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Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration

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Author Info

  • David A. Jaeger

    (City University of New York Graduate Center, University of Cologne, and IZA)

  • Thomas Dohmen

    (ROA, Maastricht University, IZA, and DIW)

  • Armin Falk

    (University of Bonn, IZA, CEPR, and DIW)

  • David Huffman

    (Swarthmore College and IZA)

  • Uwe Sunde

    (University of St. Gallen, IZA, CEPR, and DIW)

  • Holger Bonin

    (ZEW and IZA)

Abstract

It has long been hypothesized that individuals' migration propensities depend on their risk attitudes, but the empirical evidence has been limited and indirect. We use newly available data from the German Socio-Economic Panel to measure directly the relationship between migration and risk attitudes. We find that individuals who are more willing to take risks are more likely to migrate. Our estimates are substantial compared to unconditional migration probabilities, as well the effects of conventional determinants of migration, and are robust to controlling for a variety of demographic characteristics. We find no evidence that our results are the result of reverse causality. © 2010 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 684-689

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:92:y:2010:i:3:p:684-689

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  1. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
  2. Stark, Oded & Levhari, David, 1982. "On Migration and Risk in LDCs," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 191-96, October.
  3. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Heitmueller, Axel, 2002. "Unemployment Benefits, Risk Aversion, and Migration Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 610, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Francesco Daveri & Riccardo Faini, . "Where do migrants go?," Working Papers 124, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. Jaeger, David A. & Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 2655, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. George J. Borjas, 2001. "Does Immigration Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 69-134.
  8. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2012. "The intergenerational transmission of risk and trust attitudes," Munich Reprints in Economics 20051, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Katz, Eliakim & Stark, Oded, 1986. "Labor Migration and Risk Aversion in Less Developed Countries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 134-49, January.
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