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Returns to Scale and the Economic Impact of Migration: Some New Considerations

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  • R. E. Rowthorn

Abstract

Abstract This paper builds on an earlier paper by the author. It uses a simple model to analyse the economic impact of international migration on a large city. The paper assumes that immigration causes the population of the city to grow, thereby increasing the cost of living for existing residents. In one version of the model, the government responds by increasing public-sector wages so as to help offset the higher cost of living. The private sector follows suit. In another version, wages are determined by supply and demand. The paper investigates what happens to living standards, unemployment and the location of the native population under different assumptions about returns to scale. The mathematical analysis is supplemented by numerical simulations. Retours à l’échelle et l'impact de la migration sur l’économie: quelques considérations nouvelles RÉSUMÉ La présente communication est basée sur un ouvrage précédent du même auteur. Au moyen d'un simple modèle, elle analyse l'impact économique des migrations internationales sur une grande agglomération. Cette communication présuppose que l'immigration détermine une augmentation de la population de la ville, en augmentant ainsi le coût de la vie pour les personnes qui y sont domiciliées. Dans une version de ce modèle, le gouvernement intervient en augmentant les salaires dans le secteur public, dans le but de compenser pour ce dernier l'augmentation du coût de la vie. Le secteur privé en fait de même. Dans une autre version, les salaires sont déterminés par la loi de l'offre et de la demande. La communication se penche sur ce qu'il en advient du niveau de vie, du chômage, et l'emplacement de la population autochtone dans le cadre de différents hypothèses sur des retours à l’échelle. L'analyse mathématique est complétée par des simulations numériques. Retornos a escala y el impacto económico de la emigración: varias consideraciones nuevas RÉSUMÉN Este ensayo se agrega a un trabajo anterior del autor. Utiliza un modelo simple para analizar el impacto económico de la emigración internacional en una ciudad grande. El trabajo presupone que la inmigración provoca el crecimiento de la ciudad, aumentando por lo tanto el coste de la vida de los residentes existentes. En una versión del modelo, el gobierno responde incrementando los sueldos del sector público, para ayudar a contrarrestar el aumento de la carestía de la vida. El sector privado sigue su ejemplo. En otra versión, los sueldos están determinados por la oferta y la demanda. El trabajo investiga el efecto sobre el nivel de vida, el desempleo y la ubicación de la población autóctona bajo diferentes asunciones sobre los retornos a escala. El análisis matemático se complementa con simulaciones numéricas.

Suggested Citation

  • R. E. Rowthorn, 2009. "Returns to Scale and the Economic Impact of Migration: Some New Considerations," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 329-341.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:4:y:2009:i:3:p:329-341
    DOI: 10.1080/17421770903114729
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; regions; returns to scale; agglomeration economies; R11; R12; R15;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods

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