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Human Capital Theory and Internal Migration: Do Average Outcomes Distort Our View of Migrant Motives?

Martin Korpi, William A.V. Clark


By modelling the distribution of percentage income gains for movers in Sweden, using multinomial logistic regression, this paper shows that those receiving large pecuniary returns from migration are primarily those moving to the larger metropolitan areas and those with higher education, and that there is much more variability in income gains than what is often assumed in models of average gains to migration. This suggests that human capital models of internal migration often overemphasize the job and income motive for moving, and fail to explore where and when human capital motivated migration occurs.


migration; human capital; labor mobility; urban rural

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