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Returning to the Question of a Wage Premium for Returning Migrants

Author(s):

Barrett, Alan / Goggin, Jean

ESRI Series

ESRI Working Paper 337

ESRI working papers represent un-refereed work-in-progress by researchers who are solely responsible for the content and any views expressed therein. Any comments on these papers will be welcome and should be sent to the author(s) by email. Papers may be downloaded for personal use only.

Publisher

ESRI

Place of Publication

Dublin

Publication Date

01/02/10

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Abstract

Using data from a large-scale survey of employees in Ireland, we estimate the extent to which people who have emigrated from Ireland and returned earn more relative to comparable people who have never lived abroad. In so doing, we are testing the hypothesis that migration can be part of a process of human capital formation. We find through OLS estimation that returners earn 7 percent more than comparable stayers. We test for the presence of self-selection bias in this estimate but the tests suggest that the premium is related to returner status. The premium holds for both genders, is higher for people with post-graduate degrees and for people who migrated beyond the EU to the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The results show how emigration can be positive for a source country when viewed in a longer term context.


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