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Migration And Self-Selection: Measured Earnings And Latent Characteristics

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  • Robert A. Nakosteen
  • Olle Westerlund
  • Michael Zimmer

Abstract

Research in regional and labor economics has established that economic incentives play a significant role in the process of internal migration. The most common approach is to view migration as a form of human capital investment undertaken by individuals who expect to benefit from the standpoint of increased earnings. One of the central concepts in these models is self-selection. Individuals who self-select the option of migration tend to differ from the nonmigrant population in ways that are not measured in most data sets. The contribution of this paper is in its distinction between two aspects of migrant selection. On one hand, some workers possess unmeasured traits that might simultaneously affect their wages and their propensity to engage in risky human capital investment such as migration. On the other hand, measured earnings might exert a direct effect on migration. Based on samples of employed Swedish males and females at two points in time, this study seeks first to examine whether migration between the two periods occurs in the presence of correlation between unmeasured factors present in both earnings during the first period and the subsequent decision to migrate. Second, it looks for an explicit role of earnings "per se" in the migration decision. Results of the study provide support for selection based on unmeasured traits for both genders. For females, there is also evidence of selection based on measured earnings. Copyright (c) 2008, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert A. Nakosteen & Olle Westerlund & Michael Zimmer, 2008. "Migration And Self-Selection: Measured Earnings And Latent Characteristics," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 769-788.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:48:y:2008:i:4:p:769-788
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Vassilis Tselios, 2010. "Returns to migration, education and externalities in the European Union," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(2), pages 411-434, June.
    2. Sergii TROSHCHENKOV, 2016. "Return to Commuting Distance in Sweden," Departmental Working Papers 2016-08, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    3. Haapanen, Mika & Böckerman, Petri, 2013. "Does Higher Education Enhance Migration?," IZA Discussion Papers 7754, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Klaus Nowotny, 2011. "Welfare Magnets, Taxation and the Location Decisions of Migrants to the EU," WIFO Working Papers 393, WIFO.
    5. Kent Eliasson & Robert Nakosteen & Olle Westerlund & Michael Zimmer, 2014. "All in the family: Self-selection and migration by couples," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(1), pages 101-124, March.
    6. Kevin Thomas, 2012. "Migration Processes, Familial Characteristics, and Schooling Dropout Among Black Youths," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(2), pages 477-498, May.
    7. Peter Huber & Klaus Nowotny & Julia Bock-Schappelwein, 2010. "Qualification Structure, Over- and Underqualification of the Foreign Born in Austria and the EU," FIW Research Reports series II-008, FIW.
    8. Christopher Goetz, 2014. "Unemployment Duration And Geographic Mobility: Do Movers Fare Better Than Stayers?," Working Papers 14-41, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Dijk, J. van & Broersma, L. & Edzes, A.J.E. & Venhorst, V.A, 2011. "Brain drain of brain gain? Hoger opgeleiden in grote steden in Nederland," Research Reports vavenhorst, University of Groningen, Urban and Regional Studies Institute (URSI).
    10. Venhorst, V. & Cörvers, F., 2015. "Entry into working life: Spatial mobility and the job match quality of higher-educated graduates," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    11. Rubén Hernández-Murillo & Lesli S. Ott & Michael T. Owyang & Denise Whalen, 2011. "Patterns of interstate migration in the United States from the survey of income and program participation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 169-186.
    12. Böckerman, Petri & Haapanen, Mika, 2010. "The effect of education on migration: Evidence from school reform," MPRA Paper 27629, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Wolfgang Maennig & Matthias Ottmann, 2011. "Perspektiven des deutschen Immobilienmarktes und wirtschaftspolitische Herausforderungen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(2), pages 192-214, May.
    14. Petri Böckerman & Mika Haapanen, 2013. "The effect of polytechnic reform on migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 593-617, April.
    15. Kentaro Nakajima & Ryosuke Okamoto, 2014. "Measuring the sorting effect of migration on spatial wage disparities," GRIPS Discussion Papers 14-19, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    16. Maria Abreu & Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann, 2011. "Migration and inter-industry mobility of UK graduates: Effect on earnings and career satisfaction," ERSA conference papers ersa11p118, European Regional Science Association.
    17. repec:mpr:mprres:6984 is not listed on IDEAS

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