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Self-Selection, Earnings, and Out-Migration: A Longitudinal Study of Immigrants to Germany

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  • Constant, Amelie F.

    ()
    (George Washington University, Temple University)

  • Massey, Douglas S.

    ()
    (Princeton University)

Abstract

In this paper we seek to deepen understanding of out-migration as a social and economic process and to investigate whether cross-sectional earnings assimilation results suffer from selection bias. To model the process of out-migration we conduct a detailed event history analysis of men and women immigrants in Germany. Our 14-year longitudinal study reveals that emigrants are negatively selected with respect to occupational prestige and to stable full time employment. Our results show no selectivity with respect to human capital, earnings, or gender. The likelihood of return migration is strongly determined by the range and nature of social attachments to Germany and origin countries, and grows higher toward retirement. This selective emigration, however, does not appear to distort cross-sectional estimates of earnings assimilation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 672.

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Length: 81 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Population Economics, 16 (4), 2003, 631-653
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp672

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Keywords: event history; immigrant assimilation; return migration;

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  1. Edin, Per-Anders & LaLonde, Robert J. & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Emigration of Immigrants and Measures of Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2000:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 63-89.
  3. George J. Borjas & Bernt Bratsberg, 1994. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," NBER Working Papers 4913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Borjas, George J, 1989. "Immigrant and Emigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 21-37, January.
  5. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  6. Gang, Ira N. & Bauer, Thomas K., 1998. "Temporary Migrants From Egypt: How Long Do They Stay Abroad?," IZA Discussion Papers 3, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Licht, Georg & Steiner, Viktor, 1993. "Assimilation, labour market experience, and earnings profiles of temporary and permanent immigrant workers in germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 93-06, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Merkle, Lucie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1992. "Savings, remittances, and return migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 77-81, January.
  9. Schmidt, Christoph M., 1997. "Immigrant performance in Germany: Labor earnings of ethnic German migrants and foreign guest-workers," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 379-397.
  10. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
  11. Fernando Ramos, 1992. "Out-Migration and Return Migration of Puerto Ricans," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 49-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Patricia Reagan & Randall Olsen, 2000. "You can go home again: Evidence from longitudinal data," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 339-350, August.
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