Immigration, remittances and business cycles
We use data on border enforcement and macroeconomic indicators from the U.S. and Mexico to estimate a two-country business cycle model of labor migration and remittances. The model matches the cyclical dynamics of labor migration to the U.S. and documents how remittances to Mexico serve an insurance role to smooth consumption across the border. During expansions in the destination economy, immigration increases with the expected stream of future wage gains, but it is dampened by a sunk migration cost that reflects the intensity of border enforcement. During recessions, established migrants ...
Offshoring, Low-skilled Immigration, and Labor Market Polarization
During the last three decades, the U.S. labor market has been characterized by its employment polarization. As jobs in the middle of the skill distribution have shrunk, employment has expanded in high- and low-skill occupations. Real wages have not followed the same pattern. While earnings for high-skill occupations have risen robustly, wages for both low- and middle-skill workers have remained subdued. We attribute this outcome to the rise in offshoring and low-skilled immigration, and develop a three-country stochastic growth model to rationalize their asymmetric effect on employment and ...
Remittances and COVID-19: A Tale of Two Countries
Looking at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers’ remittances flowing from the United States, this article focuses on the experiences of two countries, El Salvador and Mexico, which account for approximately 30 percent of all immigrants currently residing in the United States. Following the second quarter’s economic lockdown, transfers to these countries experienced perplexing dynamics. Specifically, remittances to El Salvador witnessed a record 40 percent sudden drop, while Mexico recorded an unexpected 35 percent increase. We discuss some of the narratives proposed to explain ...
Offshoring, low-skilled immigration, and labor market polarization
During the last three decades, jobs in the middle of the skill distribution disappeared, and employment expanded for high- and low-skill occupations. Real wages did not follow the same pattern. Although earnings for the high-skill occupations increased robustly, wages for both low- and middle-skill workers remained subdued. We attribute this outcome to the rise in offshoring and low-skilled immigration, and we develop a three-country stochastic growth model to rationalize this outcome. In the model, the increase in offshoring negatively affects the middle-skill occupations but benefits the ...
Remittances, exchange rate regimes, and the Dutch disease: a panel data analysis
Using disaggregated sectorial data, this study shows that rising levels of remittances have spending effects that lead to real exchange rate appreciation and resource movement effects that favor the nontradable sector at the expense of tradable goods production. These characteristics are two aspects of the phenomenon known as Dutch disease. The results further indicate that these effects operate more strongly under fixed nominal exchange rate regimes.
Remittances and COVID-19: A Tale of Two Countries
Looking at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers' remittances flowing from the United States, this article focuses on the experiences of two countries, El Salvador and Mexico, which account for approximately 30 percent of all immigrants currently residing in the United States. Following the second quarter's economic lockdown, transfers to these countries experienced perplexing dynamics. Specifically, remittances to El Salvador witnessed a record 40 percent sudden drop, while Mexico recorded an unexpected 35 percent increase. We discuss some of the narratives proposed to explain this ...
Digital Adoption, Automation, and Labor Markets in Developing and Emerging Economies
We document a strong negative link between self-employment and the rate of digital adoption by firms in developing and emerging economies. No link between digital adoption and the unemployment rate is found, however. To explain this evidence, we build a general equilibrium search-and-matching model with endogenous labor force participation, self-employment, endogenous firm entry, and information-and-communications technology adoption. The main finding is that changes in the cost of technology adoption per se cannot rationalize the evidence. Instead, changes in firms' barriers to entry ...
Labor market polarization and international macroeconomic dynamics
During the last thirty years, labor markets in advanced economies were characterized by their remarkable polarization. As job opportunities in middle-skill occupations disappeared, employment opportunities concentrated in the highest- and lowest-wage occupations. I develop a two-country stochastic growth model that incorporates trade in tasks, rather than in goods, and reveal that this setup can replicate the observed polarization in the United States. This polarization was not a steady process: the relative employment share of each skill group fluctuated significantly over short-to-medium ...
Remittances and the Dutch disease
Using data for El Salvador and Bayesian techniques, we develop and estimate a two-sector dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model to analyze the effects of remittances in emerging market economies. We focus our study on whether rising levels of remittances result in the Dutch disease phenomenon in recipient economies. We find that, whether altruistically motivated or otherwise, an increase in remittances flows leads to a decline in labor supply and an increase in consumption demand that is biased toward nontradables. The increase in demand for nontradables, coupled with higher production ...
Money Aggregates, Debt, Pent-Up Demand, and Inflation: Evidence from WWII
The COVID-19 pandemic produced a massive decline in U.S. consumption in 2020 and swift fiscal and monetary responses. After growing at a rather steady 5 percent rate for decades, the moneysupply (M2) increased 25 percent over the past year alongside unprecedented fiscal support, raising some inflationary concerns. Concurrent with the reopening of the economy as vaccines roll out, this article derives some lessons from the U.S. experience during and after WWII. The debt-to-GDP ratio increased from 40 percent to 110 percent because of the war effort. Most of it was financed by Fed debt ...