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Do the Best Go West?: An Analysis of the Self-Selection of Employed East-West Migrants in Germany

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  • Herbert Brücker
  • Parvati Trübswetter

Abstract

Since the inequality of earnings in East Germany has approached West German levels in the late 1990s, the standard Roy model predicts that a positive selection bias of East-West migrants should disappear. Using a switching regression model and data from the IAB-employment sample, we find however that employed East-West migrants remain positively self-selected with respect to unobserved abilities. This result is consistent with the predictions of our extended Roy model which considers moving costs that are negatively correlated with labour market abilities of individuals. Moreover, we find that wage differentials as well as differences in employment opportunities are the central forces which drive East-West migration after unification.

Suggested Citation

  • Herbert Brücker & Parvati Trübswetter, 2004. "Do the Best Go West?: An Analysis of the Self-Selection of Employed East-West Migrants in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 396, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp396
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
    2. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Michael C. Burda & Wolfgang Härdle & Marlene Müller & Axel Werwatz, 1998. "Semiparametric analysis of German East-West migration intentions: facts and theory," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 525-541.
    4. Jasso, Guillermina & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1990. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 298-304, March.
    5. Jennifer Hunt, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?," NBER Working Papers 7564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-1149, September.
    7. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    8. Burda, Michael C., 1993. "The determinants of East-West German migration: Some first results," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 452-461, April.
    9. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    10. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    11. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
    12. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "From Reunification to Economic Integration: Productivity and the Labor Market in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 1-92.
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    Cited by:

    1. Corrado Giulietti & Guangjie Ning & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2012. "Self-employment of rural-to-urban migrants in China," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 96-117, March.
    2. Anja Vatterrott, 2015. "Socialisation or Institutional Context: What Determines the First and Second Birth Behaviour of East–West German Migrants?," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 31(4), pages 383-415, October.
    3. Riphahn, Regina T. & Schnitzlein, Daniel D., 2016. "Wage mobility in East and West Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 11-34.
    4. Terry Gregory & Melanie Arntz & Florian Lehmer, 2011. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? What Drives the Self-Selection of Internal Migrants in Germany?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p972, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Peter Huber & Klaus Nowotny, 2009. "Return Intentions among Potential Migrants and Commuters: The Role of Human Capital, Deprivation and Networks," WIFO Working Papers 342, WIFO.
    6. Kuehn, Zoe, 2012. "Migration, Wages, and Parental Background: Obstacles to Entrepreneurship and Growth in East Germany," MPRA Paper 49250, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Johannes Gernandt & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2008. "Wage Convergence and Inequality after Unification: (East) Germany in Transition," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 107, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. Herbert Brücker & Elke J. Jahn, 2011. "Migration and Wage‐setting: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113, pages 286-317, June.
    9. Randall Akee, 2010. "Who Leaves? Deciphering Immigrant Self-Selection from a Developing Country," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 323-344, January.
    10. Alm Bastian & Engel Dirk & Weyh Antje, 2014. "Does Switching to a Western German Employer Still Pay Off?: An Analysis for Eastern Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 234(5), pages 546-571, October.
    11. Fendel Tanja, 2016. "Migration and Regional Wage Disparities in Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 236(1), pages 3-35, February.
    12. Melania Salazar-Ordóñez & Carlos García-Alonso & Gabriel Perez-Alcalá, 2011. "Wage Gaps And Migrantion Costs: An Analysis From Simulation Data," ERSA conference papers ersa11p347, European Regional Science Association.
    13. Snower, Dennis J. & Merkl, Christian, 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labor Market After Reunification (Detailed Version)," IZA Discussion Papers 2066, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Björn Alecke & Timo Mitze & Gerhard Untiedt, 2010. "Internal migration, regional labour market dynamics and implications for German East-West disparities: results from a Panel VAR," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 30(2), pages 159-189, September.
    15. Biavaschi, Costanza & Elsner, Benjamin, 2013. "Let's Be Selective about Migrant Self-Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 7865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Buch, Tanja & Hamann, Silke & Meier, Henning & Niebuhr, Annekatrin & Peters, Cornelius & Puckelwald, Johannes, 2011. "Analyse der Berücksichtigung eines Wanderungsindikators im Rahmen der Abgrenzung des GRW-Fördergebiets : Gutachten für die Gemeinschaftsaufgabe "Verbesserung der regionalen Wirtschaftsstruktur&qu," IAB-Forschungsbericht 201104, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    17. Ochsen, Carsten, 2009. "Regional labor markets and aging in Germany," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 102, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    18. Kubis, Alexander & Schneider, Lutz, 2007. "Determinants of Female Migration – The Case of German NUTS 3 Regions," IWH Discussion Papers 12/2007, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    19. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:38:i:2/3:p:419-440 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Self-selection; East Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • P23 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population

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