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Regional Intergration and Migration: An Economic Geography Model with Hetergenous Labour Force

By Nicola D. Coniglio

Abstract

This paper aims to analyse the effect of deepening regional integration on the incentive for factors of production, in particular labour, to spatially relocate. We adopt a general equilibrium, economic-geography model built on Krugman (1991) allowing for skill heterogeneity in the manufacturing sector. At a given level of trade costs, due to the productivity premium associated with the concentration of high-skilled workers in one region, this type of worker will be more willing to migrate than low-skilled ones. The paper shows the existence of a range of trade costs for which only high-skilled workers have an incentive to migrate. Therefore, introducing labour heterogeneity in the basic core-periphery model enables us to explain one of the most striking features of interregional migration patterns: the positive self-selection of the migrants.

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