Lagging Regions and Labour Market Dynamics in Brazil

  • Ana Maria Bonomi Barufi
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


Agglomeration economies reinforce the economic activity concentration, stimulating unbalanced growth and uneven development. In this context, the development of lagging regions will largely depend on government intervention, as market forces by themselves are very unlikely to overcome polarisation effects, and may actually increase regional inequality. Within this context, migration helps to explain the spatial distribution of workers and the skill composition of the local labour force. At a first glance, migration should be able to equalise real regional wages, but it ends up reinforcing regional disparities. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the relationship of migration and local labour market outcomes. It explores the role of the initial level of local development for the potential attraction of high-skilled workers and the effect different migration flows will have over local wages. The main results indicate that migration seems to reinforce regional disparities, through larger flows of skilled workers towards more developed centres and with local wages in these areas being positively affected by such flows.


  1. Arntz M (2010) What attracts human capital? Understanding the skill composition of interregional job matches in Germany. Reg Stud 44(4):423–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borjas GJ, Bronars SG, Trejo SJ (1992) Self-selection and internal migration in the United States. J Urban Econ 32:159–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Camagni RP (1995) The concept of innovative milieu and its relevance for public policies in European lagging regions. Pap Reg Sci 74(4):317–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Combes PP, Duranton G, Gobillon L (2008) Spatial wage disparities: sorting matters! J Urban Econ 63:723–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dos Santos Júnior ER, Menezes-Filho N, Ferreira PC (2005) Migração, seleção e diferenciais regionais de renda no Brasil. Pesqui Planej Econ 35(3):299–331Google Scholar
  6. Elhorst PJ (2003) The mystery of regional unemployment differentials: theoretical and empirical explanations. J Econ Surv 17(5):709–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Farole T (2012) Competitiveness and connectivity: integrating lagging regions in global markets. Economic Premise, vol 93. The World Bank, Washington, DC, pp 1–5Google Scholar
  8. Farole T (2013) The internal geography of trade: lagging regions and global markets. The World Bank, Washington, DCCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Freguglia RS, Procópio TS (2013) Efeitos da mudança de emprego e da migração interestadual sobre os salários no Brasil informal: evidências a partir de dados em painel. Pesqui Planej Econ 43(2):255–278Google Scholar
  10. Freguglia RS, Gonçalves E, Silva ER (2014) Composition and determinants of the skilled out-migration in the Brazilian formal labour market: a panel data analysis from 1995 to 2006. EconomiA 15:100–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Giannetti M (2003) On the mechanics of migration decisions: skill complementarities and endogenous price differentials. J Dev Econ 71(2):329–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Glaeser EL (2011) Triumph of the city: how our greatest invention makes us richer, smarter, greener, healthier, and happier. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Greenwood MJ (1997) Internal migration in developed countries. In: Rosemberg MR, Stark O (eds) Handbook of population and family economics, vol 1B. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 647–720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Huber P, Tondi G (2012) Migration and regional convergence in the European Union. Empirica 39(4):439–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Justo WR, Silveira Neto RM (2006) Migração inter-regional no Brasil: evidências a partir de um modelo espacial. EconomiA 7(1):163–187Google Scholar
  16. Kanbur R, Rapoport H (2005) Migration selectivity and the evolution of spatial inequality. J Econ Geogr 5:43–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kanbur R, Venables AJ (2005) Rising spatial disparities and development. Policy Brief United Nations University 3:1–7Google Scholar
  18. Mauro P, Splimbergo A (1999) How do the skilled and the unskilled respond to regional shocks? The case of Spain. IMF Staff Pap 46(1):1–17Google Scholar
  19. Niebuhr A, Granato N, Haas A, Hamann S (2012) Does labour mobility reduce disparities between regional labour markets in Germany? Reg Stud 46(7):841–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Østbye S, Westerlund O (2007) Is migration important for regional convergence? Comparative evidence for Norwegian and Swedish counties, 1980–2000. Reg Stud 41(7):901–915CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Partridge MD, Rickman DS (2006) An SVAR model of fluctuations in U.S. migration flows and state labor market dynamics. South Econ J 72(4):958–980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Poot J, Pawar S (2013) Is demography destiny? Urban population change and economic vitality of future cities. J Urban Manag 2(1):5–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Puga D (2010) The magnitude and causes of agglomeration economies. J Reg Sci 50(1):203–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ramalho HMB, Queiroz VS (2011) Migração interestadual de retorno e autosseleção: evidências para o Brasil. Pesqui Planej Econ 41(3):369–396Google Scholar
  25. Reis EJ Pimentel M, Alvarenga AI, Santos MCH (2011) Áreas mínimas comparáveis para os períodos intercensitários de 1872 a 2000. 1° Simpósio Brasileiro de Cartografia HistóricaGoogle Scholar
  26. Santos C, Ferreira PC (2007) Migração e distribuição regional de renda no Brasil. Pesqui Planej Econ 37(3):405–425Google Scholar
  27. Silva TFB, Silveira Neto RM (2005) Migração e seleção no Brasil: evidências para o decênio 1993–2003. In: Encontro Regional de Economia, 10, Fortaleza. Anais Google Scholar
  28. Taveira JG, Almeida E (2014) Os determinantes regionais da atração do migrante qualificado. Análise Econômica, Ano 32, N. 69, p 199–224Google Scholar
  29. The World Bank (2009). Reshaping economic geography, World Development Report, No. 43738Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Maria Bonomi Barufi
    • 1
  1. 1.Economics Department – FEANEREUS – The University of São Paulo Regional and Urban Economics LabSão PauloBrazil

Personalised recommendations