Authors: Costanza Biavaschi, Michal Burzynski, Benjamin Elsner, Joël Machado
Published: July, 2018

Global migration is heavily skill-biased, with tertiary-educated workers being four times more likely to migrate than workers with a lower education. In this paper, we quantify the global impact of this skill bias in migration. Based on a quantitative multi-country model with trade, we compare the current world to a counterfactual with the same number of migrants, where all migrants are neutrally selected from their countries of origin. We find that most receiving countries benefit from the skill bias in migration, while a small number of sending countries is significantly worse off. The negative effect in many sending countries is completely eliminated — and often reversed — once we account for remittances and additional migration-related externalities. In a model with all our extensions, the average welfare effect of skill-biased migration in both OECD and non-OECD countries is positive.

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