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Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants

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  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

This paper analyzes the way in which the earnings of the immigrant population may be expected to differ from the earnings of the native population because of the endogeneity of the migration decision. The conditions that determine the nature of the self -selection are derived and depend on economic and political characteristics of the sending and receiving countries. The empirical analysis shows that differences in the U.S. earnings of immigrants with the same measured skills, but from different home countries, are attributable to variations in conditions in the country of origin at the time of migration.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2248
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    1. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
    2. Larry A. Sjaastad, 1970. "The Costs and Returns of Human Migration," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Harry W. Richardson (ed.), Regional Economics, chapter 9, pages 115-133, Palgrave Macmillan.
    3. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
    4. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    5. 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.
    6. McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-130, April.
    7. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    8. 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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