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Intergenerational Transmission of Abilities and Self Selection of Mexican Immigrants

  • Vincenzo Caponi

    (Ryerson University, IZA, RCEA)

This paper presents an intergenerational model of self-selection of migration and education that is capable of explaining the evolution of earnings and education across three different generations of immigrants. By structurally estimating the model it is possible to quantify the human capital level of Mexicans in light of the self-sacrifice made by the first generation of Mexican immigrants. The results suggest that there is a significant one time loss of human capital faced by immigrants upon migration that is not transmitted to their children. Also parents with larger amounts of ability tend to migrate more and tend to choose to remain high school educated. However, given the better educational opportunities offered in the US, they migrate with the expectation of their children becoming college educated. Therefore, measures that rely on the earnings performance and educational attainment of immigrants underestimate the amount of human capital they bring into the host country.

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File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2009/paper_1144.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2009 Meeting Papers with number 1144.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:1144
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  1. Adalbert Mayer, 2008. "Education, Self-Selection, and Intergenerational Transmission of Abilities," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 106-128.
  2. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 12840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages F300-F323, November.
  4. Kurokawa, Yoshinori, 2006. "Skill Intensity Reversal and the Rising Skill Premium: Evidence from the U.S. and Mexico," MPRA Paper 14013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
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  7. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Borjas, George J., 1996. "The earnings of Mexican immigrants in the United States," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 69-98, October.
  11. Vincenzo CAPONI, 2010. "Heterogeneous Human Capital and Migration: Who Migrates from Mexico to the us?," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 97-98, pages 207-234.
  12. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hendricks, Lutz, 2001. "The Economic Performance of Immigrants: A Theory of Assortative Matching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 417-49, May.
  14. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2007. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 229-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Chiara Binelli, 2009. "The Demand-Supply-Demand Twist: How the Wage Structure Got More Convex," Working Paper Series 48_09, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2009.
  16. Antonio Spilimbergo & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages: Evidence from Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico Border," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1337-1357, December.
  17. Daniel McFadden, 1987. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models Without Numerical Integration," Working papers 464, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  18. Chiara Binelli & Orazio Attanasio, 2010. "Mexico in the 1990s: the Main Cross-Sectional Facts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 238-264, January.
  19. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  20. Heckman, James & Scheinkman, Jose, 1987. "The Importance of Bundling in a Gorman-Lancaster Model of Earnings," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 243-55, April.
  21. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme L, 1990. "Self-selection and the Distribution of Hourly Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S329-63, January.
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