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Remittances and Inequality: A Dynamic Migration Model

Listed author(s):
  • Frédéric Docquier

    (CADRE, University of Lille 2; and IZA Bonn, Germany)

  • Hillel Rapoport

    ()

    (CREDPR, Department of Economics, Stanford University; CADRE; and Bar-Ilan University)

We develop a model of the interdependencies between migration, remittances and inequality, and investigate how migration and subsequent remittances affect inter-household inequality in the origin communities. An important feature of our model is that we take into account the impact of migration on the local (rural) labor market. Migration is shown to decrease wealth inequality but may generate higher income inequality. Moreover, the short-run and long-run impacts of migration on income inequality may also be of opposite signs, suggesting that the dynamic relationship between migration and inequality may well be characterized by an inverse U-shaped pattern. This is consistent with the findings of the empirical literature on remittances and inequality, but offers a different interpretation, with no need to endogenize migration costs through the role of migrant networks.

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File URL: http://www.biu.ac.il/soc/ec/wp/5-03/5-03.pdf
File Function: Working paper
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Paper provided by Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2003-05.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2003-05
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Faculty of Social Sciences, Bar Ilan University 52900 Ramat-Gan

Phone: Phone: +972-3-5318345
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Web page: http://www.biu.ac.il/soc/ec
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  1. Barham, Bradford & Boucher, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, remittances, and inequality: estimating the net effects of migration on income distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 307-331, April.
  2. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1986. "Remittances and Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 722-740, September.
  3. Donald Cox & Zekeriya Eser & Emmanuel Jimenez, 1996. "Motives for Private Transfers over the Life Cycle: An Analytical Framework and Evidence for Peru," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 327., Boston College Department of Economics.
  4. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-930, September.
  5. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2000. "The Optimal Migration Duration and Activity Choice after Re-migration," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 00-39, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  6. Ilahi, Nadeem & Jafarey, Saqib, 1999. "Guestworker migration, remittances and the extended family: evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 485-512, April.
  7. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 151-172.
  8. Ilahi, Nadeem, 1999. "Return Migration and Occupational Change," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 170-186, June.
  9. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-918, October.
  10. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
  11. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
  12. Mesnard, Alice & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Wealth Distribution and Self-Employment in a Developing Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3026, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  14. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J. Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1988. "Migration, remittances and inequality : A sensitivity analysis using the extended Gini index," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 309-322, May.
  15. J. Edward Taylor & Scott Rozelle & Alan deBrauw, 1999. "Migration, Remittances, and Agricultural Productivity in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 287-291, May.
  16. Bardhan, Pranab & Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 1999. "Wealth Inequality, Wealth Constraints and Economic Performance," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt3bh899fh, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  17. Lucas, Robert E B, 1987. "Emigration to South Africa's Mines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 313-330, June.
  18. Adams, Richard H, Jr, 1989. "Worker Remittances and Inequality in Rural Egypt," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 45-71, October.
  19. de la Briere, Benedicte & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain & Lambert, Sylvie, 2002. "The roles of destination, gender, and household composition in explaining remittances: an analysis for the Dominican Sierra," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 309-328, August.
  20. Hoddinott, John, 1994. "A Model of Migration and Remittances Applied to Western Kenya," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 459-476, July.
  21. Poirine, Bernard, 1997. "A theory of remittances as an implicit family loan arrangement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 589-611, January.
  22. Richard H. Adams, Jr., 1992. "The Effects of Migration and Remittances on Inequality in Rural Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 1189-1206.
  23. Edwards, Alejandra Cox & Ureta, Manuelita, 2003. "International migration, remittances, and schooling: evidence from El Salvador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 429-461, December.
  24. David Mckenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2004. "Network Effects and the Dynamics of Migration and Inequality: Theory and Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2004-3, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  25. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2006. "Can migration reduce educational attainment ? Evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3952, The World Bank.
  26. Taylor, J. Edward, 1992. "Remittances and inequality reconsidered: Direct, indirect, and intertemporal effects," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 187-208, April.
  27. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frederic, 2006. "The Economics of Migrants' Remittances," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  28. McCormick, Barry & Wahba, Jackline, 2001. "Overseas Work Experience, Savings and Entrepreneurship amongst Return Migrants to LDCs," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(2), pages 164-178, May.
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