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Oil prices, growth, and remittance outflows from the Gulf Cooperation Council

Supriyo De, Saad Quayyum, Kirsten Schuettler and Seyed Reza Yousefi

Economic Notes, 2019, vol. 48, issue 3

Abstract: How does a decline in oil prices and its impacts on growth affect remittance outflows from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries? This paper carries out an empirical analysis of the relationship between oil prices, oil‐ and non‐oil GDP, and remittances outflows from the GCC. The findings of our paper are three folds. First, we find that non‐oil GDP is a key determinant of remittance outflows and that oil GDP is a significant driver of non‐oil GDP in the GCC only in the long term. Second, we document that historically oil prices and remittances tend to broadly move in the same direction but that remittances have been much less volatile than oil prices. An analysis of the past large oil price declines shows that remittance flows to major remittance recipients in Mashreq, Pakistan, and Yemen fell only modestly following large declines in oil prices and recovered quickly in line with oil prices. Finally, we estimate the elasticity of remittance outflows with respect to non‐oil GDP in the GCC using various techniques. Estimates of short‐term elasticity vary between 0.5 and 0.8, while estimates of long‐term elasticity vary between 0.6 and 1.1. We find that construction and government services are two non‐oil GDP components that are strongly associated with remittance outflows.

Date: 2019
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