Natural Experiment Evidence on Whether Selection Bias Overstates the Gains from Migration
AbstractMigration of workers from developing to developed countries and the resulting remittance flows are important development policies. World Bank calculations show that restrictions on international migration have larger welfare costs than the more widely studied restrictions on international trade. But estimated gains from migration may be affected by selection bias, with differences in outcomes for migrants and non-migrants reflecting unobserved differences in ability, skills, and motivation, rather than the act of moving itself. This poster illustrates this selection bias in commonly used statistical corrections for nonrandom selection. A unique survey conducted by the authors of Tongan migrants in New Zealand, and of non-migrants in Tonga is used. New Zealand allows a quota of Tongans to immigrate each year with a lottery used to choose amongst the excess number of applicants. Experimental estimates of the income gains from migration are obtained by comparing the incomes of migrants who were successful in the lottery to the incomes of the unsuccessful applicants who stayed in Tonga. We also conducted a survey of individuals who did not apply to migrate. Comparing this non-applicant group to the migrants allows us to use non-experimental methods to obtain alternate estimates of the gains from migration. Comparison of the two sets of estimates finds that non-experiment methods overstate the income gains to migration by 11 to 82 percent. Thus, assessments of global gains from increased international migration are likely to be sensitive to the modelling of selectivity bias.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia with number 25704.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Migration; Selection; Natural Experiment; Labor and Human Capital; 015; J61; F22; C93;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statistics
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.