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A Life-Cycle Model of Outmigration and Economic Assimilation of Immigrants in Germany

  • Bellemare, Charles

    ()

    (Université Laval)

This paper estimates a structural dynamic life-cycle model of outmigration where, in each period, immigrants choose whether to work in the host country, not to work but remain in the host country, or outmigrate. The model incorporates several features of existing life-cycle theories of outmigration but distinguishes itself by introducing uncertainty in about future earnings and preferences which allows immigrants to revise their duration decisions throughout their migration experience. We overcome the problem of not directly observing outmigration movements by using panel attrition as a proxy variable and use a simple method to correct for the fact that part of the attrition is not a consequence of outmigration. Estimates are used to predict changes in life-cycle patterns of outmigration behavior. Estimation results indicate that outmigration does not depend exclusively on earnings differentials. Estimated assimilation rates are found to be robust to selection effects. Immigrants are found to be forward looking decision makers, and simulations show that predicted migration durations are very sensitive to changes in their economic environment and differ considerably from those of a myopic model.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1012.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: European Economic Review, 2007, 51 (3), 553-576
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1012
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  1. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2001. "The Optimal Migration Duration and Activity Choice after Re-migration," IZA Discussion Papers 266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. repec:dgr:kubcen:200428 is not listed on IDEAS
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  17. Thierry Magnac & David Thesmar, 2002. "Identifying Dynamic Discrete Decision Processes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 801-816, March.
  18. Stark, Oded, 2013. "On the economics of others," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 62, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  19. Charles Bellemare, 2004. "Identification and Estimation of the Economic Performance of Outmigrants using Panel Attrition," Cahiers de recherche 0429, CIRPEE.
  20. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
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  24. 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.
  25. Bellemare, C., 2004. "Identification and Estimation of Economic Models of Outmigration using Panel Attrition," Discussion Paper 2004-28, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  26. Markus Pannenberg, 1998. "Documentation of Sample Sizes and Panel Attrition in the German Socio Economic Panel (GSOEP) 1984 until 1997," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 172, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  27. Wei-Yin Hu, 2000. "Immigrant Earnings Assimilation: Estimates from Longitudinal Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 368-372, May.
  28. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-62, March.
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  31. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
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  34. Bellemare, Charles, 2004. "Identification and Estimation of Economic Models of Outmigration Using Panel Attrition," IZA Discussion Papers 1065, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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