Migration as an antidote to rent-seeking?
We develop a new mechanism through which skilled migration may influence economicperformance in the sending country. If agents can choose between acting asrent-seekers and engaging in productive activities, and only productive skills are exportable,a positive probability of migration (to a more secure economy) reduces therelative expected returns from rent-seeking, thus decreasing the proportion of skilledworkers who opt for ”parasitic” activities. Such an improvement in the allocation oftalent may prevail over the loss of skilled workers due to outmigration. However, weshow that this result is not robust to the introduction of endogenous protection. If productiveworkers share their resources between accumulation of productive capital andinvestment in security, prospective migration may induce a weaker protection againstrent-seeking, which in turn might depress average income in the source economy.
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