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Migration from Ukraine: Brawn or Brain? New Survey Evidence

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  • Simon Commander

    ()
    (Altura Partners, EBRD, IE Business School)

  • Olexandr Nikolaychuk

    (CERGE-EI, Prague)

  • Dmytro Vikhrov

    (CERGE-EI, Prague)

Abstract

This paper studies selection and labour market outcomes among Ukrainian migrants using unique data from a survey conducted in Ukraine between August and October 2011. We found that migrants are positively selected in terms of age and education yetthis is not associated, as might be expected, with their labour market outcomes. Notably, around half of the migrants are employed in occupations for which they are over-qualified. We suggest that this downshifting in occupation can be partly explained by the absence of the conventional link between education and skills in Ukraine. We compare pre- and post-migration labour market outcomes and find that the probability of downshifting decreases with the duration of stay in a foreign country and knowledge of English or the local language. Significantly, someone who downshifted prior to migration in their home country was more likely to downshift abroad. Further, we found that migrants to the EU are more likely to downshift when compared to other destinations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist in its series Working Papers with number 156.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Working papers 156, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Handle: RePEc:ebd:wpaper:156

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Keywords: migration; selection; occupation downshift; survey data;

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  1. Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2008. "New Evidence on Emigrant Selection," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 742.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Weiping Kostenko & Mark Harris & Xueyan Zhao, 2012. "Occupational transition and country-of-origin effects in the early stage occupational assimilation of immigrants: some evidence from Australia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(31), pages 4019-4035, November.
  3. Catherine Y. Co & Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2000. "Returns to returning," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 57-79.
  4. Batista, Catia & Lacuesta, Aitor & Vicente, Pedro C., 2012. "Testing the ‘brain gain’ hypothesis: Micro evidence from Cape Verde," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 32-45.
  5. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2012. "The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 339-375, 05.
  6. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  7. Adsera, Alicia & Chiswick, Barry R., 2004. "Are There Gender and Country of Origin Differences in Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes across European Destinations?," IZA Discussion Papers 1432, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Friedberg, Rachel M, 2000. "You Can't Take It with You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 221-51, April.
  9. Rooth, Dan-Olof & Saarela, Jan, 2007. "Selection in migration and return migration: Evidence from micro data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 90-95, January.
  10. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," NBER Working Papers 12141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Thomas Turner, 2010. "The jobs immigrants do: issues of displacement and marginalisation in the Irish labour market," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 24(2), pages 318-336, June.
  12. Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina & Özden, Çaglar, 2008. "Brain waste? Educated immigrants in the US labor market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 255-269, October.
  13. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
  14. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
  15. Eli Berman & Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 1999. "Language Skill Complementarity: Returns to Immigrant Language Acquisition," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 96, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  16. repec:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i::p:339-375 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. 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, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
  18. Osipian, Ararat L., 2012. "Economics of corruption in doctoral education: The dissertations market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 76-83.
  19. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
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