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Propensity score matching, a distance-based measure of migration, and the wage growth of young men

  • John C. Ham
  • Xianghong Li
  • Patricia Reagan

This paper estimates the effect of U.S. internal migration on real wage growth between the movers' first and second jobs. Our analysis of migration differs from previous research in three important aspects. First, we exploit the confidential geocoding in the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) to obtain a distance-based measure. Second, we let the effect of migration on wage growth differ by schooling level. Third, we use propensity score matching to measure the effect of migration on the wages of those who move. ; We develop an economic model and use it to (i) assess the appropriateness of matching as an econometric method for studying migration and (ii) choose the conditioning variables used in the matching procedure. Our data set provides a rich array of variables on which to match. We find a significant effect of migration on the wage growth of college graduates of 10 percent and a marginally significant effect for high school dropouts of -12 percent. If we use a measure of migration based on moving across either county lines or state lines, the significant effects of migration for college graduates and dropouts disappear.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 212.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:212
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  1. Jeffrey J. Yankow, 2003. "Migration, Job Change, and Wage Growth: A New Perspective on the Pecuniary Return to Geographic Mobility," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 483-516.
  2. Donald W. K. Andrews & Moshe Buchinsky, 2000. "A Three-Step Method for Choosing the Number of Bootstrap Repetitions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 23-52, January.
  3. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
  4. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2002. "Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Imbens, Guido & Abadie, Alberto, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Scholarly Articles 3043415, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  15. James J. Heckman & Salvador Navarro-Lozano, 2003. "Using Matching, Instrumental Variables and Control Functions to Estimate Economic Choice Models," NBER Working Papers 9497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Lechner, Michael, 1996. "An Evaluation of Public Sector Sponsored Continuous Vocational Training Programs in East Germany," Discussion Papers 539, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
  19. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  20. Gordon B. Dahl, 2002. "Mobility and the Return to Education: Testing a Roy Model with Multiple Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2367-2420, November.
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  23. Falaris, Evangelos M, 1987. "A Nested Logit Migration Model with Selectivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(2), pages 429-43, June.
  24. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  25. Paul E. Gabriel & Susanne Schmitz, 1995. "Favorable Self-Selection and the Internal Migration of Young White Males in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 460-471.
  26. Bartel, Ann P, 1979. "The Migration Decision: What Role Does Job Mobility Play?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 775-86, December.
  27. Borjas, George J & Bronars, Stephen G & Trejo, Stephen J, 1992. "Assimilation and the Earnings of Young Internal Migrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 170-75, February.
  28. Raphael, Steven & Riker, David A., 1999. "Geographic Mobility, Race, and Wage Differentials," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 17-46, January.
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  31. Jinyong Hahn, 1998. "On the Role of the Propensity Score in Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 315-332, March.
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