Refugees' and Irregular Migrants' Self-Selection into Europe: Who Migrates Where?

73 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 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, 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, while women who emigrate are positively self-selected. We also analyze how border controls affect destination country choice.

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

JEL Classification: J150, J240, O150

Suggested Citation

Aksoy, Cevat Giray and Poutvaara, Panu, Refugees' and Irregular Migrants' Self-Selection into Europe: Who Migrates Where? (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7781, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3434837

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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