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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2009. "Are Bilateral Remittances Countercyclical?," NBER Working Papers 15419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael Keen & Ben Lockwood, 2007. "The Value Added Tax: Its Causes and Consequences," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/09, European University Institute.
  5. 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.
  6. Niimi, Yoko & Ozden, Caglar & Schiff, Maurice, 2008. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Skilled Migrants Do Remit Less," IZA Discussion Papers 3393, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Raju Jan Singh & Markus Haacker & Kyung-woo Lee & Ma�lan Le Goff, 2011. "Determinants and Macroeconomic Impact of Remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 20(2), pages 312-340, March.
  12. Jihad Dagher & Ralph Chami & Peter Montiel & Yasser Abdih, 2008. "Remittances and Institutions; Are Remittances a Curse?," IMF Working Papers 08/29, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Ralph Chami & Yasser Abdih & Amine Mati & Michael T. Gapen, 2009. "Fiscal Sustainability in Remittance-Dependent Economies," IMF Working Papers 09/190, International Monetary Fund.
  14. 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.
  15. Dalia Hakura & Ralph Chami & Peter Montiel, 2009. "Remittances; An Automatic Output Stabilizer?," IMF Working Papers 09/91, International Monetary Fund.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2008. "Remittances, transaction costs, and informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 356-366, June.
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