Open Access

Do Remittances reduce poverty in Kosovo? - A counterfactual analysis


Migration and remittances are argued to be an effective mechanism for mitigating poverty, as well as a coping mechanism for disadvantaged households with no or little employment and earning opportunities in Kosovo. A considerable part is reported to be directed towards consumption and very little for investment or enterpreneurship purposes. The high dependence of households on remittances suggests that poverty rates would be much higher without the safety net provided through migration and remittances. The conventional approach of empirically estimating determinants of remittances, including those focusing on Kosovo, treats both remittance and migration behaviour as independent decisions. Empirically estimating determinants of remittances while overlooking the importance of variables that influenced the decision to migrate will leave out these determinants and also bias the results. Hence, this study treats migration and remittance decision as a joint process and focuses on the household. More precisely, it analyses the impact that remittances and migration have on the poverty in Kosovo, in a hypothetical case, without remittances and migration using data from the Household Budget Survey 2011.

Due to the potential presence of selection bias, this study uses a two-stage Heckman-type selection procedure which suggests that there is no selection bias. The study develops counterfactual consumption estimates for remittance recipient households through the use of survey bootstrap procedure to predict the consumption of households in the case of no remittances. The results support the hypothesis that remittances increase the consumption of recipient households. The poverty rate would be higher for a considerable proportion of households in the case of no remittances. The poverty rates would increase particularly in rural areas. The novelty of this study lies on the methodological approach chosen to investigate the impact of remittances on poverty in Kosovo. In contrast to previous analysis, this study controls for potential selection bias and empirically assesses whether the expectations on the poverty reducing effect of remittances in Kosovo hold.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Business and Economics, Business Management, other, Political Economics