Arab financial assistance to developing - particularly Arab - countries rose sharply between 1973 and 1980 but fell gradually through the 1980s, owing mainly to weakening oil prices. As a percent of GNP, however, Arab contributions remain the largest among major donors. This paper surveys the volume and distribution of Arab financing from 1973 to 1989.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the recent developments in the Moroccan economy and its policy challenges over the medium term. It assesses the sustainability of public debt in Morocco. The paper uses the analytical framework for assessing debt sustainability in emerging market countries endorsed by the IMF Executive Board and compares Morocco’s vulnerabilities with those of the average emerging market country. The paper also examines the effects on Morocco’s trade pattern of the ongoing integration with the European Union within the Barcelona process.
The flow of workers' remittances to Pakistan has more than quadrupled in the last eight years and it shows no sign of slowing down, despite the economic downturn in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and other important host countries for Pakistani workers. This paper analyses the forces that have driven remittance flows to Pakistan in recent years. The main conclusions are: (i) the growth in the inflow of workers' remittances to Pakistan is in large part due to an increase in worker migration; (ii) higher skill levels of migrating workers have helped to boost remittances; (iii) other imporant determinants of remittances to Pakistan are agriculture output and the relative yield on investments in the host and home countries.
Mr. Ralph Chami, Mr. Adolfo Barajas, Anjali Garg, and Connel Fullenkamp
Using data on the distribution of migrants from Africa, GDP growth forecasts for host countries, and after estimating remittance multipliers in recipient countries, this paper estimates the impact of the global economic crisis on African GDP via the remittance channel during 2009-2010. It forecasts remittance declines into African countries of between 3 and 14 percentage points, with migrants to Europe hardest hit while migrants within Africa relatively unaffected by the crisis. The estimated impact on GDP for relatively remittance-dependent countries is 2 percent for 2009, but will likely be short-lived, as host country income is projected to rise in 2010.
This paper analytically explores and empirically tests a number of hypotheses to explain the rapid growth in transition economies. The paper finds that growth in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has been higher because of the recovery of lost output, progress in macroeconomic stabilization and market reforms, and favorable external conditions. Some of these factors are unlikely to continue for a very long time. The challenge is to improve the investment climate in the non-primary sectors, which will require broadening the scope of macroeconomic reform into a second generation of reforms encompassing structural and institutional areas.
Mr. Samir Jahjah, Mr. Ralph Chami, and Connel Fullenkamp
The role of remittances in development and economic growth is not well understood. This is partly because the literatures on the causes and effects of remittances remain separate. We develop a framework that links the motivation for remittances with their effect on economic activity. Because remittances take place under asymmetric information and economic uncertainty, there exists a significant moral hazard problem. The implication is that remittances have a negative effect on economic growth. We test this prediction using panel methods on a large sample of countries. The results indicate that remittances do have a negative effect on economic growth, which indicates that the moral hazard problem in remittances is severe.
Workers' remittances have been playing an increasingly important role in the balance of payments of many countries and can significantly contribute to the strength of their external positions. Assessing the likely stability of remittance flows could be a valuable input to the analysis of their external vulnerabilities. This paper argues that "altruism," as a motive to send money home, would contribute to the stability of these flows. Using a simple framework that relates workers' remittances to agricultural GDP, which is used as an indicator of economic "hardship" in the home country, evidence suggests that altruism could have played an important role in the flow of remittances to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, and Tunisia in recent years.
This paper estimates the effect of grants and workers' remittances on Jordan's long-term equilibrium real exchange rate. We estimate an equilibrium path for the Jordanian real exchange rate using the Johansen cointegration methodology over the period 1964 to 2005. Controlling for other fundamentals, we find that both grants and workers' remittances appreciate the equilibrium real exchange rate in a statistically and economically significant way. We also find that assessing deviations of the actual real exchange rate from the estimated equilibrium real exchange rate is nontrivial because different smoothing methodologies and the nonsmoothed estimates give very different results.
This paper provides a model on how altruism, "attachment" to the home country, and portfolio diversification may act as potential motives behind workers' remittances. It shows that the level of workers' remittances depends on how great are their degrees of altruism and "attachment" to their home country, and should also depend on interest rate differentials between the home country and the country of residence if portfolio diversification motives are significant in the decision to remit. The model is applied to Morocco using co-integration techniques. The paper then discusses the stability of remittances in Morocco and the policy implications in light of the empirical findings.
Although Armenia itself has a population of only about 3 million, an estimated 8 million Armenians live abroad. In this paper, the size and the sources of remittances to Armenia are first discussed. Then, the appropriate definition of remittances and subsequently present estimates of the macroeconomic effects of remittances to Armenia are outlined. Remittances play a significant role in the Armenian economy. They amount to between US$250 million and US$1 billion per year, and constitute from 25 percent to 80 percent of remittance receivers’ incomes.