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Intergenerational Transmission of Abilities and Self Selection of Mexican Immigrants

  • Vincenzo Caponi

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

This paper presents an intergenerational self selection model of migration and education that is capable of explaining the evolution of earnings and education across three 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 human capital 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: http://economics.ryerson.ca/workingpapers/wp002.pdf
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Paper provided by Ryerson University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 002.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rye:wpaper:wp002
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  1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
  2. Duncan, Brian & Trejo, Stephen, 2005. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans," IZA Discussion Papers 1629, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Yoshinori Kurokawa, 2009. "Is a Skill Intensity Reversal a Mere Theoretical Curiosum? Evidence from the U.S. and Mexico," Tsukuba Economics Working Papers 2009-010, Economics, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba.
  4. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2005. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000643, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 2550, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. McFadden, Daniel, 1989. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models without Numerical Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 995-1026, September.
  12. Hendricks, Lutz A., 2001. "The Economic Performance of Immigrants: A Theory of Assortative Matching," Staff General Research Papers 11931, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  13. Card, David, 2004. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," IZA Discussion Papers 1119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Adalbert Mayer, 2004. "Education, Self-Selection and Intergenerational Transmission of Abilities," 2004 Meeting Papers 107, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. James Heckman & Jose Scheinkman, 1987. "The Importance of Bundling in a Gorman-Lancaster Model of Earnings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 243-255.
  19. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
  20. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Caponi, Vincenzo, 2006. "Heterogeneous Human Capital and Migration: Who Migrates from Mexico to the US?," IZA Discussion Papers 2446, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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