Discussion paper

DP16214 Moving from a Poor Economy to a Rich One: A Job Tasks Approach

This paper studies outcomes for workers moving from a poor to a rich economy employing a job tasks based approach. It uses a data case, whereby a worker could decide to work in a richer economy and place himself there by a daily or weekly commute. This set-up faciliates the disentanglement of income differences motives from a plethora of other motives. Thus it eschews the bias inherent in many studies.
The paper emphasizes the idea that tasks are tied to locations, and workers choose a location-task-wage `pack.' The task demanded, which is a bundle of skills, constrains human capital returns for movers. Relatively low task returns generate a substantial offset to the productivity gain for migrants, stemming from the rich economy having higher TFP and capital.


Yashiv, E (2021), ‘DP16214 Moving from a Poor Economy to a Rich One: A Job Tasks Approach‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 16214. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp16214