Self-Selection in Migration and Returns to Unobservable Skills
Several papers have tested the empirical validity of the migration models proposed by Borjas (1987) and Borjas, Bronars, and Trejo (1992). However, to our knowledge, none has been able to disentangle the separate impact of observable and unobservable individual characteristics, and their respective returns across different locations, on an individual's decision to migrate. We build a model in which individuals sort, in part, on potential earnings - where earnings across different locations are a function of both observable and unobservable characteristics. We focus on the inter-provincial migration patterns of Canadian physicians. We choose this particular group for several reasons including the fact that they are paid on a fee-for-service basis. Since wage rates are exogenous, earning differentials are driven by differences in productivity. We then estimate a mixed conditional-logit model to determine the effects of individual and destination-specific characteristics (particularly earnings differentials) on physician location decisions. We find, among other things, that high-productivity physicians (based on unobservables) are more likely to migrate to provinces where the productivity premium is greater, while low-productivity physicians are more likely to migrate to areas where the productivity premium is lower. These results are consistent with a modified Borjas model of self-selection in migration based on both unobservables and observables.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2009, 22(4), 1005-1024|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
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|
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.:
- George J. Borjas, 1987.
"Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants,"
NBER Working Papers
2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chris Robinson & Nigel Tomes, 1982. "Self-Selection and Interprovincial Migration in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(3), pages 474-502, August.
- Roger Axelsson & Olle Westerlund, 1998. "A panel study of migration, self-selection and household real income," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 113-126.
- Gary L. Hunt & Richard E. Mueller, 2004. "North American Migration: Returns to Skill, Border Effects, and Mobility Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 988-1007, November.
- Pissarides, Christopher A & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1989. "Unemployment and the Inter-regional Mobility of Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 739-55, September.
- Antolin, Pablo & Bover, Olympia, 1997. "Regional Migration in Spain: The Effect of Personal Characteristics and of Unemployment, Wage and House Price Differentials Using Pooled Cross-Sections," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(2), pages 215-35, May.
- Schlottmann, Alan M & Herzog, Henry W, Jr, 1981. "Employment Status and the Decision to Migrate," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 590-98, November.
- George J. Borjas & Stephen G. Bronars & Stephen J. Trejo, 1992.
"Self-Selection and Internal Migration in the United States,"
NBER Working Papers
4002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Borjas, George J. & Bronars, Stephen G. & Trejo, Stephen J., 1992. "Self-selection and internal migration in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-185, September.
- Michael Benarroch & Hugh Grant, 2004. "The interprovincial migration of Canadian physicians: does income matter?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(20), pages 2335-2345.
- Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-41, November.
- Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002.
"International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States,"
NBER Working Papers
9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Satu Nivalainen, 2004. "Determinants of family migration: short moves vs. long moves," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 157-175, February.
- Dionne, Georges & Langlois, Alain & Lemire, Nicole, 1987. "More on the geographical distribution of physicians," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 365-374, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1942. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.