ICT, Online Search Behavior, and Remittances: Evidence from the Kyrgyz Republic
Infrastructure has always been a fundamental driver of long-term economic growth, but in recent decades information and communication technology (ICT) has supported and accelerated the growth of the global economy in ways beyond the imagining of our ancestors. We examine the role of ICT infrastructure in facilitating labor markets' access and remittance flows for workers from the Kyrgyz Republic. Using a combination of traditional high frequency macroeconomic data and real time internet search information from Google Trends, we take a novel approach to explaining the inflow of remittances to a developing country. In the first attempt to model remittance behavior with GTI data in this context, we use a gravity model. We also attempt to account for both origin and destination labor market conditions, using Kyrgyz language search words to identify both push and pull factors affecting migrant decisions.
WORKING PAPER NO: 1348