Are Migrants Selected on Motivational Orientations? Selectivity Patterns Amongst International Migrants in Europe

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
María RAMOS, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
Javier POLAVIEJA, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
Mariña FERNÁNDEZ-REINO, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
We present the first systematic cross-national analysis of migrants’ selectivity on motivational orientations. Matching the European Social Survey and the World Value Survey cumulative datasets, we examine whether international migrants recently arrived in Europe are more achievement oriented, give more value to taking risks, and have a greater desire to make money than those observational equivalents that do not migrate. We focus on migrants from nine different origins (France, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Morocco, Brazil and Andean countries) sampled at different European destinations. We find instances of both positive and negative selection depending on both ethnic origin and country of destination. The observed patterns seem to contradict both the predictions of standard economic models of selectivity as well as the arguments about a common migrant personality. Our estimates are robust to controls for 1) migrants’ human capital, 2) migrants’ experiences at destination (measured directly using information on unemployment history and self-perceived discrimination), and 3) migrants’ degree of acculturation (measured indirectly using information on frequency of social contact and interest in national politics). Reported findings are therefore not driven by educational selectivity and are unlikely to be biased by destination effects.