IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Theory of Migration as a Response to Relative Deprivation


  • Oded Stark
  • You Qiang Wang


We model migration as a response to relative deprivation. We present a specific configuration of incomes in which the process of migration in response to relative deprivation reaches a steady state. However, for the general configuration of incomes we show that it is impossible to prove the existence of a steady state. We study the social welfare implications of the two cases and show that if individuals are left to pursue their betterment, the resulting state falls short of the best social outcome. We present several implications of the model including federalism and the demand for secession. Copyright Verein fü Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:1:y:2000:i:2:p:131-143

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Stark, Oded, 1984. "Rural-to-Urban Migration in LDCs: A Relative Deprivation Approach," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 475-486, April.
    3. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-1178, September.
    4. Stark, Oded & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1988. "Labour Migration as a Response to Relative Deprivation," MPRA Paper 21670, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Stark, Oded, 1990. "A Relative Deprivation Approach to Performance Incentives in Career Games and Other Contests," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 211-227.
    6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-715, September.
    7. Postlewaite, Andrew, 1998. "The social basis of interdependent preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 779-800, May.
    8. Weiss, Yoram & Fershtman, Chaim, 1998. "Social status and economic performance:: A survey," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 801-820, May.
    9. Oded Stark & J. Taylor, 1989. "Relative deprivation and international migration oded stark," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(1), pages 1-14, February.
    10. Stark,Oded, 1999. "Altruism and Beyond," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521663731, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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, 2006. "Inequality and migration: A behavioral link," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 146-152, April.
    3. Calderón Villarreal Cuauhtémoc & Huesca Reynoso Luis, 2014. "Profile of earners and remittances in Mexico: a relative deprivation approach," Contaduría y Administración, Accounting and Management, vol. 59(3), pages 11-33, julio-sep.
    4. Stefan Jestl & Mathias Moser & Anna K. Raggl, 2017. "Can’t Keep Up with the Joneses: How Relative Deprivation Pushes Internal Migration in Austria," wiiw Working Papers 137, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    5. Kaczmarczyk, Pawel & Tyrowicz, Joanna, 2015. "Winners and Losers among Skilled Migrants: The Case of Post-Accession Polish Migrants to the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 9057, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Hyll, Walter & Schneider, Lutz, 2014. "Relative deprivation and migration preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 334-337.
    7. Chenoa Flippen, 2014. "U.S. internal Migration and Occupational Attainment: Assessing Absolute and Relative Outcomes by Region and Race," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 33(1), pages 31-61, February.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:1:y:2000:i:2:p:131-143. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.