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Refugees' and Irregular Migrants' Self-Selection into Europe: Who Migrates Where?

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  • Cevat Giray Aksoy
  • Panu Poutvaara

    ()

Abstract

About 1.4 million refugees and irregular migrants arrived in Europe in 2015 and 2016. We model how refugees and irregular migrants are self-selected. Using unique datasets from the International Organization for Migration and Gallup World Polls, we provide the first large-scale evidence on reasons to emigrate, and the self-selection and sorting of refugees and irregular migrants for multiple origin and destination countries. Refugees and female irregular migrants are positively self-selected with respect to education, while male irregular migrants are not. We also find that both male and female migrants from major conflict countries are positively self-selected in terms of their predicted income. For countries with minor or no conflict, migrant and non-migrant men do not differ in terms of their income distribution, while women who emigrate are positively self-selected. We also analyze how border controls affect destination country choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Cevat Giray Aksoy & Panu Poutvaara, 2019. "Refugees' and Irregular Migrants' Self-Selection into Europe: Who Migrates Where?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7781, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7781
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    refugees; self-selection; human capital; predicted income;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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