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Internal Migration, Earnings, and the Importance of Self-selection

Ather Ahmed () and Ismail Sirageldin
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Ismail Sirageldin: The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, U.S.A.

The Pakistan Development Review, 1994, vol. 33, issue 3, 211-227

Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of internal migration on earnings within the human capital model framework. Since migrants constitute a non-random sample of population, the endogenous nature of migration decision warrants necessary correction for the selectivity bias in their earnings function. The Mincer-type earnings model is thus augmented to determine the extent of this bias. Besides estimating the standard Mincerian earnings model, the paper also attempts to verify the learn-as-you-go proposition by introducing migration duration variables in the earnings model. Based on the household level Population, Labour Force, and Migration (1979-80) survey data, the analysis yields the following important conclusions: (i) the data allowed a meaningful estimation of Mincerian earnings function for migrants and non-migrants; (ii) the level of schooling was one of the important determinants of the distribution of income both for migrants and non-migrants-the four categorical variables of education were in general statistically significant with expected signs, implying that the hypothesis of a positive relationship between income and education was accepted; (iii) the rates of return to education improved systematically with higher levels of education, thus confirming the notion that education serves as a signalling device; (iv) the age-income profile was almost linear for migrants but showed concavity for non-migrants; (v) the presence of sample-selection was observed for migrants; and (vi) even after controlling for the influence of personal characteristics, i.e., education and experience, the long-standing migrants earned relatively more at the destination than the more recent migrants.

Date: 1994
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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:33:y:1994:i:3:p:211-227