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Regional migration and wage inequality in the West African economic and monetary union

Esther Mirjam Girsberger, Romuald Méango () and Hillel Rapoport

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2020, vol. 48, issue 2, 385-404

Abstract: We investigate the impact of intra-regional migration on wage inequality in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). We exploit unique data from a unified labour force household survey which covers natives and migrants in the seven economic capital cities of that region. We first estimate the counterfactual wage distributions of UEMOA migrants in absence of migration to evaluate the compositional effect of migration (i.e., when wages are treated as exogenous). We find that regional migration increases average wages by 1.8% and generates a decrease in inequality that ranges between −1.5% (for the Gini index) and −4.5% (for the interquartile ratio). This is essentially driven by a reduction in inequality between capital cities, while the effect of migration on within-capital cities inequality is heterogeneous across countries and remains small overall. Second, when accounting for possible general equilibrium effects of migration on stayers’ wages (i.e., when wages are treated as endogenous), we find similar to stronger effects on inequality, albeit with a smaller increase in the average wage.

Keywords: Migration; Wage inequality; Gini index; Interquartile ratio; West Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 J61 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Related works:
Working Paper: Regional migration and wage inequality in the West African economic and monetary union (2020)
Working Paper: Regional migration and wage inequality in the West African economic and monetary union (2020)
Working Paper: Regional Migration and Wage Inequality in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Regional Migration and Wage Inequality in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Regional Migration and Wage Inequality in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:48:y:2020:i:2:p:385-404

DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2019.10.002

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