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The informational structure of migration decision and migrants’ self-selection

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  • Simone Bertoli

Abstract

This paper derives the implications for migrants’ self-selection in unobservables that arise from the introduction of uncertainty in the decision problem that would-be migrants face. We show that if one lifts the assumption introduced in Borjas (1987) that foreign wages are known before the migration decision is taken, then the case for the so-called refugee sorting narrows down considerably, while negative selection becomes a more likely outcome. A greater dispersion of income at destination no longer suffices to predict that immigrants will obtain a higher average income than natives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2010_03.rdf.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2010_03.rdf

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Keywords: migration; uncertainty; information; self-selection;

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  1. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," NBER Working Papers 4866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  3. Jasso, Guillermina & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1990. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 298-304, March.
  4. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Borjas, George J, 1990. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 305-08, March.
  6. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Benjamin Elsner & Gaia Narciso & Jacco J. J. Thijssen, 2014. "Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1403, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Bertoli, Simone & Brücker, Herbert, 2011. "Selective immigration policies, migrants' education and welfare at origin," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8196, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Biavaschi, Costanza & Elsner, Benjamin, 2013. "Let's Be Selective about Migrant Self-Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 7865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Bertoli, Simone & Rapoport, Hillel, 2014. "Heaven’s Swing Door: Endogenous skills, migration networks and the effectiveness of quality-selective immigration policies," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb), CEPREMAP 1405, CEPREMAP.

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