August 1998

IZA DP No. 20: Portuguese Migrants in the German Labor Market: Performance and Self-Selection

published in: International Migration Review, 2002, 36 (2), 467-491

Using a large new dataset, we analyze the labor market performance of Portuguese workers in Germany. While previous work compares wages and characteristics of migrants only to those of the natives, we match the data also with an equivalent survey from the sending country. We find that Portuguese migrants as a whole are negatively selected with the exception of blue-collar workers that are the greatest group among them. The observation that Portuguese migrants earn more than comparable Germans indicates that they have higher unobservable skills. Our results confirm the effectiveness of the German guestworker system