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The Todaro Paradox Revisited

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  • Zenou, Yves

    ()
    (Stockholm University)

Abstract

The Todaro Paradox states that policies aimed at reducing urban unemployment are bound to backfire: they will raise rather than reduce urban unemployment. The aim of this paper is to reexamine this paradox in the context of efficiency wage and search-matching models. For that, we study a policy that consists in decreasing the urban unemployment benefit. In an efficiency wage model, we find that there is no Todaro paradox while this is not always true in a search-matching model since a decrease in the urban unemployment benefit can increase both urban employment and unemployment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1861.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1861

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Keywords: efficiency wages; search-matching; rural-urban migration; policy;

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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. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Raimondos, Pascalis, 1993. "On the Todaro paradox," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 42(2-3), pages 261-267.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Zenou, Y. & Smith, T. E., . "Efficiency wages, involuntary unemployment and urban spatial structure," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1171, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Mohtadi, Hamid, 1989. "Migration and job search in a dualistic economy : A Todaro-Stigler synthesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 373-378.
  9. Brueckner, Jan K, 1990. "Analyzing Third World Urbanization: A Model with Empirical Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 587-610, April.
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  14. Arellano, Jose-Paulo, 1981. "Do more jobs in the modern sector increase urban unemployment?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 241-247, April.
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  16. Moene, Karl Ove, 1988. "A reformulation of the Harris-Todaro mechanism with endogenous wages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 387-390.
  17. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  18. Yasuhiro Sato, 2004. "Migration, Frictional Unemployment, and Welfare-Improving Labor Policies," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 773-793.
  19. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1974. "Alternative Theories of Wage Determination and Unemployment in LDC'S: The Labor Turnover Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 194-227, May.
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  22. 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.
  23. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "The Efficiency Wage Hypothesis, Surplus Labour, and the Distribution of Income in L.D.C.s," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 185-207, July.
  24. Coulson, N Edward & Laing, Derek & Wang, Ping, 2001. "Spatial Mismatch in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 949-72, October.
  25. Jan K. Brueckner & Hyun-A Kim, 2001. "Land Markets in the Harris-Todaro Model: A New Factor Equilibrating Rural-Urban Migration," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 507-520.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mathan Satchi & Jonathan Temple, 2006. "Growth and labour markets in developing countries," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-12, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  2. Mathan Satchi & Jonathan Temple, 2009. "Labor Markets and Productivity in Developing Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 183-204, January.
  3. Sergio Vergalli, 2011. "Entry and Exit Strategies in Migration Dynamics," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 362-389, December.
  4. Wayne Edwards & Lee Huskey, 2008. "Job search with an external opportunity: an experimental exploration of the Todaro Paradox," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 807-819, December.

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