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Migration and Development: Dissecting the Anatomy of the Mobility Transition

Thu Hien Dao (), Frédéric Docquier (), Chris Parsons () and Giovanni Peri ()
Additional contact information
Thu Hien Dao: UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)
Chris Parsons: Business School, University of Western Australia

No 2016029, Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) from Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)

Abstract: Emigration first increases before decreasing with economic development. This bell-shaped relationship between emigration and development was first hypothesized by the theory of the mobility transition (Zelinsky, 1971). Although several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the upward segment of the curve (the most common being the existence of financial constraints), they have not been examined in a systematic way. In this paper, we develop a novel migration accounting methodology and use it to quantify the main drivers of the mobility transition curve. Our analysis distinguishes between migration aspirations and realization rates of college-educated and less educated individuals at the bilateral level. Between one-third and one-half of the slope of the increasing segment is due to the changing skill composition of working-age populations, and another third is due to changing network size. The microeconomic channel (including financial incentives and constraints) only accounts for one fourth of the total effect in low-income countries, and for less than one fifth in lower-middle-income countries. Finally, our methodology sheds light on the microfoundations of migration decisions.

Keywords: Migration; Development; Aspirations; Credit Constraints (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-int and nep-mig
Date: 2016-12-06
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http://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/IRES/2016029.pdf

Related works:
Journal Article: Migration and development: Dissecting the anatomy of the mobility transition (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Migration and Development: Dissecting the Anatomy of the Mobility Transition (2016) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ctl:louvir:2016029

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