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Are Immigrants Positively or Negatively Selected? The Role of Immigrant Selection Criteria and Self-Selection

  • Abdurrahman Aydemir

    (Statistics Canada)

This paper specifies and estimates a structural model of international migration using micro data. This provides a direct test of human capital theory that suggests that individuals respond to the earnings differentials across countries while making their migration decisions. The paper specifies migration as a joint outcome of two decision makers, i.e. the individual who decides to apply for migration and the host country that reviews applications, and identifies the factors determining the decision of these two players. The empirical results provide evidence in support of the human capital model. It is also shown that both the host country and the individual have significant impacts on the resulting charatersitics of immigrants. The results suggest negative self-selection at the application stage both in terms of observed and unobserved characteristics and a positive selection at the review step by the host country. Although there is negative self- selection in terms of schooling among applicants, as a result of the positive selection at the review step the resulting migrants are positively selected. However, in terms of unobservable characteristics the review step is unable to reverse the negative self-selection that occurs at the application stage, and the resulting migrants are negatively selected in this dimension.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/lab/papers/0306/0306002.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0306002.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 19 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0306002
Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP; pages: 37 ; figures: included. none
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous Equation Generalized Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1193-1205, September.
  2. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  3. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-59, July.
  4. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  5. Jasso, Guillermina & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1990. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 298-304, March.
  6. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-73, October.
  7. George J. Borjas, 1988. "Immigration And Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 2566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
  9. Manski, Charles F & Lerman, Steven R, 1977. "The Estimation of Choice Probabilities from Choice Based Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(8), pages 1977-88, November.
  10. Lucas, Robert E B, 1985. "Migration amongst the Botswana," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(378), pages 358-82, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Borjas, George J, 1990. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 305-08, March.
  13. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A, 1993. "Immigrant Selectivity and Wages: The Evidence for Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 986-93, September.
  14. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-78, September.
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