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Remittances, Business Cycles and Poverty: The Recent Turkish Experience

  • Sayan, Serdar
  • Tekin-Koru, Ayca

We investigate whether remittances sent to Turkey by Turkish workers living in Germany are countercyclical or procyclical with Turkish and German national outputs and discuss the possible reasons underlying the resulting patterns and their implications. We also take up a previously unexplored issue and discuss poverty alleviation potential of remittances at a macroeconomic level by examining the statistical properties of any co-movements between remittances cycles and cycles in consumption spending on food and durable goods in Turkey. Our results reveal that the real remittance flows from Germany to Turkey move procyclically with the real output in Turkey, and are primarily driven by (largely independent of) the developments in the Turkish economy (German economy). We also find that remittances cycles remain procyclical to the consumption cycles throughout our sample period. This direct co-movement between the two cycles becomes synchronous, however, only after a phase shift occurring around 1992, pointing to the increasing role of the level of economic activity in Turkey as the leading determinant of remittance receipts from Germany and the declining strength of consumption smoothing motive over time. Our results all together point out a low potential for remittances sent from Germany to reduce poverty in Turkey, at least as far as the past fifteen years are concerned.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 6029.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6029
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  1. Samuel Munzele Maimbo & Dilip Ratha, 2005. "Remittances: Development Impact and Future Prospects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7339, May.
  2. Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1990. "Business cycles: real facts and a monetary myth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-18.
  3. Claudia M. Buch & Anja Kuckulenz & Marie-Helene Le Manchec, 2002. "Worker Remittances and Capital Flows," Kiel Working Papers 1130, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Charles Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2000. "Why are Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Component Decompositions of GDP so Different?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0692, Econometric Society.
  5. C. Emre Alper, 2002. "Business Cycles, Excess Volatility, and Capital Flows: Evidence from Mexico and Turkey," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 38(4), pages 25-58, August.
  6. Lucas, Robert E., 1977. "Understanding business cycles," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 7-29, January.
  7. Pallage, Stephane & Robe, Michel A, 2001. "Foreign Aid and the Business Cycle," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 641-72, November.
  8. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M., 1995. "Effects of the Hodrick-Prescott filter on trend and difference stationary time series Implications for business cycle research," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 253-278.
  9. Serdar Sayan, 2006. "Business Cycles and Workers' Remittances; How Do Migrant Workers Respond to Cyclical Movements of GDP At Home?," IMF Working Papers 06/52, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
  11. James C. Morley & Charles R. Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2003. "Why Are the Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Components Decompositions of GDP So Different?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 235-243, May.
  12. Osman Tuncay Aydas & Kivilcim Metin-Ozcan & Bilin Neyapti, 2005. "Determinants of Workers' Remittances : The Case of Turkey," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 41(3), pages 53-69, May.
  13. Kuckulenz, Anja & Buch, Claudia M., 2004. "Worker Remittances and Capital Flows to Developing Countries," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-31, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Bernd Lucke, 2005. "Is Germany's GDP Trend-Stationary? A Measurement-With Theory Approach," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 225(1), pages 60-76, January.
  15. Russell, Sharon Stanton, 1986. "Remittances from international migration: A review in perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 677-696, June.
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