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The informational structure of migration decision and migrants’ self-selection

  • Simone Bertoli

This paper derives the implications for migrants’ self-selection in unobservables that arise from the introduction of uncertainty in the decision problem that would-be migrants face. We show that if one lifts the assumption introduced in Borjas (1987) that foreign wages are known before the migration decision is taken, then the case for the so-called refugee sorting narrows down considerably, while negative selection becomes a more likely outcome. A greater dispersion of income at destination no longer suffices to predict that immigrants will obtain a higher average income than natives.

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Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2010_03.rdf.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2010_03.rdf
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  1. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 201-45, April.
  3. Borjas, George J, 1990. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 305-08, March.
  4. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
  6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  7. 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.
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