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International Emigrant Selection on Occupational Skills

Listed author(s):
  • 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)

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.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10837.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10837.

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Length: 71 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10837
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  1. Michael S. Rendall & Susan W. Parker, 2014. "Two Decades of Negative Educational Selectivity of Mexican Migrants to the United States," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 40(3), pages 421-446, September.
  2. Poutvaara, Panu & Borjas, George & Kauppinen, Ilpo, 2015. "Self-Selection of Emigrants: Theory and Evidence on Stochastic Dominance in Observable and Unobservable Characteristics," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113140, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
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  6. Jesúús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2011. "New Evidence on Emigrant Selection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 72-96, February.
  7. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2016. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 3, pages 81-115 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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  9. Ruhose, Jens & Parey, Matthias & Waldinger, Fabian & Netz, Nicolai, 2015. "The Selection of High-Skilled Migrants," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113148, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  10. George J. Borjas, 2008. "Labor Outflows and Labor Inflows in Puerto Rico," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 32-68.
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  18. J. William Ambrosini & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Determinants and the Selection of Mexico–US Migrants," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 111-151, February.
  19. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
  20. James Heckman & Jose Scheinkman, 1987. "The Importance of Bundling in a Gorman-Lancaster Model of Earnings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 243-255.
  21. 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.
  22. Stolz, Yvonne & Baten, Joerg, 2012. "Brain drain in the age of mass migration: Does relative inequality explain migrant selectivity?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 205-220.
  23. Netz, Nicolai & Parey, Matthias & Ruhose, Jens & Waldinger, Fabian, 2017. "The Selection of High-Skilled Emigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 12403, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  25. 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.
  26. Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2013. "Understanding different migrant selection patterns in rural and urban Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 182-201.
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