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The impact of remittances on poverty and inequality in Ghana

  • Adams, Richard H., Jr.
  • Cuecuecha, Alfredo
  • Page, John

This paper uses a new, 2005/06 nationally-representative household survey to analyze the impact of internal remittances (from Ghana) and international remittances (from African and other countries) on poverty and inequality in Ghana. To control for selection and endogeneity, it uses a two-stage multinomial logit model with instrumental variables focusing on variations in migration networks and remittances among various ethno-religious groups in Ghana. The paper finds that both internal and international remittances reduce the level, depth, and severity of poverty in Ghana. However, the size of the poverty reduction depends on the type of remittances received. In general, poverty in Ghana is reduced more by international than internal remittances. For households receiving international remittances, the level of poverty falls by 88.1 percent with the inclusion of remittances; for households receiving internal remittances, poverty falls by 69.4 percent with the inclusion of remittances. The paper also finds that both types of remittances increase income inequality in Ghana. For households with internal remittances, the inclusion of remittances causes the Gini coefficient to rise by 4 percent, and for households with international remittances, the inclusion of remittances causes the Gini to increase by 17.4 percent.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4732.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4732
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  1. Woodruff, Christopher & Zenteno, Rene, 2007. "Migration networks and microenterprises in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 509-528, March.
  2. Dean Yang, 2006. "Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 715-735, November.
  3. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2004. "Remittances and poverty in Guatemala," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3418, The World Bank.
  4. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  5. Lokshin, Michael & Bontch-Osmolovski, Mikhail & Glinskaya, Elena, 2007. "Work-related migration and poverty reduction in Nepal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4231, The World Bank.
  6. Lipton, Michael, 1980. "Migration from rural areas of poor countries: The impact on rural productivity and income distribution," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-24, January.
  7. Taylor, J. Edward & Mora, Jorge & Adams, Richard H., Jr., 2005. "Remittances, Inequality and Poverty: Evidence from Rural Mexico," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19245, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  8. Schmertmann, Carl P., 1994. "Selectivity bias correction methods in polychotomous sample selection models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 101-132.
  9. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gustafsson, Bjorn & Makonnen, Negatu, 1993. "Poverty and Remittances in Lesotho," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 2(1), pages 49-73, May.
  11. 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.
  12. de la Briere, Benedicte & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain & Lambert, Sylvie, 2002. "The roles of destination, gender, and household composition in explaining remittances: an analysis for the Dominican Sierra," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 309-328, August.
  13. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  14. Adams, Richard H., Jr., 1991. "The effects of international remittances on poverty, inequality, and development in rural Egypt:," Research reports 86, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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