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Estão os Portugueses a ?votar com os pés?? Alguma evidência empírica

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Author Info

  • António Caleiro

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Évora)

Abstract

Como é sabido, os movimentos migratórios à escala regional são fruto de uma diversidade de factores. Sendo entendidos como uma reacção, por parte da população, a desvantagens (inaceitáveis) de natureza económica apresentadas pela região de origem, estes movimentos demográficos constituem um importante exemplo da chamada ?votação com os pés?. Claramente, a inexistência (ou a mera ineficácia) de políticas regionais que tenham como objectivo combater este fenómeno acarreta a inevitável desertificação humana a qual, certamente, constitui um crucial entrave ao desenvolvimento regional. Aliás, uma perspectiva, ainda que parcial, deste fenómeno demográfico admite ser esta, ela própria, a consequência lógica de políticas de incidência regional, as quais, sendo atendedoras ao peso eleitoral das diversas regiões, tendem a privilegiar as regiões já por si mais povoadas. Sendo certo que a decisão de migrar acarreta custos óbvios e só se justifica se (hipoteticamente) as condições de vida na região de destino se apresentarem inequivocamente melhores que as existentes na região de origem, tal significa que a ?votação com os pés? é, quase sempre, sinónimo de uma efectiva deslocalização da população activa (bem como das camadas populacionais mais jovens que dela dependem). Assim sendo, a este fenómeno demográfico, para além da desertificação humana, associa-se, quase inevitavelmente, o envelhecimento das regiões de origem por contrapartida do rejuvenescimento das regiões de destino. O objectivo principal deste trabalho é, assim, o de verificar se existe evidência empírica, em Portugal, suportando a hipótese de que aos movimentos migratórios regionais se pode associar o fenómeno da ?votação com os pés?. Dado que o espaço de tempo decorrido entre os dois últimos Censos da População nos parece ser suficiente para se puderem observar com alguma segurança as tendências migratórias verificadas em Portugal, aquele objectivo pretende ser atingido usando os dados dos Censos de 1991 e 2001, recorrendo a uma metodologia que se baseia no uso de técnicas estatísticas especialmente adequadas no tratamento de variáveis que se apresentam localizadas no espaço nacional. As is well known, human migrations, at the regional scale, are due to a diversity of factors. Being understood as a reaction of the population to the (unacceptable) disadvantages of economic nature presented by the origin region, these demographic movements constitute an important example of the, so called, ?feet voting?. Clearly, the inexistence (or the mere inefficacy) of regional policies designed to eliminate this phenomenon causes the inevitable human desertification, which, certainly, constitutes a crucial obstacle to the regional development. A possible, despite partial, explanation of this demographic phenomenon admits this to be, indeed, the logical consequence of the regional policy, which being inclined to the electoral weight carried by the several regions, tend to privilege the regions already more populated. Being certain that the decision to migrate brings about obvious costs and it is justified only if (hypothetically) the standards of living in the destination region are clearly better than that existing in the origin region, that means that when people vote with their feet that, almost always, leads to an effective delocalization of the active population (as well as the young people on which they depend). Consequently, to this demographic phenomenon, beyond the desertification human, one associates, almost inevitably, the aging of the regions of origin and the rejuvenescence of the regions of destination. The main objective of the paper is, thus, to verify if it exists, in Portugal, empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that the regional migratory movements can be associated with the phenomenon of ?feet voting?. The time elapsed between the two last Population Censuses (1991 and 2001) seem to be enough in order to be able to scrutinize with some security the migratory trends in Portugal, using a methodology that it is based on the use of statistical techniques especially adequate in the treatment of variables which reflect a particular localisation in the national space.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Évora, Department of Economics (Portugal) in its series Economics Working Papers with number 7_2005.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:evo:wpecon:7_2005

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Related research

Keywords: Demografia Regional; Desemprego; Econometria Espacial / Migrations; Regional Demography; Spatial Econometrics; Unemployment;

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Cited by:
  1. João Carlos Lopes & Paula Cristina Albuquerque, 2012. "The characteristics and regional distribution of older workers in Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 2012/22, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.

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