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Emigration of Immigrants and Measures of Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence from Sweden

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  • Edin, Per-Anders

    () (Department of Economics)

  • LaLonde, Robert J.

    (Department of Economics)

  • Åslund, Olof

    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

Most previously used measures of immigrant labor market assimilation will be biased if there is non-random emigration of immigrants. We use longitudinal data on immigration to Sweden 1970-1990 to examine the extent and pattern of immigrant emigration and its consequences for measures of assimilation. Large fractions of the immigrants leave the host country shortly after arrival; within five years, more than a quarter of the people studied emigrated. As expected, economic migrants are much more likely to emigrate than political ones. Further, within these two groups, it is the least economically successful who leave. This creates the impression that immigrants’ well-being relative to natives improves with time in Sweden. However, not adjusting for emigration leads to overestimating the rate of economic assimilation, for Nordic and OECD immigrants by about much as 75 percent.90 percent or more.

Suggested Citation

  • Edin, Per-Anders & LaLonde, Robert J. & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Emigration of Immigrants and Measures of Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2000:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2000_013
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    3. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-176, February.
    4. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1992. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U. S. Labor Market," NBER Chapters,in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 67-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P., 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Papers 2000:19, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    6. Robert Warren & Jennifer Peck, 1980. "Foreign-Born Emigration From The United States: 1960 To 1970," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 17(1), pages 71-84, February.
    7. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration and Self-Selection," NBER Chapters,in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 29-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Assimilation; immigration; return migration;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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