International Emigrant Selection on Occupational Skills

71 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017

See all articles by Alexander Patt

Alexander Patt

Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt

Jens Ruhose

Leibniz Universit├Ąt Hannover - Faculty of Economics and Management

Simon Wiederhold

Chair of Macroeconomics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Miguel Flores

Tecnologico de Monterrey EGAP Government and Public Policy

Abstract

We present the first evidence that international emigrant selection on education and earnings materializes through occupational skills. Combining novel data from a representative Mexican task survey with rich individual-level worker data, we find that Mexican migrants to the United States have higher manual skills and lower cognitive skills than non-migrants. Conditional on occupational skills, education and earnings no longer predict migration decisions. Differential labor-market returns to occupational skills explain the observed selection pattern and significantly outperform previously used returns-to-skills measures in predicting migration. Results are persistent over time and hold within narrowly defined regional, sectoral, and occupational labor markets.

Keywords: international migration, selection, skills, occupations

JEL Classification: F22, O15, J61, J24

Suggested Citation

Patt, Alexander and Ruhose, Jens and Wiederhold, Simon and Flores, Miguel, International Emigrant Selection on Occupational Skills. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10837. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2988184

Alexander Patt (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt ( email )

Auf der Schanz 49
Ingolstadt, D-85049
Germany

Jens Ruhose

Leibniz Universit├Ąt Hannover - Faculty of Economics and Management ( email )

Koenigsworther Platz 1
Hannover, 30167
Germany

Simon Wiederhold

Chair of Macroeconomics

Auf der Schanz 49
Ingolstadt, 85049
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Miguel Flores

Tecnologico de Monterrey EGAP Government and Public Policy

Calle del Puente 222
Col. Ejidos de Huipulco
Tlalpan, 14380
Mexico

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