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Migration, Specialization, and Trade: Evidence from the Brazilian March to the West

Author

Listed:
  • Heitor S. Pellegrina

    (NYU Abu Dhabi)

  • Sebastian Sotelo

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

Exploiting a large migration of farmers to the West of Brazil between 1950 and 2010, we study how migration shapes aggregate and regional comparative advantage. We document that farmers emigrating from regions with high employment in an activity are more likely to work in that activity and have higher income than other migrants doing so. We incorporate this heterogeneity into a quantitative model and find that, by reshaping comparative advantage, declines in migration costs contributed substantially to Brazil's rise as a leading commodity exporter. Opportunities to migrate, moreover, account for a substantial share of the gains from trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Heitor S. Pellegrina & Sebastian Sotelo, 2021. "Migration, Specialization, and Trade: Evidence from the Brazilian March to the West," Working Papers 681, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:681
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Florio, Erminia & Manfredonia, Stefano, 2021. "Ancestors, inter-generational transmission of attitudes, and corporate performance: Evidence from the Italian Mass Migration," GLO Discussion Paper Series 830, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Trade; Migration; Comparative Advantage;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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