Migration from Ukraine: Brawn or Brain? New Survey Evidence

25 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2013

See all articles by Simon John Commander

Simon John Commander

London Business School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Olexandr Nikolaychuk

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute)

Dmytro Vikhrov

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute)

Abstract

We study selection and labour market outcomes among Ukrainian migrants using unique data from a survey conducted in Ukraine in August – October 2011. We find that migrants are positively selected in terms of age and education. Yet, this is not associated, as might be expected, with their labour market outcomes. Notably, around half of the migrants are employed in occupations for which they are over-qualified. We conjecture that this downshifting in occupation can partly be explained by the absence of the conventional link between education and skills in Ukraine.To circumvent this problem, we compare pre- and post-migration labour market outcomes and find that the probability of downshifting decreases with the duration of stay in a foreign country and knowledge of the local language or English. Significantly, someone who downshifted prior to migration in the home country was more likely to downshift abroad. Further, we find that migrants to the EU are more likely to downshift when compared to other destinations.

Keywords: migration, selection, occupation downshift, survey data

JEL Classification: F22, J24

Suggested Citation

Commander, Simon John and Nikolaychuk, Olexandr and Vikhrov, Dmytro, Migration from Ukraine: Brawn or Brain? New Survey Evidence. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7348. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2257198

Simon John Commander (Contact Author)

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Olexandr Nikolaychuk

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute) ( email )

P.O. Box 882
7 Politickych veznu
Prague 1, 111 21
Czech Republic

HOME PAGE: http://www.cerge-ei.cz

Dmytro Vikhrov

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute) ( email )

P.O. Box 882
7 Politickych veznu
Prague 1, 111 21
Czech Republic

HOME PAGE: http://www.cerge-ei.cz

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