Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Qi Ge


Much of the literature on international migration finds a brain drain – the most skilled migrants leave their home country and stay abroad in an economy where they can maximize their performance. Studies of return migration, however, suggest the possibility of a brain gain; home countries can be made more productive if migrants engage in skill upgrading while abroad and bring their abilities back. Using data from the Mexican Migrant Project I estimate the return to migration, focusing on the role that English plays as a skill in the labor market. To overcome the possibility of endogeneity via self-selection I utilize an Instrumental Variable method, using who a migrant stays with as the instrument. Estimates show that being a migrant increases Mexican wages by 36.4% but that English has a negligible effect on economic outcomes.

Included in

Economics Commons