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Wealth Heterogeneity and the Income Elasticity of Migration

Samuel Bazzi

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2017, vol. 9, issue 2, 219-55

Abstract: How do income shocks affect international migration flows from poor countries? Income growth not only increases the opportunity cost of migration but also eases liquidity constraints. I develop a method to separate these countervailing individual effects and identify the overall income elasticity of migration. Using new administrative and census data from Indonesia, I find that positive agricultural income shocks increase labor emigration flows, particularly in villages with relatively more small landholders. However, in the most developed rural areas, persistent income shocks reduce emigration. Overall, the findings highlight the important role of wealth heterogeneity in shaping migration flows as incomes rise.

JEL-codes: F22 J43 O13 O15 Q11 Q12 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20150548
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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics is currently edited by Alexandre Mas

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:219-55