A fantastic rain of gold: European migrants' remittances and balance of payments adjustment during the gold standard period

While the pre-1914 mass migrations have been widely studied, the related pattern of emigrants' remittances is still largely untouched. This article aims at filling this gap by analyzing the contribution of remittances to financial stability. In the optimum currency area theory, labor mobility can ease the adjustment mechanism for countries under fixed exchange rate regimes. We confirm this claim by showing that emigrants' remittances reduced the incidence of financial disturbances among a sample of emerging economies characterized by substantial emigration. This result underscores the benefits for emerging economies from opening up to international factor flows, despite the associated financial turbulence.


Publication year:
2009
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In: The Journal of Economic History. - Vol. 69(2009), No. 4, p. 951-985
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