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Estimating Immigrant Earnings Profiles when Migrations are Temporary

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  • Christian Dustmann

    () (Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) University College London (UCL))

  • Joseph-Simon Görlach

    () (Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) University College London (UCL))

Abstract

The assumption that all migrations are permanent, which pervaded the early microdata-based research on immigrant career profiles, is not supported by the empirical evidence. Rather, many – if not most – migrations appear to be temporary. In this paper, therefore, we illustrate the estimation challenges when migrations are temporary. As in an overwhelming share of the selective out-migration literature, our basic structure assumes that the process that determines out-migration is unrelated to other choices that affect wage growth, such as human capital investment or labour supply decisions, which greatly simplifies the analysis. When the choice of whether and when to out-migrate also affects decisions that determine wage growth, the problem becomes inherently dynamic and requires a more structural approach to estimation, which we briefly discuss.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Dustmann & Joseph-Simon Görlach, 2016. "Estimating Immigrant Earnings Profiles when Migrations are Temporary," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1609, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1609
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht & Vogel, Thorsten, 2010. "Employment, wages, and the economic cycle: Differences between immigrants and natives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-17, January.
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    3. Christian Dustmann & Yoram Weiss, 2007. "Return Migration: Theory and Empirical Evidence," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0702, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    4. Borjas, George J, 1989. "Immigrant and Emigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 21-37, January.
    5. Garnett Picot & Patrizio Piraino, 2013. "Immigrant earnings growth: selection bias or real progress?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1510-1536, November.
    6. Lena Nekby, 2006. "The emigration of immigrants, return vs onward migration: evidence from Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 197-226, June.
    7. Christian Dustmann & Yoram Weiss, 2007. "Return Migration: Theory and Empirical Evidence from the UK," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 236-256, June.
    8. Christian Dustmann & Joseph-Simon Görlach, 2016. "The Economics of Temporary Migrations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 98-136, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shaikh M.S.U. Eskander & Edward B. Barbier & Benjamin Gilbert, 2018. "Fishing and Nonfishing Income Decisions: The Role of Human Capital and Family Structure," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 94(1), pages 114-136.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; return migration; assimilation; earnings profile; selection;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • 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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