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Internal Migration, Earnings, and the Importance of Self-selection

  • Ather Maqsood Ahmed

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad. Pakistan.)

  • Ismail Sirageldin

    (The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, U.S.A.)

This paper analyses the impact of internal migration on earnings within the human capital model framework. Since migrants constitute a non-random sample of population, the endogenous nature of migration decision warrants necessary correction for the selectivity bias in their earnings function. The Mincer-type earnings model is thus augmented to determine the extent of this bias. Besides estimating the standard Mincerian earnings model, the paper also attempts to verify the learn-as-you-go proposition by introducing migration duration variables in the earnings model. Based on the household level Population, Labour Force, and Migration (1979-80) survey data, the analysis yields the following important conclusions: (i) the data allowed a meaningful estimation of Mincerian earnings function for migrants and non-migrants; (ii) the level of schooling was one of the important determinants of the distribution of income both for migrants and non-migrants-the four categorical variables of education were in general statistically significant with expected signs, implying that the hypothesis of a positive relationship between income and education was accepted; (iii) the rates of return to education improved systematically with higher levels of education, thus confirming the notion that education serves as a signalling device; (iv) the age-income profile was almost linear for migrants but showed concavity for non-migrants; (v) the presence of sample-selection was observed for migrants; and (vi) even after controlling for the influence of personal characteristics, i.e., education and experience, the long-standing migrants earned relatively more at the destination than the more recent migrants.

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Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 33 (1994)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 211-227

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:33:y:1994:i:3:p:211-227
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  1. Browning, Martin & Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1985. "A Profitable Approach to Labor Supply and Commodity Demands over the Life-Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 503-43, May.
  2. Valerie Kozel & Harold Alderman, 1990. "Factors Determining Work Participation and Labour Supply Decisions in Pakistan's Urban Areas," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 1-18.
  3. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  4. Shahrukh Rafi Khan & Mohammad Irfan, 1985. "Rates of Returns to Education and the Determinants of Earnings in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 24(3-4), pages 671-683.
  5. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  6. 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.
  7. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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