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Migration and Regional Disparities: the Role of Skill Biased Flows

Author

Listed:
  • Ugo Fratesi

    (Università Bocconi)

  • Massimiliano Riggi

    (Università Bocconi)

Abstract

The persistence of disparities is one of the most striking features of regional development. We argue that movements of labour force, instead of being an always equilibrating mechanism, can also make persistent or even reinforce such inequalities. The most advanced regions are in fact generally more attractive, in terms of opportunities, especially to more qualified workers, who, in turn, are an essential ingredient of regional development and competitiveness because of the human capital they bear. We set up a two-regional framework, with a continuum of different skill- type individuals. Each agent’s utility function depends on the wage she earns through her skills, leaving the process of human capital formation out of this paper. Within this framework, we identify and model two complementary mechanisms for skill biased migration flows to take place. The first one resides in the way wages are set. If, in fact, the most skilled workers are not paid their productivity because of wage compression, they will have an incentive to move towards regions with a more dispersed wage scheme. The second mechanism dwells in the existence of some regional specific immobile assets, which make workers di®erently productive in different regions; this happens to a larger extent for those endowed with highest skills, which will therefore be more likely to overcome the mobility costs. Hence a Kaldor-type cumulative process bearing persistent regional disparities is set up.

Suggested Citation

  • Ugo Fratesi & Massimiliano Riggi, 2004. "Migration and Regional Disparities: the Role of Skill Biased Flows," Urban/Regional 0407004, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpur:0407004
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 33
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. ITAZUBI 2016: euro ed emigrazione (pardon: mobilità del lavoro)
      by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2016-03-10 15:04:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fratesi, Ugo, 2007. "The Spatial Diffusion of Innovations and the Evolution of Regional Disparities," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 11, pages 131-160.
    2. Ugo Fratesi, 2008. "Regional policy from a supra-regional perspective," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 42(3), pages 681-703, September.
    3. Terry Gregory & Melanie Arntz & Florian Lehmer, 2011. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? What Drives the Self-Selection of Internal Migrants in Germany?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p972, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Terry Gregory & Roberto Patuelli, 2015. "Demographic ageing and the polarization of regions—an exploratory space–time analysis," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 47(5), pages 1192-1210, May.
    5. Naude, Wim, 2008. "Conflict, Disasters, and No Jobs: Reasons for International Migration from Sub-Saharan Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 085, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Andries de Grip & Didier Fouarge & Jan Sauermann, 2010. "What affects international migration of European science and engineering graduates?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(5), pages 407-421.
    7. Ceren Ozgen & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2010. "The effect of migration on income growth and convergence: Meta-analytic evidence," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(3), pages 537-561, August.
    8. Arntz, Melanie & Gregory, Terry & Lehmer, Florian, 2011. "Unequal pay or unequal employment? What drives the skill-composition of labor flows in Germany?," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-074, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. Kubis, Alexander & Schneider, Lutz, 2012. "Human capital mobility and convergence : a spatial dynamic panel model of the German regions," IAB Discussion Paper 201223, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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