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Assessing selection patterns and wage differential of high-skilled migrants. Evidence from the AlmaLaurea dataset on Italian graduates working abroad

Gilberto Antonelli (), Sara Binassi (), Giovanni Guidetti () and Giulio Pedrini
Additional contact information
Gilberto Antonelli: Department of Economics and SDIC, University of Bologna; AlmaLaurea Interuniverisity Consortium
Sara Binassi: AlmaLaurea Interuniversity Consortium
Giovanni Guidetti: Department of Economics and SDIC, University of Bologna

No 76, Working Papers from AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium

Abstract: This paper aims at investigating the phenomenon of graduates’ migration from an OECD country at microeconomic level in order to offer an insight into the scholarly debate on migration decision of high-skilled workers living in a developed country. By merging data on working conditions on Italian graduates with the results of an ad-hoc survey on Italian graduates working abroad, the paper assesses the selectivity of migration choices, the wage premium associated to migration decision on their earnings, and the determinants of the earning function for those graduates that work abroad. Results partially confirms the applicability of the Borjas model on selectivity of migration choice. It also shows the existence of a substantial wage premium associated with the decision to work abroad in line with an extended human capital approach. However, it also suggests a greater complexity of both the selection and the earning function of high-skilled workers, due to their longer and differentiated educational career, the stronger weight attached to preference variables, the degree of skills’ portability attached to university’s location and fields of study, and, in general, to the capability of a tertiary education system to provide their graduates with the skills required by international labour markets.

Keywords: higher education; migration; international labour markets; inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I26 J24 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 35
Date: 2016-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-edu, nep-eur, nep-lab and nep-mig
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