The impact of remittances on household consumption stability and economic growth is not quite clear. This paper attempts to reopen the debate on the relationship among these three variables. The current remittance literature suggests that a decrease in household consumption volatility, induced by remittances, automatically leads to economic growth. This paper challenges these arguments by stating that, under certain circumstances, there is no automatic relationship among remittances, household consumption stability and growth.
The authors approach the question from the perspective of emerging Central, Eastern and Southeastern European (CESEE) countries. The authors use the two-step system generalized method of moments (GMM) estimator with the Windmeijer (2005) finite-sample correction. To test the existence of the possible non-linear effects of remittances on household consumption stability and economic growth, the authors use threshold regressions.
The authors find that remittances significantly reduce household consumption volatility. They exhibit a consumption-smoothing effect on recipient households. This stabilizing effect happens not through the preventive role of remittances, but rather through their compensatory role. Remittances produce a weaker stabilizing effect on household consumption when the remittance to GDP ratio of the recipient country is above the estimated threshold level of 4.5%. The authors also find that there is a negatively significant and linear impact of remittances on growth. There is no evidence to suggest that remittances can foster productive investment and therefore promote economic growth in CESEE countries, which means that: (1) the remittances cannot be treated as a source of funds to invest in human and physical capital and (2) the remittances are compensatory rather than profit-oriented.
As far as the authors are aware, this is the first study that investigates the impact of remittances on both household consumption stability and economic growth simultaneously.
The authors thank Aviral Tiwari, and three anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions.
Eftimoski, D. and Josheski, D. (2020), "Reopening the debate on the relationship among remittances, household consumption stability and economic growth in emerging markets", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOEM-02-2020-0160Download as .RIS
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