nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2007‒08‒18
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Trinity College Dublin

  1. Selective Migration and Health By Timothy J. Halliday; Michael Kimmitt
  2. Population Aging, Elderly Migration and Education Spending: Intergenerational Conflict Revisited By Mehmet Serkan Tosun; Claudia Williamson; Pavel Yakovlev
  3. Brain Drain or Brain Gain? Micro Evidence from an African Success Story By Catia Batista; Aitor Lacuesta; Pedro C. Vicente
  4. Joining the EU: Capital Flows, Migration and Wages By Catia Batista
  5. The Roles of Ethnicity and Language Acculturation in Determining the Interprovincial Migration Propensities in Canada: from the Late 1970s to the Late 1990s By Xiaomeng Ma; Kao-Lee Liaw
  6. Adjustment in Local Labour and Housing Markets By Arthur Grimes; David C. Maré; Melanie Morten
  7. The role of landscape amenities in regional development: a survey of migration, regional economic and hedonic pricing studies By Felix Schlaepfer
  8. Migration, Risk and the Intra-Household Allocation of Labor in El Salvador By Timothy J. Halliday
  9. Remittances as insurance for idiosyncratic and covariate shocks in Malawi: The importance of distance and relationship By Davies, Simon
  10. « If you love me, follow me. » Sibling's migration in France, 1870-1940 By KESZTENBAUM Lionel

  1. By: Timothy J. Halliday (Department of Economics and John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa); Michael Kimmitt (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: We investigate the proposition that the health of migrants does not constitute a random sample of the health of the sending region using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics on internal migration within the United States. Panel data is crucial, as it enables us to observe geographic mobility as well as the health of the migrant prior to migration. We find that, for men and women below 60 years of age, a move from the middle to the bottom of the health distribution reduces mobility by 32-40% and 12-18%, respectively. Nonrandom attrition from the panel implies that these estimates are lower bounds. By contrast, we find evidence that, among older people, there is higher mobility at the top and bottom of the health distribution than there is at the middle. We consider two explanations for this: first that elderly persons may migrate to be closer to a family network once they fall ill, and second that non-random attrition may also be causing an upwards bias in the estimated effect of illness on mobility.
    Keywords: Migration, Health, Selection, Attrition
    Date: 2007–08–08
  2. By: Mehmet Serkan Tosun (University of Nevada, Reno); Claudia Williamson (Department of Economics, West Virginia University); Pavel Yakovlev (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)
    Abstract: Elderly have been increasingly targeted as a group to enhance economic development and the tax base in communities. A major factor in their rise in importance is the rapid increase in the number of retired elderly through aging of the U.S. population. While recent literature on elderly migration tends to focus on how elderly migration patterns are influenced by state fiscal variables, the reverse effect from elderly population on fiscal variables is very plausible as shown to be the case for estate, inheritance, and gift taxes by Conway and Rork (2006). In this paper, we reexamine the intergenerational conflict in education financing raised by Poterba (1997) using U.S. state and county level data that allows to analyze how preferences for education might vary across different elderly age groups, which has not been explored before. Moreover, this paper uses a variety of advanced econometric techniques to estimate the impact of elderly population and elderly migration on education spending. Our state and county regression results broadly support the presence of intergenerational conflict in education financing. We also find dramatic age heterogeneity in preferences for education spending among elderly migrants.
    Keywords: Population aging, elderly migration, education spending, intergenerational conflict
    JEL: H75 R23
    Date: 2007–08
  3. By: Catia Batista; Aitor Lacuesta; Pedro C. Vicente
    Abstract: Does emigration really drain human capital accumulation in origin countries? This paper explores a unique household survey designed and conducted to answer this specific question for the case of Cape Verde - the sub-Saharan African country with the largest fraction of tertiary-educated population living abroad, despite also having a fast-growing stock of human capital. Unlike previous literature, the ideal characteristics of our tailored survey allow us to explicitly test "brain gain" arguments according to which the possibility of own future emigration positvely contributes to educational attainment in the origin country. In particular, we introduce a new method to estimate this effect by using full histories of current and return migrants (which enable controlling for migrant selection on unobservables), and a new set of exclusion restrictions both at the regional and household levels. Our results are robust to the inclusion of controls for remittances, family disruption, and general equilibrium effects of emigration. In constructing a counterfactual distribution of skills to answer our research question, we combine the survey data with information from censuses of the destination cuntries to account for the characteristics of the labour force that is (permanent and temporarily) lost due to emigration. Our results point to commonly used "brain dran" figures to be significantly exaggerated, whereas there may be substantial "brain gains" from allowing free migration and encouraging return migration.
