PUBLI : Nelly El-Mallakh et Jackline Wahba, « Upward or downward : Occupational mobility and return migration », World Development, 137, jan. 2021


This paper examines whether tempo­rary inter­na­tional migra­tion enables retur­nees to climb the occu­pa­tional ladder. Using data from Egypt, we examine the occu­pa­tional mobi­lity of retur­nees rela­tive to non-migrants of the same birth cohort. We rely on an instru­mental variable approach to control for the endo­ge­neity of the tempo­rary migra­tion deci­sion. We find evidence that return migra­tion increases the proba­bi­lity of upward occu­pa­tional mobi­lity and leads to larger effects among highly educated retur­nees. Our results are robust to using a Diffe­rence-in-Diffe­rences matching tech­nique that controls for unob­served hete­ro­ge­neity between non-migrants and retur­nees. Our findings unders­core that tempo­rary over­seas work expe­rience can alle­viate poten­tial brain drain concerns through the human capital enhan­ce­ment of return migrants.