NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Ilpo Kauppinen

VATT Institute for Economic Research
Arkadiankatu 7, 00101
Helsinki, Finland

E-Mail: ilpo.kauppinen@vatt.fi

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2015Self-Selection of Emigrants: Theory and Evidence on Stochastic Dominance in Observable and Unobservable Characteristics
with George J. Borjas, Panu Poutvaara: w21649
We show that the Roy model has more precise predictions about the self-selection of migrants than previously realized. The same conditions that have been shown to result in positive or negative selection in terms of expected earnings also imply a stochastic dominance relationship between the earnings distributions of migrants and non-migrants. We use the Danish full population administrative data to test the predictions. We find strong evidence of positive self-selection of emigrants in terms of pre-emigration earnings: the income distribution for the migrants almost stochastically dominates the distribution for the non-migrants. This result is not driven by immigration policies in destination countries. Decomposing the self-selection in total earnings into self-selection in observable cha...
 
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