IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepdps/dp0655.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Self Selection of Migrant Workers Revisited

Author

Listed:
  • Eran Yashiv

Abstract

Work of low-skilled migrant workers from developing countries in developed economies is a growingphenomenon and a key political and economic issue. An extensive literature has found (for the mostpart) that these workers come from the lower part of the skill distribution. This paper revisits theissue, using a self-selection model, a unique data-set on migrant workers as well as on workers thatchose not to migrate ('stayers'), and direct estimation of the moments of the latent unobserved skilldistributions. The main findings are that there are two dimensions to self-selection: in terms ofobserved skills, a substantial migration premium lures migrant workers, while very low returns toskills in the foreign economy deter skilled workers, leading to negative self-selection. In terms ofunobservable skills, self-selection is found to be positive rather than negative. The latter findingentails substantial increases in mean wages and reduction in wage inequality, relative to randomassignment and to the alternative of not migrating. The analysis also demonstrates that estimates ofskill premia for migrants — an important issue in the immigration literature — are upward biased ifselection is not accounted for. Relevant skills are multi-dimensional, hence assignments in thiscontext are non-hierarchical.

Suggested Citation

  • Eran Yashiv, 2004. "The Self Selection of Migrant Workers Revisited," CEP Discussion Papers dp0655, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0655
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0655.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
    2. Angrist, Joshua D, 1996. "Short-Run Demand for Palestinian Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 425-453, July.
    3. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
    4. Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Wages, Experience and Seniority," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 77-108.
    5. Barsky, R.B. & Kilian, L., 2000. "A Monetary Explanation of the Great Stagflation of the 1970s," Working Papers 452, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    7. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
    8. Sarit Cohen-Goldner & Zvi Eckstein, 2008. "Labor Mobility Of Immigrants: Training, Experience, Language, And Opportunities," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 837-872, August.
    9. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
    10. N/A, 1989. "Annual Report," Evaluation Review, , vol. 13(3), pages 320-320, June.
    11. Sherwin Rosen, 2005. "Substitution And Division Of Labour," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: An Inframarginal Approach To Trade Theory, chapter 3, pages 29-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    12. repec:ilo:ilowps:338944 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    14. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme L, 1990. "Self-selection and the Distribution of Hourly Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 329-363, January.
    15. Eli Berman & Zaur Rzakhanov, 2000. "Fertility, Migration, and Altruism," NBER Working Papers 7545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    17. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
    18. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
    19. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Milo Bianchi, 2013. "Immigration Policy and Self-Selecting Migrants," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 15(1), pages 1-23, February.
    2. Jennifer Hunt, 2004. "Are migrants more skilled than non-migrants? Repeat, return, and same-employer migrants," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 830-849, November.
    3. Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2006. "Self-Selection and the Returns to Geographic Mobility: What Can Be Learned from the German Reunification "Experiment"," IZA Discussion Papers 2524, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Rachel Sabates-Wheeler & Ricardo Sabates & Adriana Castaldo, 2008. "Tackling Poverty-migration Linkages: Evidence from Ghana and Egypt," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 87(2), pages 307-328, June.
    5. Olmo Silva, 2004. "Entrepreneurship: Can the Jack-of-All-Trades Attitude be Aquired?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0665, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    self-selection; migrant workers; skill premia; migration premium; unobservable skills; non-hierarchical sorting; wage inequality.;

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0655. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.