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Immigration Policies and the Ecuadorian Exodus

  • Bertoli, Simone

    ()

    (CERDI, University of Auvergne)

  • Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús

    ()

    (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

  • Ortega, Francesc

    ()

    (Queens College, CUNY)

Ecuador experienced an unprecedented wave of international migration since the late 1990s, triggered by a severe economic and financial crisis. This paper gathers individual-level data from Ecuador and the two main destinations of Ecuadorian migrants: the US and Spain. First, we provide a careful description of the main characteristics of migration flows, both in terms of their scale and skill composition. Second, we estimate Mincer regressions for Ecuadorians in the three countries, and attempt to reconcile the features of migration flows with our predictions for earnings by destination. We find that earnings differences can account for the higher share of college graduates among migrants to the US, but fail to explain the larger scale of the flows to Spain. We argue that the puzzle is explained by taking into account that (i) the options to migrate legally to either destination were slim, and (ii) the cost of illegally migrating to Spain was lower than to the US.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4737.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: World Bank Economic Review, 2011, 25 (1), 57-76
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4737
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  1. 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.
  2. Andrew Atkeson & Varadarajan V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2010. "Sophisticated Monetary Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 47-89, February.
  3. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
  4. Fabian Valencia & Luc Laeven, 2008. "Systemic Banking Crises; A New Database," IMF Working Papers 08/224, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," NBER Working Papers 14833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  7. Simone BERTOLI, 2010. "Networks, Sorting and Self-selection of Ecuadorian Migrants," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 97-98, pages 261-288.
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