Optimal Migration: A World Perspective
We ask what level of migration would maximize world welfare. We find that skill-neutral policies are never optimal. An egalitarian welfare function induces a policy that entails moving mainly unskilled immigrants into the rich countries, whereas a welfare function skewed highly towards the rich countries induces an optimal policy that entails a brain-drain from the poor countries. For intermediate welfare functions that moderately favor the rich however, it is optimal to have no migration at all.
We thank the NSF for support and Matthias Kredler for doing all the calibrations and producing the associated plots. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Jess Benhabib & Boyan Jovanovic, 2012. "Optimal Migration: A World Perspective," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 321-348, 05. citation courtesy of