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Inequality and migration: A behavioral link

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  • Stark, Oded

Abstract

We provide an analytical-behavioral explanation for the observed positive relationship between income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, and the incentive to migrate. We show that a higher total relative deprivation of a population leads to a stronger incentive to engage in migration for a given level of a population’s income; that total relative deprivation is positively related to the Gini coefficient; and that, consequently, the Gini coefficient and migration are positively correlated, holding the population’s income constant.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 91 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 146-152

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:91:y:2006:i:1:p:146-152

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References

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  1. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-15, September.
  3. George J. Borjas, 1988. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Thomas Liebig & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2004. "Migration, Self-Selection and Income Inequality: An International Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 125-146, 02.
  5. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002, August.
  6. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  7. Stark, Oded, 1990. "A Relative Deprivation Approach to Performance Incentives in Career Games and Other Contests," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 211-27.
  8. Oded Stark & You Qiang Wang, 2000. "A Theory of Migration as a Response to Relative Deprivation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(2), pages 131-143, 05.
  9. David Andolfatto, 2002. "A Theory of Inalienable Property Rights," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 382-393, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Popova, Olga, 2014. "Life (dis)satisfaction and the intention to migrate: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 40-49.
  2. Stark, Oded & Micevska, Maja & Mycielski, Jerzy, 2009. "Relative poverty as a determinant of migration: Evidence from Poland," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 119-122, June.
  3. Stark, Oded & Hyll, Walter & Behrens, Doris A., 2009. "Gauging the potential for social unrest," Discussion Papers 53721, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  4. Silvia Maja Melzer & Ruud J. Muffels, 2012. "Migrant's Pursuit of Happiness: The Impact of Adaption, Social Comparison and Relative Deprivation; Evidence from a 'Natural' Experiment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 448, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  6. Czaika, Mathias, 2011. "Internal and international migration as response of double deprivation: some evidence from India," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 21, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  7. Zheren WU, 2008. "Relative Income Positions and Labor Migration: A Panel Study Based on a Rural Household Survey in China," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 08-24, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).

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