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Department ofEconomics


Return Migration and Earnings Mobility in Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia

Shireen AlAzzawi and Vladimir Hlasny

Journal of Income Distribution


We examine the role of cross-border return migration in the intertemporal and intergenerational transmission of status across seven surveys from Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia. We use transition matrices and instrumental variable regressions to link prime-age men’s present outcomes to those in prior years and to their fathers’ outcomes. Earnings in prior years are inferred using job-type and occupation-group cell means. We find that return migrants land higher-earning jobs and are more inter-generationally mobile. However, they outperform non-migrants not only currently but even in past years. Controlling for mitigating factors, the role of migration disappears, suggesting that individual-level effects and demographics are responsible.


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LSB Research, ECON, Shireen AlAzzawi, Forthcoming,