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Remittances and Inequality: A Dynamic Migration Model

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Author Info

  • Docquier, Frédéric

    ()
    (Université catholique de Louvain)

  • Rapoport, Hillel

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

We develop a model of the interdependencies between migration, remittances and inequality, and investigate how migration and subsequent remittances affect inter-household inequality in the origin communities. An important feature of our model is that we take into account the impact of migration on the local (rural) labor market. Migration is shown to decrease wealth inequality but may generate higher income inequality. Moreover, the short-run and long-run impacts of migration on income inequality may also be of opposite signs, suggesting that the dynamic relationship between migration and inequality may well be characterized by an inverse U-shaped pattern. This is consistent with the findings of the empirical literature on remittances and inequality, but offers a different interpretation, with no need to endogenize migration costs through the role of migrant networks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 808.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp808

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Keywords: inequality; remittances; migration;

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References

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  1. Barham, Bradford & Boucher, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, remittances, and inequality: estimating the net effects of migration on income distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 307-331, April.
  2. Bardhan, Pranab & Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 1999. "Wealth Inequality, Wealth Constraints and Economic Performance," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt3bh899fh, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Alice Mesnard, 2004. "Temporary migration and self-employment: evidence from Tunisia," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(1), pages 119-138.
  4. Jean-Paul Azam & Flore Gubert, 2002. "Those in Kayes. The impact of remittances on their recipients in Africa," Working Papers DT/2002/11, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
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  6. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  7. Adams, Richard H, Jr, 1989. "Worker Remittances and Inequality in Rural Egypt," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 45-71, October.
  8. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  9. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2006. "Can migration reduce educational attainment ? Evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3952, The World Bank.
  10. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2000. "The Optimal Migration Duration and Activity Choice after Re-migration," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 00-39, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  11. Woodruff, Christopher & Zenteno, Rene, 2007. "Migration networks and microenterprises in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 509-528, March.
  12. Mesnard, Alice & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Wealth Distribution and Self-Employment in a Developing Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3026, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2002:i:7:p:1-5 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 151-72, April.
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  26. Taylor, J. Edward, 1992. "Remittances and inequality reconsidered: Direct, indirect, and intertemporal effects," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 187-208, April.
  27. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-18, October.
  28. de la Briere, Benedicte & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain & Lambert, Sylvie, 2002. "The roles of destination, gender, and household composition in explaining remittances: an analysis for the Dominican Sierra," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 309-328, August.
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  31. Ilahi, Nadeem, 1999. "Return Migration and Occupational Change," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 170-86, June.
  32. Hoddinott, John, 1994. "A Model of Migration and Remittances Applied to Western Kenya," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 459-76, July.
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