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Recovering the Counterfactual Wage Distribution with Selective Return Migration

  • Biavaschi, Costanza

    ()

    (University of Reading)

This paper explores the distribution of immigrant wages in the absence of return migration from the host country. In particular, it recovers the counterfactual wage distribution if all Mexican immigrants were to settle in the United States and no out-migration of Mexican-born workers occurred. Because migrants self-select in the decision to return, the overarching problem addressed by this study is the use of an estimator that accounts also for selection on unobservables. I adopt a semiparametric procedure that recovers this counterfactual distribution and find that Mexican returnees are middle- to high-wage earners at all levels of educational attainment. The presented results contrast with the general perception that those migrants who return home have failed in the host country.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6795.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6795
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  1. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
  2. Marcia M. A. Schafgans & Victoria Zinde-Walsh, 2000. "On intercept estimation in the sample selection model," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6868, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Jesúús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2011. "New Evidence on Emigrant Selection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 72-96, February.
  4. Robert Kaestner & Ofer Malamud, 2010. "Self-Selection and International Migration: New Evidence from Mexico," NBER Working Papers 15765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Angelucci, Manuela, 2005. "U.S. Border Enforcement and the Net Flow of Mexican Illegal Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 1642, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Chamberlain, Gary, 1986. "Asymptotic efficiency in semi-parametric models with censoring," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 189-218, July.
  7. J. William Ambrosini & Karin Mayr & Giovanni Peri & Dragos Radu, 2011. "The Selection of Migrants and Returnees: Evidence from Romania and Implications," NBER Working Papers 16912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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