Favorable Self-Selection and the Internal Migration of Young White Males in the United States
This study offers an alternative empirical technique to test whether the favorable self-selection hypothesis applies to internal migrants in the United States. Our empirical specification attempts to determine if prospective migrants possess unobserved traits such as higher ability or motivation which influence their earnings potential relative to nonmigrants. Using NLSY data for 1985 through 1991, we find some support for the favorable self-selection hypothesis for white males who move from one SMSA to another. Prior to their move, prospective migrants enjoy a consistent advantage in annual wage and salary income relative to nonmigrants with similar earnings-related characteristics.
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