Effects of Selection Criteria and Economic Opportunities on the Characteristics of Immigrants
International migration is a joint outcome of the individual's desire to migrate and the host country's selection process. First, the potential migrants apply to a host country, then the host country chooses migrants from the applicant pool. The theoretical focus of the earlier literature was centred on the desire to migrate, while the empirical literature focused on the actual migrants, while migration is the product of these two factors. The objective of this paper is to identify the components of this two-step, decision-making process Parameters in the migration model relate directly to policy instruments such as the points awarded for various characteristics. Given the parameter estimates of the model and the general analysis of immigration policy, a study of the factors determining the individual's decision to apply can be done in a way that has not been possible up until now. Using samples of migrants and non-migrants, the model is estimated for migration from two different source countries, the United States and the United Kingdom, to Canada. For migrants, a newly available longitudinal data set, the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB), has been used. The richness of this database, which surveys immigrants to Canada over a long period and contains information on both their application and subsequent earnings, permits the investigation of a large range of questions that could not be fruitfully addressed before. Estimation of the two-step framework provides important insights on the effects of factors, such as education and income, that help establish this selection process.
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