International Remittances and Economic Growth in Ghana: Does the Measure Of Financial Development Matter?
Empirical results of the effect of international remittances on economic growth of individual countries and groups of countries have yielded mixed results. This study is intended to add to the debate on the impact of international remittances on the aggregate output of individual countries, Ghana in this case. An earlier panel data study found a negative impact of remittance on real GDP and prompted further research on the topic for individual countries and groups of countries. The papers which followed and were able to correct for endogeneity in the models, found a mild positive impact of private unrequited remittances on economic growth. The impact of remittances on economic growth of a particular country depends on the proportion of remittances invested and consumed, the level of financial development and the quality of institutions in the country. This study used time series data from 1990 to 2014 on Ghana and found a positive impact of remittances on the growth rate of real GDP. Engel and Granger Cointegration test and Error Correction Models were used. Remittances were found to be pro-cyclical. Granger causality tests which corrects for the errors of cointegrated variables found causality running from financial development to remittances and from remittances to real GDP. Remittances have been found in other studies to benefit the Ghanaian economy by reducing poverty and sustaining the current account. This study shows a positive impact of remittances on aggregate output. Thus requiring policies to increase the flows and encourage their investment.
Keywords: International Remittances, Economic Growth, Ghana, Financial Development.