What explains the cost of remittances? An examination across 119 country corridors

T.H.L. Beck, M. Martinez Peria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Remittances are a substantial source of external financing for developing countries that influence many aspects of their development. Though research has shown that remittances are both expensive and price sensitive, little is known about what explains their price. Newly gathered data across 119 country pairs or corridors are used to explore the factors associated with the price of remittances. Corridors with larger numbers of migrants and more competition among providers are found to exhibit lower prices for remittances, when average prices across all types of remittance service providers are considered. Corridors with lower barriers to access banking services and broader regulation of remittance service providers also have lower prices. Remittance prices are higher in richer corridors and in corridors with greater bank participation in the remittance market. Few significant differences emerge when results are compared across banks and, separately, across money transfer operators. However, estimations for Western Union, a leading player in the remittances business, suggest that its prices are less sensitive to competition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-131
JournalThe World Bank Economic Review
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

remittance
examination
costs
cost
service provider
bank
outside financing
corridor
Remittances
Costs
price
banking
money
migrant
developing country
developing world
regulation
participation
market

Cite this

Beck, T.H.L. ; Martinez Peria, M. / What explains the cost of remittances? An examination across 119 country corridors. In: The World Bank Economic Review. 2011 ; Vol. 25, No. 1. pp. 105-131.
@article{eeb4acdf1e824bc3a5ce052bb04115aa,
title = "What explains the cost of remittances? An examination across 119 country corridors",
abstract = "Remittances are a substantial source of external financing for developing countries that influence many aspects of their development. Though research has shown that remittances are both expensive and price sensitive, little is known about what explains their price. Newly gathered data across 119 country pairs or corridors are used to explore the factors associated with the price of remittances. Corridors with larger numbers of migrants and more competition among providers are found to exhibit lower prices for remittances, when average prices across all types of remittance service providers are considered. Corridors with lower barriers to access banking services and broader regulation of remittance service providers also have lower prices. Remittance prices are higher in richer corridors and in corridors with greater bank participation in the remittance market. Few significant differences emerge when results are compared across banks and, separately, across money transfer operators. However, estimations for Western Union, a leading player in the remittances business, suggest that its prices are less sensitive to competition.",
author = "T.H.L. Beck and {Martinez Peria}, M.",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1093/wber/lhr017",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
pages = "105--131",
journal = "The World Bank Economic Review",
issn = "0258-6770",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "1",

}

What explains the cost of remittances? An examination across 119 country corridors. / Beck, T.H.L.; Martinez Peria, M.

In: The World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2011, p. 105-131.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - What explains the cost of remittances? An examination across 119 country corridors

AU - Beck, T.H.L.

AU - Martinez Peria, M.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Remittances are a substantial source of external financing for developing countries that influence many aspects of their development. Though research has shown that remittances are both expensive and price sensitive, little is known about what explains their price. Newly gathered data across 119 country pairs or corridors are used to explore the factors associated with the price of remittances. Corridors with larger numbers of migrants and more competition among providers are found to exhibit lower prices for remittances, when average prices across all types of remittance service providers are considered. Corridors with lower barriers to access banking services and broader regulation of remittance service providers also have lower prices. Remittance prices are higher in richer corridors and in corridors with greater bank participation in the remittance market. Few significant differences emerge when results are compared across banks and, separately, across money transfer operators. However, estimations for Western Union, a leading player in the remittances business, suggest that its prices are less sensitive to competition.

AB - Remittances are a substantial source of external financing for developing countries that influence many aspects of their development. Though research has shown that remittances are both expensive and price sensitive, little is known about what explains their price. Newly gathered data across 119 country pairs or corridors are used to explore the factors associated with the price of remittances. Corridors with larger numbers of migrants and more competition among providers are found to exhibit lower prices for remittances, when average prices across all types of remittance service providers are considered. Corridors with lower barriers to access banking services and broader regulation of remittance service providers also have lower prices. Remittance prices are higher in richer corridors and in corridors with greater bank participation in the remittance market. Few significant differences emerge when results are compared across banks and, separately, across money transfer operators. However, estimations for Western Union, a leading player in the remittances business, suggest that its prices are less sensitive to competition.

U2 - 10.1093/wber/lhr017

DO - 10.1093/wber/lhr017

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 105

EP - 131

JO - The World Bank Economic Review

JF - The World Bank Economic Review

SN - 0258-6770

IS - 1

ER -