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Demographic and Economic Pressure on Emigration out of Africa

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  • Timothy J. Hatton
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Abstract

Two of the main forces driving European emigration in the late nineteenth century were real wage gaps between sending and receiving regions and demographic booms in the low‐wage sending regions. Our new estimates of net migration for the countries of sub‐Saharan Africa show that exactly the same forces driving African across‐border migration are at work today. The results suggest that rapid growth in the cohort of potential young emigrants, population pressure on the resource base, and slow economic growth are likely to intensify the pressure for migration out of Africa and into high‐wage OECD countries over the next two decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Demographic and Economic Pressure on Emigration out of Africa," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 465-486, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:105:y:2003:i:3:p:465-486
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9442.t01-2-00008
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timothy J Hatton & Jeffrey G Williamson, 2002. "Out of Africa? Using the Past to Project African Emigration Pressure in the Future," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 556-573, August.
    2. David E. Bloom & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "Geography, Demography, and Economic Growth in Africa," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 207-296.
    3. Angus Deaton, 1999. "Commodity Prices and Growth in Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 23-40, Summer.
    4. Collins, William J & O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1997. "Were Trade and Factor Mobility Substitutes in History?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Richard B. Freeman & Remco H. Oostendorp, 2002. "Wages Around the World: Pay across Occupations and Countries," International Economic Association Series, in: Richard B. Freeman (ed.), Inequality Around the World, chapter 2, pages 5-37, Palgrave Macmillan.
    6. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    7. Bevan, David & Collier, Paul & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1999. "The Political Economy of Poverty, Equity, and Growth: Nigeria and Indonesia," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195209860.
    8. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    9. Lucas, Robert E B, 1985. "Migration amongst the Botswana," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(378), pages 358-382, June.
    10. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519.
    11. John C. Caldwell, 2000. "Rethinking the African AIDS Epidemic," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(1), pages 117-135, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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