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The Selection of Migrants and Returnees: Evidence from Romania and Implications

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  • J. William Ambrosini
  • Karin Mayr
  • Giovanni Peri
  • Dragos Radu

Abstract

This paper uses census and survey data to identify the wage earning ability and the selectivity of recent Romanian migrants and returnees. We construct measures of selection across skill groups and estimate the average and the skills-specific premium for migration and return for three typical destinations of Romanian migrants after 1990. We find evidence for a sorting of migrants consistent with skill compensation in destination countries. The premium to return migration increases with migrants' skills and drives the positive selection of returnees. Based on the rationality of these migration decisions, a model of education, migration and return predicts positive long-run effects of increased migration for average skills and wages in Romania.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16912
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    1. Cristian ÎNCALTARAU & Sorin-Stefan MAHA & Liviu-George MAHA, 2011. "A Broader Look on Migration: A Two Way Interaction Between Development and Migration in the Country Of Origin," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 8, pages 285-297, December.
    2. Jackline Wahba, 2015. "Selection, selection, selection: the impact of return migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 535-563, July.
    3. Mario Liebensteiner, 2014. "Estimating the Income Gain of Seasonal Labor Migration," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 667-680, November.
    4. Saw Htay Wah, 2018. "Do employers in Myanmar prefer workers who accumulated skills in more advanced countries? Evidence from a field experiment," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 8(1), pages 1-23, December.
    5. Nifo, Annamaria & Pagnotta, Stefano & Scalera, Domenico, 2011. "The best and brightest. Selezione positiva e brain drain nelle migrazioni interne italiane [The best and brightest. Positive selection and brain drain in Italian internal migrations]," MPRA Paper 34506, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Franses, Ph.H.B.F., 2015. "Return migration of high skilled workers," Econometric Institute Research Papers 78065, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    7. Biavaschi, Costanza, 2016. "Recovering the counterfactual wage distribution with selective return migration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 59-80.
    8. Cristian INCALTARAU & Daniel JURAVLE, 2014. "The Attractiveness Of The Eu States. What Does Migration Indicate?," EURINT, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 1, pages 141-157.
    9. Biavaschi, Costanza, 2013. "Fifty Years of Compositional Changes in U.S. Out-Migration, 1908-1957," IZA Discussion Papers 7258, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Mario Izquierdo & Juan F. Jimeno & Aitor Lacuesta, 2015. "Spain: From Immigration To Emigration?," Working Papers 1503, Banco de España.
    11. Biavaschi, Costanza & Elsner, Benjamin, 2013. "Let's Be Selective about Migrant Self-Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 7865, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran & Viarengo, Martina, 2013. "The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 23-47.
    13. Jackline Wahba, 2014. "Return migration and economic development," Chapters, in: Robert E.B. Lucas (ed.), International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 12, pages 327-349, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Alin Croitoru, 2020. "Great Expectations: A Regional Study of Entrepreneurship Among Romanian Return Migrants," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(2), pages 21582440209, May.
    15. De la Roca, Jorge, 2017. "Selection in initial and return migration: Evidence from moves across Spanish cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 33-53.
    16. Michael A. Clemens, 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 83-106, Summer.
    17. Kureková, Lucia Mýtna & Žilin?íková, Zuzana, 2016. "What is the Value of Foreign Work Experience? Analysing Online CV Data in Slovakia," IZA Discussion Papers 9921, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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