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Do Migrants Follow Market Potentials? An Estimation of a New Economic Geography Model

  • Matthieu Crozet


    (TEAM - Théories et Applications en Microéconomie et Macroéconomie - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

New Economic Geography models describe a cumulative process of spatial agglomeration: Firms tend to cluster in locations with good access to demand, and similarly, workers are drawn to regions where market potential is high because the price index is lower there. This paper provides an empirical assessment of this forward linkage that relates labour migrations to the geography of production through real wage differentials. In the spirit of Hanson (1998), we use bilateral migration data for five European countries over the 1980s and 1990s to perform quasi-structural estimations of a new economic geography model derived from Krugman (1991). The results show strong evidence in favor of this model. As expected, migrants do follow market potential. Moreover, we provide estimates for all key parameters of the model. These estimates suggest that a sudden emergence of a core-periphery pattern is unlikely within European countries: centripetal forces are too limited in geographical scope, and mobility costs are too high.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00096277.

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Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy F, 2004, 4 (4), pp.439-458
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00096277
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  1. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1997. "Economic Geography and Reginal Production Structure: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 6093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. TABUCHI, Takatoshi & THISSE, Jacques-François, 2001. "Taste heterogeneity, labor mobility and economic geography," CORE Discussion Papers 2001044, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Matthieu Crozet & Thierry Mayer & Jean-Louis Mucchielli, 2004. "How do firms Agglomerate? A Study of FDI in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00268770, HAL.
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  11. Gordon H. Hanson, 1998. "Market Potential, Increasing Returns, and Geographic Concentration," NBER Working Papers 6429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  13. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
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  18. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Federico Trionfetti, 2001. "Using home-biased demand to test trade theories," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(3), pages 404-426, September.
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