September 2007

IZA DP No. 3080: Return Migration, Investment in Children, and Intergenerational Mobility: Comparing Sons of Foreign and Native Born Fathers

Published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2008, 43(2), 299 - 324

This paper studies parental investment in education and intergenerational earnings mobility for father-son pairs with native and foreign born fathers. We illustrate within a simple model that for immigrants, investment in their children is related to their return migration probability. In our empirical analysis, we include a measure for return probabilities, based on repeated information about migrants' return intentions. Our results suggest that educational investments in the son are positively associated with a higher probability of a permanent migration of the father. We also find that the son's permanent wages are positively associated with the probability of the father's permanent migration. Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, return intentions, educational investment, earnings.