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Migration, sorting and regional inequality : evidence from Bangladesh

  • Shilpi, Forhad

Using household level data from Bangladesh, this paper examines the differences in the rates of return to household attributes over the entire welfare distribution. The empirical evidence uncovers substantial differences in returns between an integrated region contiguous to the country's main growth centers, and a less integrated region cut-off from those centers by major rivers. The evidence suggests that households with better observed and unobserved attributes (such as education and ability) are concentrated in the integrated region where returns are higher. Within each region, mobility of workers seems to equalize returns at the lower half of the distribution. The natural border created by the rivers appears to hinder migration, causing returns differences between the regions to persist. To reduce regional inequality in welfare in Bangladesh, the results highlight the need for improving connectivity between the regions, and for investing in portable assets of the poor (such as human capital).

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4616.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4616
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  1. Henry G. Overman & Patricia Rice & Anthony J. Venables, 2010. "Economic linkages across space," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 30779, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Binh Nguyen & James Albrecht & Susan Vroman & Daniel Westbrook, 2003. "A Quantile Regression Decomposition of Urban-Rural Inequality in Vietnam," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-31, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2005. "Cities and Specialisation: Evidence from South Asia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 477-504, 04.
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