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Ethnic Discrimination and the Migration of Skilled Labor

  • Frédéric Docquier
  • Hillel Rapoport

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University)

We consider a small open developing economy, whose population is bifurcated into a majority and a minority group, the latter lacking political influence. Agents are heterogeneous in skills, and decide whether to invest in education when young and whether to migrate in their adulthood. Assuming a rent-extraction basis for discrimination, we first endogenize ethnic discrimination in the benchmark case of an economy closed to migration, and then explore how migration prospects affect ethnic inequality. Under the free migration assumption, we find the intuitive result that migration prospects have a protective effect on the minority. Moreover, the optimal discrimination rate (from the majority’s perspective) is shown to be such that there is no migration at equilibrium, unless the distribution of individuals’ skills exhibits marked asymmetries. Last, we find that immigration restrictions set by receiving countries have the paradoxical effect of creating migration flows which would otherwise have remained latent.

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File URL: http://www.biu.ac.il/soc/ec/wp/19-01/19-01.pdf
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Paper provided by Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2001-19.

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Date of creation: Dec 2001
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Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2001-19
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  1. Bénabou, Roland, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1450, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. repec:adr:anecst:y:2003:i:71-72:p:03 is not listed on IDEAS
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  14. Bates, R.H., 2000. "Ethicity, Capital Formation, and Conflict," Papers 27, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
  15. Eliakim Katz & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Macroeconomic Instability, Migration, and the Option Value of Education," Working Papers 2001-17, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  16. Schiff, Maurice, 1998. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(3), pages 348-62, October.
  17. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1998. "Explaining African economic performance," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1997-02.2, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. Epstein, Gil S & Hillman, Arye L & Ursprung, Heinrich W, 1999. "The King Never Emigrates," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 107-21, June.
  19. Johnson, R-W & DaVanzo, J, 1997. "Economic and Cultural Influences on the Decision to Leave Home in Peninsular Malaysia," Papers 97-03, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  20. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "Losers and Winners in Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
  22. Bardhan, Pranab, 1997. "Method in the madness? a political-economy analysis of the ethnic conflicts in less developed countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1381-1398, September.
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