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The demographic, economic and financial determinants of international remittances in developing countries


  • Adams, Richard H., Jr.


What causes developing countries to receive different levels of international remittances? This paper addresses this question by using new data on such variables as the skill composition of migrants, poverty, and interest and exchange rates to examine the determinants of remittances. The paper finds that the skill composition of migrants does matter in remittance determination. Countries which export a larger share of high-skilled (educated) migrants receive less per capita remittances than countries which export a larger proportion of low-skilled migrants. It also finds that the level of poverty in a labor-sending country does not have a positive impact on the level of remittances received.

Suggested Citation

  • Adams, Richard H., Jr., 2008. "The demographic, economic and financial determinants of international remittances in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4583, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4583

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adams, Richard Jr. & Page, John, 2005. "Do international migration and remittances reduce poverty in developing countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1645-1669, October.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:75-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Riccardo Faini, 2007. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Do More Skilled Migrants Remit More?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 177-191, May.
    4. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frederic, 2006. "The Economics of Migrants' Remittances," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    5. Nicholas P. Glytsos, 1997. "Remitting Behaviour of "Temporary" and "Permanent" Migrants: The Case of Greeks in Germany and Australia," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 11(3), pages 409-435, November.
    6. Faini, Riccardo, 2006. "Remittances and the Brain Drain," IZA Discussion Papers 2155, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Ilahi, Nadeem & Jafarey, Saqib, 1999. "Guestworker migration, remittances and the extended family: evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 485-512, April.
    8. El-Sakka, M. I. T. & McNabb, Robert, 1999. "The Macroeconomic Determinants of Emigrant Remittances," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1493-1502, August.
    9. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-918, October.
    10. Niimi, Yoko & Ozden, Caglar, 2006. "Migration and remittances : causes and linkages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4087, The World Bank.
    11. Richard H. Adams, 2006. "International Remittances and the Household: Analysis and Review of Global Evidence," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 396-425, December.
    12. Faini, Riccardo, 1994. "Workers Remittances and the Real Exchange Rate: A Quantitative Framework," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 235-245.
    13. Banerjee, Biswajit, 1984. "The probability, size and uses of remittances from urban to rural areas in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 293-311, December.
    14. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2005. "Remittances : transaction costs, determinants, and informal flows," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3704, The World Bank.
    15. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2004. "Remittances and poverty in Guatemala," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3418, The World Bank.
    16. Cox, Donald & Eser, Zekeriya & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1998. "Motives for private transfers over the life cycle: An analytical framework and evidence for Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 57-80, February.
    17. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2001. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, And The Family: Evidence From Transfer Behavior In Low-Income Rural Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 389-407, August.
    18. Pablo Acosta & Cesar Calderón & Pablo Fajnzylber & Humberto López, 2006. "Remittances and Development in Latin America," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(7), pages 957-987, July.
    19. Matthew Higgins & Alketa Hysenbegasi & Susan Pozo, 2004. "Exchange-rate uncertainty and workers' remittances," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(6), pages 403-411.
    20. Agarwal, Reena & Horowitz, Andrew W., 2002. "Are International Remittances Altruism or Insurance? Evidence from Guyana Using Multiple-Migrant Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2033-2044, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maëlan Le Goff & Sara Salomone, 2016. "Remittances and the Changing Composition of Migration," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 513-529, April.
    2. ., 2012. "Migration impact assessment: a state of the art," Chapters,in: Migration Impact Assessment, chapter 1, pages 3-62 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Alex Julca, 2013. "Can Immigrant Remittances Support Development Finance?," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(3), pages 365-380, May.
    4. Nijkamp, P. & Poot, H.J., 2012. "Migration impact assessment: A state of the art," Serie Research Memoranda 0009, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    5. Rizwana Siddiqui, 2013. "Impact Evaluation of Remittances for Pakistan: Propensity Score Matching Approach," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 52(1), pages 17-44.
    6. Ziesemer, Thomas H.W., 2012. "Worker remittances, migration, accumulation and growth in poor developing countries: Survey and analysis of direct and indirect effects," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 103-118.
    7. repec:dgr:unumer:2008063 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Population Policies; Remittances; Debt Markets; Access to Finance; Rural Poverty Reduction;

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