Out-migration and Regional Convergence
Since 1989, the migration deficit of East Germany has accumulated to 1.8 million people. Against this background, the contribution analyses the relationship between regional migration and regional growth. From a theoretical point of view, one might find reasons in favour and in opposition to a convergence supporting function of migration. If migrants are taken from the upper tail of the human capital distribution of a poor region, divergence is the probable outcome. If on the other hand people with low human capital endowment move to richer regions, migration might enhance regional convergence. The empirical analysis how regional migration and convergence are interrelated is performed on the basis of German districts within a period from 1995 to 2006. The concept of ß-convergence is applied and a cross-section model controlling for spatial correlation between the error terms is estimated. The results indicate convergence on the regional level; East German regions seem to catch up particularly fast. The effect of migration is twofold. Out-migration from poor region is correlated with strong growth in these regions. However, the corresponding migration towards richer region is accompanied with growth in these regions, too. Therefore, the impact of migration on convergence is uncertain. Nevertheless, the outcome is in favour of an aggregate benefit of migration if people move from poor to rich regions.