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Migration Dynamics

  • Sergio Vergalli

    (University of Brescia)

  • Michele Moretto

    (University of Brescia)

This paper tries to explain why most migration flows show some observable jumps in their processes, a phenomenon that seems to be sympathetic with the characteristic of irreversibility of migration. We present a real option model where the choice to migrate depends on both the differential wage between the host country and the country of origin, and on the probability of being fully integrated into the host country. The theoretical results show that the optimal migration decision of a single individual consists of waiting before migrating in a (coordinate) mass of individuals. The dimension of the migration flow depends on the behavioural characteristics of the ethnic groups: the more "sociable" they are, the larger the size of the wave and the lower the differential wage required. A second part of the paper is devoted to calibrating the model and simulating some migration flows to Italy in the last decade. The calibration is able to replicate the observable migration jumps in the short term. In particular, the calibrated model is able to conjecture the induced labour demand elasticity level of the host country and the behavioural rationale of the migrants.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2005.108.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.108
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  1. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  2. Moretto, Michele, 2000. "Irreversible investment with uncertainty and strategic behavior," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 589-617, December.
  3. Michele Moretto & Sergio Vergalli, 2005. "Migration dynamics," Working Papers ubs0507, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
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  17. Bartolini, Leonardo, 1993. "Competitive runs : The case of a ceiling on aggregate investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 921-948, June.
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  26. Frank M. Bass, 1969. "A New Product Growth for Model Consumer Durables," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(5), pages 215-227, January.
  27. Paul Winters & Alain de Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2001. "Family and Community Networks in Mexico-U.S. Migration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 159-184.
  28. Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Policy Uncertainty and Private Investment in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  30. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2004. "Selection or Network Effects? Migration Flows into 27 OECD Countries, 1990-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 1104, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  32. Holger Feist, 1998. "Wage-distance regulation in social-welfare programs: An option-theory perspective," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 68(3), pages 271-293, October.
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