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Why go to France or Germany, if you could as well go to the UK or the US? Selective Features of Immigration to four major OECD Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Wido Geis
  • Silke Übelmesser
  • Martin Werding

Abstract

Building on a new data set which is combined from national micro-data bases, we highlight differences in the structure of migrants to four countries, viz. France, Germany, the UK and the US, which receive a substantial share of all immigrants to the OECD world. Looking at immigrants by source countries, we illustrate the important role of distance, both geographical and cultural, immigration policies and migrant networks. Differentiating immigrants by their educational attainments, we observe interesting patterns in the skill composition, employment opportunities and wages for migrants to the different destination countries. Focusing on migration between the four countries in our data set, we find that migration within Western Europe is small and rather balanced in terms of skill structures, while there appears to be a brain drain from Europe to the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Wido Geis & Silke Übelmesser & Martin Werding, 2008. "Why go to France or Germany, if you could as well go to the UK or the US? Selective Features of Immigration to four major OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 2427, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2427
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2427.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2004. "Selection or Network Effects? Migration Flows into 27 OECD Countries, 1990-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 1104, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Wido Geis & Silke Uebelmesser & Martin Werding, 2013. "How do Migrants Choose Their Destination Country? An Analysis of Institutional Determinants," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 825-840, November.
    3. Anna Mayda, 2010. "International migration: a panel data analysis of the determinants of bilateral flows," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 1249-1274, September.
    4. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    5. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lumpe, Claudia, 2017. "Public beliefs in social mobility and high-skilled migration," Ruhr Economic Papers 691, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Irena Kogan, 2015. "The role of immigration policies for immigrants’ selection and economic success," ImPRovE Working Papers 15/05, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    3. Wido Geis & Silke Uebelmesser & Martin Werding, 2013. "How do Migrants Choose Their Destination Country? An Analysis of Institutional Determinants," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 825-840, November.
    4. Martin Kahanec, 2013. "Skilled Labor Flows: Lessons from the European Union," Research Reports 1, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
    5. Wido Geis, 2010. "High Unemployment in Germany: Why do Foreigners Suffer Most?," ifo Working Paper Series 90, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    6. Wolfgang Nagl & Robert Lehmann, 2015. "Distance is crucially important, at least for neighbors' foreign employment at the district level," ERSA conference papers ersa15p366, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Nowotny, Klaus, 2013. "Institutions and the Location Decisions of Highly Skilled Migrants to Europe," Working Papers in Economics 2013-3, University of Salzburg.
    8. Lumpe, Christian & Lumpe, Claudia & Meckl, Jürgen, 2016. "Social status and public expectations: Self-selection of high-skilled migrants," Ruhr Economic Papers 614, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    9. Seele, Peter, 2011. ""If your letter was in German, I would not understand a bit, and would have ignored that": Preliminary findings from a survey of highly skilled migrants from India and China with working/edu," Wittener Diskussionspapiere zu alten und neuen Fragen der Wirtschaftswissenschaft 14/2011, Witten/Herdecke University, Faculty of Management and Economics.
    10. Kahanec, Martin, 2012. "Report No. 49: Skilled Labor Flows: Lessons from the European Union," IZA Research Reports 49, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Wido Geis, 2011. "Die Lage von Einwanderern am Arbeitsmarkt: Ein Vergleich zwischen Europa und den USA," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 64(14), pages 30-36, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; immigration policy; education; employment; wages; brain drain;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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