Remitances are an important source of external financing in low- and middle-income countries. This paper uses the gravity model to analyze remittance flows in Russia and Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) countries. Standard gravity determinants, such as GDP in sending and recieiving countries, bilateral distance, existence of common borders and common official language, fit remittance flows well. Remittances also react to inflation and exchange rate movements in recipient countries to sustain their purchasing power. In line with the altruism hypothesis, remittances flow to countries with higher age dependency ratio. Remittances are countercyclical and help stabilize outputs in recipient countries. However, global shocks resulting in sharp output losses of sending countries would lead to large volatility and decline of remittance inflows in recipient countries. The results of the analysis can be used to assess the impact of the COVID-19 shock on projected remittance flows into CCA.
The paper seeks to assess the macroeconomic implications of large-scale inward remittances for a small open economy. By including remittances in several standard models, the paper concludes that the overall macroeconomic impact of remittances is likely to be ambiguous. The impact depends on the structural characteristics of the receiving country, in particular its consumption and investment patterns, and its capacity to manage large financial inflows. As data deficiencies and methodological problems associated with remittances preclude crosscountry empirical investigation, the paper illustrates these findings with data on Tajikistan, where remittances as a share of GDP are among the highest in the world. The paper also evaluates the pros and cons of remittances in a broader political economy context.