IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp11438.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Hollowing Out the Middle? Remittances and Income Inequality in Nigeria

Author

Listed:
  • Bang, James T.

    () (St. Ambrose University)

  • Mitra, Aniruddha

    () (Bard College)

  • Wunnava, Phanindra V.

    () (Middlebury College)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of remittances on poverty and inequality in Nigeria. In contrast to the existing literature, our methodology of instrumental variable quantile regression (IVQR) explicitly demonstrates the differential marginal impact of remittances for households at different levels of the conditional expenditure distribution. Furthermore, in tracing this heterogeneous impact, we are able to address the effect of remittances on poverty and inequality simultaneously in a unified econometric model. Our results reveal a positive marginal impact of remittances at all but the very highest quantiles of the conditional distribution of household expenditure, with the impact being the greatest up to the 12th quantile. While this unambiguously supports the poverty alleviation role of remittances hypothesized in the literature, the distributional impact is more nuanced: The marginal effect of remittance is seen to follow an approximate U-shape over the household expenditure distribution until the 89th quantile, whereupon it drops sharply. As such, households lying between the 13th to the 35th quantile gain far less from receiving remittances than households outside of this range.

Suggested Citation

  • Bang, James T. & Mitra, Aniruddha & Wunnava, Phanindra V., 2018. "Hollowing Out the Middle? Remittances and Income Inequality in Nigeria," IZA Discussion Papers 11438, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11438
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp11438.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dilip Ratha & Sanket Mohapatra & Caglar Ozden & Sonia Plaza & William Shaw & Abebe Shimeles, 2011. "Leveraging Migration for Africa : Remittances, Skills, and Investments
      [Optimisation du phénomène migratoire pour l’Afrique : Envois de fonds, compétences et investissements]
      ," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2300, August.
    2. John Chiwuzulum Odozi & Timothy Taiwo Awoyemi & Bolarin Titus Omonona, 2010. "Household poverty and inequality: the implication of migrants' remittances in Nigeria," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 191-199.
    3. 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.
    4. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    5. Adams Jr., Richard H. & Cuecuecha, Alfredo, 2010. "Remittances, Household Expenditure and Investment in Guatemala," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1626-1641, November.
    6. Adams, Richard H. & Cuecuecha, Alfredo, 2013. "The Impact of Remittances on Investment and Poverty in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 24-40.
    7. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    8. Rodriguez, Edgard R, 1998. "International Migration and Income Distribution in the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 329-350, January.
    9. Nguyen, Binh T. & Albrecht, James W. & Vroman, Susan B. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 2007. "A quantile regression decomposition of urban-rural inequality in Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 466-490, July.
    10. Richard Adams, 2011. "Evaluating the Economic Impact of International Remittances On Developing Countries Using Household Surveys: A Literature Review," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(6), pages 809-828.
    11. Victor Chernozhukov & Christian Hansen, 2005. "An IV Model of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 245-261, January.
    12. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2008. "Remittances, transaction costs, and informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 356-366, June.
    13. Bang, James T. & Mitra, Aniruddha & Wunnava, Phanindra V., 2016. "Do remittances improve income inequality? An instrumental variable quantile analysis of the Kenyan case," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 394-402.
    14. William M. Fonta & Elias T. Ayuk & Jude O. Chukwu & Onyukwu E. Onyukwu & Cletus C. Agu & Innocent O. Umenwa, 2015. "Dynamics of remittance utilization by Nigerian households," Progress in Development Studies, , vol. 15(4), pages 343-357, October.
    15. John Chiwuzulum Odozi & Timothy Taiwo Awoyemi & Bolarin Titus Omonona, 2010. "Household poverty and inequality: the implication of migrants' remittances in Nigeria," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 191-199.
    16. Barham, Bradford & Boucher, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, remittances, and inequality: estimating the net effects of migration on income distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 307-331, April.
    17. Michael Lokshin & Mikhail Bontch-Osmolovski & Elena Glinskaya, 2010. "Work-Related Migration and Poverty Reduction in Nepal," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 323-332, May.
    18. repec:taf:jdevst:v:32:y:1996:i:6:p:899-912 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
    20. F. Wouterse, 2010. "Remittances, Poverty, Inequality and Welfare: Evidence from the Central Plateau of Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 771-789.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    poverty; income inequality; migration; remittances; instrumental variable; quantile regression;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11438. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.