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Occupational choice of return migrants: Is there a 'Jack-of-all-trades' effect?

Clotilde Mahe

No 2017-039, MERIT Working Papers from United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT)

Abstract: Although it has been found that return migrants are more likely to be self-employed than non-migrants, the role of migration episodes per se remains unclear. With reference to Lazear's Jack-of-all-trades hypothesis, this paper examines whether migrants are more likely to choose self-employment upon return because of the diverse work experience they gained abroad. Using the 2012 Egypt Labour Market Panel Survey, seemingly unrelated regression model estimates show that return migrants' greater propensity to be self-employed, to survive or to generate jobs as self-employed might proceed from participating in significantly more occupations, sectors and jobs over their work history than non-migrants. Results hold for non-agricultural activities, rural areas, and controlling for financial resources. In line with Lazear's framework, they confirm that entrepreneurship can be learnt, and that exposure to multiple occupations and industries matters for entering into and persisting in self-employment.

Keywords: International migration; Return migration; Entrepreneurship; Human capital; North Africa; Egypt (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 J24 L26 O12 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-09-18
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara, nep-dev, nep-ent, nep-lma, nep-mig and nep-sbm
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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