NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Self-Selection and Internal Migration in the United States

George J. Borjas, Stephen G. Bronars, Stephen J. Trejo

NBER Working Paper No. 4002
Issued in February 1992
NBER Program(s):   LS

Within the conceptual framework of the Roy model, this paper provides an empirical analysis of internal migration flows using data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth. The theoretical approach highlights regional differences in the returns to skills: regions that pay higher returns to skills attract more skilled workers than regions that pay lower returns. Our empirical results suggest that interstate differences in the returns to skills are a major determinant of both the size and skill composition of internal migration flows. Persons whose skills are most mismatched with the reward structure offered by their current state of residence are the persons most likely to leave that state. and these persons tend to relocate in states which offer higher rewards for their particular skills.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4002

Published:

  • Borjas, George J., "The Earnings of Male Hispanic Immigrants in the United States," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 35, no. 3 (April 1982): 343-353.
  • Borjas, George J., "The Earnings of State Government Employees in the United States", Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 19, no. 2 (March 1986): 156-173. citation courtesy of
  • Journal of Urban Economics, Vol 32, no. 2 (September 1992): 159-185.
  • Borjas, George., "The Earnings of Mexican Immigrants in the United States", Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 51, no. 1 (October 1996): 69-98.

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