Maximizing the Development Impacts of Remittances in Bangladesh: A Gender Perspective

Mohammad Mahabub Alam


Remittances have been contributing to the economic development of rural Bangladesh as thousands of poor unskilled workers are remitting money from abroad over the years. Recent migration of female workers to the Middle East countries has added a new dimension in this area since the female migrant workers are vulnerable to wage discrimination and unfavorable working environment in those countries. This study examines the relationship between remittances and economic growth in Bangladesh over a horizon of 40 years (1976-2015), and analyzes the female worker’s migration data from 1991 to 2016 to see whether any wage disparity exists between male and female workers in the four Middle East countries: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Lebanon, Jordan. The study finds that remittance inflow has positive impacts on economic growth of Bangladesh in the long-run while in the short run remittance does not cause Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rather GDP causes remittances. The study did not find any wage disparity between male and female migrant workers across all four countries. Among country specific results, female migrant workers in KSA seem to be in relatively better position followed by UAE, and then Jordan. Female migrant workers in Lebanon seem to get the lowest pay among the four countries. The study reveals that female workers remit more money than their male counterpart does across all four countries.

Keywords: Remittances, economic growth, female migrant workers, wage disparity.

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