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Is Learning by Migrating to a Megalopolis Really Important? Evidence from Thailand

  • Machikita, Tomohiro

We examine the effects of learning by migrating on the productivity of migrants who move to a "megalopolis" from rural areas using the Thailand Labor Force Survey. The main contribution is to the development a simple framework to test for self-selection on migration decisions and learning by migrating into the urban labor market, focusing on experimental evidence in the observational data. The role of the urban labor market is examined. In conclusion, we find significant evidence for sorting: the self-selection effects test (1) is positive among new entrants from rural areas to the urban labor market; and (2) is negative among new exits that move to rural areas from the urban labor market. Further, estimated effects of learning by migrating into a "megalopolis" have a less significant impact. These results suggest the existence of a natural selection (i.e. survival of the fittest) mechanism in the urban labor market in a developing economy.

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Paper provided by Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO) in its series IDE Discussion Papers with number 82.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Publication status: Published in IDE Discussion Paper. No. 82. 2006.12
Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper82
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  1. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 1999. "Power Couples: Changes in the Locational Choice of the College Educated, 1940-1990," NBER Working Papers 7109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & David C. Mare, 1994. "Cities and Skills," NBER Working Papers 4728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Estimating the social return to higher education: evidence from longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 175-212.
  6. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
  7. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2003. "Are experience and schooling complementary?," FCND briefs 166, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Borjas, George J. & Bronars, Stephen G. & Trejo, Stephen J., 1992. "Self-selection and internal migration in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-185, September.
  9. Gordon Dahl, 1997. "Mobility and the Returns to Education: Testing A Roy Model With Multiple Markets," Working Papers 760, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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