The returns to migration: The influence of education and migration type

Thomas A. Knapp, Nancy E. White, Amy M. Wolaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We show the impact of migration type on real wages over time. We create a migration and earnings history from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth over the period 1979-2002. We estimate the effects of primary, onward, and two types of return migration on real wages using a panel data model with individual, location, and time fixed effects. Panel data are well suited for the study of the returns to U.S. internal migration because the influence of migration on wages has been found to occur years after the event. We differentiate return migration into two types: return to a location with ties that form a geographical anchor ("home") and return to a prior place of work. We find that real wage growth varies by migration type. Education attainment is a significant factor in real wage growth. Our results show that onward migration is an important channel by which the monetary rewards to a college education are manifested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-607
Number of pages19
JournalGrowth and Change
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change


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