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Do remittances have a flip side ? A general equilibrium analysis of remittances, labor supply responses, and policy options for Jamaica

  • Bussolo, Maurizio
  • Medvedev, Denis

Econometric analysis has established a negative relationship between labor supply and remittances in Jamaica. The authors incorporate this ex-post evidence in a general equilibrium model to investigate economywide effects of increased remittance inflows. In this model, remittances reduce labor force participation by increasing the reservation wages of recipients. This exacerbates the real exchange rate appreciation, hurting Jamaica's export base and small manufacturing import-competing sector. Within the narrow margins of maneuver of a highly indebted government, the authors show that a revenue-neutral policy response of a simultaneous reduction in payroll taxes and increase in sales taxes can effectively counteract these potentially negative effects of remittances.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4143.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4143
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  1. Alvaro Forteza & Martín Rama, 2000. "Labor Market "Rigidity" and the Success of Economic Reforms Across more than One Hundred Countries," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0600, Department of Economics - dECON.
  2. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1.
  3. Matshe, Innocent & Young, Trevor, 2004. "Off-farm labour allocation decisions in small-scale rural households in Zimbabwe," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 175-186, May.
  4. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  5. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
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