DP12403 | The Selection of High-Skilled Emigrants

Publication Date

10/30/2017

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Abstract

We measure selection among high-skilled emigrants from Germany using predicted earnings. Migrants to less equal countries are positively selected relative to non-migrants, while migrants to more equal countries are negatively selected, consistent with the prediction in Borjas (1987). Positive selection to less equal countries reflects university quality and grades, and negative selection to more equal countries reflects university subject and gender. Migrants to the United States are highly positively selected and concentrated in STEM fields. Our results highlight the relevance of the Borjas model for high-skilled individuals when credit constraints and other migration barriers are unlikely to be binding.