Crossing the border : self selection, earnings and international migration decisions
Title: Crossing the border : self selection, earnings and international migration decisions
Citation: Journal of Development Economics, 2013, Vol. 101, No. 1, pp. 75-91
ISSN: 1872-6089; 0304-3878
We analyze an international migration episode for which we are able to gather individual-level data covering all relevant countries, namely the exodus of Ecuadorians to Spain and the US in the aftermath of the economic collapse of 1999. Specifically, we produce selection-corrected predictions of counterfactual individual earnings and use them to estimate a discrete-choice migration equation that allows for correlated errors across destinations and a rich structure of migration costs. We find that earnings significantly shape individual migration decisions, even in an episode in which Ecuadorians mostly chose Spain where earnings were lower than in the US, and they contribute to explaining the observed composition of migration flows. Moreover, our estimates show that changes in earnings at a particular destination have a larger effect on destination choice conditional on migration than on the scale of migration.
Received 17 January 2011 Received in revised form 30 May 2012 Accepted 23 September 2012 Available online 27 September 2012
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