AN ANALYSIS OF MACROECONOMIC DETERMINANTS OF REMITTANCES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
SINGOGO, FWASA K
UNVERSITY OF NAMIBIA
The study analyzed macroeconomic determinants of remittances in Southern Africa and made use of annual data for the period ranging from 2003 to 2016. The macroeconomic determinants used include: remittances themselves, the inflation rate, GDP growth rate, the nominal exchange rate, broad money and age dependency ratio. In doing so, the study further analyzed cyclicality and the volatility of remittances in the region in order to get a more rounded perspective. In seeking to meet its objectives, a panel study was carried out using both the fixed and random methods of which the random method was found to be most appropriate. The Southern African countries included in the study were Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia. Other major tests applied included a Standard deviation test for volatility; the Hodrick Prescott (HP) filter with detrended series, to analyze for cyclicality; and cross correlation tests to determine if there existed pro or counter cyclical behavior. The study found that amongst the macroeconomic determinants used; only GDP growth (changes/improvements in the home countries’ economic environment) and the exchange rate were statistically significant with respective positive relationships with remittance inflows. It was also found that volatility of remittances was low, which was evidently reflected in the values of the standard deviations with the highest being 1.784. In regards to cyclicality, the tests exhibited prominence of pro cyclical behavior which could imply that migrants optimize placement of their savings between origin and destination countries of which the remitting of funds is a form of investment. However, several periods of counter cyclicality were observed that made it hard to out-rightly conclude pro cyclicality as being the definite trend.