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The Impact of Remittances on Economic Growth and Development in Africa

  • Bichaka Fayissa
  • Christian Nsiah

For more than half a century, there have been heated debates on the sources of economic growth in developing economies. The perceived factors of economic growth have ranged from surplus labor to capital investment and technological change, foreign aid, foreign direct investment, investment in human capital, increasing returns from investment in new ideas and research and development. The positive or negative impacts of the above listed traditional sources of economic growth have been well documented in literature. Other researchers have also considered the importance of institutional factors such as the role of political freedom, political instability, voice and accountability on economic growth and development. Despite the increasing importance of remittances in total international capital flows, however, the direct or indirect relationship between remittances and economic growth has not been adequately studied. This study explores the aggregate impact of remittances on economic growth within the conventional neoclassical growth framework using an unbalanced panel data spanning from1980 to 2004 for 37 African countries. We find that remittances boost growth in countries where the financial systems are less developed by providing an alternative way to finance investment and helping overcome liquidity constraints.

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File URL: http://capone.mtsu.edu/berc/working/WP2008_02remittances.pdf
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Paper provided by Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 200802.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:mts:wpaper:200802
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mtsu.edu/~berc/working/Economics_Working_Papers.html
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  1. Sala-I-Martin, X. & Barro, R.J., 1991. "Public Finance in Models of Economic Growth," Papers 640, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  2. Barro, R.J., 1988. "Government Spending In A Simple Model Of Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 130, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  4. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  5. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2008. "Governance matters VII : aggregate and individual governance indicators 1996-2007," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4654, The World Bank.
  6. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  7. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  8. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. " Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-89, September.
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