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Self-Selection and International Migration: New Evidence from Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Kaestner

    (University of Illinois, Chicago, and NBER)

  • Ofer Malamud

    (University of Chicago and NBER)

Abstract

This paper examines the selection of Mexican migrants to the United States using novel data with rich premigration characteristics that include permanent migrants, return migrants, and migrating households. Results indicate that Mexican migrants are more likely to be young, male, and from rural areas compared to nonmigrants, but they are similar to nonmigrants in cognitive ability and health. Migrants are selected from the middle of the education distribution. Male Mexican migrants are negatively selected on earnings, and this result is largely explained by differential returns to labor market skill between the United States and Mexico rather than proxies for differential costs of migration. © 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Kaestner & Ofer Malamud, 2014. "Self-Selection and International Migration: New Evidence from Mexico," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 78-91, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:96:y:2014:i:1:p:78-91
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    Keywords

    migration; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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