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Remittances and Inequality: A Dynamic Migration Model

  • 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
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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
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Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2003-05
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  1. Pranab Bardhan, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis., 1998. "Wealth Inequality, Wealth Constraints and Economic Performance," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-097, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  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. 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.
  8. Poirine, Bernard, 1997. "A theory of remittances as an implicit family loan arrangement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 589-611, January.
  9. 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.
  10. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  11. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  12. 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 274-98, April.
  13. Cox, Donald & Eser, Zekeriya & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1998. "Motives for private transfers over the life cycle: An analytical framework and evidence for Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 57-80, February.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Alice Mesnard, 2004. "Temporary migration and self-employment: evidence from Tunisia," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(1), pages 119-138.
  17. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2006. "Can migration reduce educational attainment ? Evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3952, The World Bank.
  18. Azam, Jean-Paul & Gubert, Flore, 2004. "Those in Kayes: The Impact of Remittances on their Recipients in Africa," IDEI Working Papers 308, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  19. 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 164-78, May.
  20. 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.
  21. Alice Mesnard, 2004. "Temporary migration and capital market imperfections," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 242-262, April.
  22. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Mesnard, Alice & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Wealth Distribution and Self-Employment in a Developing Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3026, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1986. "Remittances and Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 722-40, September.
  25. Woodruff, Christopher & Zenteno, Rene, 2007. "Migration networks and microenterprises in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 509-528, March.
  26. Ilahi, Nadeem, 1999. "Return Migration and Occupational Change," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 170-86, June.
  27. 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.
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  32. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2002:i:7:p:1-5 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. Hillel Rapoport, 2002. "Migration, credit constraints and self-employment: A simple model of occupational choice, inequality and growth," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(7), pages 1-5.
  34. Lucas, Robert E B, 1987. "Emigration to South Africa's Mines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 313-30, June.
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