Selectivity Patterns in Puerto Rican Migration

Maria E. Enchautegui, University of Puerto Rico

In the year 2000, 42 percent of the population over the age of 18 born in Puerto Rico was living in the United States. Census data suggest that Puerto Rico loses about 5 percent of its adult population to the United States in a five year period. This paper analyzes the skills, demographics and wages of Puerto Rican migrants and stayers using 2000 Census data. A pattern of negative selection is found. Puerto Rican migrants are less educated than non-migrants although they also have a higher labor force participation. Returns to education are higher in Puerto Rico than in U.S. for the better educated but lower for the least educated. The less skilled also stand to gain the most relative wages from out-migration.

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Presented in Session 125: Migration, Migrants, and Places