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Immigrant Selection in The OECD

  • Belot, Michèle
  • Hatton, Timothy J.

The selection of immigrants by skill and education is a central issue in the analysis of immigration. Since highly educated immigrants tend to be more successful in host country labour markets and less of a fiscal cost it is important to know what determines the skill-selectivity of immigration. In this paper we examine the proportions of highly educated among migrants from around 80 source countries who were observed as immigrants in each of 29 OECD countries in 2000/1. We develop a variant of the Roy model to estimate the determinants of educational selectivity by source and destination country. We also estimate the determinants of the share of migrants from different source countries in each destination country’s immigrant stock. Two key findings emerge. One is that the effects of the skill premium, which is at the core of the Roy model, can be observed only after we take account of poverty constraints operating in source countries. The other is that cultural links and distance are often more important determinants of the proportion of high educated immigrants in different OECD countries than wage incentives or policy.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6675.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6675
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  1. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2005. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 215-240, October.
  2. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  3. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2003. "Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers," IZA Discussion Papers 819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Abdurrahman Aydemir, 2003. "Are Immigrants Positively or Negatively Selected? The Role of Immigrant Selection Criteria and Self-Selection," Labor and Demography 0306002, EconWPA.
  6. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, 2003. "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(1).
  7. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  8. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10449, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  10. Docquier, Frédéric, 2006. "Brain Drain and Inequality Across Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 2440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
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