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Dissertating 3 June 29, 2008

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Academically Speaking.
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The research algorithm I employ remains mostly unchanged since college: develop an annotated bibliography of at least thirty sources, write a literature review based on that, then run in the direction of the research gap. Because the formula’s worked well for me so far I’ve never had much reason to go about things differently. Thus it’s upon these old habits I’ve come to rely as the dissertation work kicks into full swing.

Of course, I needn’t mention that back in the day I’d occasionally add the odd “source” just to pad my reference list ever so slightly. Now, though, I can’t be bothered with such intramurals: this is my dissertation we’re talking about here!

Anyway, in the course of gathering material I’ve neatly divided what I’ve come across into three categories: “macro” references on remittances in general as a worldwide phenomenon, “meso” sources studying regional remittance flows or how remittances affect countries other than the Philippines, and Philippine-specific literature, whether published here or abroad. Of course, my motivation for surveying such a broad spread in this manner is, first, to get up to speed with the current discourse on the topic, and just as importantly to find econometric models and estimates upon which further research can be based. So, yes, there is some method to my madness.

Most of the research I’ve done so far has been off the internet, which is both a boon and a curse. On the plus side it’s plenty convenient to find just the right kind of materials, what with remote access to the University library as well as any number of databases and academic search sites (here’s looking at you, Google Books and Google Scholar!). In the minus column, however, because it’s so easy to click, download and file away resource upon resource I’ve ended up with my own fair share of “research junk” that’ll take a while to process given the typical length and difficulty of academic papers, not to mention the fact that I read rather slowly.

Among the papers already saved on my computer, several have been earmarked for more thorough reading. Some I’ve gone through at length and know to be important, others I’ve scanned just enough but need more time to go through them carefully. Dispensing with my neat categories and annotations, the following are the materials that have made the cut:

Acosta, Pablo, Pablo Fajnzylber and J. Humberto Lopez, 2007. “The impact of remittances on poverty and human capital: Evidence from Latin American household surveys” in International migration and economic development, Caglar Ozden and Maurice Schiff, editors. (Washington, D.C.: The World Bank).

The Asian Development Bank, 2006. Workers’ remittance flows in Southeast Asia. (Philippines: The Asian Development Bank).

Bagasao, Ildefonso F., 2005. “Migration and development: The Philippine experience” in Remittances: Development impact and future prospects. Samuel Munzele Maimbo and Dilip Ratha, editors. (Washington D.C.: The World Bank).

Burgess, Robert and Vikram Haksar, 2005. “Migration and foreign remittances in the Philippines.” IMF Working Paper 05/111 (Washington D.C.: The International Monetary Fund).

Dakila, Francisco Jr. G. and Racquel A. Claveria, 2007. “Identifying the Determinants of Overseas Filipinos’ Remittances: Which Exchange Rate Measure is Most Relevant?” BSP Working Paper Series No. 2007-02 (Manila: Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas).

Glytsos, Nicholas P., 2005. “The contribution of remittances to growth: A dynamic approach and empirical analysis,” Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 32, No. 6, pp. 468-496.

__________, 1993. “Measuring the income effects of migrant remittances: A methodological approach applied to Greece,” Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 131-168.

Pernia, Ernesto M., 2008. “Migration, remittances, poverty and inequality in the Philippines.” UPSE Discussion Paper No. 0801 (Diliman: University of the Philippines School of Economics).

Rodriquez, Edgard R., 1998. “International migration and income distribution in the Philippines,” Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 329-350.

Tabuga, Audrey D., 2007. “International remittances and household expenditures: The Philippine case.” PIDS Discussion Paper Series No. 2007-18 (Manila: Philippine Institute for Development Studies).

The World Bank, 2006. Global economic prospects: Economic implications of remittances and migration. (Washington, D.C.: The World Bank).

Yang, Dean, 2008. “International migration, remittances and household investment: Evidence from Philippine migrants’ exchange rate shocks.” The Economic Journal, Vol. 118, April 2008, pp. 591-630.

It’s clearly a long way to my thirty-source reference point, but everyone has to start somewhere. Personally, I think this is a good place to start. It goes without saying that suggestions are welcome if anyone knows of materials along the same vein. Likewise, if anyone would like to know more about these resources, I’d be more than happy to share my thoughts.

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