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Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation

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  • Stark, Oded
  • Taylor, J Edward

Abstract

The importance of absolute income and relative deprivation incentives is examined for internal and international migration in developing country households. Empirical results, based on Mexican village data, support the hypothesis that households' relative deprivation in the village reference group is significant in explaining migration by household members to destinations where a reference group substitution is unlikely and the returns to migration are high. Independent of relative deprivation, village households wisely pair their members with the labor markets in which the returns to their human capital are likely to be greatest. The results suggest that a specific type of migration constitutes a response to a specific configuration of variables, and the role of relative deprivation appears to differ for internal and international migration. Taking relative deprivation into account when studying migration is shown to have important implications for development policy. For example, economic development that does not redress intra-village income inequalities may become associated with more migration. Copyright 1991 by Royal Economic Society.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:101:y:1991:i:408:p:1163-78
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stark, Oded & Lucas, Robert E B, 1988. "Migration, Remittances, and the Family," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(3), pages 465-481, April.
    2. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-926, August.
    3. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J. Edward, 1991. "Relative Deprivation and Migration: Theory, Evidence, and Policy Implications," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 121-144.
    4. 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.
    5. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    6. Stark, Oded & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1988. "Labour Migration as a Response to Relative Deprivation," MPRA Paper 21670, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Greene, William H, 1981. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 795-798, May.
    8. 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 901-918, October.
    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. J. Edward Taylor, 1987. "Undocumented Mexico—U.S. Migration and the Returns to Households in Rural Mexico," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 69(3), pages 626-638.
    11. Richard A. Easterlin, 1980. "Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number east80-1, January-J.
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