Why Remittances Are a Political Blessing and Not a Curse

  • David H. Bearce
  • Seungbin Park


This paper reconsiders the proposition that remittances act as a political curse by reducing the poor’s demand for economic redistribution. With a newer democratization model focused on the demand for income protection from the rising groups in society, remittances may instead function as a political blessing. Since remittances increase income not only for the middle-class citizens that receive most of them, but also for the merchant and working classes that do not receive them per the multiplier effect, remittances should increase the demand for political rights to protect the economic assets of these societal groups. Using an error correction model with both country and year fixed effects, it reports a significant positive relationship between the change in democracy and net remittance inflows as a share of GDP using three different operational measures for democracy. It also reports results consistent with the underlying causal argument, showing how remittances increase national income and societal economic freedom.


Remittances Political liberalization 



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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