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Skill Complementarities and Migration Decisions

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  • Mariassunta Giannetti

Abstract

This paper offers an explanation of the high mobility of skilled workers based on human capital complementarities. If the skill premium is increasing in the average level of human capital of a location, and there exist fixed migration costs, in equilibrium the more skilled the workers are, the stronger the economic incentives to migrate towards the richest regions will be. Moreover, endogenously generated differences in productivity due to migration affect occupational choices and regional specialization. Empirical evidence consistent with the proposed explanation is provided using data on Italian regions. It emerges that, even after controlling for economic conditions, a high population share of individuals who completed college or high‐school in a region seems to be a relevant pull factor for the most educated migrants. In contrast, the importance of this variable, which measures the average level of human capital of a location, drops when unskilled migrants are considered. Finally, the effects of migration on the evolution of regional disparities are taken into account. Copyright Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CEIS in its journal Labour.

Volume (Year): 15 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 1-31

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Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:15:y:2001:i:1:p:1-31

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Cited by:
  1. Tani, Massimiliano, 2003. "Have Europeans become more mobile? A note on regional evolutions in the EU: 1988-1997," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 23-30, July.
  2. Suedekum, Jens, 2003. "Subsidizing education in the economic periphery: Another pitfall of regional policies?," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 17, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  3. Borck, Rainald & Caliendo, Marco & Steiner, Viktor, 2006. "Fiscal Competition and the Composition of Public Spending: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2428, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Ekaterina Sprenger, 2013. "The Determinants of International Migration in the European Union: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 325, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  5. Giannetti, M., 2000. "On the Mechanics of Migration Decisions: Skill Complementarities and Endogenous Price Differentials," Papers 366, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  6. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & John C. Robertson, 2006. "The push-pull effects of the information technology boom and bust: insight from matched employer-employee data," Working Paper 2006-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Julie L. Hotchkiss & Menbere Shiferaw, 2011. "Decomposing the education wage gap: everything but the kitchen sink," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue July, pages 243-272.
  8. Rainald Borck, 2005. "Fiscal Competition, Capital-Skill Complementarity, and the Composition of Public Spending," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 504, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Hotchkiss, Julie L. & Pitts, M. Melinda & Robertson, John C., 2008. "The Push-Pull Effects of the Information Technology Boom and Bust," MPRA Paper 44800, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2002. "The effects of integration on regional disparities: Convergence, divergence or both?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 539-567, March.
  11. Elisabetta Marinelli, 2011. "Graduate migration in Italy - Lifestyle or necessity?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1608, European Regional Science Association.
  12. Jens Südekum, 2005. "The Pitfalls of Regional Education Policy," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(3), pages 327-, November.

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