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Showing off to the new neighbors? Income, socioeconomic status and consumption patterns of internal migrants

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  • Danzer, Alexander M.
  • Dietz, Barbara
  • Gatskova, Ksenia
  • Schmillen, Achim

Abstract

This paper analyses incomes and socioeconomic status of internal migrants over time and in comparison to their new neighbors and investigates whether status consumption is a way for newly arrived city dwellers to signal their social standing. Using a novel dataset from the emerging economy of Kazakhstan we find that internal migrants earn an income and status premium for their move. In a comparison to indigenous city dwellers their earnings and household incomes are not significantly different; however, mobile households report a significantly higher subjective socio-economic status. Exploiting expenditure data, we find that recent migrant households gain status from using visible consumption to impress their new neighbors. This signaling might be used as adaptation to the new economic and social environment or to gain access to social capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Danzer, Alexander M. & Dietz, Barbara & Gatskova, Ksenia & Schmillen, Achim, 2014. "Showing off to the new neighbors? Income, socioeconomic status and consumption patterns of internal migrants," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 230-245.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:42:y:2014:i:1:p:230-245
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2013.05.002
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:3:p:605-621 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. World Bank Group, 2016. "Kazakhstan Jobs Strategy," World Bank Other Operational Studies 27266, The World Bank.
    3. Gang, Ira N. & Schmillen, Achim, 2017. "Sometimes, winners lose: Economic disparity and indigenization in Kazakhstan," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 605-621.
    4. repec:ost:wpaper:345 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Absolute and relative welfare; Internal migration; Status consumption; Conspicuous consumption; Signaling model;

    JEL classification:

    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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