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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., 2010. "Are Bilateral Remittances Countercyclical?," Scholarly Articles 4450131, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Christian Hubert Ebeke, 2011. "Remittances, Countercyclicality, Openness and Government Size," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 77(4), pages 89-114.
  3. 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.
  4. Jean Imbs, 2004. "Trade, Finance, Specialization, and Synchronization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 723-734, August.
  5. Javorcik, Beata S. & Ozden, Caglar & Spatareanu, Mariana & Neagu, Cristina, 2006. "Migrant networks and foreign direct investment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4046, The World Bank.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Michel Beine & Elisabetta Lodigiani & Robert Vermeulen, 2009. "Remittances and Financial Openness," CREA Discussion Paper Series 09-09, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  9. Marta Ruiz-Arranz & Paola Giuliano, 2005. "Remittances, Financial Development, and Growth," IMF Working Papers 05/234, International Monetary Fund.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Jules-Armand Tapsoba, 2009. "Trade Intensity and Business Cycle Synchronicity in Africa," Post-Print hal-00368586, HAL.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Calderon, Cesar & Chong, Alberto & Stein, Ernesto, 2007. "Trade intensity and business cycle synchronization: Are developing countries any different?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 2-21, March.
  16. Jean-Louis Combes & Christian Hubert Ebeke, 2011. "Remittances and Household Consumption Instability in Developing Countries," Working Papers halshs-00552245, HAL.
  17. Engel, Charles M & Rose, Andrew K, 2001. "Currency Unions and International Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 2659, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. 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.
  19. Clark, Todd E. & van Wincoop, Eric, 2001. "Borders and business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 59-85, October.
  20. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Markus Brückner, 2013. "On the simultaneity problem in the aid and growth debate," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 126-150, 01.
  22. Flood, Robert P & Rose, Andrew K, 2009. "Inflation Targeting and Business Cycle Synchronization," CEPR Discussion Papers 7377, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
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