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Migration from Ukraine: Brawn or Brain? New Survey Evidence

  • Simon Commander

    ()

    (Altura Partners, EBRD, IE Business School)

  • Olexandr Nikolaychuk

    (CERGE-EI, Prague)

  • Dmytro Vikhrov

    (CERGE-EI, Prague)

This paper studies selection and labour market outcomes among Ukrainian migrants using unique data from a survey conducted in Ukraine between August and October 2011. We found that migrants are positively selected in terms of age and education yetthis is not associated, as might be expected, with their labour market outcomes. Notably, around half of the migrants are employed in occupations for which they are over-qualified. We suggest that this downshifting in occupation can be partly explained by the absence of the conventional link between education and skills in Ukraine. We compare pre- and post-migration labour market outcomes and find that the probability of downshifting decreases with the duration of stay in a foreign country and knowledge of English or the local language. Significantly, someone who downshifted prior to migration in their home country was more likely to downshift abroad. Further, we found that migrants to the EU are more likely to downshift when compared to other destinations.

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Paper provided by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist in its series Working Papers with number 156.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Working papers 156, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Handle: RePEc:ebd:wpaper:156
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Web page: http://www.ebrd.com/pages/research/publications/workingpapers.shtml

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  1. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
  3. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration: The role of migration networks," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0701, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
  5. Friedberg, Rachel M, 2000. "You Can't Take It with You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 221-51, April.
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  7. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of "Brain Drain" of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1018, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  8. repec:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i::p:339-375 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Weiping Kostenko & Mark Harris & Xueyan Zhao, 2012. "Occupational transition and country-of-origin effects in the early stage occupational assimilation of immigrants: some evidence from Australia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(31), pages 4019-4035, November.
  10. Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina & Ozden, Caglar, 2005. "Brain waste? Educated immigrants in the U.S. labor market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3581, The World Bank.
  11. Batista, Catia & Lacuesta, Aitor & Vicente, Pedro C., 2012. "Testing the ‘brain gain’ hypothesis: Micro evidence from Cape Verde," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 32-45.
  12. Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2008. "New Evidence on Emigrant Selection," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 742.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  13. Catherine Y. Co & Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2000. "Returns to returning," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 57-79.
  14. Osipian, Ararat L., 2012. "Economics of corruption in doctoral education: The dissertations market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 76-83.
  15. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  16. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," NBER Working Papers 12141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Rooth, Dan-Olof & Saarela, Jan, 2007. "Selection in migration and return migration: Evidence from micro data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 90-95, January.
  18. Alicia Adsera & Barry Chiswick, 2007. "Are there gender and country of origin differences in immigrant labor market outcomes across European destinations?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 495-526, July.
  19. Thomas Turner, 2010. "The jobs immigrants do: issues of displacement and marginalisation in the Irish labour market," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 24(2), pages 318-336, June.
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