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Does age-at-migration in childhood affect migrant socioeconomic achievements in adulthood?

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  • Yaqub, Shahin
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    Abstract

    Migrant populations consist of individuals who migrated at different stages in the development of their human capabilities. Age-at-migration refers to the age at which an individual migrates. This paper reviews some theoretical arguments and empirical evidence on whether a child’s age-at-migration alters the impact of migration on income, employment and other socioeconomic indicators in the adult phase of the child’s life. Most research looks at the contemporaneous impact of migration on children, whereas this paper considers the longitudinal impact of childhood migration on well-being throughout life. Age-at-migration might affect human capital and economic productivity, integration at destinations, and attachments to origins. Studies show that children migrating at older ages ultimately achieve less total education (origin education plus destination education), weaker destination-language acquisition and lower earnings than those arriving as younger children; but they have higher adult earnings compared to those arriving as adults. There appears to be little difference between those arriving before age 5 years and those born at destination, which is surprising given considerable literature on the human development significance of early child ages (although this could be due to the limited availability of relevant empirical literature). Variations in the effects of age-at-migration are noted across migrant populations in different destination societies, which underline the possibility of public policy to influence such human development mechanisms.

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    File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/27935/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 27935.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:27935

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    Keywords: International migration; Migrant earnings and their distributions; Child migration; Human development; Lifecourse methods;

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    1. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2004. "Immigration, skills and the labor market: International evidence," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 501-534, 08.
    2. Shahin Yaqub, 2009. "Independent Child Migrants in Developing Countries: Unexplored links in migration and development," Innocenti Working Papers inwopa09/62, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
    3. Gonzalez, Arturo, 2003. "The education and wages of immigrant children: the impact of age at arrival," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 203-212, April.
    4. Shahin Yaqub, 2002. "'Poor children grow into poor adults': harmful mechanisms or over-deterministic theory?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(8), pages 1081-1093.
    5. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2004. "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from Childhood Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 481-496, May.
    6. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 201-45, April.
    7. Robert F. Schoeni, 1997. "New Evidence on the Economic Progress of Foreign-Born Men in the 1970s and 1980s," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 683-740.
    8. Horst Entorf & Nicoleta Minoiu, 2005. "What a Difference Immigration Policy Makes: A Comparison of PISA Scores in Europe and Traditional Countries of Immigration," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 355-376, 08.
    9. Jans, Ann-Christin, 2005. "Family relations, children and interregional mobility, 1970 to 2000," Arbetsrapport 2005:12, Institute for Futures Studies.
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