Three essays on applied economics: financial flows, education and health of immigrants

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Chowdhury, Muhammad Murshed
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This dissertation consists of three essays on different attributes of immigrants and remittances over time. Using the recently available three waves of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Canada (LSIC), our first essay investigates the relationships between socio-economic characteristics and remittance behaviour of Indian and Chinese immigrants in Canada. After conducting a logistic regression on the likelihood of remitting and an instrumental variable regression of the amount remitted, the study observes significant differences between the remittance behaviour of Chinese and Indian immigrants. While Chinese remittances are mostly affected by age, income, level of education and personal investment in home country, Indian remittances are influenced by marital status, having family members in the host country, and being involved with social/religious organization in the host country. Financial variables play significant roles for both types of immigrants. Using data from the LSIC, our second essay explores the link between health and education among recently arrived immigrants in Canada. The empirical evidence suggests that education has a positive impact on the health of newly arrived immigrants. This relationship remains valid for a few years after arrival. More educated immigrants seem to be better informed and appear to make use of health-related information. If differences in health can be explained using educational inequality then education might directly affect the quality of life. The likelihood of being in better health increases amongst those with higher levels of education. Our third essay examines whether the financial sector of a country plays a significant role in explaining a country’s capacity to take advantage of remittances to influence economic growth. Using data from 1979 to 2011 for the 33 top remittance recipient developing countries and employing the GMM approach, the study observes a positive association between remittances and growth. However, no conclusive evidence on the importance of financial development on remittance-growth nexus could be established. Moreover, remittances have the strongest effect on economic growth under repressed financial regimes. Ensuring that remittance recipients have access to financial intermediaries and promoting financial literacy may increase the positive influence of the financial sector on the relationship between remittances and economic growth.
Remittances, Financial Markets, Health, Education, Economic Growth, Financial Regimes