IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Immigration policy and self-selecting migrants

  • Milo Bianchi


    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)

I build a simple theory of self-selection into migration and immigration policy formation. I show that any immigration policy affects immigrants skill composition, and this effect may drive the policy outcome in the receiving country. For example, restricting immigration when it is low skilled may worsen immigrants' self-selection and thus the receiving country skill distribution. Hence, understanding the migration decision becomes crucial for analyzing the political economy of immigration. By this composition effect, some natives may support further restrictions even though current immigrants are not harmful for them, and immigration restrictions may be optimal even in a purely utilitarian world.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00587710.

in new window

Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00587710
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Friebel, Guido & Guriev, Sergei, 2004. "Smuggling Humans: A Theory of Debt-Financed Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 1025, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, . "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-26, Claremont Colleges.
  3. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
  4. 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.
  5. Chiswick, Barry R., 2005. "High Skilled Immigration in the International Arena," IZA Discussion Papers 1782, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:4:p:1335-1374 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:2:p:549-599 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Hassler, John & Rodríguez Mora, José Vicente & Zeira, Joseph, 2000. "Inequality and Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2497, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Stark, Oded & Bloom, David E, 1985. "The New Economics of Labor Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 173-78, May.
  11. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Theories of persistent inequality and intergenerational mobility," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 429-476 Elsevier.
  12. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2004. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Paolo E Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2008. "Prejudice and Immigration," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002276, David K. Levine.
  14. David Card, 2004. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  15. Bagnoli, M. & Bergstrom, T., 1989. "Log-Concave Probability And Its Applications," Papers 89-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  16. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  17. Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2003. "On the mechanics of migration decisions: skill complementarities and endogenous price differentials," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 329-349, August.
  18. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  19. Jens Hainmueller & Michael J. Hiscox, 2005. "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe," Others 0505013, EconWPA.
  20. Gianmarco I P Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," Working Papers 2008.77, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  21. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10449, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  22. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2005. "Immigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Gordon H. Hanson & Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew Slaughter, 2005. "Public Finance and Individual Preferences over Globalization Strategies," NBER Working Papers 11028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Yashiv, Eran, 2004. "The Self-Selection of Migrant Workers Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 1094, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
  26. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2004. "International Migration in the Long-Run: Positive Selection, Negative Selection and Policy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2038, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  27. Giorgio Bellettini & Carlotta Berti Ceroni, 2007. "Immigration Policy, Self-selection, and the Quality of Immigrants," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 869-877, November.
  28. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 2000. "The World Technology Frontier," CEPR Discussion Papers 2584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Jasso, Guillermina & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 2008. "Selection Criteria and the Skill Composition of Immigrants: A Comparative Analysis of Australian and U.S. Employment Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 3564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  30. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  31. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  32. Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "Emigration, Labor Supply, and Earnings in Mexico," NBER Working Papers 11412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2006. "Migration and Education Inequality in Rural Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9392, Inter-American Development Bank.
  34. repec:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:1:p:83-116 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. Gil Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2006. "The struggle over migration policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 703-723, October.
  36. repec:oup:restud:v:65:y:1998:i:4:p:631-53 is not listed on IDEAS
  37. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek & Hans van Ophem, 2004. "Explaining international differences in male skill wage differentials by differences in demand and supply of skill," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 466-486, 04.
  38. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," NBER Working Papers 4955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Rotte, Ralph & Vogler, Michael, 1999. "The Effects of Development on Migration: Theoretical Issues and New Empirical Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 46, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  40. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2009. "Why is Mobility in India so Low? Social Insurance, Inequality, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 14850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 133-145, February.
  42. Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: The Australian Points System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 192-197, May.
  43. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  44. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  45. Chojnicki, Xavier & Docquier, Frédéric & Ragot, Lionel, 2005. "Should the U.S. Have Locked the Heaven's Door? Reassessing the Benefits of the Postwar Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 1676, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  46. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A Brain Gain with a Brain Drain," Economics Series 45, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  47. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  49. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  50. Xavier Chojnicki & Frédéric Docquier & Lionel Ragot, 2011. "Should the US have locked heaven’s door?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 317-359, January.
  51. 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.
  52. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Richard Sinnott, 2004. "The Determinants of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration," Trinity Economics Papers 20042, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  53. Ramón López & Maurice Schiff, 1998. "Migration and the Skill composition of the Labor Force: The Impact of Trade Liberalization in LDCs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 318-336, May.
  54. repec:oup:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:3:p:551-75 is not listed on IDEAS
  55. Storesletten, Kjetil, 1998. "Sustaining Fiscal Policy Through Immigration," Seminar Papers 664, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  56. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  57. Katz, Eliakim & Stark, Oded, 1987. "International Migration under Asymmetric Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 718-26, September.
  58. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
  59. Jose V. Rodriguez Mora & John Hassler, 2000. "Intelligence, Social Mobility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 888-908, September.
  60. Facchini, Giovanni & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "The political economy of international factor mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 201-219, September.
  61. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-78, September.
  62. Ortega, Francesc, 2005. "Immigration quotas and skill upgrading," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1841-1863, September.
  63. Dahan, Momi & Gaviria, Alejandro, 2001. "Sibling Correlations and Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(3), pages 537-54, April.
  64. Guillermina Jasso & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 1998. "The Changing Skills of New Immigrants to the United States: Recent Trends and Their Determinants," NBER Working Papers 6764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  65. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  66. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2005. "International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of Economic and Non-Economic Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 1590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  67. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00587710. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.