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Stayers and Returners: Educational Self-Selection among U.S. Immigrants and Returning Migrants

Listed author(s):
  • Aguilar Esteva, Arturo Alberto

    ()

    (ITAM, Mexico)

This paper empirically examines the educational selectivity of United States immigrants and of those that return to their source country. Data from the 1970 to 2000 U.S. Census and the 2010 American Community Survey are employed. Ten countries are selected for the study based on their historical and contemporaneous importance on U.S. migration. The results generally indicate positive selection on educational attainment of recently-arrived immigrants, being China, India, and Philippines the most prominent examples. Mexico does not show evidence of positive or negative selection, but their immigrants' selectivity has worsened through time. Historically, the educational selectivity of returning migrants accentuated the positive selection of those migrants that stay in the United States in most countries' cases. However, patterns of selection among migrants that stay have recently changed. A more detailed analysis with data from the last decade finds evidence of positive selection of immigrants staying in the U.S. for the Mexican and Philippines' case, as well as negative selection for the Chinese. Trends of returning migration are also analyzed by gender, age, naturalization status, and migration spell duration. Mixed evidence of selection trends is found.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7222.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7222.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7222
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  1. Cynthia Feliciano, 2005. "Educational selectivity in U.S. Immigration: How do immigrants compare to those left behind?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(1), pages 131-152, February.
  2. Alan Barrett & Philip J. O’Connell, 2001. "Is There a Wage Premium for Returning Irish Migrants?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 32(1), pages 1-21.
  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. George J. Borjas & Rachel M. Friedberg, 2009. "Recent Trends in the Earnings of New Immigrants to the United States," Working Papers 2009-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Anna Iara, 2006. "Skill Diffusion by Temporary Migration? Returns to Western European Working Experience in the EU Accession Countries," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 69, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
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  7. Pablo Ibarraran & Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Mexican Immigration and Self-Selection: New Evidence from the 2000 Mexican Census," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 159-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2005. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 215-240, October.
  9. Alan Barrett & Jean Goggin, 2010. "Returning To The Question Of A Wage Premium For Returning Migrants," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 213(1), pages 43-51, July.
  10. Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
  11. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Akee, Randall K. Q., 2007. "Who Leaves and Who Returns? Deciphering Immigrant Self-Selection from a Developing Country," IZA Discussion Papers 3268, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. J. William Ambrosini & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Determinants and the Selection of Mexico–US Migrants," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 111-151, 02.
  14. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
  15. Dustmann, Christian & Fadlon, Itzhak & Weiss, Yoram, 2011. "Return migration, human capital accumulation and the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 58-67, May.
  16. Borjas, George J, 1989. "Immigrant and Emigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 21-37, January.
  17. Augustin Coulon & Matloob Piracha, 2005. "Self-selection and the performance of return migrants: the source country perspective," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(4), pages 779-807, November.
  18. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
  19. Catherine Y. Co & Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2000. "Returns to returning," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 57-79.
  20. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
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