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The (Self-)Selection of International Migrants Reconsidered: Theory and New Evidence

  • Brücker, Herbert

    ()

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Defoort, Cécily

    ()

    (University of Lille 2)

This paper reconsiders the (self-)selection of international migrants. In an extended Roy-model we analyse the factors which affect the selection bias of migrants. In particular, we find that migrants need not necessarily be (un-)favourably self-selected if the inequality of earnings is higher (lower) in the receiving country compared to the sending country. Moreover, migrants might be favourably (self-)selected if the migration costs tend to decline with the skill level of migrants, even if the inequality of earnings is larger in the destination relative to the sending country. Based on a novel data set we find descriptive evidence that migrants tend be positively (self-)selected although the inequality in earnings is higher in the sending relative to the receiving countries. Moreover, our regressions results indicate that both, a higher inequality in the host and the home country, is associated with a favourable selection bias.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2052.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of International Manpower, 2009, 30 (7), 742-764.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2052
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  1. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  3. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  6. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  7. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10449, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2003. "International migration, remittances, and the brain drain ; a study of 24 labor exporting countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3069, The World Bank.
  9. Docquier, Frederic & Marfouk, Abdeslam, 2004. "Measuring the international mobility of skilled workers (1990-2000) : release 1.0," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3381, The World Bank.
  10. Faini, Riccardo & Venturini, Alessandra, 1994. "Migration and Growth: The Experience of Southern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 964, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A Brain Gain with a Brain Drain," Economics Series 45, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  12. Kwok, Viem & Leland, Hayne, 1982. "An Economic Model of the Brain Drain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 91-100, March.
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