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Remittances and vulnerability in developing countries


  • Bettin, Giulia
  • Presbitero, Andrea F.
  • Spatafora, Nikola


This paper examines how international remittances are affected by structural characteristics, macroeconomic conditions, and adverse shocks in both source and recipient economies. The paper exploits a novel, rich panel data set, covering bilateral remittances from 103 Italian provinces to 87 developing countries over the period 2005-2011. Remittances are negatively correlated with the business cycle in recipient countries and increase especially strongly in response to adverse exogenous shocks, such as natural disasters or large terms-of-trade declines. Financial development in the source economy, which eases access to financial services for migrants and reduces transaction costs, is positively associated with remittances. Conversely, recipient-country financial development is negatively associated with remittances, suggesting that remittances help alleviate credit constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Bettin, Giulia & Presbitero, Andrea F. & Spatafora, Nikola, 2014. "Remittances and vulnerability in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6812, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6812

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Les migrants contribuent-il à la croissance de leur pays d’origine en y envoyant de l'argent ?
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    Cited by:

    1. Farid Farid, 2014. "The impact of exchange rate policy on remittances in Morocco: A Threshold VAR analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(4), pages 2351-2360.
    2. Giulia Bettin & Andrea F. Presbitero & Nikola L. Spatafora, 2017. "Remittances and Vulnerability in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(1), pages 1-23.
    3. Kristina Matuzeviciute & Mindaugas Butkus, 2016. "Remittances, Development Level, and Long-Run Economic Growth," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-20, December.
    4. Bredtmann, Julia & Martínez Flores, Fernanda & Otten, Sebastian, 2016. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Evidence from Microdata for Sub-Saharan Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 10367, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Giacomo Oddo & Maurizio Magnani & Riccardo Settimo & Simonetta Zappa, 2016. "Remittances of foreign workers in Italy: an estimation of invisible flows in the "informal channel"," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 332, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Michael Clemens and David McKenzie, 2014. "Why Don't Remittances Appear to Affect Growth? - Working Paper 366," Working Papers 366, Center for Global Development.
    7. Zereyesus, Yacob & Tsiboe, Francis & Embaye, Weldensie, 2016. "The Effect of Shocks and Remittances on Household’s Vulnerability to Food Poverty: Evidence from Bangladesh," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236199, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Clara Capelli & Gianni Vaggi, 2014. "Why Gross National Disposable Income should substitute Gross National Income," DEM Working Papers Series 091, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    9. Giulia Bettin & Alberto Zazzaro, 2016. "The Impact of Natural Disasters on Remittances to Low- and Middle-income Countries," CSEF Working Papers 431, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    10. repec:ces:ifodic:v:14:y:2016:i:3:p:19255710 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Elias K Shukralla, 2016. "Remittances, institutions and economic growth: a closer look at some proxies for institutions," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(1), pages 298-312.
    12. Supriyo De & Ergys Islamaj & Ayhan Kose & S. Reza Yousefi, 2016. "Remittances over the Business Cycle: Theory and Evidence," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1601, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    13. Katsushi S. Imai & Bilal Malaeb & Fabrizio Bresciani, 2016. "Remittances, Growth and Poverty Reduction in Asia - A Critical Review of the Literature and the New Evidence from Cross-country Panel Data," Discussion Paper Series DP2016-28, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    14. Imene Guetat & Dorsaf Sridi, 2014. "Institutional Quality Effect on Remittances in the MENA Region," Working Papers 864, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2014.
    15. repec:onb:oenbfi:y:2017:i:2:b:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:ris:betajl:0014 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:94-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Clemens, Michael A. & McKenzie, David, 2014. "Why don't remittances appear to affect growth ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6856, The World Bank.

    More about this item


    Population Policies; Debt Markets; Remittances; Access to Finance; Economic Conditions and Volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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