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Stayers and Returners: Educational Self-Selection among U.S. Immigrants and Returning Migrants

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  • Aguilar Esteva, Arturo Alberto

    ()
    (ITAM, Mexico)

Abstract

This paper empirically examines the educational selectivity of United States immigrants and of those that return to their source country. Data from the 1970 to 2000 U.S. Census and the 2010 American Community Survey are employed. Ten countries are selected for the study based on their historical and contemporaneous importance on U.S. migration. The results generally indicate positive selection on educational attainment of recently-arrived immigrants, being China, India, and Philippines the most prominent examples. Mexico does not show evidence of positive or negative selection, but their immigrants' selectivity has worsened through time. Historically, the educational selectivity of returning migrants accentuated the positive selection of those migrants that stay in the United States in most countries' cases. However, patterns of selection among migrants that stay have recently changed. A more detailed analysis with data from the last decade finds evidence of positive selection of immigrants staying in the U.S. for the Mexican and Philippines' case, as well as negative selection for the Chinese. Trends of returning migration are also analyzed by gender, age, naturalization status, and migration spell duration. Mixed evidence of selection trends is found.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7222.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7222

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Keywords: immigration; return migration; self-selection; education;

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References

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  1. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2000. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Working Papers 0005, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. Dustmann, Christian & Fadlon, Itzhak & Weiss, Yoram, 2011. "Return migration, human capital accumulation and the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 58-67, May.
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  4. Randall K. Q. Akee, 2010. "Who Leaves and Who Returns? Deciphering Immigrant Self-Selection from a Developing Country," Working Papers id:2829, eSocialSciences.
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  7. George J. Borjas & Rachel M. Friedberg, 2009. "Recent Trends in the Earnings of New Immigrants to the United States," NBER Working Papers 15406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alan Barrett & Jean Goggin, 2010. "Returning to the Question of a Wage Premium for Returning Migrants," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 213(1), pages R43-R51, July.
  9. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010. "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950–2010," NBER Working Papers 15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ira N. Gang & Catherine Y. Co & Myeong-Su Yun, 1999. "Returns to Returning," Departmental Working Papers 199813, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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  13. Cynthia Feliciano, 2005. "Educational selectivity in U.S. Immigration: How do immigrants compare to those left behind?," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 131-152, February.
  14. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-76, February.
  15. Borjas, George J, 1989. "Immigrant and Emigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 21-37, January.
  16. Augustin De Coulon & Matloob Piracha, 2003. "Self-selection and the performance of return migrants: the source country perspective," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20040, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  17. Pablo Ibarraran & Darren Lubotsky, 2005. "Mexican Immigration and Self-Selection: New Evidence from the 2000 Mexican Census," NBER Working Papers 11456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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).
  19. J. William Ambrosini & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Determinants and the Selection of Mexico–US Migrants," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 111-151, 02.
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