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Financial constraints, migration and inequality


  • Juliano Junqueira Assunção

    () (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)

  • Leandro S. Carvalho

    (Department of Economics Princeton University)


Although the self-selection of emigrants is determined by di¤erences in the returns to education, according to the celebrated Roy model, empirical evidence suggests that migrants tend to be favorably selected. This paper argues that financial con- straints might be useful to explain this controversy. These constraints might impose positive correlations between (i) wealth and education, and (ii) wealth and migra- tion, implying a positive bias in the empirical results. We also show that high levels of migration premium and return to education in the source country explain the migration of middle-class individuals, a situation in which migration increases in- equality in the home country.

Suggested Citation

  • Juliano Junqueira Assunção & Leandro S. Carvalho, 2005. "Financial constraints, migration and inequality," Textos para discussão 498, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:498

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Freeman, Richard B., 1993. "Immigration from poor to wealthy countries : Experience of the United States," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 443-451, April.
    2. Borjas, George J. & Bronars, Stephen G. & Trejo, Stephen J., 1992. "Self-selection and internal migration in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-185, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
    5. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    6. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    7. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    8. Locher, Lilo, 2004. "Immigration from the former Soviet Union to Israel: Who is coming when?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1243-1255, December.
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    migration; financial constraints; self-selection; human capital;

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