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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, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1009-25, July.
  2. Flood, Robert P. & Rose, Andrew K., 2010. "Inflation targeting and business cycle synchronization," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 704-727, June.
  3. Michel Beine & Elisabetta Lodigiani & Robert Vermeulen, 2011. "Remittances and Financial Openness," DNB Working Papers 317, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  4. 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.
  5. Todd E. Clark & Eric van Wincoop, 1999. "Borders and business cycles," Staff Reports 91, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  7. 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.
  8. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2011. "Are Bilateral Remittances Countercyclical?," Scholarly Articles 9642640, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Christian Hubert Ebeke, 2011. "Remittances, Countercyclicality, Openness and Government Size," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 77(4), pages 89-114.
  10. César Calderón & Alberto E. Chong & Ernesto H. Stein, 2003. "Trade Intensity and Business Cycle Synchronization: Are Developing Countries any Different?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6501, Inter-American Development Bank.
  11. 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.
  12. Giuliano, Paola & Ruiz-Arranz, Marta, 2006. "Remittances, Financial Development, and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 2160, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. 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.
  14. Nunn, Nathan & Wantchekon, Leonard, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," Scholarly Articles 11986331, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Christian EBEKE & Jean-Louis COMBES, 2010. "Remittances and Household Consumption Instability in Developing Countries," Working Papers 201015, CERDI.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Andrew K. Rose & Charles Engel, 2000. "Currency Unions and International Integration," NBER Working Papers 7872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Jean-Louis Combes & Christian Ebeke, 2011. "Remittances and Household Consumption Instability in Developing Countries," Working Papers halshs-00552245, HAL.
  24. Kose, M. Ayhan & Prasad, Eswar & Terrones, Marco E., 2003. "How Does Globalization Affect the Synchronization of Business Cycles?," IZA Discussion Papers 702, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. 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.
  26. 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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