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International Migration with Heterogeneous Agents: Theory and Evidence

  • Brücker, Herbert

    ()

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Schröder, Philipp J. H.

    ()

    (Aarhus School of Business)

International migration is characterized by two puzzling facts: First, only a small share of the population tends to migrate although substantial and persisting income differences across countries exist. Second, net migration rates tend to cease over time despite persisting income differences. This paper addresses these issues in a migration model with heterogeneous agents that features temporary migration. In equilibrium a positive relation exists between the stock of migrants and the income differential, while the net migration flow becomes zero. Consequently, existing empirical migration models, estimating net migration flows instead of stocks, may be misspecified. This suspicion appears to be confirmed by our empirical investigation of the cointegration relationships of German migration stocks and flows since 1967. We find that (i) panel-unit root tests reject the hypothesis that migration flows and the explanatory variables are integrated of the same order, while migration stocks and the explanatory variables are all I(1) variables, and (ii) the hypothesis of cointegration cannot be rejected for the stock model.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2049.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2049.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: World Economy , 2012, 35 (2), 152-182.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2049
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  1. Hill, John K., 1987. "Immigrant decisions concerning duration of stay and migratory frequency," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 221-234, February.
  2. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  3. M. C. Burda, 1995. "Migration and the Option Value of Waiting," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1995,58, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  4. Pedroni, Peter, 1999. " Critical Values for Cointegration Tests in Heterogeneous Panels with Multiple Regressors," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 653-70, Special I.
  5. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2003. "Export versus FDI," NBER Working Papers 9439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  8. Stock, James H, 1987. "Asymptotic Properties of Least Squares Estimators of Cointegrating Vectors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1035-56, September.
  9. Richard E. Baldwin & Rikard Forslid, 2006. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogenous Firms," NBER Working Papers 12192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stark, Oded, 1995. " Return and Dynamics: The Path of Labor Migration When Workers Differ in Their Skills and Information Is Asymmetric," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(1), pages 55-71, March.
  11. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2001. "The Optimal Migration Duration and Activity Choice after Re-migration," IZA Discussion Papers 266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  13. Shiller, Robert J. & Perron, Pierre, 1985. "Testing the random walk hypothesis : Power versus frequency of observation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 381-386.
  14. Faini, Riccardo & Venturini, Alessandra, 1994. "Migration and Growth: The Experience of Southern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 964, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Wu, Yangru & Zhang, Hua, 1996. "Mean Reversion in Interest Rates: New Evidence from a Panel of OECD Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 604-21, November.
  16. Alice Mesnard, 2004. "Temporary migration and capital market imperfections," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 242-262, April.
  17. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  18. Banerjee, Anindya, et al, 1986. "Exploring Equilibrium Relationships in Econometrics through Static Models: Some Monte Carlo Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(3), pages 253-77, August.
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  20. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  21. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
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  23. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
  24. Papell, David H., 1997. "Searching for stationarity: Purchasing power parity under the current float," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 313-332, November.
  25. Greenwood, Michael J, 1975. "Research on Internal Migration in the United States: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 397-433, June.
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