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Wage expectations of illegal immigrants: The role of networks and previous migration experience


  • Rezart Hoxhaj


In this paper, I use a unique survey on illegal immigrants apprehended in Italy to investigate migrants expected wages at the intended destination. The results show that – taking into account individual?s human capital – a large part of immigrants overestimate the wage they could earn in Italy. We find that expected wages are positively affected by migration network and previous experience. When migrating within a network, skilled migrants do not expect higher wages compared to unskilled ones probably anticipating the ‘skill waste’ associated with the illegal status.

Suggested Citation

  • Rezart Hoxhaj, 2015. "Wage expectations of illegal immigrants: The role of networks and previous migration experience," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 142, pages 136-151.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepiie:2015-q2-142-9

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:zbw:medamr:182240 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:zbw:medamr:182239 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nicu Marcu & Marian Siminică & Graţiela Georgiana Noja & Mirela Cristea & Carmen Elena Dobrotă, 2018. "Migrants’ Integration on the European Labor Market: A Spatial Bootstrap, SEM and Network Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(12), pages 1-20, December.

    More about this item


    Illegal migration; Wage expectations; Overestimation; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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