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Self-Selection and the Returns to Geographic Mobility: What Can Be Learned from the German Reunification "Experiment"

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  • Anzelika Zaiceva

Abstract

This paper investigates the causal effect of geographic labour mobility on income. The returns to German East-West migration and commuting are estimated exploiting the structure of centrally planned economies and a "natural experiment" of German reunification for identification. I find that migration premium is insignificantly different from zero, the returns for commuters equal to four percent of the mean of the total income, and the local average treatment effects for compliers are insignificant. In addition, estimation results suggest no positive self-selection for migrants, and some evidence of positive self-selection for commuters. Based on these results, moving West does not appear to be a highly rewarded option in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Anzelika Zaiceva, 2006. "Self-Selection and the Returns to Geographic Mobility: What Can Be Learned from the German Reunification "Experiment"," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 580, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp580
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2010. "East-West migration and gender: Is there a differential effect for migrant women?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 443-454, April.
    3. Boman, Anders, 2012. "Employment effects of extended geographic scope in job search," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 643-652.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    returns to geographic mobility; causality; treatment effects;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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