No.484 Skilled Emigration and Exchange Rate: Theory and Empirics
by Saumik PAUL, Alice OUYANG and Rachel Cho Suet LI
In this paper we build a theoretical model on the wage effect of skilled emigration to the fluctuations in real exchange rate through the relative prices of nontradables. Our theoretical model predicts that skilled emigration is associated with an increase in the prices of nontradable, which in turn appreciates the exchange rate. We provide robust empirical support to a higher skilled emigration associated with higher prices in nontradables and appreciation of the real effective exchange rate. Based on two samples of countries with 51 and 67 observations, in 1990 and 2000 respectively, we find robust empirical support to a higher skilled emigration associated with higher prices in nontradables and appreciation of the REER. In addition, the support for the remittance-channel of the Dutch disease is also significant; overall, our findings corroborate the remittance-based Dutch disease phenomenon by providing an additional channel through which the labor mobility across borders affects the real exchange rate volatility.
Keywords: Emigration, Exchange Rate, the Dutch Disease
JEL classification: F22, F24, F3, J3
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