How important is selection ? Experimental versus non-experimental measures of the income gains from migration
AbstractMeasuring the gain in income from migration is complicated by non-random selection of migrants from the general population, making it difficult to obtain an appropriate comparison group of non-migrants. This paper uses a migrant lottery to overcome this problem, providing an experimental measure of the income gains from migration. New Zealand allows a quota of Tongans to immigrate each year with a lottery to choose among the excess number of applicants. A unique survey conducted by the authors in these two countries allows experimental estimates of the income gains from migration by comparing the incomes of migrants to those who applied to migrate, but whose names were not drawn in the lottery, after allowing for the effect of non-compliance among some of those whose names were drawn. The authors also conducted a survey of individuals who did not apply for the lottery. Comparing this non-applicant group with the migrants enables assessment of the degree to which non-experimental methods can provide an unbiased estimate of the income gains from migration. They find evidence of migrants being positively selected in terms of both observed and unobserved skills. As a result, non-experimental methods are found to overstate the gains from migration, by 9 to 82 percent. A good instrumental variable works best, while difference-in-differences and bias-adjusted propensity-score matching also perform comparatively well.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3906.
Date of creation: 01 May 2006
Date of revision:
Economic Theory&Research; Regional Governance; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Inequality;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-05-06 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith, 1998.
"Substitution and Dropout Bias in Social Experiments: A Study of an Influential Social Experiment,"
UWO Department of Economics Working Papers
9819, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
- James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith & Michael Khoo, 2000. "Substitution And Dropout Bias In Social Experiments: A Study Of An Influential Social Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 651-694, May.
- Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
- Ximena Clark & Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "Where Do U.S. Immigrants Come From, and Why?," NBER Working Papers 8998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998.
"Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies,"
NBER Working Papers
6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
- Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity score matching methods for non-experimental causal studies," Discussion Papers 0102-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
- Dehejia, R.H. & Wahba, S., 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-Experimental Causal Studies," Discussion Papers 1998_02, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
- George J. Borjas, 1988.
"Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants,"
NBER Working Papers
2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joshua D. Angrist, 2003.
"Treatment Effect Heterogeneity in Theory and Practice,"
NBER Working Papers
9708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joshua D. Angrist, 2004. "Treatment effect heterogeneity in theory and practice," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C52-C83, 03.
- Joshua Angrist, 2004. "Treatment Effect Heterogeneity in Theory and Practice," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 186, Econometric Society.
- Angrist, Joshua, 2003. "Treatment Effect Heterogeneity in Theory and Practice," IZA Discussion Papers 851, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
- Joop Hartog & Rainer Winkelmann, 2003. "Comparing migrants to non-migrants: The case of Dutch migration to New Zealand," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 683-705, November.
- 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.
- 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.
- A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005.
"Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
- Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
- J.D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens & D.B. Rubin, 1993. "Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guido W. Imbens, 2004.
"Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
- Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dehejia, Rajeev, 2005. "Practical propensity score matching: a reply to Smith and Todd," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 355-364.
- Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007.
"Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
- David Mckenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2004. "Network Effects and the Dynamics of Migration and Inequality: Theory and Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2004-3, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
- Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
- Chris Robinson & Nigel Tomes, 1982. "Self-Selection and Interprovincial Migration in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(3), pages 474-502, August.
- Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.