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Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, Mr. Saad N Quayyum, and Vigninou Gammadigbe
This paper provides an early assessment of the dynamics and drivers of remittances during the COVID-19 pandemic, using a newly compiled monthly remittance dataset for a sample of 52 countries, of which 16 countries with bilateral remittance data. The paper documents a strong resilience in remittance flows, notwithstanding an unprecedent global recession triggered by the pandemic. Using the local projection approach to estimate the impulse response functions of remittance flows during Jan 2020-Dec 2020, the paper provides evidence that: (i) remittances responded positively to COVID-19 infection rates in migrant home countries, underscoring its role as an important automatic stabilizer; (ii) stricter containment measures have the unintended consequence of dampening remittances; and (iii) a shift from informal to formal remittance channels due to travel restrictions appears to have also played a role in the surge in formal remittances. Lastly, the size of the fiscal stimulus in host countries is positively associated with remittances as the fiscal response cushions the economic impact of the pandemic.
Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, Mr. Saad N Quayyum, and Vigninou Gammadigbe

Hypothesis C. Evidence from Remittance Corridor Data D. Fiscal Stimulus in Migrant Host Countries and Remittances Patterns VI. Conclusion Annexes 1. Sample Composition and Data Sources 2. Data Availability by Country Appendices 1. Variable Definitions and Sources 2. Summary Statistics 3. Correlation Matrix References Figures 1. Change in Inward Remittances in 2020 relative to 2019 (percent) 2. Trends in Inward Remittances as a Percent of GDP, 2020 3. Evolution of the Growth Rate of Cumulative Remittance Flows in 2019 and 2020 4. Impulse

Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, Mr. Saad N Quayyum, and Vigninou Gammadigbe

’ employment and income opportunities and brought into question remittances’ ability to smooth consumption in home countries at the start of the pandemic. Against this backdrop, this paper provides an early assessment of how remittances flows to developing countries evolved during the pandemic and sheds light on the key driving factors. In doing so, it compiles a new and unique dataset of monthly remittance flows for a sample of 52 countries during January 2018 through December 2020, as well as monthly bilateral remittance flows (corridor data) for 16 recipient countries

Raúl Hernández-Coss

approaches in the two countries. Estimating Informal Flows in the Two Corridors The research team used the APEC analytical framework for IFT systems ( APEC, 2003 ) to estimate the magnitude of remittances through both informal and formal channels. The process of applying the framework posed multiple challenges. In a mature remittance corridor, data are available on the number of migrants sending money to the recipient country and on the frequency and average amount of their remittances. Some information on the channels used may also be available. All this

Tito Nícias Teixeira da Silva Filho

Database: Number of Corridors Per Country Source: Remittance Prices Worldwide Database. The vintage used includes data up to the third quarter of 2018. The RPW database is an impressive, multi-country, multi-dimensional, multi-layered, survey-based database that uses a common methodology to gather information on several corridors. The data on remittance costs are collected by independent researchers posing as customers. For each corridor, data collection takes place on the same day to control f or possible exchange rate effects. Also, for each corridor, data is

Tito Nícias Teixeira da Silva Filho
There has been a global push to decrease the cost of remittances since at least 2009, which has culminated with its inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. Despite this effort and the emergence of new business models, remittance costs have been decreasing very slowly, disproving predictions that sharp declines would be just around the corner. In addition, remitting to poorer countries remains very expensive. Oddly, this situation has not been able to elicit academic interest on the drivers of remittance costs. This paper delved deeply into the remittances ecosystem and found a very complex, heterogenous and unequal environment, one in which costs are driven by a myriad of factors and where there are no easy and quick solutions available, which explains the disappointing outcome so far. Nonetheless, it also shows that while policymakers have limited room to act they still have a very important role to play.