#2017-039 Occupational choice of return migrants: Is there a 'Jack-of-all-trades' effect?
Occupational choice of return migrants: Is there a 'Jack-of-all-trades' effect?
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.
JEL Classification: F22, J24, L26, O12, O15
Keywords: International migration, Return migration, Entrepreneurship, Human capital, North Africa, Egypt