Motivations and Earnings of Emigrants from a Rich Welfare State

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Abstract

Northern European countries lose more than ten percent of their university graduates as a result of emigration. This could undermine welfare states if the high-income earners emigrate to avoid high taxes. Register data shows that those facing a high tax burden are much more likely to emigrate. Yet little is known about individual motivations to emigrate. To bridge this gap, we organized the first-ever survey of emigrants from a welfare state. We find that migration decisions are rarely driven by taxes. For men, the main reason to emigrate is own work, for women partner and family.
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Northern European countries lose more than ten percent of their university graduates as a result of emigration. This could undermine welfare states if the high-income earners emigrate to avoid high taxes. Register data shows that those facing a high tax burden are much more likely to emigrate. Yet little is known about individual motivations to emigrate. To bridge this gap, we organized the first-ever survey of emigrants from a welfare state. We find that migration decisions are rarely driven by taxes. For men, the main reason to emigrate is own work, for women partner and family.
Original languageEnglish
Journalxxxx
Publication statusIn preparation - 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
ID: 212024100