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Selection in initial and return migration: Evidence from moves across Spanish cities

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  • De la Roca, Jorge

Abstract

This paper investigates the contribution of migration to the sorting of more productive workers into big cities using administrative data for Spain that follow individuals over their work lives. While migrants to small cities do not exhibit selection of any type, migrants to big cities are positively selected in terms of education, occupational skills, and individual productivity as proxied by their pre-migration position in the local earnings distribution. However, not everyone benefits equally from big cities and this leads to a second round of sorting. Returnees are not only ex-ante less productive than permanent migrants, but are also those who, following the first move, have least boosted up their earnings in big cities. Low realized earnings and unemployment affect return decisions of workers who moved to big cities at younger ages in particular, suggesting that older migrants may face less uncertainty upon moving to big cities.

Suggested Citation

  • De la Roca, Jorge, 2017. "Selection in initial and return migration: Evidence from moves across Spanish cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 33-53.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:33-53
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2017.04.004
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    4. Jordi Jofre-Monseny (Universitat de Barcelona & Institut dEconomia de Barcelona (IEB)), 2013. "The effects of unemployment benefits on migration in lagging regions," Working Papers in Economics 292, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
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    6. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent & Roux, Sébastien, 2012. "Sorting and local wage and skill distributions in France," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 913-930.
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    8. Emmler, Julian & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 2020. "The role of unemployment and job change when estimating the returns to migration," IAB-Discussion Paper 202037, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    9. Stef Proost & Jacques-François Thisse, 2019. "What Can Be Learned from Spatial Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 57(3), pages 575-643, September.
    10. Fredrik Carlsen & Jorn Rattso & Hildegunn E. Stokke, 2013. "Education, experience and dynamic urban wage premium," Working Paper Series 15213, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    11. Florian Knauth & Jens Wrona, 2018. "There and Back Again: A Simple Theory of Planned Return Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 7388, CESifo.
    12. Carlsen, Fredrik & Rattsø, Jørn & Stokke, Hildegunn E., 2016. "Education, experience, and urban wage premium," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 39-49.
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    14. Knauth, Florian & Wrona, Jens, 2018. "There and back again: A simple theory of planned return migration," DICE Discussion Papers 290, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    15. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Dylan Connor, 2020. "Leaving the Enclave: Historical Evidence on Immigrant Mobility from the Industrial Removal Office," NBER Working Papers 27372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Donald R. Davis & Jonathan I. Dingel, 2019. "A Spatial Knowledge Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(1), pages 153-170, January.
    17. Sabine D'Costa & Henry Overman, 2013. "The urban wage growth premium: evidence from British cities," ERSA conference papers ersa13p516, European Regional Science Association.
    18. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Borra, Cristina, 2021. "The role of non-contributory pensions on internal mobility in Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    19. Cheng, Mingyang & Yansui Liu, & Zhou, Yang, 2019. "Measuring the symbiotic development of rural housing and industry: A case study of Fuping County in the Taihang Mountains in China," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 307-316.
    20. Meister, Moritz & Stiller, Johannes & Peters, Jan Cornelius & Birkeneder, Antonia, 2019. "Die Binnenwanderung von Arbeitskräften in Deutschland: Eine deskriptive Analyse für ländliche Räume auf Basis der Integrierten Erwerbsbiografien (IEB) des IAB," Thünen Working Papers 132, Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries.
    21. Emmler, Julian & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 2020. "The Role of Unemployment and Job Change When Estimating the Returns to Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 13740, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Marí­a Padilla-Romo & Cecilia Peluffo, 2020. "Violence-Induced Migration and Peer Effects in Academic Performance," Working Papers 2020-03, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    23. 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.
    24. Jordi Jofre-Monseny, 2013. "The effects of unemployment benefits on migration in lagging regions," Working Papers 2013/10, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Selection; Urban migration; Return migration; Skill sorting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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