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

  • Adolfo Barajas
  • Ralph Chami
  • Christian H Ebeke
  • Sampawende J 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. 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.
  2. Giuliano, Paola & Ruiz-Arranz, Marta, 2006. "Remittances, Financial Development, and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 2160, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2010. "Are Bilateral Remittances Countercyclical?," Scholarly Articles 4450131, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
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  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. Beine, Michel & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Vermeulen, Robert, 2012. "Remittances and financial openness," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 844-857.
  11. 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.
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  13. Todd E. Clark & Eric Van Wincoop, 1999. "Borders and business cycles," Staff Reports 91, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  14. Christian EBEKE & Jean-Louis COMBES, 2010. "Remittances and Household Consumption Instability in Developing Countries," Working Papers 201015, CERDI.
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  17. 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.
  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. Imbs, Jean, 2003. "Trade, Finance, Specialization and Synchronization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3779, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Javorcik, Beata S. & Özden, Çaglar & Spatareanu, Mariana & Neagu, Cristina, 2011. "Migrant networks and foreign direct investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 231-241, March.
  24. Flood, Robert P & Rose, Andrew K, 2009. "Inflation Targeting and Business Cycle Synchronization," CEPR Discussion Papers 7377, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  26. Yasser Abdih & Ralph Chami & Christian H 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.
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