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International Emigrant Selection on Occupational Skills

Author

Listed:
  • Alexander Patt
  • Jens Ruhose
  • Simon Wiederhold
  • Miguel Flores

Abstract

We present the first evidence that international emigrant selection on education and earnings materializes through occupational skills. Combining novel data from a representative Mexican task survey with rich individual-level worker data, we find that Mexican migrants to the United States have higher manual skills and lower cognitive skills than non-migrants. Conditional on occupational skills, education and earnings no longer predict migration decisions. Differential labor-market returns to occupational skills explain the observed selection pattern and significantly outperform previously used returns-to-skills measures in predicting migration. Results are persistent over time and hold within narrowly defined regional, sectoral, and occupational labor markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Patt & Jens Ruhose & Simon Wiederhold & Miguel Flores, 2017. "International Emigrant Selection on Occupational Skills," CESifo Working Paper Series 6527, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6527
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Krieger, Tim & Renner, Laura & Ruhose, Jens, 2018. "Long-term relatedness between countries and international migrant selection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 35-54.
    2. Mark Colas & Dominik Sachs, 2020. "The Indirect Fiscal Benefits of Low-Skilled Immigration," CESifo Working Paper Series 8604, CESifo.
    3. Guido Matias Cortes & Diego M. Morris, 2019. "Are Routine Jobs Moving South? Evidence from Changes in the Occupational Structure of Employment in the U.S. and Mexico," Working Paper series 19-15, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    4. Guido Matias Cortes1 & Diego M. Morris, 2020. "Are routine jobs moving south? Evidence from changes in the occupational structure of employment in the USA and Mexico," WIDER Working Paper Series wp2020-11, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Christian Lumpe & Claudia Lumpe, 2017. "German emigration via Bremen in the Weimar Republic (1920–1932)," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201753, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. Backhaus, Andreas, 2020. "Skills in African Labor Markets and Implications for Migration to Europe," Kiel Working Papers 2150, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    7. Aziz Ahmed, 2019. "Impacts of Vocational Training for Socio-economic Development of Afghan Refugees in Labor Markets of Host Societies in Baluchistan," Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 751-768, August.
    8. Mariani, Fabio & Mercier, Marion, 2021. "Immigration and crime: The role of self-selection and institutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 538-564.
    9. Joseph-Simon Görlach, 2021. "Borrowing Constraints and the Dynamics of Return and Repeat Migrations," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2129, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    10. Rosso, Anna, 2019. "Emigrant selection and wages: The case of Poland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 148-175.
    11. Corneo, Giacomo & Neidhöfer, Guido, 2021. "Income redistribution and self-selection of immigrants," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    12. Mark Colas & Dominik Sachs, 2020. "The Indirect Fiscal Benefits of Low-Skilled Immigration," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 38, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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