The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We use a range of methods and remittance data from 1990 to 2007 to assess the strength and significance of linkages between remittance flows to Latin America and the U.S. business cycle. All of the evidence suggests that remittance flows are relatively insensitive to fluctuations in the U.S. cycle, underlining their role as a stable source of external financing, in good times and bad. A number of factors, notwithstanding uncertainties related to official remittance data reliability, might explain this result, including remittance smoothing and flexible immigrant labor markets.