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

  • Amelie Constant
  • Douglas S. Massey
Part of the Population Economics book series (POPULATION)


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.

Key words

Return migration immigrant assimilation event history 

JEL classification

J61 J2 C4 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amelie Constant
    • 1
    • 2
  • Douglas S. Massey
    • 3
  1. 1.Population Studies Center University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.IZAGermany
  3. 3.Office of Population ResearchPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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