International Migration, Remittances, and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks
63 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2006 Last revised: 6 Sep 2010
Date Written: June 2006
Millions of households in developing countries receive financial support from family members working overseas. How do migrant earnings affect origin-household investments? This paper examines Philippine households%u2019 responses to overseas members%u2019 economic shocks. Overseas Filipinos work in dozens of foreign countries, which experienced sudden (and heterogeneous) changes in exchange rates due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Appreciation of a migrant%u2019s currency against the Philippine peso leads to increases in household remittances received from overseas. The estimated elasticity of Philippine-peso remittances with respect to the Philippine/foreign exchange rate is 0.60. These positive income shocks lead to enhanced human capital accumulation and entrepreneurship in migrants%u2019 origin households. Child schooling and educational expenditure rise, while child labor falls. In the area of entrepreneurship, households raise hours worked in self-employment, and become more likely to start relatively capital-intensive household enterprises.
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