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Immigrant Selection in the OECD

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  • Michéle V.K. Belot
  • Timothy J. Hatton

Abstract

The selection of immigrants by skill and education is a central issue in the analysis of immigration. Since highly educated immigrants tend to be more successful in host country labour markets and less of a fiscal cost it is important to know what determines the skill-selectivity of immigration. In this paper we examine the proportions of highly educated among migrants from around 80 source countries who were observed as immigrants in each of 29 OECD countries in 2000/1. We develop a variant of the Roy model to estimate the determinants of educational selectivity by source and destination country. We also estimate the determinants of the share of migrants from different source countries in each destination country’s immigrant stock. Two key findings emerge. One is that the effects of the skill premium, which is at the core of the Roy model, can be observed only after we take account of poverty constraints operating in source countries. The other is that cultural links and distance are often more important determinants of the proportion of high educated immigrants in different OECD countries than wage incentives or policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 571.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:571

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Keywords: immigration; migrant selection; migrant skills;

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  1. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  2. Docquier, Frédéric, 2006. "Brain Drain and Inequality Across Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 2440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  4. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2005. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 215-240, October.
  5. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, . "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Claremont Colleges Working Papers, Claremont Colleges 2001-26, Claremont Colleges.
  6. Abdurrahman Aydemir, 2003. "Are Immigrants Positively or Negatively Selected? The Role of Immigrant Selection Criteria and Self-Selection," Labor and Demography, EconWPA 0306002, EconWPA.
  7. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  8. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
  9. Mountford, A., 1995. "Can a brain drain be good for growth?," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 1995-8, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  11. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2003. "Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers," IZA Discussion Papers 819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
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  1. > International Economics > International Migration
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