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Self-selection and the performance of return migrants: the source country perspective


  • Augustin Coulon


  • Matloob Piracha



In this paper, using the framework of a Roy theoretical model, we examine the performance of return migrants in Albania. We ask two main questions: (i) Had they chosen not to migrate, what would be the performance of return migrants compared to the non-migrants? and (ii) What would be the performance of non-migrants had they decided to migrate and return? Both our estimates from a selection model and our semi-parametric approach allow us to conclude that the flows of return migrants are negatively selected. We find that, had they decided to migrate and come back, the non-migrants would have earned more than twice the wages of return migrants.
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Suggested Citation

  • Augustin Coulon & Matloob Piracha, 2005. "Self-selection and the performance of return migrants: the source country perspective," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(4), pages 779-807, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:18:y:2005:i:4:p:779-807
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-005-0004-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Djajic, Slobodan, 1989. "Migrants in a guest-worker system : A utility maximizing approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 327-339, October.
    2. Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2012. "The Dynamics of Repeat Migration: A Markov Chain Analysis," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 362-388, June.
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    4. Chris Jarvis, 2000. "The Rise and Fall of the Pyramid Schemes in Albania," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(1), pages 1-1.
    5. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2002. "The optimal migration duration and activity choice after re-migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 351-372, April.
    6. Dustmann, Christian, 2003. "Return migration, wage differentials, and the optimal migration duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 353-369, April.
    7. Borjas, George J, 1999. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 607-637, October.
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    9. 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.
    10. Lung-Fei Lee, 1982. "Some Approaches to the Correction of Selectivity Bias," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 355-372.
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    12. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-176, February.
    13. van der Gaag, Jacques & Vijverberg, Wim, 1988. "A Switching Regression Model for Wage Determinants in the Public and Private Sectors of a Developing Country," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 244-252, May.
    14. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
    15. Catherine Y. Co & Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2000. "Returns to returning," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 57-79.
    16. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    17. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    18. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
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    More about this item


    Self-selection; Return migrants; Albania; F22; J61;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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