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Revisiting the Migration-Development Nexus: A Gravity Model Approach

Listed author(s):
  • Letouzé, Emmanuel
  • Purser, Mark
  • Rodríguez, Francisco
  • Cummins, Matthew

This paper presents empirical estimates of a gravity model of bilateral migration that properly accounts for non-linearities and tackles causality issues through an instrumental variables approach. In contrast to the existing literature, which is limited to OECD data, we have estimated our model using a matrix of bilateral migration stocks for 127 countries. We find that the inverted-U relationship between income at origin and migration found by other authors survives the more demanding bilateral specification but does not survive both instrumentation and introduction of controls for the geographical and cultural proximity between country pairs. We also evaluate the effect of migration on origin and destination country income using the geographically determined component of migration as a source of exogenous variation and fail to find a significant effect of migration on origin or destination income.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/19227/1/MPRA_paper_19227.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19227.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19227
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  1. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Hiller, Sanne & Sala, Davide, 2010. "Does immigration boost per capita income?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 177-179, May.
  2. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," NBER Working Papers 9159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lewer, Joshua J. & Van den Berg, Hendrik, 2008. "A gravity model of immigration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 164-167, April.
  4. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
  5. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & A Li, Carmen, 2004. "Trade Blocks and the Gravity Model: Evidence from Latin American Countries," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 19, pages 667-689.
  6. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-481, August.
  7. Dean Yang, 2008. "International Migration, Remittances and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 591-630, 04.
  8. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  9. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Demographic and Economic Pressure on Emigration out of Africa," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 465-486, September.
  10. Alan Deardorff, 1998. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Chapters,in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 7-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hatton, T.J. & Williamson, J.G., 1992. "What Drove the Mass Migrations from Europe in the Late Ninteenth Century," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1614, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Philip L. Martin, 1993. "Trade and Migration: NAFTA and Agriculture," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa38, January.
  13. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2004. "Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Policy in Europe," NBER Working Papers 10680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Anna Mayda, 2010. "International migration: a panel data analysis of the determinants of bilateral flows," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 1249-1274, September.
  15. repec:esx:essedp:542 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519.
  17. Egger, Peter, 2000. "A note on the proper econometric specification of the gravity equation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 25-31, January.
  18. Deardoff, A.V., 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," Working Papers 382, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  19. Allen J. Scott, 2009. "World Development Report 2009: reshaping economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 583-586, July.
  20. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-116, March.
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