The purpose of this research is to assess the effects of
sustained, rapid-urban migration on income distribution.
In Chapter 2, I develop an alternative rural-urban migration
model. This alternative model departs substantially from
Todaro`s rural-urban migration model which has been widely
accepted during the past two decades as the theoretical
framework for explaining the rapid rural-urban migration in the
face of the sizable urban unemployment observed in most LDCs.
In the new model, I introduce the following theories of
international trade to migration issues: the Balassa effect to
explain the prices of urban nontraded goods: the " Dutch
Disease" in the three sector specific factor trade model to
explain both the lower profitability of farming due to increasing
rural wages and the price differences between urban and rural
real estate; and Krugman`s theory of monopolistic competition
and trade to explain the difference in both prices and varieties of
service in the urban and rural service sectors.
In Chapter 3, I analyze the characteristics of urbanization in
Korea using census data for 1966, 1970, 1975, 1980 and 1985.
The general trend of Korean population redistribution during
1960-1985 is assessed, and the socio-economic characteristics of
rural-urban migrants are compared with those of rural
nonmigrants. In particular, I attempt to answer the question of
whether there is any significant reduction in rural-urban
migration due to the decline in the rural population. Also
whether there is any slowdown in the rural-urban migration to
Seoul. It is particularly interesting to analyze the trend of
outmigration from Seoul. Therefore, the socio-economic
characteristics of outmigrants from Seoul to the neighboring
province of Kyonggi-do are also assessed.
Chapter 4 contains the main empirical analysis of this
research. Information on about 8,000 heads of households from
the 1983 National Migration Survey are used to assess the
influence of rural-urban migration model developed in Chapter 2.
A regression model is used to compare the earnings of
rural-urban migrants with those of rural nonmigrants and urban
natives. I attempt to identify the sources of earning differentials
across regions. The determinants of poverty and the probability
of home ownership are also identified by estimating a logit
model using the maximum likelihood estimation method. Income
distribution in rural areas is compared with that of urban areas.
Finally, the earnings of urban informal sector workers are
analyzed by using the information on street vendors in Seoul.
In Chapter 5, the economic impact of rapid rural-urban
migration on the rural economy is analyzed. Two opposing
views concerning the impact of the rural-urban migration on the
rural economy are discussed and compared with my view on
this issue based on the alternative rural-urban migration model
that was developed in Chapter2. Ten major hypotheses are
formulated and tested using information on 140 guns
(counties)from the population censuses of 1975, 1980 and 1985.
Based on these empirical test results, I assess the implications
of policies which are intended to assist the rural economy.
In Chapter 6, I present a comprehensive summary of all the
findings of this research and derive policy implications and
recommendations on the basis of the study.