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Working paper No. 213. Human Capital Theory and Internal Migration

PublicationWorking paper
A. V. William Clark, Arbetskraftens rörlighet, Företagandets villkor, Humankapital, Martin Korpi, Migration, Urbanisering
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Abstract

Empirical studies on internal labor migration are usually based on observed patterns of net flows into local labor markets with relatively lower unemployment and relatively higher real wages. Evidence here suggests that internal migrants move to enhance returns to their labor. In contrast, major surveys in the USA, the UK and Australia show that less than a third of internal migrants are motivated primarily by employment reasons. A possible explanation for this disconnect revolves around average and individual outcomes from migration. Using a sample of 39 000 Swedish regional migrants, this paper addresses this disconnect by examining the distribution of short and long term migrant income changes, and the factors that predict their placement within this distribution. We show that returns to migration do matter, especially for the more educated migrants. Overall, however, about a third of all migrants had negative short term returns to migration and about 40 percent make below median gains even in the long run. The data support a view that average outcomes are an insufficient way to measure the role of human capital motivated migration.

Related content: Human Capital Theory and Internal Migration: Do Average Outcomes Distort Our View of Migrant Motives?

Korpi, M. & Clark, W. A. V. (2013). ”Human Capital Theory and Internal Migration: do Average Outcomes Distort our View of Migrant Motives?”. Ratio Working paper No. 213.

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Ratio Working Paper No. 256: Migration, Careers and the Urban Wage Premium: Does Human Capital Matter?
Working paperPublication
Korpi, M. & Clark, W. A. V.
Publication year

2015

Abstract

Using detailed Swedish full population data on regional migrants, this paper addresses the question of whether the urban wage premium, and “thick” labor market matching effects, are found only among the higher educated or across all educational groups, and whether the urban population threshold for these type of effects varies by educational category. Estimating initial wages, average wage level and wage growth 2001-2009, we find similar matching effects for all educational groups in the three largest metropolitan areas, but very weak effects for cities ranked 4th – 6th in the urban hierarchy. Our findings suggest that positive urban matching effects are not limited to those with higher education, but that there are distinct population thresholds for these type of effects, regardless of educational background.

Related content: Migration and Occupational Careers

Ratio Working Paper No. 256: Migration, Careers and the Urban Wage Premium: Does Human Capital Matter?
Working paperPublication
Korpi, M. & Clark, W. A. V.
Publication year

2015

Abstract

Using detailed Swedish full population data on regional migrants, this paper addresses the question of whether the urban wage premium, and “thick” labor market matching effects, are found only among the higher educated or across all educational groups, and whether the urban population threshold for these type of effects varies by educational category. Estimating initial wages, average wage level and wage growth 2001-2009, we find similar matching effects for all educational groups in the three largest metropolitan areas, but very weak effects for cities ranked 4th – 6th in the urban hierarchy. Our findings suggest that positive urban matching effects are not limited to those with higher education, but that there are distinct population thresholds for these type of effects, regardless of educational background.

Related content: Migration and Occupational Careers

Ratio Working Paper No. 244: Internal Migration and Human Capital Theory: To What Extent Is It Selective
Working paperPublication
Korpi, M. & Clark, W. A. V.
Publication year

2014

Abstract

Empirical studies of international labor migration, modelling average outcomes, suggest migrants move to enhance returns to their labor. In contrast, major international surveys show less than a third of internal migrants as motivated by employment reasons. Using Swedish panel data for the years 2001-2009, this paper addresses this disconnect by examining the full distribution of migrant income changes. Results from initial CEM matching and quantile regression suggest that large returns to internal migration are mostly captured by the higher educated. Much if not most of migration outcomes are however a wash and indeed often negative in terms of pay – off. This suggests models of average outcomes as insufficient in addressing human capital motivated migration.

Related content: Internal Migration and Human Capital Theory: To What Extent Is It Selective

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