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Do Worker Remittances Reduce Output Volatility in Developing Countries?

Remittance inflows have increased considerably in recent years and are large relative to the size of many recipient economies. The theoretical and empirical effects of remittance inflows on output growth volatility are, however, ambiguous. On the one hand, remittances have been a remarkably stable source of income, relative to other private and public flows, and they seem to be compensatory in nature, rising when the home country’s economy suffers a downturn. On the other hand, the labor supply effects induced by altruistic remittances could cause the output effects associated with technology shocks to be magnified. This paper finds robust evidence for a sample of 70 remittance-recipient countries, including 16 advanced economies and 54 developing countries that remittances have a negative effect on output growth volatility, thereby supporting the notion that remittance flows are a stabilizing influence on output.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Center for Development Economics with number 2010-01.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wil:wilcde:2010-01
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  1. Abdih, Yasser & Chami, Ralph & Dagher, Jihad & Montiel, Peter, 2012. "Remittances and Institutions: Are Remittances a Curse?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 657-666.
  2. Miklos Koren & Silvana Tenreyro, 2003. "Diversification and development," Working Papers 03-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  3. Aggarwal, Reena & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2006. "Do workers'remittances promote financial development ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3957, The World Bank.
  4. 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.
  5. Furceri, Davide & Karras, Georgios, 2007. "Country size and business cycle volatility: Scale really matters," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 424-434, December.
  6. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian Lundblad, 2004. "Growth Volatility and Financial Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 10560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Neagu , Ileana C. & Schiff, Maurice, 2009. "Remittance stability, cyclicality and stabilizing impact in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5077, The World Bank.
  8. Dalia S. Hakura, 2009. "Output Volatility in Emerging Market and Developing Countries: What Explains the “Great Moderation” of 1970-2003?," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 59(3), pages 229-254, August.
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