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Unemployment Benefits, Risk Aversion, and Migration Incentives

  • Axel Heitmueller

With reference to the EU enlargement, a framework is derived which allows the study of the effect of unemployment benefits on the migration decision. While benefits simply increase the expected gain for risk neutral individuals, they work as an insurance device for risk averse migrants; the results for the two groups might differ. Thus, the migration decision is reformulated as monetary lottery and a utility function exhibiting constant relative risk aversion is applied. The model suggests increased migration incentives independent of taste and a positive selection of risk neutral individuals. Furthermore, risk averse migrants are likely to be found in countries with more evenly distributed incomes, other things equal. While the calibration of the model shows a significant change in migration incentives, empirical results on aggregate data for South-North migration within the EU are ambiguous.

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File URL: http://www.sml.hw.ac.uk/downloads/cert/wpa/2002/dp0207.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University in its series CERT Discussion Papers with number 0207.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:hwe:certdp:0207
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  1. Ralph Rotte & Michael Vogler, 2000. "The effects of development on migration: Theoretical issues and new empirical evidence," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 485-508.
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  8. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2001. "First- and Second-Generation Migrants in Germany - What Do We Know and What Do People Think," IZA Discussion Papers 286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2000. "Aggregate-Level Migration Studies as a Tool for Forecasting Future Migration Streams," IZA Discussion Papers 183, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Levy, Mildred B & Wadycki, Walter J, 1973. "The Influence of Family and Friends on Geographic Labor Mobility: An International Comparison," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(2), pages 198-203, May.
  12. McCall, B P & McCall, J J, 1987. "A Sequential Study of Migration and Job Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 452-76, October.
  13. Bird, Edward J. & Kayser, Hilke & Frick, Joachim R. & Wagner, Gert G., 1999. "The Immigrant Welfare Effect: Take-Up or Eligibility?," IZA Discussion Papers 66, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Molho, Ian, 1986. "Theories of Migration: A Review," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 396-419, November.
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