The (Self-)Selection of International Migrants Reconsidered: Theory and New Evidence

25 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2006

See all articles by Herbert Brücker

Herbert Brücker

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Cécily Defoort

University of Lille II

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

This paper reconsiders the (self-)selection of international migrants. In an extended Roymodel we analyse the factors which affect the selection bias of migrants. In particular, we find that migrants need not necessarily be (un-)favourably self-selected if the inequality of earnings is higher (lower) in the receiving country compared to the sending country. Moreover, migrants might be favourably (self-)selected if the migration costs tend to decline with the skill level of migrants, even if the inequality of earnings is larger in the destination relative to the sending country. Based on a novel data set we find descriptive evidence that migrants tend be positively (self-)selected although the inequality in earnings is higher in the sending relative to the receiving countries. Moreover, our regressions results indicate that both, a higher inequality in the host and the home country, is associated with a favourable selection bias.

Keywords: international migration, self-selection of migrants, human capital of migrants

JEL Classification: F22

Suggested Citation

Brücker, Herbert and Defoort, Cécily, The (Self-)Selection of International Migrants Reconsidered: Theory and New Evidence (March 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2052, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=894869

Herbert Brücker (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Cécily Defoort

University of Lille II ( email )

Lille Cedex, 59020
France

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