Internal Migration and Earnings: Do Migrant Entrepreneurs and Migrant Employees Differ?

Bach Nguyen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People move from one region of a country to another not only for employment but also for business opportunities. Their earnings, relative to those of comparable local employees and local entrepreneurs, reflect the efficiency of internal migration policies. Investigating a large number of migrants and non-migrants in Vietnam, we find that while migrant entrepreneurs earn more than local entrepreneurs, migrant employees earn less than their local counterparts. Moreover, regions with unalloyed socialist norms (North Vietnam) enhance migrants' advantages, leading to higher earnings, whereas migrants in regions with pro-entrepreneurship norms (South Vietnam) find it difficult to compete with the locals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-944
JournalPapers in Regional Science
Issue number4
Early online date23 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Author. Papers in Regional Science is published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Regional Science Association International. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution andreproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funding Information:
This research was funded by Vietnam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) under grant number 502.01‐2020.01.


  • Vietnam
  • internal migration
  • migrant employees
  • migrant entrepreneurs
  • regional informal institutions


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