Intentions to Return of Irregular Migrants: Illegality as a Cause of Skill Waste
In this paper we show that highly skilled illegal migrants may be more likely to return home than migrants with low or no skills when illegality causes skill waste, i.e. reduced ability of making use of individual capabilities both in the labor and the financial markets. This result is in contrast with common wisdom on return migration, according to which low-skill individuals are more likely to go back home rather than high-skill migrants. The simple theoretical life-cycle framework that shows the former result is tested on a sample of illegal migrants crossing Italian borders in 2003. The estimation results confirm that highly skilled illegal migrants are more willing to return home.
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