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The Prospect of Migration, Sticky Wages, and "Educated Unemployment"


  • Stark, Oded
  • Fan, C. Simon


An increase in the probability of work abroad, where the returns to schooling are higher than at home, induces more individuals in a developing country to acquire education, which leads to an increase in the supply of educated workers in the domestic labor market. Where there is a sticky wage-rate, the demand for labor at home will be constant. With a rising supply and constant demand, the rate of unemployment of educated workers in the domestic labor market will increase. Thus, the prospect of employment abroad causes involuntary “educated unemployment” at home. A government that is concerned about “educated unemployment” and might therefore be expected to encourage unemployed educated people to migrate will nevertheless, under certain conditions, elect to restrict the extent of the migration of educated individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Stark, Oded & Fan, C. Simon, 2011. "The Prospect of Migration, Sticky Wages, and "Educated Unemployment"," Discussion Papers 98572, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:98572

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A brain gain with a brain drain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 227-234, August.
    2. 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.
    3. BOUDARBAT, Brahim, 2006. "Unemployment, Status In Employment And Wages In Morocco," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 6(1).
    4. de la Croix,David & Michel,Philippe, 2002. "A Theory of Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521806428, March.
    5. Stark, Oded & Wang, Yong, 2002. "Inducing human capital formation: migration as a substitute for subsidies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 29-46, October.
    6. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
    7. Jasso, Guillermina & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 2008. "Selection Criteria and the Skill Composition of Immigrants: A Comparative Analysis of Australian and U.S. Employment Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 3564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Clemens, Marius, 2016. "Migration, Unemployment and the Business Cycle - A Euro Area Perspective," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145578, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item


    Labor and Human Capital; E24; F22; J24; O15;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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