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Why Are Educated and Risk-Loving Persons More Mobile across Regions?

  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Oliver Falck
  • Stephan Heblich
  • Jens Suedekum

Why are better educated and more risk-friendly persons more mobile across regions? To answer this question, we use micro data on internal migrants from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) 2000-2006 and merge this information with a unique proxy for region-pair-specific cultural distances across German regions constructed from historical local dialect patterns. Our findings indicate that risk-loving and skilled people are more mobile over longer distances because they are more willing to cross cultural boundaries and move to regions that are culturally different from their homes. Other types of distance-related migration costs cannot explain the lower distance sensitivity of educated and risk-loving individuals.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.413467.de/diw_sp0522.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 522.

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Length: 28 p.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp522
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Web page: http://www.diw.de/en/soepEmail:


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  1. Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Lameli, Alfred & Suedekum, Jens, 2010. "Dialects, Cultural Identity, and Economic Exchange," IZA Discussion Papers 4743, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Toubal, Farid, 2010. "Cultural proximity and trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 279-293, February.
  3. Stephen Machin & Kjell G. Salvanes & Panu Pelkonen, 2012. "Education And Mobility," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 417-450, 04.
  4. Gordon B. Dahl, 2002. "Mobility and the Return to Education: Testing a Roy Model with Multiple Markets," RCER Working Papers 488, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Melitz, Jacques, 2002. "Language and Foreign Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3590, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Peri, Giovanni, 2002. "Young workers, learning, and agglomerations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 582-607, November.
  7. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/42, European University Institute.
  8. Jennifer Hunt, 2004. "Are migrants more skilled than non-migrants? Repeat, return, and same-employer migrants," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 830-849, November.
  9. Jeffrey Grogger, 2011. "Speech Patterns and Racial Wage Inequality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(1), pages 1-25.
  10. Gabriel Felbermayr & Farid Toubal, 2010. "Cultural Proximity and Trade," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00641280, HAL.
  11. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  12. David A. Jaeger & Holger Bonin & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration," Working Papers 50, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  13. Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Internal migration in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2009. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 110, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  15. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-42, April.
  16. Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Lameli, Alfred & Südekum, Jens, 2012. "Dialects, cultural identity, and economic exchange," Munich Reprints in Economics 20568, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  17. Jaeger, David A. & Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe & Bonin, Holger, 2010. "Direct evidence on risk attitudes and migration," Munich Reprints in Economics 19528, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  18. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Presidential Address Institutions and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 255-294, 04-05.
  19. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00641280 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Toubal, Farid, 2010. "Cultural proximity and trade," Munich Reprints in Economics 20351, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  21. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2011. "How many languages do we need? The economics of Linguistic Diversity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152424, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  22. Schwartz, Aba, 1973. "Interpreting the Effect of Distance on Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(5), pages 1153-69, Sept.-Oct.
  23. Ofer Malamud & Abigail Wozniak, 2012. "The Impact of College on Migration: Evidence from the Vietnam Generation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 913-950.
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