Does High Inequality Attract High Skilled Immigrants?

Eric D. Gould*, Omer Moav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This study examines how the sources and levels of income inequality affect how a country attracts and retains high skilled workers. With parameter values that yield realistic levels of emigration, our model shows that emigration rates increase with education when the returns to education are higher abroad. However, the relationship between unobservable skills (‘residual wages’) and emigration can display an inverse U-shaped pattern, if unobservable skills are composed of both ‘general’ and ‘country-specific’ skills. Using data on Israeli emigrants before they decide to emigrate, we find strong empirical evidence in support of the model's predictions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1055-1091
Number of pages37
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number593
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Royal Economic Society


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