Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 206
This paper investigates the impact of remittances on health outcomes in Tajikistan and finds a positive effect. While existing literature shows that remittances increase health care expenditure, expenditure alone is an incomplete proxy for health outcomes. Moreover, existing literature on health outcomes focuses mainly on infants and children, leaving out a significant share of the population. Our study explores the impact of remittances on proxies of health outcomes beyond expenditure for all household members (adults and children). We use an IV-approach to control for the endogeneity of remittances, and find that on average, remittances have a much larger effect than other sources of income on health expenditure and health outcomes. We also explore two possible transmission channels for how remittances affect health and find that remittances do not affect the likelihood of purchasing medicine in lieu of seeking care when ill; instead remittances have a positive and significant effect on the likelihood of seeking direct medical care.