remittances and the Dutch disease," Working Paper 2007-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Yang Dean, 2008. "Coping with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2002," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-45, June.
  11. Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 215-27, October.
  12. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
  13. Dilip Ratha & William Shaw, 2007. "South-South Migration and Remittances," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6733, June.
  14. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2008. "Remittances, transaction costs, and informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 356-366, June.
  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521844413 is not listed on IDEAS
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