Minimum Wage, International Migration and their Effects on Welfare

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4 Scopus citations


This paper evaluates migration policies for an open economy in the presence of unemployment resulting from a minimum wage. Migration between countries is triggered by an expected wage differential which depends both on the market wage and the level of unemployment. Workers therefore can move in either direction. The paper shows that labor outflow raises employment and welfare. Distortion-ridden free trade with this out-migration is therefore better than distortion-ridden free trade with no migration. It might also be better than autarky. Under the scenario, free migration is an alternative to restricted trade often recommended to deal with this type of distortion. Labor inflow on the other hand generates unfavorable terms of trade, raises national and global unemployment, and reduces welfare. [F 2].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-120
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Economic Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1995


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