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Migration, Family, and Risk Diversification

  • Kong-Pin Chen

    (Academia Sinica and National Taiwan University)

  • Shin-Hwan Chiang

    (York University)

  • Siu Fai Leung

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

This article proposes a formal model of migration in which workers are heterogeneous and markets are stochastically correlated. We derive and characterize the optimal migration pattern of a family. We show that migration can take place even when migrants earn less abroad and, surprisingly, when earnings in the foreign country are riskier for every member of the family. Moreover, it may well be an optimal arrangement to have only dependents migrate, thus rationalizing the recent dependent-oriented migration flows from places like Hong Kong and Taiwan. We provide some evidence in support of our theory.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 323-352

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:21:y:2003:i:2:p:323-352
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  1. Francesco Daveri & Riccardo Faini, . "Where do migrants go?," Working Papers 124, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Ghatak, Subrata & Levine, Paul & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 1996. " Migration Theories and Evidence: An Assessment," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 159-98, June.
  3. Stark, Oded & Levhari, David, 1982. "On Migration and Risk in LDCs," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 191-96, October.
  4. Katz, Eliakim & Stark, Oded, 1986. "Labor Migration and Risk Aversion in Less Developed Countries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 134-49, January.
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