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Remittances Channel and Fiscal Impact in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia

  • Yasser Abdih
  • Ralph Chami
  • Christian Ebeke
  • Adolfo Barajas

This paper identifies a remittances channel that transmits exogenous shocks, such as business cycles in remittance-sending countries, to the public finances of remittance-receiving countries. Using panel data for remittance-receiving countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, three types of results emerge. First, remittances appear to be strongly procyclical vis-Ã -vis sending country income. Second, remittances tend to be spent on consumption of both imported and domestically produced goods, rather than on investment. Third, shocks in the sending countries are transmitted via remittances to the public finances - specifically, tax revenues - of receiving countries. In the case of the 2009 global downturn, this impact was particularly strong for several countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia, whereas in the subsequent recovery in 2010 virtually all receiving countries benefitted from an upturn in remittance-driven tax revenues.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/104.

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Length: 40
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/104
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  1. David Antonio C., 2011. "How do International Financial Flows to Developing Countries Respond to Natural Disasters?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(4), pages 1-38, December.
  2. Jeffrey Frankel, 2011. "Are Bilateral Remittances Countercyclical?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 1-16, February.
  3. B. Gabriela Mundaca, 2009. "Remittances, Financial Market Development, and Economic Growth: The Case of Latin America and the Caribbean," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 288-303, 05.
  4. Yoko NIIMI & Caglar OZDEN & Maurice SCHIFF, 2010. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Skilled Migrants Do Remit Less," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 97-98, pages 123-141.
  5. Keen, Michael & Lockwood, Ben, 2007. "The Value Added Tax : Its Causes and Consequences," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 801, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  6. Dalia Hakura & Ralph Chami & Peter Montiel, 2009. "Remittances; An Automatic Output Stabilizer?," IMF Working Papers 09/91, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Aggarwal, Reena & Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Pería, Maria Soledad Martínez, 2011. "Do remittances promote financial development?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 255-264, November.
  8. Yasser Abdih & Jihad Dagher & Peter Montiel, 2010. "Remittances and Institutions: Are Remittances a Curse?," Center for Development Economics 2010-08, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  9. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Pozo, Susan, 2004. "Workers' Remittances and the Real Exchange Rate: A Paradox of Gifts," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1407-1417, August.
  10. Raju Jan Singh & Kyung-woo Lee & Markus Haacker, 2009. "Determinants and Macroeconomic Impact of Remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 09/216, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Jonathan Eaton & Akiko Tamura, 1995. "Bilateralism and Regionalism in Japanese and U.S. Trade and Direct Foreign Investment Patterns," NBER Working Papers 4758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Michael T. Gapen & Ralph Chami & Peter Montiel & Adolfo Barajas & Connel Fullenkamp, 2009. "Do Workers' Remittances Promote Economic Growth?," IMF Working Papers 09/153, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Ilene Grabel, 2009. "Remittances: Political Economy and Developmental Implications," International Journal of Political Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 38(4), pages 86-106, December.
  15. Sanket Mohapatra & George Joseph & Dilip Ratha, 2012. "Remittances and natural disasters: ex-post response and contribution to ex-ante preparedness," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 365-387, June.
  16. 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.
  17. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2008. "Remittances, transaction costs, and informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 356-366, June.
  18. Dean Yang, 2006. "Coping with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2002," NBER Working Papers 12794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Parsons, Christopher R. & Skeldon, Ronald & Walmsley, Terrie L. & Winters, L. Alan, 2007. "Quantifying international migration : a database of bilateral migrant stocks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4165, The World Bank.
  20. Ralph Chami & Yasser Abdih & Amine Mati & Michael T. Gapen, 2009. "Fiscal Sustainability in Remittance-Dependent Economies," IMF Working Papers 09/190, International Monetary Fund.
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