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Remittances, Inflation and Exchange Rate Regimes in Small Open Economies

Ball, Christopher and Lopez, Claude and Reyes, Javier and Cruz-Zuniga, Martha (2010): Remittances, Inflation and Exchange Rate Regimes in Small Open Economies.

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Abstract

Remittances are private monetary transfers. Yet the rapidly growing literature on the subject often ignores the role that exchange rate regimes play in determining the effect remittances have on a recipient economy. This paper uses a theoretical model and panel vector autoregression techniques to explore the role exchange rate regimes play in understanding the effect of remittances. The analysis considers yearly and quarterly data for seven Latin American countries. Our theoretical model predicts that remittances should temporarily increase inflation and generate an increase in the domestic money supply under a fixed regime, but temporarily decrease inflation and generate no change in the money supply under a flexible regime. These differences are borne out in the data. This adds to our understanding of the true effect of remittances on economies and suggests that other results in the literature that do not control for regimes may be biased.

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