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Income Inequality and International Migration


  • Davies, James B
  • Wooton, Ian


This paper provides a theoretical analysis of the impact of international factor movements on the personal distribution of income. It distinguishes between two types of labor (skilled and unskilled) and focuses on the consequences of their migration. There is a simple, yet powerful, relationship between factor flows, the structure of domestic production, and changes in inequality. The effects of labor migration are shown to depend on whether skilled labor and unskilled labor are "friends" or "enemies" in production. The authors conclude with a discussion of the possible impact on inequality of some past and current migrations. Copyright 1992 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Davies, James B & Wooton, Ian, 1992. "Income Inequality and International Migration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 789-802, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:102:y:1992:i:413:p:789-802

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
    2. Fair, Ray C., 1989. "The production-smoothing model is alive and well," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 353-370, November.
    3. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A., 1991. "Should the fed smooth interest rates? the case of seasonal monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 41-69, January.
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    5. Miron, Jeffrey A. & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1989. "Production, sales, and the change in inventories : An identity that doesn't add up," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 31-51, July.
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    7. Jeffrey A. Miron, 1996. "The Economics of Seasonal Cycles," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262133237, July.
    8. Kahn, J.A., 1990. "The Seasonal And Cyclical Behavior Of Inventories," RCER Working Papers 223, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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    16. J. Joseph Beaulieu & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1992. "Why Do Countries and Industries with Large Seasonal Cycles Also Have Large Business Cycles?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 621-656.
    17. Danny Quah & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1988. "A Common Error in the Treatment of Trending Time Series," Working papers 483, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Mayda, 2010. "International migration: a panel data analysis of the determinants of bilateral flows," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 1249-1274, September.
    2. Jim Davies, "undated". "Empirical Evidence on Human Capital Externalities," Working Papers-Department of Finance Canada 2003-11, Department of Finance Canada.
    3. O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Sinnott, Richard, 2006. "The determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 838-861, December.
    4. Dan-Olof Rooth, 2007. "Implicit Discrimination in Hiring – Real World Evidence," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0705, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    5. Aydemir, Abdurrahman, 2002. "Effects of Selection Criteria and Economic Opportunities on the Characteristics of Immigrants," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002182e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2005. "International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of Economic and Non-Economic Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 1590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. David A. Green, 2007. "A Cautionary Discussion about Relying on Human Capital Policy to Meet Redistributive Goals," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 33(4), pages 397-418, December.
    8. Lin, Chun-Hung Andy, 2000. "Changing wages and employment by skill in Taiwan, 1978-1996: The roles of education policy, trade, and immigration," ISU General Staff Papers 2000010108000013699, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Isabell Koske & Jean-Marc Fournier & Isabelle Wanner, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 2. The Distribution of Labour Income," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 925, OECD Publishing.
    10. Octavian Ngarambé & Stephan Goetz, 1998. "Determinants of regional income distribution in the U.S. South, 1980–1990: Roles of net migration and human capital accumulation," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 23-35, December.

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