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Intentions to Return of Irregular Migrants: Illegality as a Cause of Skill Waste

  • Nicola D. Coniglio

    (Università di Bari)

  • Giuseppe De Arcangelis

    (Università di Bari)

  • Laura Serlenga

    (Università di Bari)

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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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari in its series series with number 0011.

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Length: 926
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision: Feb 2006
Handle: RePEc:bai:series:wp0011
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  1. Christian Dustmann, 2003. "Children and return migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 815-830, November.
  2. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2005. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 215-240, October.
  3. George J. Borjas & Stephen G. Bronars & Stephen J. Trejo, 1992. "Self-Selection and Internal Migration in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2003. "Religious polarization and economic development," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 201-210, August.
  5. Galor, Oded & Stark, Oded, 1990. "Migrants' Savings, the Probability of Return Migration and Migrants' Performance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 463-67, May.
  6. George J. Borjas & Bernt Bratsberg, 1994. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," NBER Working Papers 4913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
  8. Dustmann, Christian, 2003. "Return migration, wage differentials, and the optimal migration duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 353-369, April.
  9. Maria Concetta Chiuri & Giuseppe De Arcangelis & Angela Maria D'Uggento & Giovanni Ferri, 2004. "Illegal Immigration into Italy: Evidence from a field survey," CSEF Working Papers 121, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  10. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
  11. Zhao, Yaohui, 2002. "Causes and Consequences of Return Migration: Recent Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 376-394, June.
  12. Alice Mesnard, 2004. "Temporary migration and capital market imperfections," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 242-262, April.
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