The UK’s decision to exit the EU (“Brexit”) has stunned the world. Development junkies want to know: how will Brexit affect developing countries?
In an article in the Washington Post, Max Ehrenfreund makes some predictions: foreign aid flows from the UK will decline, as will remittances sent home by migrants in the UK. The article cites my work on how remittances sent by Filipino migrants responded to the exchange rate shocks of the Asian Financial Crisis, and what happened to remittance-recipient families back home as a result. With Brexit leading the British pound to weaken, remittances from migrants in the UK should fall, and families back home are likely to suffer. If the results from my study of Philippine migrants apply, then we should expect increases in child labor and declines in school attendance in the families of UK-based migrant workers.