The Endogenous Skill Composition of Migration and Migrant Inequality Over the Course of Economic Development
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This dissertation investigates the theoretical and empirical patterns of the skill composition of migration, along with measures of the human capital and earnings inequalities of migration, during periods of economic development. The theoretical analysis presents several models of migration and development within endogenous economic growth models, where technological change diffuses from the technological Leader to a Follower economy, and migration flows from the Follower to the Leader economy. Using a representative agent setup, we show that the endogenous path of the immigration and emigration rates during the transitional development phase follow the inverted-U paths documented by empirical studies. In an extension of the representative agent setup, which traces dynamic fertility rates along with endogenous migration rates, we show that the paths of the migration rate and the relative fertility rate of the Leader follow the empirically documented inverted-U paths during the course of economic development. Furthermore, in a skill heterogeneous setup, we illustrate that several measures of the human capital and earnings inequalities of migration follow Kuznets-like paths, and show that the original Kuznets hypothesis is confirmed in an open economy setup. In the empirical estimation, we find statistically significant evidence using a data set of bilateral migration to 31 developed destinations, which include 30 OECD countries and South Africa, in support of the hypotheses of inverted-U paths of the inequality of migrant human capital over the course of development of origin and destination economies. In particular, we find that the paths of the skill selection of immigration and emigration follow inverted-U paths over the course of development of destination and origin economies, respectively. We also find that the path of the estimated coefficient of variation of educational attainments of migrants follows inverted-U paths during the development of destinations and origins.