Education level and the distance-income migration trade-off

Publié le 1 janvier 2009

Education level and the distance-income migration trade-off

Philippe Lemistre , Marie-Benoît Magrini

  • Net.Doc n°49
  • janvier 2009


Most research in the field of migration demonstrates that the level of education functions as one of its major determinants. Such research focuses on the finding that spatial mobility is more frequent, and wages greater, the higher the level of studies. Nevertheless, these results are quite sensitive to the estimation method, as well as to the selection of the geographic area variable measuring spatial mobility. By considering "internal migration" within France of young French workers, between the labor market in the locality where they finished their studies in 1998 and the labor market where they were employed three years after leaving the educational system, we propose to estimate the impact of spatial mobility on wages, as a result of the costs-benefits migration trade-off based on the distance covered during the relocation. We observe that the most highly-skilled youths do not receive a positive wage return from migration, demonstrating concomitantly that these young workers must contend with the national labor market. However, the opposite situation is observed for less-skilled young workers who obtain positive wage returns from migration. Another noteworthy result is that benefit from migration is transformed into the distance-income migration trade-off as a function of territorial characteristics.

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