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Jaeger, David A.; Dohmen, Thomas J.; Falk, Armin; Huffman, David; Sunde, Uwe; Bonin, Holger (2008): Direct evidence in risk attitudes and migration.
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It has long been hypothesized that individuals’ migration propensities depend on their attitudes towards risk, but the empirical evidence, to the extent that it exists, has been indirect. In this paper, we use newly available data from the German Socio-Economic Panel to measure directly the relationship between migration propensities and attitudes towards risk. We find that individuals who are more willing to take risks are more likely to migrate between labor markets in Germany. This result is robust to stratifying by age, sex, education, national origin, and a variety of other demographic characteristics. The effect is substantial relative to the unconditional migration propensity and compared to the conventional determinants of migration. We find no evidence that these findings are the result of reverse causality