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The Role of Unemployment and Job Change When Estimating the Returns to Migration

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  • Emmler, Julian

    (Humboldt University Berlin)

  • Fitzenberger, Bernd

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

Abstract

Estimating the returns to migration from East to West Germany, we focus on pre-migration employment dynamics, earnings uncertainty, and job change. Migrants are found to be negatively selected with respect to labor market outcomes, with a large drop in earnings and employment during the last few months before migration. We find sizeable positive earnings and employment gains of migration both in comparison to staying or job change. The gains vary considerably with pre-migration earnings and with the counterfactual considered. Future migrants have worse expectations for their labor market prospects in the East and migrants show a greater openness to mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Emmler, Julian & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 2020. "The Role of Unemployment and Job Change When Estimating the Returns to Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 13740, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13740
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; returns; selection; unemployment; moving costs;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics

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