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  • International Migration x
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Zsoka Koczan, Magali Pinat, and Mr. Dmitriy L Rozhkov
International migration is an important channel of material improvement for individuals and their offspring. The movement of people across country borders, especially from less developed to richer countries, has a substantial impact in several dimensions. First, it affects the migrants themselves by allowing them to achieve higher income as a result of their higher productivity in the destination country. It also increases the expected income for their offspring. Second, it affects the destination country through the impact on labor markets, productivity, innovation, demographic structure, fiscal balance, and criminality. Third, it can have a significant impact on the countries of origin. It may lead to loss of human capital, but it also creates a flow of remittances and increases international connections in the form of trade, FDI, and technological transfers. This paper surveys our understanding of how migration affects growth and inequality through the impact on migrants themselves as well as on the destination and origin countries.
Zefeng Chen, Miss Sanaa Nadeem, and Mr. Shanaka J Peiris
In emerging Asia, banks constitute the dominant source of financing consumption and investment, and bank balance sheets comprise large gross FX assets and liabilities. This paper extends the DSGE model of Gertler and Karadi (2011) to incorporate these key features and estimates a panel vector autoregression on ten Asian economies to understand the role of the banking sector in transmitting spillovers from the global financial cycle to small open economies. It also evaluates the effectiveness of foreign exchange intervention (FXI) and other macroeconomic policies in responding to external financing shocks. External financial shocks affect net external liabilities of banks and the exchange rate, leading to changes in credit supply by banks and investment. For example, a capital outflow shock leads to a deprecation that reduces the net worth and intermediation capacity of banks exposed to foreign currency liabilities. In such cases, the exchange rate acts as shock amplifier and sterilized FXI, often deployed by Asian economies, can help cushion the economy. By contrast, with real shocks, the exchange rate serves as a shock absorber, and any FXI that weakens that function can be costly. We also explore the effectiveness of the monetary policy interest rate, macroprudential policies (MPMs) and capital flow management measures (CFMs).
Mr. Barry J. Eichengreen, Mr. Balazs Csonto, Ms. Asmaa A ElGanainy, and Zsoka Koczan
We review the debate on the association of financial globalization with inequality. We show that the within-country distributional impact of capital account liberalization is context specific and that different types of flows have different distributional effects. Their overall impact depends on the composition of capital flows, their interaction, and on broader economic and institutional conditions. A comprehensive set of policies – macroeconomic, financial and labor- and product-market specific – is important for facilitating wider sharing of the benefits of financial globalization.
Zsoka Koczan and Franz Loyola
The poverty-reducing effects of remittances have been well-documented, however, their effects on inequality are less clear. This paper examines the impact of remittances on inequality in Mexico using household-level information on the receiving side. It hopes to speak to their insurance role by examining how remittances are affected by domestic and external crises: the 1994 Mexican Peso crisis and the Global Financial Crisis. We find that remittances lower inequality, and that they become more pro-poor over time as migration opportunities become more widespread. This also strengthens their insurance effects, mitigating some of the negative impact of shocks on the poorest.
Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Ms. Svetlana Cerovic, Misael Galdamez, Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov, Franz Loyola, Zsoka Koczan, Mr. Bogdan Lissovolik, Mr. Jan Kees Martijn, Ms. Yulia Ustyugova, and Joyce Wong
Outward migration has been an important phenomenon for countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC), particularly those in Central America and the Caribbean. This paper examines recent trends in outward migration from and remittances to LAC, as well as their costs and benefits. For the home country, the negative impact from emigration on labor resources and productivity seems to outweigh growth gains from remittances, notably for the Caribbean. However, given emigration, remittance flows play key financing and stabilizing roles in Central America and the Caribbean. They facilitate private consumption smoothing, support financial sector stability and fiscal revenues, and help reduce poverty and inequality, without strong evidence for harmful competitiveness effects through shifts in the real exchange rate.
Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo and Ms. Prachi Mishra
We analyze how the pass-through from exchange rate to domestic wages depends on the degree of integration between domestic and foreign labor markets. Using data from 66 countries over the period 1981–2005, we find that the elasticity of domestic wages to real exchange rate is 0.1 after a year for countries with high barriers to external labor mobility, but about 0.4 in countries with low barriers to mobility. The results are robust to the inclusion of various controls, different measures of exchange rates, and concepts of labor market integration. These findings call for including labor mobility in macro models of external adjustment.
Ms. Prachi Mishra
This paper empirically examines the effect on wages in Mexico of Mexican emigration to the United States, using data from the Mexican and United States censuses from 1970-2000. The main result in the paper is that emigration has a strong and positive effect on Mexican wages. There is also evidence for increasing wage inequality in Mexico due to emigration. Simple welfare calculations based on a labor demand-supply framework suggest that the aggregate welfare loss to Mexico due to emigration is small. However, there is a significant distributional impact between labor and other factors.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper examines the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the recent acceleration of labor productivity growth in the United States. The analysis reveals that the increase of total factor productivity (TFP) growth is a broad phenomenon that encompasses non-ICT producing sectors, consistent with the view that ICT is a “general purpose technology.” The paper investigates whether the productivity boom may have dampened employment in recent years. It also assesses the contribution of immigrants to the United State economy.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.