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The Working Hours of Immigrants in Germany: Temporary versus Permanent

  • Kahanec, Martin


    (Central European University)

  • Shields, Michael P.


    (Central Michigan University)

Migration is often viewed as an investment decision. Temporary migrants can be expected to invest less in accumulating human capital specific to the host country. Instead, they work more hours in order to accumulate savings and invest in financial capital that can be transferred back to their country of origin upon return. In this paper, using German panel data, we explore how temporary migrants differ from permanent migrants in their labor supply decisions and behavior. Upon correcting for endogeneity bias, temporary migrants are found to work more hours than permanent ones. This result supports the human capital theory and a household production model of migration where migrants may be temporary by choice and not because of legal restrictions or even a bad experience in the labor market.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4735.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: IZA Journal of Migration, 2013, 2:14
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4735
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  1. Amin, Mohammad & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2005. "Does temporary migration have to be permanent?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3582, The World Bank.
  2. Amelie Constant & Rowan Roberts & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2007. "Ethnic Identity and Immigrant Homeownership," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 57, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Charles Bellemare, 2004. "A Life-Cycle Model of Outmigration and Economic Assimilation of Immigrants in Germany," Cahiers de recherche 0430, CIRPEE.
  4. István Kónya, 2007. "Optimal Immigration and Cultural Assimilation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 367-391.
  5. Dean Yang, 2008. "International Migration, Remittances and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 591-630, 04.
  6. Dustmann, Christian, 2000. "Temporary Migration and Economic Assimilation," IZA Discussion Papers 186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Dustmann, Christian & Schmidt, Christoph M, 2001. "The Wage Performance of Immigrant Women: Full-Time Jobs, Part-Time Jobs and the Role of Selection," CEPR Discussion Papers 2702, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
  9. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
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