This Selected Issues paper on Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia investigates the macroeconomic impact of remittances on long-run external sustainability and growth. The paper presents stylized facts pertaining to the characteristics of remittances in Macedonia, highlighting their countercyclicality and importance in sustaining the purchasing power of domestic agents. The paper reviews to help set up a theoretical framework for assessing their macroeconomic impact, highlighting the possible risk of “Dutch disease” developments. The paper uses a Bayesian vector autoregression (BVAR) model to empirically investigate both hypotheses of countercyclicality and Dutch disease effects and puts forward a few policy options that may be explored to better harness remittances to support investment and long-term growth. The paper suggests that strong political engagement in support of diaspora projects is a key point. The mobilization of diaspora savings for private and public investment would maximize the long-term benefits of remittances.
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 Selected Issues paper examines the effect of political instability on economic growth in Nepal. It uses publicly available data on political economy variables for 167 countries worldwide from 1970–2004 to estimate the impact of political instability on growth. The findings reveal that Nepal has witnessed higher political instability compared with other countries in the region. The paper also presents the salient features of political instability and growth for Nepal and other South Asian countries, and the econometric estimates of growth regressions to measure the effect of political instability on economic growth.