Inequality and migration: A behavioral link

Oded Stark*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We provide an analytical-behavioral explanation for the observed positive relationship between income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, and the incentive to migrate. We show that a higher total relative deprivation of a population leads to a stronger incentive to engage in migration for a given level of a population's income; that total relative deprivation is positively related to the Gini coefficient; and that, consequently, the Gini coefficient and migration are positively correlated, holding the population's income constant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
JournalEconomics Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Income inequality
  • Relative deprivation
  • The Gini coefficient
  • The incentive to migrate


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