Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 535–563 | Cite as

Selection, selection, selection: the impact of return migration

  • Jackline WahbaEmail author
Original Paper


The evidence on the impact of return migration on the sending country is rather sparse, though growing. The contribution of this paper is in addressing various selectivity problems while quantifying the impact of return migration on wages of returnees using non-experimental data. Using Egyptian household-level survey data, I estimate the wages of return migrants controlling for several selectivity biases arising from emigration choice, return migration choice, labor force participation choice, and occupational choice following return. The findings provide strong evidence that overseas temporary migration results in a wage premium upon return, even after controlling for the various potential selection biases. However, the estimates underscore the significance of controlling for both emigration and return migration selections. Ignoring the double selectivity in migration would overestimate the impact of return migration on the wage premium of returnees, as migrants are positively selected relative to non-migrants, but returnees are negatively selected among migrants.


International return migration Wages Developing countries 

JEL Classifications

F22 J24 O15 O53 



I would like to thank the editor and three anonymous referees for their helpful comments and suggestions. Funding from the Economic Research Forum (ERF) and the Economic and Social Research Council (RES-167-25-0678) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics Department, School of Social SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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