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.