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Mr. Mark Donnay
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Dear Authors: Thank you for confirming our concern. You are drawing conclusions about Puerto Rico's current migration wave using data for all the people who have ever historically migrated from Puerto Rico to the U.S. In your response, you also inform the public that you "control for a number of individual characteristics in our analysis, including age". Please explain in more detail. Are you giving the younger migrants a greater weight? How are you determining the weights? The authors should take another look at the official annually published estimates of the U.S. Census Bureau. You don't need to make up your own estimates to understand the educational profile of Puerto Rico migrants on an annual basis. Here are the relevant deep links for the most recent 2014 data: https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/14_1YR/S1501/0400000US72 https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/14_1YR/B07409PR/0400000US72 In 2014, the percent of the population (25 years or more) of Puerto Rico that had at least some college degree or associate's degree or higher, including a bachelor's degree, a graduate degree or a professional degree was 46%. In 2014, the percent of the population (25 years or more) that migrated from Puerto Rico to the United States that had the same level of education was 46.9%. So, numerically speaking, officially speaking, a greater percentage of educated folks left the island than there were on the island. Statistically speaking, these differences are not statistically significantly different. Now, for some context, you are mixing migrants from the 2014 Puerto Rico population with migrants who may have moved in the 1950s. In the 1950 Puerto Rico Census, only 3.4% of the population (25 years or more) had some amount of educational time in college or more. Please explain how using statistical controls one can get around this huge difference in the source populations.
The authors of this research note need to clarify how they are defining the term "out-migrants". In a previous paper, two of the co-authors defined "out-migrants" to mean any person born in Puerto Rico and living in the United States. This definition treats people who moved from Puerto Rico to the United States in the 1950s as "out-migrants". Therefore, this definition is not relevant for the analysis of current migration trends. In the 1950s, the educational attainment of the population of Puerto Rico was very different than it is today. "Out-migrants" (as defined in the previous paper and probably the current paper) will combine the current migration wave with previous migration waves, which will tend to dilute the results. There is plenty of data available on the people who moved from Puerto Rico to the United States during the most recent migration wave (2006-2014). Why do the authors ignore this information?
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Aug 9, 2016