Gender Empowerment and Educational Attainment of US Immigrants and Their Home-Country Counterparts

Yunsun Huh

This paper examines the educational self-selection of immigrants to the United States across forty-two countries of origin and analyzes determinants of selectivity, including home-country gender status (as measured by the United Nations’ Gender Empowerment Measure [GEM]). Measuring educational self-selection, the study uses data from the 2006 American Community Survey and the 2000 and 2014 Barro–Lee Educational Attainment Measure to construct the Net Difference Index between immigrants and nonmigrants. It compares the educational attainment difference between immigrants and nonmigrants who remain in the home country and demonstrates that immigrants to the US are more educated than their home-country counterparts across all immigrant groups (positive selection). Regression results further indicate that higher gender inequality in the home country influences more highly educated women to migrate. The paper also confirms that higher migration costs and lower income inequality in the home country influence more highly educated individuals to migrate.

To view the full text of this article or book review, please see our instruction on accessing the publisher's website.