A theory of migration as a response to occupational stigma

Chengze, Simon FAN, Oded STARK*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


A theory is developed of labor migration that is prompted by a desire to avoid "social humiliation." In a general-equilibrium framework, it is shown that as long as migration can reduce humiliation sufficiently, migration will occur even between two identical economies. Migration increases the number of individuals who choose to perform degrading jobs and consequently, migration lowers the price of the good produced in the sector that is associated with low social status. Moreover, the greater an individual's aversion to performing degrading jobs, the more likely it is that he will experience a welfare gain when the economy opens up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-571
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Economic Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011

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