The king never emigrates

Gil S. Epstein, Arye L. Hillman, Heinrich W. Ursprung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This paper uses a locational model of rent-seeking to describe incentives to emigrate. A country is considered in which how a person fares in privileged income redistribution is determined by proximity to a king. Contests for privilege determine whether the more or the less productive in the population are located closer to the king. A distinction is drawn between contests for privilege that are 'easy' and 'difficult.' When contests are 'easy,' the more productive are furthest from the king and emigrate first. When contests are 'difficult,' the least productive emigrate first. In either case, the population begins to unravel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-121
Number of pages15
JournalReview of Development Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


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