IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6812.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6812
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Rabah Arezki & Markus Bruckner, 2011. "Rainfall, Financial Development, and Remittances: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," School of Economics Working Papers 2011-30, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  2. Adolfo Barajas & Ralph Chami & Christian H Ebeke & Sampawende J Tapsoba, 2012. "Workers’ Remittances; An Overlooked Channel of International Business Cycle Transmission?," IMF Working Papers 12/251, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Niimi, Yoko & Ozden, Caglar & Schiff, Maurice, 2008. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Skilled Migrants Do Remit Less," IZA Discussion Papers 3393, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Giuliano, Paola & Ruiz-Arranz, Marta, 2006. "Remittances, Financial Development, and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 2160, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Cooray Arusha & Mallick Debdulal, 2013. "International business cycles and remittance flows," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 33, September.
  6. Bonaccorsi di Patti, Emilia & Gobbi, Giorgio, 2001. "The changing structure of local credit markets: Are small businesses special?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 2209-2237, December.
  7. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "The Social Cost of Foreign Exchange Reserves," Working Papers id:357, eSocialSciences.
  8. Michael A. Clemens, 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 83-106, Summer.
  9. Sanket Mohapatra & George Joseph & Dilip Ratha, 2012. "Remittances and natural disasters: ex-post response and contribution to ex-ante preparedness," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 365-387, June.
  10. HwaJung Choi, 2007. "Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 219-248, May.
  11. Gupta, Sanjeev & Pattillo, Catherine A. & Wagh, Smita, 2009. "Effect of Remittances on Poverty and Financial Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 104-115, January.
  12. James E. Anderson, 2010. "The Gravity Model," NBER Working Papers 16576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Carlos Vargas-Silva, 2009. "Are Remittances Manna From Heaven? A Look at the Business Cycle Properties of Remittances," Working Papers 0905, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
  14. Ralph Chami & Dalia Hakura & Peter Montiel, 2010. "Do Worker Remittances Reduce Output Volatility in Developing Countries?," Center for Development Economics 2010-01, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  15. Frédéric DOCQUIER & Hillel RAPOPORT & Sara SALOMONE, 2011. "Remittances, Migrants’Education and Immigration Policy: Theory and Evidence from Bilateral Data," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  16. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2010. "Are Bilateral Remittances Countercyclical?," Scholarly Articles 4450131, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  18. 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.
  19. Maëlan Le Goff & Markus Haacker & Kyung-Woo Lee & Raju Jan Singh, 2011. "Determinants and Macroeconomic Impact of Remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa," Post-Print halshs-00569044, HAL.
  20. Lotta Themnér & Peter Wallensteen, 2013. "Armed Conflicts, 1946–2012," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 50(4), pages 509-521, July.
  21. Åule Akkoyunlu & Konstantin A. Kholodilin, 2008. "A Link Between Workers' Remittances and Business Cycles in Germany and Turkey," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 44(5), pages 23-40, September.
  22. Giulia Bettin & Alberto Zazzaro, 2009. "Remittances and Financial Development:;Substitutes or Complements in Economic Growth?," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 28, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  23. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEP Discussion Papers dp0701, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  24. Adams Jr., Richard H., 2009. "The Determinants of International Remittances in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 93-103, January.
  25. Lueth Erik & Ruiz-Arranz Marta, 2008. "Determinants of Bilateral Remittance Flows," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-23, October.
  26. repec:adr:anecst:y:2010:i:97-98:p:06 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Jean-Louis Combes & Christian Hubert Ebeke, 2013. "Do remittances dampen the effect of natural disasters on output growth volatility in developing countries?," Post-Print halshs-00913613, HAL.
  28. Matteo Bugamelli & Francesco Patern�, 2008. "Output growth volatility and remittances," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 673, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  29. Yang Dean, 2008. "Coping with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2002," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-45, June.
  30. Noy, Ilan, 2009. "The macroeconomic consequences of disasters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 221-231, March.
  31. Martijn Burger & Frank van Oort & Gert-Jan Linders, 2009. "On the Specification of the Gravity Model of Trade: Zeros, Excess Zeros and Zero-inflated Estimation," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 167-190.
  32. Adams Jr., Richard H. & Cuecuecha, Alfredo, 2010. "Remittances, Household Expenditure and Investment in Guatemala," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1626-1641, November.
  33. Hoddinott, John, 1994. "A Model of Migration and Remittances Applied to Western Kenya," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 459-76, July.
  34. Naudé, Wim & Bezuidenhout, Henri, 2012. "Remittances provide resilience against disasters in Africa," MERIT Working Papers 026, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  35. Raddatz, Claudio, 2005. "Are external shocks responsible for the instability of output in low income countries?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3680, The World Bank.
  36. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Pozo, Susan & Vargas-Silva, Carlos, 2007. "Remittances and the Macroeconomy: The Case of Small Island Developing States," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  37. Ceyhun Bora Durdu & Serdar Sayan, 2008. "Emerging market business cycles with remittance fluctuations," International Finance Discussion Papers 946, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  38. David Roodman, 2009. "A Note on the Theme of Too Many Instruments," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(1), pages 135-158, 02.
  39. 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.
  40. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2008. "Remittances, transaction costs, and informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 356-366, June.
  41. Serdar Sayan, 2004. "Guest Workers' Remittances and Output Fluctuations in Host and Home Countries : The Case of Remittances from Turkish Workers in Germany," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 40(6), pages 68-81, November.
  42. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, December.
  43. Samuel Bazzi & Michael A. Clemens, 2013. "Blunt Instruments: Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Identifying the Causes of Economic Growth," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 152-86, April.
  44. 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 235-45.
  45. Osili, Una Okonkwo, 2007. "Remittances and savings from international migration: Theory and evidence using a matched sample," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 446-465, July.
  46. Giulia BETTIN & Riccardo LUCCHETTI & Alberto ZAZZARO, 2011. "Endogeneity and sample selection in a model for remittances," Working Papers 361, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  47. Jean-Louis Combes & Christian Hubert Ebeke & Mireille Ntsama Etoundi & Thierry Yogo, 2012. "Are Foreign Aid and Remittances a Hedge against Food Price Shocks in Developing Countries?," Working Papers halshs-00608128, HAL.
  48. 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.
  49. repec:adr:anecst:y:2010:i:97-98 is not listed on IDEAS
  50. Pietro Alessandrini & Andrea F. Presbitero & Alberto Zazzaro, 2009. "Banks, Distances and Firms' Financing Constraints," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 13(2), pages 261-307.
  51. 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 901-18, October.
  52. El-Sakka, M. I. T. & McNabb, Robert, 1999. "The Macroeconomic Determinants of Emigrant Remittances," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1493-1502, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6812. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.