Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #614

Social Status and Public Expectations: Self-Selection of High-Skilled Migrants

by Christian Lumpe, Claudia Lumpe and Jürgen Meckl

RWI, 04/2016, 24 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-711-3 DOI: 10.4419/86788711



We analyze public expectations about migrants’ provision of work effort as a driving force in the self-selection process of high-skilled migrants. We adopt and extend Piketty’s (1998) theoretical framework of social status and work out how country-specific public expectations affect the migrants’ choice about their country of destination. As a result, we relate Germany’s attested low attractiveness for high-skilled immigrants to its society’s attitudes towards immigrants. We develop measures to increase Germany’s attractiveness in the competition about talents.

JEL-Classification: F22

Keywords: Immigration; social status