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Migration dynamics

  • Michele Moretto
  • Sergio Vergalli

This paper tries to explain why most migration flows show some observable jumps in their processes, a phenomenon that seems to be sympathetic with the characteristic of irreversibility of migration. We present a real option model where the choice to migrate depends on both the differential wage between the host country and the country of origin, and on the probability of being fully integrated into the host country. The theoretical results show that the optimal migration decision of a single individual consists of waiting before migrating in a (coordinate) mass of individuals. The dimension of the migration flow depends on the behavioural characteristics of the ethnic groups: the more "sociable" they are, the larger the size of the wave and the lower the differential wage required. A second part of the paper is devoted to calibrating the model and simulating some migration flows to Italy in the last decade. The calibration is able to replicate the observable migration jumps in the short term. In particular, the calibrated model is able to conjecture the induced labour demand elasticity level of the host country and the behavioural rationale of the migrants.

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Paper provided by University of Brescia, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number ubs0507.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ubs:wpaper:ubs0507
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  15. Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Policy Uncertainty and Private Investment in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping: Reexamining The Impact Of Immigration On The Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374, November.
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  24. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1999. "Segmented communication and fashionable behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 371-385, July.
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  26. Joop Hartog & Rainer Winkelmann, 2003. "Comparing migrants to non-migrants: The case of Dutch migration to New Zealand," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 683-705, November.
  27. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2006. "What Determines Immigration's Impact? Comparing Two Global Centuries," NBER Working Papers 12414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  29. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  30. Moretto, Michele, 2000. "Irreversible investment with uncertainty and strategic behavior," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 589-617, December.
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  32. Jackman, Richard & Savouri, Savvas, 1992. "Regional Migration in Britain: An Analysis of Gross Flows Using NHS Central Register Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1433-50, November.
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