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A Theory of Migration as a Response to Occupational Stigma

  • Stark, Oded

    (ZEF, University of Bonn)

  • Fan, C. Simon

    (Department of Economics, Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong)

A theory is developed of labor migration that is prompted by a desire to avoid "social humiliation." In a general equilibrium framework it is shown that as long as migration can reduce humiliation sufficiently, migration will occur even between two identical economies. Migration increases the number of individuals who choose to perform degrading jobs and consequently, migration lowers the price of the good produced in the sector that is associated with low social status. Moreover, the greater an individual’s aversion to performing degrading jobs, the more likely it is that he will experience a welfare gain when the economy opens up.

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Paper provided by Institute for Advanced Studies in its series Economics Series with number 247.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:247
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  1. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Stark, Oded, 1987. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Bulletins 7515, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  2. Richard J. Butler & John D. Worrall, 2008. "Wage and Injury Response to Shifts in Workplace Liability," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(2), pages 181-200, January.
  3. Stark, Oded & You Qiang Wang, 2002. "A Theory of Self-Segregation as a Response to Relative Deprivation," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 168, Royal Economic Society.
  4. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Joop Hartog & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2008. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Schooling Risk in Denmark," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 711-731, December.
  5. Richard J. Butler & John D. Worrall, 2008. "Wage and Injury Response to Shifts in Workplace Liability," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(2), pages 181-200, January.
  6. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Yegorov, Yuri, 1997. "Migrants' Savings, Purchasing Power Parity, and the Optimal Duration of Migration," Economics Series 44, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  7. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-78, September.
  8. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Ivan Werning, 2005. "The Equilibrium Distribution of Income and the Market for Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 282-310, April.
  9. Takatoshi Ito, 1997. "Purchasing Power Parity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_97-2, December.
  10. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
  11. Paul Gertler & Manisha Shah & Stefano M. Bertozzi, 2005. "Risky Business: The Market for Unprotected Commercial Sex," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 518-550, June.
  12. Stark, Oded & Micevska, Maja & Mycielski, Jerzy, 2009. "Relative poverty as a determinant of migration: Evidence from Poland," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 119-122, June.
  13. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  14. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  15. Yoram Weiss & Chaim Fershtman, 1997. "Social Status and Economic Performance: A Survey," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 139, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  16. Del Bono, Emilia & Weber, Andrea, 2006. "Do Wages Compensate for Anticipated Working Time Restrictions? Evidence from Seasonal Employment in Austria," IZA Discussion Papers 2242, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
  18. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  19. Fershtman, C. & Weiss, Y., 1991. "Social Status , Culture and Economic Performance," Papers 32-91, Tel Aviv.
  20. Bender, Keith A, 1998. " The Central Government-Private Sector Wage Differential," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 177-220, April.
  21. Stark, Oded & Fan, C. Simon, 2007. "The analytics of seasonal migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 304-312, February.
  22. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
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