The Role of International Remittances in Health Outcomes in Ecuador: Prevention and Response to Shocks


  • The authors thank the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for providing financing for this study. Financial support was channeled via Convenio de Colaboración MAEC-Real Instituto Elcano 2007-2008. We gratefully acknowledge valuable comments from seminar participants in Madrid and Quito, and from two anonymous referees.


This article evaluates the impact of remittances on health outcomes in Ecuador using an instrumental-variables approach. Although we do not find significant impacts on long-term child health variables, we find that remittances do have an impact on health expenditures, and on some preventive issues such as de-worming and vaccination. In addition, we find significant effects of remittances on medicine expenditures when illness occurs. In this regard, remittances are used for both preventive and emergency situations. Interestingly, we also find a significant and positive effect of remittances on health knowledge.