Russian Migrants to Russia: Choice of Location and Labor Market Outcomes
The move of five million Russian and Russian-speaking people from the former Soviet Union countries to Russia which took place during 1990s has been studied by demographers, sociologists and to a lesser extent by economists. This paper presents a study of the labor market outcomes for the Russian migrants to Russia, using the data from a representative survey of the Russian population in 2004 and 2005. Author focuses on the location choice by Russian immigrants and tests the hypothesis of skill sorting across regions. It is shown that in the regions with low fraction of immigrant population immigrants are doing better in terms of employment opportunities than local population while in the regions with high fraction of immigrants they are doing worse than locals. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that immigrants choose regions where the demand for their skills is high and compete for the jobs with fellow immigrants rather than with locals. Wage premiums for the migrants are found in some occupations but not in others. The results of the analysis indicate that the Russian migration to Russia has played some equilibrating role in the regional labor markets in presence of high barriers for internal labor migration.
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