Journal of Economics and Development, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 142-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/JED-03-2021-0041
Remittances, institutions and human development in Sub-Saharan Africa
The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between remittances, institutions and human development (HD) in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries using data from 2004 to 2018. The study attempts to answer two critical questions: Do the increasing remittances inflow to the region have any effect on human capital development? and does the effect of remittances on human development vary depending on the level of institutional quality?
The analysis uses a dynamic model; system Generalized Method of Moments (Sys-GMM) as this approach controls for the endogeneity of the lagged dependent variable; thus, when there is a correlation between the explanatory variable and the error term, which is normally associated with remittances, it also controls for omitted variable bias, unobserved panel heterogeneity and measurement errors in the estimation.
The findings indicate a positive and significant impact of remittances on HD in SSA. The results further reveal a substitutional relationship between institutions and remittances in stimulating HD. The estimations mean that remittances promote HD in countries with a weak institutional environment. The findings also establish that the marginal significance of remittances as a source of capital for HD falls in countries with well-developed institutions.
To increase the flow of remittances, policymakers should implement policies that increase the likelihood of both skilled and unskilled migrants sending remittances.
Most empirical research on the impact of remittances on HD does not tackle the problem of endogeneity associated with remittances. This study, however, provides empirical evidence by using Sys-GMM that solves the problem. The current study also is the first work to examine the relationship between remittances, institutions and HD in SSA and provides a new guide for future research on the remittance and HD nexus.
Keywords:Brain drain, Generalized method of moments, Institutions, Human development, Remittances