The COVID-19 pandemic was expected to exert profound effects on remittance-dependent countries. However, the extent of this impact on household welfare is only partially explored.
This study examines the case of Tajikistan, whose remittance inflows relative to its GDP in 2019 amounted to as high as 28.2%. The study intends to provide timely findings on the impacts of COVID-19 on household welfare, including food security and employment, as well as on migration and remittances.
Analyzing data from a monthly household panel dataset that covers the periods before and after the outbreak, the study first identifies that the pandemic exerted severe negative consequences on household welfare in the second quarter of 2020, that is, immediately after the outbreak. However, this effect gradually diminished. Second, the study reveals that the stock of migrants working abroad unexpectedly did not undergo a large decline. With border closures, the potential migrants were unable to leave for their destination countries, while the incumbent migrants were unable to return to their home countries. Finally, it discusses that households with migrants were generally more resilient than those without migrants during the pandemic, because migrant remittances enabled families to mitigate the negative impacts, which functioned as a form of insurance.
This research was published in PLOS One and can be accessed through the following link.