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Immigration and Self-Selection

In: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market

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  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

Self-selection plays a dominant role in determining the size and composition of immigrant flows. The United States competes with other potential host countries in the "immigration market". Host countries vary in their "offers" of economic opportunities and also differ in the way they ration entry through their immigration policies. Potential immigrants compare the various opportunities and are non-randomly sorted by the immigration market among the various host countries. This paper presents a theoretical and empirical analysis of this marketplace. The theory of immigration presented in this paper describes the way in which immigrants are sorted among host countries in terms of both their observed and unobserved characteristics. The empirical analysis uses Census data from Australia, Canada, and the United States and shows that U.S. "competitiveness" in the immigration market has declined significantly in the postwar period.
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Suggested Citation

  • George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration and Self-Selection," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 29-76, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6663
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George J. Borjas, 2021. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Foundational Essays in Immigration Economics, chapter 2, pages 3-29, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    5. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    6. Larry A. Sjaastad, 1970. "The Costs and Returns of Human Migration," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Harry W. Richardson (ed.), Regional Economics, chapter 9, pages 115-133, Palgrave Macmillan.
    7. Greenwood, Michael J & McDowell, John M, 1986. "The Factor Market Consequences of U.S. Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 1738-1772, December.
    8. George J. Borjas, 2021. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Foundational Essays in Immigration Economics, chapter 4, pages 69-91, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    9. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1985. "Immigrant Generation and Income in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 61(2), pages 540-553, June.
    10. Greenwood, Michael J, 1975. "Research on Internal Migration in the United States: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 397-433, June.
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