The socioeconomic selectivity of migrants: a comparative analysis

Marta Roig, United Nations
Joachim Singelmann, Louisiana State University

Migration research has found that individuals with high socioeconomic status have a greater tendency to move. However, results vary greatly by country and are highly dependent on the source of data, methodology country, and migration stream. In addition, most studies have focused on male migrants and on rural-urban migration. Using information available in DHS surveys for over 50 developing countries, this paper aims at answering the following questions: Are recent migrant men and women in various destinations and from different origins (big cities, small cities, rural areas) more educated than non-migrants? Is their labor market situation comparable to that of non-migrants? Does type of origin matter for socioeconomic selectivity? Initial results suggest that migrants in urban areas are often, but not always, positively selected by education from their origin population. But more education does not systematically translate into a better occupation, especially for migrants in big cities.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Migration, environment and spatial demography