IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp2655.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration

Author

Listed:
  • Jaeger, David A.

    (University of St. Andrews)

  • Bonin, Holger

    (IZA)

  • Dohmen, Thomas

    (University of Bonn and IZA)

  • Falk, Armin

    (briq, University of Bonn)

  • Huffman, David B.

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Sunde, Uwe

    (University of Munich)

Abstract

Geographic mobility is important for the functioning of labor markets because it brings labor resources to where they can be most efficiently used. It has long been hypothesized that individuals' migration propensities depend on their attitudes towards risk, but the empirical evidence, to the extent that it exists, has been indirect. In this paper, we use newly available data from the German Socio-Economic Panel to measure directly the relationship between migration propensities and attitudes towards risk. We find that individuals who are more willing to take risks are more likely to migrate between labor markets in Germany. This result is robust to stratifying by age, sex, education, national origin, and a variety of other demographic characteristics, as well as to the level of aggregation used to define geographic mobility. The effect is substantial relative to the unconditional migration propensity and compared to the conventional determinants of migration. We also find that being more willing to take risks is more important for the extensive than for the intensive margin of migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaeger, David A. & Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 2655, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2655
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2655.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. George J. Borjas, 2001. "Does Immigration Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 69-134.
    2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Juergen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Working Papers 2096, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. Axel Heitmueller, 2005. "Unemployment benefits, risk aversion, and migration incentives," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(1), pages 93-112, January.
    4. Daveri, Francesco & Faini, Riccardo, 1999. "Where Do Migrants Go?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(4), pages 595-622, October.
    5. Katz, Eliakim & Stark, Oded, 1986. "Labor Migration and Risk Aversion in Less Developed Countries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 134-149, January.
    6. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
    7. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2012. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 645-677.
    8. Stark, Oded & Levhari, David, 1982. "On Migration and Risk in LDCs," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 191-196, October.
    9. David A. Jaeger & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Holger Bonin, 2010. "Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 684-689, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Akgüç, Mehtap & Liu, Xingfei & Tani, Massimiliano & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2016. "Risk attitudes and migration," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 166-176.
    2. Hao, Li & Houser, Daniel & Mao, Lei & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "A Field Study of Chinese Migrant Workers' Attitudes toward Risks, Strategic Uncertainty, and Competitiveness," IZA Discussion Papers 8227, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Shi, Xiaojun & Yan, Zhu, 2018. "Urbanization and risk preference in China: A decomposition of self-selection and assimilation effects," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 210-228.
    4. Amelie F. Constant & Annabelle Krause & Ulf Rinne & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "Economic preferences and attitudes of the unemployed: Are natives and second generation migrants alike?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(7), pages 825-851, October.
    5. Hao, Li & Houser, Daniel & Mao, Lei & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2016. "Migrations, risks, and uncertainty: A field experiment in China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 126-140.
    6. Armin Falk & Thomas Dohmen & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Kontrolliert und repräsentativ: Beispiele zur Komplementarität von Labor‐ und Felddaten," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(s1), pages 54-74, May.
    7. Wölfel, Oliver & Heineck, Guido, 2012. "Parental risk attitudes and children's secondary school track choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 727-743.
    8. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2010. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1238-1260, June.
    9. Kong-Pin Chen & Shin-Hwan Chiang & Siu Fai Leung, 2003. "Migration, Family, and Risk Diversification," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 323-352, April.
    10. repec:ces:ifodic:v:7:y:2009:i:1:p:14567006 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. T.M. van Huizen & Rob Alessie, 2016. "Risk Aversion and Job Mobility," Working Papers 16-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
    12. van Huizen, Thomas & Alessie, Rob, 2019. "Risk aversion and job mobility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 91-106.
    13. Stephan Bartke & Reimund Schwarze, 2008. "Risk-Averse by Nation or by Religion?: Some Insights on the Determinants of Individual Risk Attitudes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 131, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    14. Arcand, Jean-Louis & Mbaye, Linguère Mously, 2013. "Braving the Waves: The Role of Time and Risk Preferences in Illegal Migration from Senegal," IZA Discussion Papers 7517, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    16. Bartzsch Nikolaus, 2008. "Precautionary Saving and Income Uncertainty in Germany – New Evidence from Microdata," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(1), pages 5-24, February.
    17. Mariapia Mendola, 2004. "Migration and Technological Change in Rural Households: Complements or Substitutes?," Development Working Papers 195, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    18. Breitkopf, Laura & Chowdhury, Shyamal K. & Priyam, Shambhavi & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah & Sutter, Matthias, 2020. "Do economic preferences of children predict behavior?," DICE Discussion Papers 342, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    19. Hagen-Zanker, Jessica, 2010. "Modest expectations: Causes and effects of migration on migrant households in source countries," MPRA Paper 29507, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Michael Daly & Liam Delaney & Séamus McManus, 2010. "Risk Attitudes as an Independent Predictor of Debt," Working Papers 201049, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    21. Poelhekke, Steven, 2011. "Urban growth and uninsured rural risk: Booming towns in bust times," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 461-475, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; risk aversion; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2655. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.