Can selective immigration policies reduce migrants' quality?

Simone Bertoli, Vianney Dequiedt, Yves Zenou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Destination countries can adopt selective immigration policies to improve migrants quality. Screening potential migrants on the basis of observable characteristics also influences their self-selection on unobservables. We propose a model that analyzes the effects of selective immigration policies on migrants quality, measured by their wages at destination. We show that the prevailing pattern of selection on unobservables influences the effect of an increase in selectivity, which can reduce migrants quality when migrants are positively selfselected on unobservables. We also demonstrate that, in this case, the quality-maximizing share of educated migrants declines with the scale of migration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-109
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • selective policies
  • self-selection
  • migrants' quality

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