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Self-Selection, Earnings, and Out-Migration: A Longitudinal Study of Immigrants to Germany

Author

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  • Constant, Amelie F.

    () (Temple University)

  • Massey, Douglas S.

    () (Princeton University)

Abstract

In this paper we seek to deepen understanding of out-migration as a social and economic process and to investigate whether cross-sectional earnings assimilation results suffer from selection bias. To model the process of out-migration we conduct a detailed event history analysis of men and women immigrants in Germany. Our 14-year longitudinal study reveals that emigrants are negatively selected with respect to occupational prestige and to stable full time employment. Our results show no selectivity with respect to human capital, earnings, or gender. The likelihood of return migration is strongly determined by the range and nature of social attachments to Germany and origin countries, and grows higher toward retirement. This selective emigration, however, does not appear to distort cross-sectional estimates of earnings assimilation.

Suggested Citation

  • Constant, Amelie F. & Massey, Douglas S., 2002. "Self-Selection, Earnings, and Out-Migration: A Longitudinal Study of Immigrants to Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp672
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schmidt, Christoph M., 1997. "Immigrant performance in Germany: Labor earnings of ethnic German migrants and foreign guest-workers," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 379-397.
    2. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    3. Per-Anders Edin & Robert J. LaLonde & Olof Aslund, 2000. "Emigration of Immigrants and Measures of Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 0020, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    4. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 63-89.
    5. Fernando Ramos, 1992. "Out-Migration and Return Migration of Puerto Ricans," NBER Chapters,in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 49-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-176, February.
    7. Bauer, Thomas & Gang, Ira, 1998. "Temporary Migrants from Egypt: How Long Do They Stay Abroad?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2003, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Borjas, George J, 1989. "Immigrant and Emigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 21-37, January.
    9. Merkle, Lucie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1992. "Savings, remittances, and return migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 77-81, January.
    10. Licht, Georg & Steiner, Viktor, 1993. "Assimilation, labour market experience, and earnings profiles of temporary and permanent immigrant workers in germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 93-06, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Patricia Reagan & Randall Olsen, 2000. "You can go home again: Evidence from longitudinal data," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(3), pages 339-350, August.
    12. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    event history; immigrant assimilation; return migration;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • C4 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics

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