    Keywords: Brain Drain, Brain Gain, International Migration, Human Capital, Effects of Emigration in Origin Countries, Household Survey, Cape Verde, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F22 J24 O15 O55
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Catia Batista
    Abstract: What is the impact of joining the European Union on a small, less developed economy? This is the general question driving this research paper. In particular, the role of factor movements in explaining real wage behavior in Portugal after its entry in the European Union (EU) is evaluated. Based on these results, counterfactual exercises are performed to measure the impact of foreign investment and emigration on skilled and unskilled wages between 1985 and 1999. We find a small role for labor movements, and a more important one for capital inflows. This should constitute a good starting point to think about the consequences of the Eastern enlargement of the EU and of other integration experiences that abolish barriers to factor mobility.
    Keywords: International Migration, Capital Flows, Wages, Skill, Capital-Skill Complementarity, Economic Integration, European Union, Portugal
    JEL: F15 F2 J31 J61 O15 O33
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Xiaomeng Ma; Kao-Lee Liaw
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to study the roles of ethnicity and language acculturation in determining the propensities to make interprovincial migration in Canada in 1976-81, 1981-86, and 1996-2001, based on the micro data of the 1981, 1986 and 2001 censuses. Since these propensities are also subject to the strong effects of other explanatory factors, a multivariate analysis using a binomial logit model is conducted. An important methodological contribution of this paper is the clarification of the interpretational mistakes in the previous multivariate analyses of Trovato and Halli (1983 and 1990) that depended on the widely used log linear models. Our empirical findings turn out to be substantively more sensible than the earlier findings in the literature. With respect to the less complicated case of non-French minority ethnic groups, the empirical data are found to be mostly supportive of the following two hypotheses. H1: The propensities to make inter-provincial migration are lower for minority ethnic groups than for the mainstream ethnic group. H2: The use of English as home language, which represents an important cultural shift towards the mainstream, increases the inter-provincial migration propensities of minority ethnic groups. The very strong support for these two hypotheses by the Italian ethnic group and the lack of support for H2 by the Jewish ethnic group are highlighted and explained. With respect to the more complicated case of the French ethnic group, our findings are supportive of the following two hypotheses. H3: Among those residing outside Quebec, the propensities to make inter-provincial migration are greater for the French ethnic group than for the mainstream ethnic group. H4: This difference is greater for the French ethnic group that continues to use French as the home language than for the French ethnic group that has shifted the home language to English. It is unfortunate that the support for H4, which could aggravate the spatial polarization of the French and Non-French populations between Quebec and the rest of Canada, became successively stronger towards the late 1990s. Fortunately, this trend was countered by a mild narrowing of the extremely wide gap in the propensities to leave Quebec between the English-speaking British and the French-speaking French.
    Keywords: Interprovincial Migration, Ethnic Selectivity, Language Acculturation, Canada
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2007–06
  6. By: Arthur Grimes (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); David C. Maré (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Melanie Morten (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Abstract: This paper analyses local labour and hosuing market adjustment in New Zealand from 1989 to 2006. We use a VAR approach to examine the adjustment of employment, employment rate, participation rate, wages, and house prices in response to employment shocks. Migration is a major adjustment response at both a national and regional level. Nationally, a 1% positive employment shock leads to a long-run level of employment 1.3% higher, with half of the extra jobs filled by migrants. A 1% region-specific employment shock raises the long-run regional share of employment by 0.5 percentage points, due entirely to in-migration. House price responses differ at different spatial scales. Nationally, house prices are very responsive to employment shocks: a 1% employment shock raising long run house prices by 6% , as may be expected with an upward sloping housing supply curve. Paradoxically, this relationship does not hold at the regional level.
