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Is migration important for regional convergence? Comparative evidence for Norwegian and Swedish counties, 1980-2000

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Østbye, Stein; Westerlund, Olle

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Abstract Regional convergence studies have relied on net migration data in assessing the impact of migration. With heterogeneous labour, the implied symmetrical treatment of immigration and emigration cannot be justified a priori. Because of heterogeneity among migrants, gross migration flows may lead to considerable interregional redistribution of human capital even when net migration is zero. Moreover, the effects of regional economic conditions on gross in- and out-migration flows may not be symmetric. In this comparative study of regional growth and migration, the net and the gross migration approaches are compared. The results confirm ex post that the net approach cannot be justified and, despite Sweden and Norway being similar in many ways, migration has very different effects on convergence in these two countries.
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Economic and Social Geography
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 901-915
Journal Regional Studies, 41 (2007) 7
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)