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Inequality and Migration: A Behavioral Link

  • Stark, Oded

    (University of Bonn, University of Klagenfurt, University of Vienna, Warsaw University and ESCE Economic and Social Research Center, Cologne and Eisenstadt)

We provide an analytical-behavioral explanation for the observed positive relationship between income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, and the incentive to migrate. We show that a higher total relative deprivation of a population leads to a stronger incentive to engage in migration for a given level of a population’s income; that total relative deprivation is positively related to the Gini coefficient; and that, consequently, the Gini coefficient and migration are positively correlated, holding the population’s income constant.

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Paper provided by Institute for Advanced Studies in its series Economics Series with number 178.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:178
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  1. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  2. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stark, Oded, 1990. "A Relative Deprivation Approach to Performance Incentives in Career Games and Other Contests," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 211-27.
  4. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Andolfatto, 1999. "A Theory of Inalienable Property Rights," Working Papers 99004, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Nov 1999.
  7. Oded Stark & You Qiang Wang, 2000. "A Theory of Migration as a Response to Relative Deprivation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(2), pages 131-143, 05.
  8. Thomas Liebig & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2004. "Migration, Self-Selection and Income Inequality: An International Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 125-146, 02.
  9. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
  10. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  11. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:3:p:963-1002 is not listed on IDEAS
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