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Migration and welfare: a very simple model

  • Roberto Cellini

    (University of Catania, Corso Italia, Catania, Italy)

The paper presents a very simple model of migration, relying on three widely accepted points: first, labour productivity and wages in a country depend on the present average human capital; second, agents maximise their utility, so that migration decisions depend on the wage gap across economies; third, the larger the personal human capital, the higher the propensity is to migrate (ceteris paribus). The model shows that migration through its external effects always lowers the welfare in the sending country, while the effects on the receiving country can be positive or negative. As a consequence, selfish developed economies could desire a larger migration than the optimal level for a benevolent World Planner. This calls for international coordination concerning the regulation of migration flows. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.1330
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 19 (2007)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 885-894

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:19:y:2007:i:7:p:885-894
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  1. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Robert Tamura, 2004. "Human capital and economic development," Working Paper 2004-34, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
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  6. Schiff, Maurice, 2002. "Love thy neighbor: trade, migration, and social capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 87-107, March.
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  8. 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.
  9. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "Cities and Cultures," Working Papers 2004.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Burda, Michael C & Wyplosz, Charles, 1991. "Human Capital, Investment and Migration in an Integrated Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 614, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  13. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10449, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. Stark, Oded & Wang, Yong, 2001. "Inducing Human Capital Formation: Migration as a Substitute for Subsidies," Economics Series 100, Institute for Advanced Studies.
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