Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 631–653 | Cite as

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

  • Amelie Constant
  • Douglas S. Massey


In this paper we examine the process of out-migration and investigate whether cross-sectional earnings assimilation results suffer from selection bias due to out-migration. 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 or gender. The likelihood of return migration is strongly determined by the range and nature of social attachments to Germany and origin countries. It is also the highest during the first five years since arrival, and grows higher toward retirement. Selective emigration, however, does not appear to distort cross-sectional estimates of earnings assimilation in a relevant way.

JEL classification:

J61 J2 C4 

Key words:

Return migration immigrant assimilation event history 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Population Studies Center University of Pennsylvania and IZAPhiladelphia PAUSA
  2. 2.Office of Population ResearchPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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