Refugees’ Self-Selection into Europe: Who Migrates Where?

59 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2019

See all articles by Cevat Giray Aksoy

Cevat Giray Aksoy

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; King’s College London; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Panu Poutvaara

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; ifo Institut - Leibniz-Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung an der Universitaet Muenchen e.V.; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); CReAM; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Date Written: February 12, 2019

Abstract

About 1.4 million refugees and irregular migrants arrived in Europe in 2015 and 2016. We model how refugees and irregular migrants are self-selected. Using unique datasets from the International Organization for Migration and Gallup World Polls, we provide the first large-scale evidence on reasons to emigrate, and the self-selection and sorting of refugees and irregular migrants for multiple origin and destination countries. Refugees and female irregular migrants are positively self-selected with respect to education (that is, they are more educated than the national average) while male irregular migrants are not. We also find that both male and female migrants from major conflict countries are positively self-selected in terms of their predicted income. For countries with minor or no conflict, migrant and non-migrant men do not differ in terms of their income distribution. We also analyse how border controls affect destination country choice.

Keywords: refugees, self-selection, human capital, predicted income

JEL Classification: J15, J24, O15

Suggested Citation

Aksoy, Cevat Giray and Poutvaara, Panu, Refugees’ Self-Selection into Europe: Who Migrates Where? (February 12, 2019). EBRD Working Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3339400 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3339400

Cevat Giray Aksoy (Contact Author)

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( email )

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King’s College London ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Panu Poutvaara

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

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Munich, D-80539
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ifo Institut - Leibniz-Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung an der Universitaet Muenchen e.V. ( email )

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CReAM ( email )

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