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The Selection of High-Skilled Migrants

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  • Ruhose, Jens
  • Parey, Matthias
  • Waldinger, Fabian
  • Netz, Nicolai

Abstract

We investigate international migration choices of high-skilled individuals and measure migrant selection using predicted earnings. High-skilled migrants select to destinations as predicted by Borjas' (1987) model of migration choices. Migrants to less equal countries are positively selected, while migrants to more equal countries are negatively selected, relative to non-migrants. For our analysis, we use a survey of university graduates, including detailed information on background characteristics, university studies, and labor market choices, combined with measures of earnings inequality for high-skilled individuals in destination countries. Our rich data allow us to decompose the observed selection patterns. Positive selection to less equal countries is driven by university quality and grades. Negative selection to more equal countries is driven by university subject and gender. Our results highlight the relevance of the Roy/Borjas model for high-skilled individuals in a setting where credit constraints and other barriers to migration are unlikely to be binding.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruhose, Jens & Parey, Matthias & Waldinger, Fabian & Netz, Nicolai, 2015. "The Selection of High-Skilled Migrants," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113148, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc15:113148
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    Cited by:

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    2. Ismaël Mourifié & Marc Henry & Romuald Méango, 2020. "Sharp Bounds and Testability of a Roy Model of STEM Major Choices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(8), pages 3220-3283.
    3. Sascha O. Becker & Lukas Mergele & Ludger Woessmann, 2020. "The Separation and Reunification of Germany: Rethinking a Natural Experiment Interpretation of the Enduring Effects of Communism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 143-171, Spring.
    4. Gilberto Antonelli & Sara Binassi & Giovanni Guidetti & Giulio Pedrini, 2016. "Assessing selection patterns and wage differential of high-skilled migrants. Evidence from the AlmaLaurea dataset on Italian graduates working abroad," Working Papers 76, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
    5. Francesconi, Marco & Parey, Matthias, 2018. "Early gender gaps among university graduates," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 63-82.
    6. Aksoy, Cevat Giray, 2021. "Refugees’ and Irregular Migrants’ Self-selection into Europe," SocArXiv bf7sy, Center for Open Science.
    7. Rosso, Anna, 2019. "Emigrant selection and wages: The case of Poland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 148-175.
    8. Duncan, Alan & Harris, Mark N. & Mavisakalyan, Astghik & Nguyen, Toan, 2020. "Migration flows in commodity cycles: Assessing the role of migration policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    9. Raquel Carrasco & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2019. "Spatial mobility in elite academic institutions in economics: the case of Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 141-172, June.
    10. Benjamin Balsmeier & Lee Fleming & Matt Marx & Seungryul Ryan Shin, 2020. "Skilled Human Capital and High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Inventor Inflows," NBER Working Papers 27605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Mariani, Fabio & Mercier, Marion, 2021. "Immigration and crime: The role of self-selection and institutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 538-564.
    12. Didier Fouarge & Merve Nezihe Özer & Philipp Seegers, 2019. "Personality traits, migration intentions, and cultural distance," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(6), pages 2425-2454, December.
    13. Alexander Patt & Jens Ruhose & Simon Wiederhold & Miguel Flores, 2017. "International Emigrant Selection on Occupational Skills," CESifo Working Paper Series 6527, CESifo.
    14. Cevat Giray Aksoy & Panu Poutvaara, 2019. "Refugees' and Irregular Migrants' Self-Selection into Europe: Who Migrates Where?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7781, CESifo.
    15. Emmler, Julian & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 2020. "The role of unemployment and job change when estimating the returns to migration," IAB Discussion Paper 202037, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    16. Gabriel Felbermayr, 2016. "Seizing the Opportunity," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 17(3), pages 16-26, December.
    17. Corneo, Giacomo & Neidhöfer, Guido, 2021. "Income redistribution and self-selection of immigrants," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    18. Krieger, Tim & Renner, Laura & Ruhose, Jens, 2018. "Long-term relatedness between countries and international migrant selection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 35-54.
    19. Breschi, Stefano & Lawson, Cornelia & Lissoni, Francesco & Morrison, Andrea & Salter, Ammon, 2020. "STEM migration, research, and innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
    20. Gabriel Felbermayr, 2016. "Seizing the Opportunity," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 17(03), pages 16-26, December.
    21. Emmler, Julian & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 2020. "The Role of Unemployment and Job Change When Estimating the Returns to Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 13740, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Tim Krieger & Laura Renner & Jens Ruhose, 2015. "Genetic Distance and International Migrant Selection," CESifo Working Paper Series 5453, CESifo.
    23. Marco Cintio & Emanuele Grassi, 2017. "International mobility and wages: an analysis of Italian Ph.D. graduates," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 59(3), pages 759-791, November.
    24. Besart Avdiu, 2018. "The Effect of Attitudes toward Migrants on Migrant Skill Composition," CESifo Working Paper Series 6919, CESifo.
    25. Jens Ruhose, 2015. "Microeconometric Analyses on Economic Consequences of Selective Migration," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 61, December.

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    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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