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Return Migration, Wage Differentials, and the Optimal Migration Duration

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  • Dustmann, Christian

    (University College London)

Abstract

In simple static models, migration increases with the wage differential between host and home country. In a dynamic framework, and if migrations are temporary, the size of the migrant population in the host country depends also on the migration duration. This paper analyses optimal migration durations in a model which rationalises the decision of the migrant to return to his home country, despite persistently higher wages in the host country. The analysis shows that, if migrations are temporary, the optimal migration duration may decrease if the wage differential grows larger. Using micro data for Germany, the second part of the paper provides some empirical evidence which is compatible with this hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Dustmann, Christian, 2001. "Return Migration, Wage Differentials, and the Optimal Migration Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 264, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp264
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2002. "The optimal migration duration and activity choice after re-migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 351-372, April.
    2. Larry A. Sjaastad, 1970. "The Costs and Returns of Human Migration," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Harry W. Richardson (ed.), Regional Economics, chapter 9, pages 115-133, Palgrave Macmillan.
    3. Raffelhuschen, Bernd, 1992. "Labor migration in Europe : Experiences from Germany after unification," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1453-1471, October.
    4. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-930, September.
    5. Guillermina Jasso & Mark Rosenzweig, 1982. "Estimating the emigration rates of legal immigrants using administrative and survey data: The 1971 cohort of immigrants to the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 19(3), pages 279-290, August.
    6. 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.
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    8. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    international migration; Life cycle models;

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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