Drawing on Israeli, German and US census data, we compare the educational levels of Jewish immigrants (and their non-Jewish family members) from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) arriving in Israel, Germany, and the US during 1990-2000. The special circumstances of immigration from the FSU to the US, Getmany and Israel during this 10-year period offer a unique opportunity to study processes of immigrants' patterns of self selection more rigorously than has been done in most previous research. The comparison of educational levels among immigrants arriving in the three countries can be viewed as a natural experiment in immigrants' destination choices, where immigrants had two destination options with practically no visa restriction (Israel and Germany) and one country (USA) with visa requirements. Drawing on Borjas' theory of self-selection, the paper discusses the relative attractiveness of the three countries to various types of immigrants, and tests the empirical status of the theory, expecting highly educated immigrants to prefer destinations where returns to skills are higher. The findings support theoretical expectations: highly educated immigrants were more likely to immigrate to the US, where the labour market is more flexible, and returns to skills are higher than in Israel or Germany.
|Translated title of the contribution||Jewish immigration from the former soviet union: A natural experiment in immigrants' destination choices|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Kolner Zeitschrift fur Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie|
|Issue number||SUPPL. 48|
|State||Published - 2008|
- Former Soviet Union