The Self-Selection of Migrant Workers Revisited
Work of low-skilled migrant workers from developing countries in developed economies is a growing phenomenon and a key political and economic issue. An extensive literature has found (for the most part) that these workers come from the lower part of the skill distribution. This paper revisits the issue, using a self-selection model, a unique data-set on migrant workers as well as on workers that chose not to migrate (‘stayers’), and direct estimation of the moments of the latent unobserved skill distributions. The main findings are that there are two dimensions to self- selection: in terms of observed skills, a substantial migration premium lures migrant workers, while very low returns to skills in the foreign economy deter skilled workers, leading to negative self-selection. In terms of unobservable skills, self-selection is found to be positive rather than negative. The latter finding entails substantial increases in mean wages and reduction in wage inequality, relative to random assignment and to the alternative of not migrating. The analysis also demonstrates that estimates of skill premia for migrants – an important issue in the immigration literature – are upward biased if selection is not accounted for. Relevant skills are multi-dimensional, hence assignments in this context are non-hierarchical.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2004|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
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.:
- Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979.
"Education and Self-Selection,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
- Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
- Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Wages, Experience and Seniority," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 77-108.
- Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 1999. "Wages, experience and seniority," IFS Working Papers W99/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Dustmann, Christian & Meghir, Costas, 1999. "Wages, Experience and Seniority," CEPR Discussion Papers 2077, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 2001. "Wages, experience and seniority," IFS Working Papers W01/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Barsky, R.B. & Kilian, L., 2000. "A Monetary Explanation of the Great Stagflation of the 1970s," Working Papers 452, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
- Barsky, Robert & Kilian, Lutz, 2000. "A Monetary Explanation Of The Great Stagflation Of The 1970s," CEPR Discussion Papers 2389, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Robert Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2000. "A Monetary Explanation of the Great Stagflation of the 1970s," NBER Working Papers 7547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
- Sarit Cohen-Goldner & Zvi Eckstein, 2008. "Labor Mobility Of Immigrants: Training, Experience, Language, And Opportunities," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 837-872, 08.
- Cohen-Goldner, Sarit & Eckstein, Zvi, 2002. "Labour Mobility of Immigrants: Training, Experience, Language and Opportunities," CEPR Discussion Papers 3412, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Cohen Goldner, Sarit & Eckstein, Zvi, 2002. "Labor Mobility of Immigrants: Training, Experience, Language and Opportunities," IZA Discussion Papers 519, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
- N/A, 1989. "Annual Report," Evaluation Review, , vol. 13(3), pages 320-320, June.
- Sherwin Rosen, 2005. "Substitution And Division Of Labour," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: An Inframarginal Approach To Trade Theory, chapter 3, pages 29-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Substitution and Division of Labour," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 45(179), pages 235-250, August.
- repec:ilo:ilowps:338944 is not listed on IDEAS
- Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
- George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Angrist, Joshua D, 1996. "Short-Run Demand for Palestinian Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 425-453, July.
- Joshua D. Angrist, 1995. "Short-Run Demand for Palestinian Labor," Working papers 95-16, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
- Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-161, January.
- A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
- Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme L, 1990. "Self-selection and the Distribution of Hourly Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 329-363, January.
- Eli Berman & Zaur Rzakhanov, 2000. "Fertility, Migration, and Altruism," NBER Working Papers 7545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
- Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
- Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)