Are Working Remittances Relevant for Credit Rating Agencies?

56 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2009

See all articles by Sebastián Nieto Parra

Sebastián Nieto Parra

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Norbert Gaillard

NG Consulting

Rolando Avendano

Asian Development Bank

Date Written: December 18, 2009


Remittance flows are an important source of financing for developing countries. In addition to the microeconomic impact at the household level, remittances have grown into an important pillar of macroeconomic stability, reducing volatility of external flows, lessening the probability of current account reversals, thus strengthening creditworthiness. By studying 83 developing countries covering the period 1993-2006, we analyse the impact of workers’ remittances on sovereign rating assessment. First, we look at the traditional determinants of sovereign ratings and assess to what extent remittances are taken into account. Second, we build a model for high-remittance receptors to capture the potential effect that remittances may have on Fitch, Moody’s and S&P ratings. Third, we assign ratings to unrated Latin American countries for which remittance flows are generally high. Our conclusion supports the view that credit rating agencies (CRAs) do take remittance flows into account to rate sovereigns. Nevertheless, this variable turns out to be significant for a limited set of countries, small in size and classified in the low and middle income categories. We derive policy implications and recommendations from our findings for boosting rating coverage.

Keywords: remittances, sovereign ratings, emerging and developing capital markets, sovereign risk

JEL Classification: F3, F24, G24, O11

Suggested Citation

Nieto Parra, Sebastián and Gaillard, Norbert and Avendano, Rolando, Are Working Remittances Relevant for Credit Rating Agencies? (December 18, 2009). OECD Working Paper No. 282, Available at SSRN: or

Sebastián Nieto Parra

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris, 75775

Norbert Gaillard

NG Consulting ( email )



Rolando Avendano (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila

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