IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The King Never Emigrates: Political Culture and the Reluctant International Movement of People


  • Epstein, Gil S
  • Hillman, Arye L.
  • Ursprung, Heinrich W.


We consider a country where a king assigns benefits in accordance with privilege determined by the population’s proximity to the throne. People have different relative advantages in seeking privilege and in productive activity. The nature of the contest for privilege determines whether, in equilibrium, the more productive or less productive in society are located closer to the king, and thus who has an incentive to emigrate. When contests for privilege are ‘easy’, the more productive are furthest from the king and emigrate first. When contests are ‘difficult’, the least productive emigrate first. In either case, the population unravels, although emigration is bounded.

Suggested Citation

  • Epstein, Gil S & Hillman, Arye L. & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 1998. "The King Never Emigrates: Political Culture and the Reluctant International Movement of People," CEPR Discussion Papers 1815, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1815

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Contests; Migration; privilege seeking;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1815. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.