Migrants' Savings, Purchasing Power Parity, and the Optimal Duration of Migration
If some of the returns to migration accrue from return migration, the optimal duration of migration may be shorter than the feasible duration of migration. We develop a model that provides and highlights conditions under which return migration takes place even though a reversal of the inter-country wage differential does not occur. In particular, we consider the higher purchasing power of savings (generated from work abroad) at home than abroad as a motive for return migration. Inter alia, our model produces a negative relationship between the optimal duration of migration and the purchasing power differential and in some (but not all) cases, a negative relationship between the optimal duration of migration and the wage abroad. In addition, and contrary to our prior anticipation, our utility maximization analysis suggests that East-West migration will tend to be temporary while inter-European Community (or intra-West European) migration will likely be permanent.
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