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Workers’ Remittances: An Overlooked Channel of International Business Cycle Transmission?

  • Adolfo Barajas
  • Ralph Chami
  • Christian Ebeke
  • Sampawende J.-A. Tapsoba

This paper shows that remittance flows significantly increase the business cycle synchronization between remittance-recipient countries and the rest of the world. Using both aggregate and bilateral remittances data in a panel data setting, the study demonstrates that this effect is robust and causal. Moreover, the econometric analysis reveals that remittance flows are more effective in channeling economic downturns than upswings from the sending countries to remittance-receiving economies. The analysis suggests that measures of openness and spillovers could be enhanced by accounting for the role of the remittances channel.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/251.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 19 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/251
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  1. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Markus Bruckner, 2011. "On the Simultaneity Problem in the Aid and Growth Debate," School of Economics Working Papers 2011-01, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  3. Marta Ruiz-Arranz & Paola Giuliano, 2005. "Remittances, Financial Development, and Growth," IMF Working Papers 05/234, International Monetary Fund.
  4. César Calderón & Alberto Chong & Ernesto Stein, 2002. "Trade Intensity and Business Cycle Synchronization: Are Developing Countries Any Different?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 195, Central Bank of Chile.
  5. 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.
  6. Christian Hubert EBEKE, 2011. "Remittances, Countercyclicality, Openness and Government Size," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2011044, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  7. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2010. "Are Bilateral Remittances Countercyclical?," Scholarly Articles 4450131, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  8. Rose, Andrew K & Engel, Charles, 2002. "Currency Unions and International Integration," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 1067-89, November.
  9. Beine, Michel & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Vermeulen, Robert, 2012. "Remittances and financial openness," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 844-857.
  10. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1997. "Is EMU more justifiable ex post than ex ante?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 753-760, April.
  11. Rao, B. Bhaskara & Hassan, Gazi Mainul, 2011. "A panel data analysis of the growth effects of remittances," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 701-709.
  12. Flood, Robert P & Rose, Andrew K, 2009. "Inflation Targeting and Business Cycle Synchronization," CEPR Discussion Papers 7377, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
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  16. Nicholas P. Glytsos, 2005. "The contribution of remittances to growth: A dynamic approach and empirical analysis," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(5), pages 468-496, October.
  17. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Christian Hubert Ebeke, 2011. "Do Remittances Lead to a Public Moral Hazard in Developing Countries? An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(8), pages 1009-1025, May.
  19. Cerqueira, Pedro André & Martins, Rodrigo, 2009. "Measuring the determinants of business cycle synchronization using a panel approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 106-108, February.
  20. S. Jules-Armand Tapsoba, 2009. "Trade Intensity and Business Cycle Synchronicity in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(2), pages 287-318, March.
  21. Christian EBEKE & Jean-Louis COMBES, 2010. "Remittances and Household Consumption Instability in Developing Countries," Working Papers 201015, CERDI.
  22. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar S. Prasad & Marco E. Terrones, 2003. "How Does Globalization Affect the Synchronization of Business Cycles?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 57-62, May.
  23. Yasser Abdih & Ralph Chami & Christian Ebeke & Adolfo Barajas, 2012. "Remittances Channel and Fiscal Impact in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia," IMF Working Papers 12/104, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2009. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," NBER Working Papers 14783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. 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.
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