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International Emigrant Selection on Occupational Skills

Author

Listed:
  • Patt, Alexander

    () (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

  • Ruhose, Jens

    () (Leibniz University of Hannover)

  • Wiederhold, Simon

    () (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Flores, Miguel

    () (EGAP Tecnológico de Monterrey CEM)

Abstract

We present the first evidence that international emigrant selection on education and earnings materializes through occupational skills. Combining novel data from a representative Mexican task survey with rich individual-level worker data, we find that Mexican migrants to the United States have higher manual skills and lower cognitive skills than non-migrants. Conditional on occupational skills, education and earnings no longer predict migration decisions. Differential labor-market returns to occupational skills explain the observed selection pattern and significantly outperform previously used returns-to-skills measures in predicting migration. Results are persistent over time and hold within narrowly defined regional, sectoral, and occupational labor markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Patt, Alexander & Ruhose, Jens & Wiederhold, Simon & Flores, Miguel, 2017. "International Emigrant Selection on Occupational Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 10837, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10837
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Lumpe & Claudia Lumpe, 2017. "German emigration via Bremen in the Weimar Republic (1920–1932)," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201753, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    selection; international migration; skills; occupations;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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