The Effects of Workers’ Remittances on Exchange Rate Volatility and Exports Dynamics - New Evidence from Pakistan

Adnan Khurshid
Yin Kedong
Adrian Cantemir Calin
Khalid Khan
JEL codes: 
C32 - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, F24 - Remittances, F31 - Foreign Exchange.
This study examines the impact of remittances on the exchange rate and exports in Pakistan, using the system GMM aproach on annual data series. We carry out a full sample Granger causality test along with the sub-sample rolling window approach using monthly data series to find the causal relationship between remittances (REM) and the exchange rate (EXR). The System GMM results reveal that remittances depreciate the exchange rate and have a positive influence on export competitiveness. In addition to this, the remittance inflow appreciates the exchange rate only if it is used for savings and negatively affects competitiveness if it is channeled towards consumption. The change in exchange rate regime from multiple to flexible depreciated the exchange rate while, the global financial crises uplifted the currency rate and negatively affect the exports. The results show the bidirectional causal relationship between remittances and the exchange rate. The outcomes further reveal that the parameters in the VAR model are unstable, which is a clear indication of the presence of structural changes. The rolling window estimation approach with time-varying characteristics finds bi-directional causality between REM and the EXR in the different sub-samples. The results of this study fall in line with the portfolio model proposed by Mussa (1984) which states that the flow of remittances causes appreciation. The sub-sample causality is related to significant economic events, which means the results are not a statistical artifact.
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