Self-selection, earnings, and out-migration: A longitudinal study of immigrants to Germany [chapter]

Amelie Constant, Douglas S. Massey
2004 How Labor Migrants Fare  
This Discussion Paper is issued within the framework of IZA's research area Mobility and Flexibility of Labor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and not those of the institute. Research disseminated by IZA may include views on policy, but the institute itself takes no institutional policy positions. The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn is a local and virtual international research center and a place of communication between science, politics and business. IZA
more » ... and business. IZA is an independent, nonprofit limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) supported by the Deutsche Post AG. The center is associated with the University of Bonn and offers a stimulating research environment through its research networks, research support, and visitors and doctoral programs. IZA engages in (i) original and internationally competitive research in all fields of labor economics, (ii) development of policy concepts, and (iii) dissemination of research results and concepts to the interested public. The current research program deals with (1) mobility and flexibility of labor, (2) internationalization of labor markets, (3) welfare state and labor market, (4) labor markets in transition countries, (5) the future of labor, (6) evaluation of labor market policies and projects and (7) general labor economics. IZA Discussion Papers often represent preliminary work and are circulated to encourage discussion. Citation of such a paper should account for its provisional character. A revised version may be available on the IZA website (www.iza.org) or directly from the author. In this paper we seek to deepen understanding of out-migration as a social and economic process and to investigate whether cross-sectional earnings assimilation results suffer from selection bias. To model the process of out-migration we conduct a detailed event history analysis of men and women immigrants in Germany. Our 14-year longitudinal study reveals that emigrants are negatively selected with respect to occupational prestige and to stable full time employment. Our results show no selectivity with respect to human capital, earnings, or gender. The likelihood of return migration is strongly determined by the range and nature of social attachments to Germany and origin countries, and grows higher toward retirement. This selective emigration, however, does not appear to distort cross-sectional estimates of earnings assimilation. JEL Classification: J61, J2, C4
doi:10.1007/978-3-540-24753-1_5 fatcat:lh37s2bpqrhadpc4iykclabiju