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Skill Complementarities and Migration Decisions

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  • Mariassunta Giannetti

Abstract

This paper offers an explanation of the high mobility of skilled workers based on human capital complementarities. If the skill premium is increasing in the average level of human capital of a location, and there exist fixed migration costs, in equilibrium the more skilled the workers are, the stronger the economic incentives to migrate towards the richest regions will be. Moreover, endogenously generated differences in productivity due to migration affect occupational choices and regional specialization. Empirical evidence consistent with the proposed explanation is provided using data on Italian regions. It emerges that, even after controlling for economic conditions, a high population share of individuals who completed college or high‐school in a region seems to be a relevant pull factor for the most educated migrants. In contrast, the importance of this variable, which measures the average level of human capital of a location, drops when unskilled migrants are considered. Finally, the effects of migration on the evolution of regional disparities are taken into account. Copyright Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariassunta Giannetti, 2001. "Skill Complementarities and Migration Decisions," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 15(1), pages 1-31, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:15:y:2001:i:1:p:1-31
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    Cited by:

    1. Tani, Massimiliano, 2003. "Have Europeans become more mobile? A note on regional evolutions in the EU: 1988-1997," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 23-30, July.
    2. Rainald Borck & Marco Caliendo & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Fiscal Competition and the Composition of Public Spending: Theory and Evidence," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(2), pages 264-277, June.
    3. Udo Kreickemeier & Jens Wrona, 2017. "Two-Way Migration between Similar Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 182-206, January.
    4. Rainald Borck, 2006. "Fiscal Competition, Capital-Skill Complementarity, and the Composition of Public Spending," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(4), pages 488-499, February.
    5. Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2003. "On the mechanics of migration decisions: skill complementarities and endogenous price differentials," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 329-349, August.
    6. Jens Suedekum, 2005. "Increasing returns and spatial unemployment disparities," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(2), pages 159-181, June.
    7. Ekaterina Sprenger, 2013. "The Determinants of International Migration in the European Union: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 325, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    8. Jens Südekum, 2005. "The Pitfalls of Regional Education Policy," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(3), pages 327-327, November.
    9. Julie L. Hotchkiss & Menbere Shiferaw, 2011. "Decomposing the education wage gap: everything but the kitchen sink," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue July, pages 243-272.
    10. Elisabetta Marinelli, 2011. "Graduate migration in Italy - Lifestyle or necessity?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1608, European Regional Science Association.
    11. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & John C. Robertson, 2006. "The push-pull effects of the information technology boom and bust: insight from matched employer-employee data," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    12. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & John C. Robertson, 2008. "The Push-Pull Effects of the Information Technology Boom and Bust," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 22(3), pages 200-212, August.
    13. Südekum, Jens, 2002. "Subsidizing education in the economic periphery : another pitfall or regional policies?," HWWA Discussion Papers 209, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    14. Nadia Granato & Anette Haas & Silke Hamann & Annekatrin Niebuhr, 2015. "The Impact Of Skill-Specific Migration On Regional Unemployment Disparities In Germany," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 513-539, September.
    15. Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2002. "The effects of integration on regional disparities: Convergence, divergence or both?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 539-567, March.

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