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Inducing human capital formation: migration as a substitute for subsidies

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  • Stark, Oded
  • Wang, Yong

Abstract

When productivity is fostered by an individual's own human capital as well as by the economy-wide average level of human capital, individuals under-invest in human capital. The provision of subsidies for the formation of human capital, conditional on the subsidy being self-financed by tax revenues, can bring the economy to its socially optimal level of human capital. Yet a strictly positive probability of migration to a richer country, by raising both the level of human capital formed by optimizing individuals in the home country and the average level of human capital of non-migrants in the country, can enhance welfare and nudge the economy toward the social optimum. Indeed, under a well-controlled, restrictive migration policy the welfare of all workers is higher than in the absence of this policy.
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Suggested Citation

  • Stark, Oded & Wang, Yong, 2002. "Inducing human capital formation: migration as a substitute for subsidies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 29-46, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:86:y:2002:i:1:p:29-46
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A brain gain with a brain drain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 227-234, August.
    2. Chau, Nancy H. & Stark, Oded, 1999. "Human-Capital Formation, Asymmetric Information, and the Dynamics of International Migration," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 333-370.
    3. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1998. "Human capital depletion, human capital formation, and migration: a blessing or a "curse"?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 363-367, September.
    4. Stark, Oded, 1995. " Return and Dynamics: The Path of Labor Migration When Workers Differ in Their Skills and Information Is Asymmetric," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(1), pages 55-71, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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