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

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  • Simone Bertoli

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Bertoli, 2010. "The informational structure of migration decision and migrants’ self-selection," Working Papers - Economics wp2010_03.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  • Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2010_03.rdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 201-245, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    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. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    6. Borjas, George J, 1990. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 305-308, March.
    7. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
    8. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bertoli, Simone & Dequiedt, Vianney & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Can selective immigration policies reduce migrants' quality?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 100-109.
    2. Biavaschi, Costanza & Elsner, Benjamin, 2013. "Let's Be Selective about Migrant Self-Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 7865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Simone Bertoli & Hillel Rapoport, 2015. "Heaven's Swing Door: Endogenous Skills, Migration Networks, and the Effectiveness of Quality-Selective Immigration Policies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(2), pages 565-591, April.
    4. Elsner, Benjamin & Narciso, Gaia & Thijssen, Jacco J. J., 2013. "Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation," IZA Discussion Papers 7863, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Bertoli, Simone & Brücker, Herbert, 2011. "Selective immigration policies, migrants' education and welfare at origin," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 19-22, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; uncertainty; information; self-selection;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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