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Direct evidence on risk attitudes and migration

  • Jaeger, David A.
  • Dohmen, Thomas J.
  • Falk, Armin
  • Huffman, David
  • Sunde, Uwe
  • Bonin, Holger

It has long been hypothesized that individuals’ migration propensities depend on their risk attitudes, but the empirical evidence has been limited and indirect. We use newly available data from the German Socio-Economic Panel to measure directly the relationship between migration and risk attitudes. We find that individuals who are more willing to take risks are more likely to migrate. Our estimates are substantial compared to unconditional migration probabilities, as well the effects of conventional determinants of migration, and are robust to controlling for a variety of demographic characteristics. We find no evidence that our results are the result of reverse causality.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19528.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Publication status: Published in Review of Economics and Statistics 3 92(2010): pp. 684-689
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19528
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  1. Katz, Eliakim & Stark, Oded, 1986. "Labor Migration and Risk Aversion in Less Developed Countries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 134-49, January.
  2. Francesco Daveri & Riccardo Faini, . "Where do migrants go?," Working Papers 124, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2008. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," CESifo Working Paper Series 2307, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Axel Heitmueller, 2005. "Unemployment benefits, risk aversion, and migration incentives," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 93-112, 01.
  5. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Stark, Oded & Levhari, David, 1982. "On Migration and Risk in LDCs," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 191-96, October.
  7. David A. Jaeger & Holger Bonin & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0703, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  8. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2012. "The intergenerational transmission of risk and trust attitudes," Munich Reprints in Economics 20051, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Jaeger, David A. & Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe & Bonin, Holger, 2010. "Direct evidence on risk attitudes and migration," Munich Reprints in Economics 19528, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
  11. George J. Borjas, 2001. "Does Immigration Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 69-134.
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