Remittances provide resilience against disasters in Africa

Wim Naudé & Henri Bezuidenhout


How responsive are remittances to various disasters, both natural and human-made? And would remittances be affected by systemic financial crises (such as the 2008/09 financial crisis)? Using panel data on 23 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries over the period 1980 to 2007, we find that remittances are slow to respond to natural disasters, unresponsive to outbreaks of conflict, and will decline, albeit slowly, after a global financial crisis only to the extent that the crisis affects incomes, migration stocks, exchange rates, and the banking system. The relative persistence of remittances suggests that it is a good bulwark against natural disasters and global financial crises in SSA.

Keywords: remittances, migration, disasters, global financial crisis, Africa

JEL classification: F24, F22, O55

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