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Migration and the wage and unemployment gaps between urban and non-urban sectors: A dynamic general equilibrium reinterpretation of the Harris-Todaro equilibrium

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  • Lee, Chul-In

Abstract

This paper offers a dynamic general equilibrium reinterpretation of the static partial migration equilibrium by Harris and Todaro [Harris, J., Todaro, M., 1970. Migration, unemployment and development; a two-sector analysis. American Economic Review 60, 126-142], under (i) flexible urban and rural wages and (ii) free mobility of workers and free entry of firms. The proposed model accounts for the set of stylized facts in developing countries: rural to urban migration and higher urban wages and unemployment. The model allows us to view the wage gap as a compensating differential for the negative amenities associated with job destruction and subsequent costly search on the consumption side, which can also be seen as a match-specific premium based on a sectoral productivity differential on the production side. Our model predicts the comovements among urban and non-urban wages and migration flows to the urban sector, an empirical regularity observed over the urbanization process of developing economies. Finally, we also conduct a welfare analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1416-1434

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:15:y:2008:i:6:p:1416-1434

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

Related research

Keywords: J31 J61 J64 Migration Urban vs. non-urban wage and unemployment gaps Matching Equilibrium unemployment Compensating wage differential Welfare;

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References

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  1. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  2. Lucas, Robert E B, 1985. "Migration amongst the Botswana," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(378), pages 358-82, June.
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  12. Brueckner, Jan K. & Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Harris-Todaro models with a land market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 317-339, May.
  13. Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
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  16. Fields, Gary S., 1989. "On-the-job search in a labor market model : Ex ante choices and ex post outcomes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 159-178, January.
  17. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, December.
  18. Ortega, Javier, 2000. "Pareto-Improving Immigration in an Economy with Equilibrium Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 92-112, January.
  19. Stark, Oded & Ranjan Gupta, Manash & Levhari, David, 1991. "Equilibrium urban unemployment in developing countries : Is migration the culprit?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 477-482, December.
  20. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  21. Quibria, M G, 1988. "Migration, Trade Unions, and the Informal Sector: A Note on Calvo," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(3), pages 557-63, August.
  22. Banerjee, Biswajit, 1984. "Information flow, expectations and job search : Rural-to-urban migration process in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-3), pages 239-257.
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Cited by:
  1. Wrede, Matthias, 2012. "Wages, rents, unemployment, and the quality of life," IWQW Discussion Paper Series 01/2012, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW).

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