    Keywords: Regional Labour Market Adjustment; Internal Migration; House Prices; Vector Autoregression
    JEL: R23 J61 C33
    Date: 2007–08
  7. By: Felix Schlaepfer (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Quality of life factors continue to gain importance in residential location decisions as well as location decisions of firms. One such factor is an attractive local landscape. The aim of this paper is to provide a survey of the empirical literature on the role of landscape amenities in local economic change. Following common amenity definitions, we define landscape amenities as landscape features that are location-specific, latent non-market input goods that directly enter residents’ utility functions. Using this definition we identify thirty-nine relevant studies that use either migration or regional economic models or hedonic pricing techniques. One result from the analysis of migration and regional economic studies is that intra-country migrants were attracted by amenities about as frequently as by a low tax burden. Effects of amenities on employment and income are less well established. However, many of these studies used rather limited amenity variables. The results from hedonic studies show that a wide variety of local amenity attributes are partly capitalized in housing prices and that studies on a larger geographic scale are more likely to identify a significant a role of amenities. Newly available land cover datasets and spatial analysis tools have the potential to overcome important data limitations of many earlier studies. Future research may thus contribute to a better understanding of the role of landscape amenities in economic change and to a better coordination of regional and environmental policies.
    Keywords: landscape amenities, migration, local development, hedonic models, environmental valuation, regional economic modeling, land use
    JEL: Q26 Q51 R11 R23
    Date: 2007–08
  8. By: Timothy J. Halliday (Department of Economics and John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: We use panel data from El Salvador to investigate the intra-household allocation of labor as a risk-coping strategy. We show that adverse agricultural productivity shocks primarily increased male migration to the US with much smaller effects on female migration. This is consistent with the observation that the bulk of households allocated no women to the agricultural sector. These shocks also increased the number of hours that the household devoted to agricultural activities. These results do not contradict each other if one considers the possibility that the shocks had non-monotonic effects on shadow wages during the survey period. In contrast, damage sustained from the 2001 earthquakes exclusively stunted female migration. We argue that the reasons for this were that the earthquakes increased the demand for home production and that most men in our data are not engaged in domestic production at all.
    Keywords: Migration, Labor Supply, Insurance, Intra-Household Allocation
    Date: 2007–08–08
  9. By: Davies, Simon
    Abstract: This paper uses Malawian panel data to show the importance of geography and family relationships when studying remittances. We do not test any hypothesis as such, but instead demonstrate the significance of the source of remittances in testing hypotheses. When remittances are viewed from an insurance perspective, geography matters. Covariate (community) shocks tend to be insured further from home than idiosyncratic ones. When viewed from a motivational perspective, family relationship and culture matter. Furthermore, gift exchange amongst unrelated households can be as important as remittance flows amongst members of the same family in insuring shocks. Inter-household remittances are closely linked to social networks, with business and religious groups being particularly important (perhaps due to trust). Remittance flows are often reciprocal – receiving households often being the main senders, emphasizing their insurance nature.
    Keywords: Remittances; Insurance; Household Economics; Malawi; Africa
    JEL: O18 D19 D31
    Date: 2007–07
  10. By: KESZTENBAUM Lionel
    Abstract: Recent works emphasize the role of the family in migration decisions. They particularly insist on the specific schedule of mobility that depends not only on individual life-cycle but also on the situation of the whole family at a given time. French military registers provide us with very detailed information on migrations, scarcely available in other sources. . We consider the smallest family group, male siblings, and focus on their life-cycle migration behaviours. We start by testing the simplest family indicator, birth rank and we show that, by itself, it has no effect on migration decisions. Mobility is not constrained by the order of birth among brothers. We then study whether or not there is competition among siblings and, in particular, if the migration of one of them encourages or prevents mobility of the others. Comparing the chances for an individual to move before and after the migration of his brother, we show that brother mobility did have a positive influence on someone's own mobility. But this result holds only for short distance migration. In other words, the short distance migration decision of an individual is heavily influenced by his brother's own short distance migration. Therefore, we argue that this kind of mobility is a collective decision that depends on family strategies whereas long distance migration, which is much more costly, is constrained and heavily dependant on individual characteristics such as his occupation before mobility. This approachs heds new light on the migration process and insists on its family component.
    Keywords: migration, family strategy, social network.
    JEL: N3 O15
    Date: 2007–06

This nep-mig issue is ©2007 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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