This Selected Issues paper analyzes the surprising strength of remittances in Bangladesh and other countries in South Asia and the Philippines in 2009. The empirical analysis suggests that the continued strong growth of remittances in these countries is related to the resilience of non-oil GDP growth in the GCC countries and the surge in the GCC countries’ hiring of migrant workers from South Asia during 2006–08. The remittances-to-GDP ratio in South Asia and the Philippines are likely to remain robust in the near term.
This paper has examined the phenomenon of convergence of per capita output levels across regions of Bangladesh during 1982–97. The main finding is that most of the regions of Bangladesh experienced strong convergence of per capita output levels during 1982–91. There are two other findings within the domain of convergence. First, a few poorer regions of the country did not demonstrate any output convergence for the full or part of the sample period. Second, no evidence has been found for regional convergence of per capita output levels during 1991–97 that coincided with opening up the economy.