Wages as a Driver of High Skilled Migration: Is There Gender Inequality?

Hector Cebolla-Boado
Tatiana Eremenko, National University of Distance Education (UNED)
Leire Salazar, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)

This paper presents results from a unique experimental design to measure differentials by gender in reservation salaries to migrate, defined as the lowest wage rate at which a worker (a medical doctor in our case) would be willing to move and work abroad. Specifically, the paper presents findings from a vignette-like experiment conducted among medical doctors currently working in the cities of Buenos Aires and Madrid. In line with expectations based on persisting gender wage gaps, our findings show lower reservation salaries for vignettes referring to female prospective migrants in both Argentina and Spain. More surprisingly though, this pattern of gender inequality was also observed among respondents, with female respondents systematically estimating lower reservation salaries, regardless of the candidate’s sex. This result suggests that gender inequalities play an important role in shaping migration aspirations and the importance of integrating a gender perspective when analyzing international migration flows.

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 Presented in Session 151. Gender and Migration