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Income Inequality and International Migration


  • Davies, J.B.
  • Wooton, I.


This paper provides a theoretical analysis of the impact of international factor movements on the personal distribution of income. It distinguishes between two types of labor (skilled and unskilled) and focuses on the consequences of their migration. There is a simple, yet powerful, relationship between factor flows, the structure of domestic production, and changes in inequality. The effects of labor migration are shown to depend on whether skilled labor and unskilled labor are "friends" or "enemies" in production. The authors conclude with a discussion of the possible impact on inequality of some past and current migrations. Copyright 1992 by Royal Economic Society.
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Suggested Citation

  • Davies, J.B. & Wooton, I., 1991. "Income Inequality and International Migration," University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations Working Papers 9111, University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:wocier:9111

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Valerie R. Bencivenga & Bruce D. Smith, 1991. "Financial Intermediation and Endogenous Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 195-209.
    3. Summers, Robert & Kravis, Irving B. & Heston, Alan, 1984. "Changes in the world income distribution," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 237-269, May.
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    7. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    8. Boyd, John H. & Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 211-232, April.
    9. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    10. Jung, Woo S, 1986. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: International Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 333-346, January.
    11. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    12. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    13. Townsend, Robert M, 1983. "Financial Structure and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 895-911, December.
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    15. Townsend, Robert M., 1983. "Theories of intermediated structures," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 221-272, January.
    16. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-1085, December.
    17. Robert M. Townsend, 1978. "Intermediation with Costly Bilateral Exchange," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(3), pages 417-425.
    18. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Jim Davies, "undated". "Empirical Evidence on Human Capital Externalities," Working Papers-Department of Finance Canada 2003-11, Department of Finance Canada.
    3. O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Sinnott, Richard, 2006. "The determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 838-861, December.
    4. Dan-Olof Rooth, 2007. "Implicit Discrimination in Hiring – Real World Evidence," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0705, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    5. Aydemir, Abdurrahman, 2002. "Effects of Selection Criteria and Economic Opportunities on the Characteristics of Immigrants," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002182e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2005. "International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of Economic and Non-Economic Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 1590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. David A. Green, 2007. "A Cautionary Discussion about Relying on Human Capital Policy to Meet Redistributive Goals," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 33(4), pages 397-418, December.
    8. Lin, Chun-Hung Andy, 2000. "Changing wages and employment by skill in Taiwan, 1978-1996: The roles of education policy, trade, and immigration," ISU General Staff Papers 2000010108000013699, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Isabell Koske & Jean-Marc Fournier & Isabelle Wanner, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 2. The Distribution of Labour Income," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 925, OECD Publishing.
    10. Octavian Ngarambé & Stephan Goetz, 1998. "Determinants of regional income distribution in the U.S. South, 1980–1990: Roles of net migration and human capital accumulation," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 23-35, December.


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