# On the implications of declining population growth for regional migration

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## Abstract

Although many advanced economies nowadays experience decreasing populations, migration in models of economic growth has so far been almost exclusively analyzed for the case of non-negative population growth rates. This paper considers decreasing and possibly negative population growth rates in two two-sector growth models. As long as preferences are homothetic, neither a decrease in population growth rates nor an actual population decline does induce migration in either direction. Introducing quasi-linear preferences implies that a decline in population growth leads to migration from the rural to the industrial region. A complete depopulation of the rural region takes place if the population growth rate falls short of minus the rate of physical capital depreciation. These results reinforce pessimistic expectations about a rural exodus.

## Keywords

(Negative) population growth Migration Two-sector growth model Quasi-linear preferences## JEL Classification

J61 O41 R11## Notes

### Acknowledgements

I would like to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments and suggestions. Any remaining shortcomings are my own.

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