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Moroccans' Assimilation in Spain: Family-Based versus Labor-Based Migration


  • Rodríguez-Planas, Núria

    () (Queens College, CUNY)

  • Vegas, Raquel

    () (FEDEA, Madrid)


An important immigration policy question is to identify the best criteria to select among potential migrants. At least two methodological problems arise: the host country's immigration policy regime endogeneity, and immigrants' unobserved heterogeneity. To address the first problem, we focus in a country with an unprecedented immigration boom that lets immigrants freely into a country: Spain. To address the second problem, we focus on a large and homogenous group of immigrants: Moroccans. Using the 2007 Encuesta Nacional de Immigración (ENI), we find that, even when focusing on a very homogenous group of migrants (Moroccans) who tend to be low-skilled, and after controlling for migrants' self-selection with employment history prior to and at arrival, family-based immigrants are less likely to work than their labor-based counterparts both at arrival and ten years later. Our Heckman-corrected estimates highlight that there are no monthly earnings differences by reason of arrival, and that failure to correct for labor force participation strongly biases these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Vegas, Raquel, 2012. "Moroccans' Assimilation in Spain: Family-Based versus Labor-Based Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 6368, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6368

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2003. "Public policy and the labor market adjustment of new immigrants to Australia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 655-681, November.
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    9. Abdurrahman Aydemir, 2011. "Immigrant selection and short-term labor market outcomes by visa category," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 451-475, April.
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    12. Raquel Vegas & Brindusa Anghel, 2010. "Reagrupación familiar de los inmigrantes en España. Incidencia en los gastos de protección social," Economic Reports 04-2010, FEDEA.
    13. Amuedo Dorantes, Catalina & De la Rica Goiricelaya, Sara, 2008. "Does Immigration Raise Natives’ Income? National and Regional Evidence from Spain," DFAEII Working Papers 2008-07, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luciana Méndez Errico, 2013. "The Impacts of Social Networks on Immigrants’ Employment Prospects: The Spanish Case 1997-2007," Working Papers wpdea1301, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.

    More about this item


    Southern and Eastern Mediterranean men and women; legal and employment assimilation;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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