Optimal Migration: A World Perspective

28 Pages Posted: 23 May 2012

See all articles by Jess Benhabib

Jess Benhabib

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Boyan Jovanovic

New York University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2012

Abstract

We ask what level of migration would maximize world welfare. Welfare is assumed to be a weighted average of the utilities of the world’s various citizens, but the weights are also country specific. Using a calibrated one‐sector model, we find that unless the weights are heavily biased toward the natives of rich countries, the extent of migration that would be optimal far exceeds the levels observed today. The claim remains true in a two‐sector extension of the model. All versions of the model assume that migration is the only redistributive tool.

Suggested Citation

Benhabib, Jess and Jovanovic, Boyan, Optimal Migration: A World Perspective (May 2012). International Economic Review, Vol. 53, Issue 2, pp. 321-348, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2065124 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2354.2012.00683.x

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New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

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Boyan Jovanovic

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