Working paper abstract

#2011-047

International migration and local employment: analysis of self-selection and earnings in Tajikistan

Aziz Atamanov & M.van den Berg

This paper addresses the issue of self-selection of individuals in international labour migration, non-agricultural and agricultural employment in Tajikistan and its link to earnings from these activities. Unlike most empirical studies, we could attribute selection bias on unobservable characteristics to the allocation of individuals to alternative employment sectors and analyse its impact on earnings abroad and at home. We have found positive selection in migration against local non-agricultural activities and positive selection in local non-agricultural activities against local agricultural activities. This indicates that the most capable individuals with regards to unobservable characteristics choose to migrate, while the somewhat less able choose non-agricultural activities, and individuals with the worst capabilities stay in poorly-paid agricultural activities. Controlling for self-selection, labour income returns to education of migrants and individuals in non-agricultural activities are slightly lower than those from Ordinary Least Squares (OLS).

Keywords: international migration, self-selection, earnings, Tajikistan JEL classification: J24, J31, F22, O15