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A Theory Of Migration As A Response To Occupational Stigma

  • C. Simon Fan
  • Oded Stark

A theory is developed of labor migration that is prompted by a desire to avoid "social humiliation." In a general equilibrium framework it is shown that as long as migration can reduce humiliation sufficiently, migration will occur even between two identical economies. Migration increases the number of individuals who choose to perform degrading jobs and consequently, migration lowers the price of the good produced in the sector that is associated with low social status. Moreover, the greater an individual’s aversion to performing degrading jobs, the more likely it is that he will experience a welfare gain when the economy opens up.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 52 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 549-571

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:52:y:2011:i:2:p:549-571
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  1. Stark, Oded & You Qiang Wang, 2002. "A Theory of Self-Segregation as a Response to Relative Deprivation," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 168, Royal Economic Society.
  2. Stark, Oded & Fan, C. Simon, 2007. "The analytics of seasonal migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 304-312, February.
  3. Yoram Weiss & Chaim Fershtman, 1997. "Social Status and Economic Performance: A Survey," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 139, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  5. Emilia Del Bono & Andrea Weber, 2008. "Do Wages Compensate for Anticipated Working Time Restrictions? Evidence from Seasonal Employment in Austria," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 181-221.
  6. Richard J. Butler & John D. Worrall, 2008. "Wage and Injury Response to Shifts in Workplace Liability," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(2), pages 181-200, January.
  7. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
  8. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Oded Stark & Christian Helmenstein & Yury Yegorov, 1997. "Migrants' Savings, Purchasing Power Parity, and the Optimal Duration of Migration," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 307-324, July.
  10. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Joop Hartog & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2008. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Schooling Risk in Denmark," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 711-731, December.
  11. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  12. Paul Gertler & Manisha Shah & Stefano M. Bertozzi, 2005. "Risky Business: The Market for Unprotected Commercial Sex," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 518-550, June.
  13. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  14. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Stark, Oded, 1987. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Bulletins 7515, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  15. Richard J. Butler & John D. Worrall, 2008. "Wage and Injury Response to Shifts in Workplace Liability," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(2), pages 181-200, January.
  16. Chaim Fershtman & Yoram Weiss, 1991. "Social Status, Culture and Economic Performance," Discussion Papers 1007, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Ivan Werning, 2005. "The Equilibrium Distribution of Income and the Market for Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 282-310, April.
  18. Takatoshi Ito, 1997. "Purchasing Power Parity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_97-2, December.
  19. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-78, September.
  20. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
  21. Bender, Keith A, 1998. " The Central Government-Private Sector Wage Differential," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 177-220, April.
  22. Stark, Oded & Micevska, Maja & Mycielski, Jerzy, 2009. "Relative poverty as a determinant of migration: Evidence from Poland," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 119-122, June.
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