Document details

Productivity gains from migration: an analysis of Cape Verdean return migrants

Author(s): Rodrigues, Guilherme

Date: 2015

Persistent ID:

Origin: Repositório Institucional da UNL

Subject(s): Return migration; Productivity; Labour income gains; Self-selection; Cape Verde


Are return migrants more productive than non-migrants? If so, is it a causal effect or simply self-selection? Existing literature has not reached a consensus on the role of return migration for origin countries. To answer these research questions, an empirical analysis was performed based on household data collected in Cape Verde. One of the most common identification problems in the migration literature is the presence of migrant self-selection. In order to disentangle potential selection bias, we use instrumental variable estimation using variation provided by unemployment rates in migrant destination countries, which is compared with OLS and Nearest Neighbor Matching (NNM) methods. The results using the instrumental variable approach provide evidence of labour income gains due to return migration, while OLS underestimates the coefficient of interest. This bias points towards negative self-selection of return migrants on unobserved characteristics, although the different estimates cannot be distinguished statistically. Interestingly, migration duration and occupational changes after migration do not seem to influence post-migration income. There is weak evidence that return migrants from the United States have higher income gains caused by migration than the ones who returned from Portugal.

Document Type Master thesis
Language English
Advisor(s) Batista, Cátia
Contributor(s) Rodrigues, Guilherme
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