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Unemployment benefits, risk aversion, and migration incentives

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  • Axel Heitmueller

Abstract

With reference to the EU enlargement, a framework is derived which allows the study of the effect of unemployment benefits on the migration decision. While benefits simply increase the expected gain for risk neutral individuals, they work as an insurance device for risk averse migrants; the results for the two groups might differ. Thus, the migration decision is reformulated as monetary lottery. Unsurprisingly, the paper finds that risk averse individuals are less likely to engage in migration. Yet, introducing unemployment benefits also makes them select a different set of countries. The implications of selection and sorting, however, depend crucially on the link between risk aversion and economically important personal characteristics. It is also shown that unemployment benefits give rise to intertemporal trade-offs in migration returns. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Heitmueller, 2005. "Unemployment benefits, risk aversion, and migration incentives," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(1), pages 93-112, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:18:y:2005:i:1:p:93-112
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-004-0192-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    J60; J61; J65; Migration; unemployment benefits; risk aversion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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