nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2007‒12‒15
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Public Universities, Tuition and Competition: A Tiebout Model By Schwager, Robert
  2. Blue Cards, Blue Prospects? By d'Artis Kancs; Pavel Ciaian
  3. The Brain Drain, “Educated Unemployment,” Human Capital Formation, and Economic Betterment By Oded Stark; C. Simon Fan
  4. Elite Scientists and the Global Brain Drain By Ali, Showkat; Carden, Giles; Culling, Benjamin; Hunter, Rosalind; Oswald, Andrew J; Owen, Nicola; Ralsmark, Hilda; Snodgrass, Natalie
  5. Surveying migrant households : a comparison of census-based, snowball, and intercept point surveys By Mistiaen, Johan; McKenzie, David J.
  6. Dynamics of Employment- and Earnings-Assimilation of First-Generation Immigrant Men in Sweden, 1990-2000 By Akay, Alpaslan
  7. Local Unemployment and the Earnings-Assimilation of Immigrant Men in Sweden: Evidence from Longitudinal Data, 1990-2000 By Akay, Alpaslan; Tezic, Kerem
  8. Measuring the Impact of the Movement of Labor Using a Model of Bilateral Migration Flows By Walmsley, Terrie; Alan Winters; Syud Amer Ahmed
  9. Migration, Learning, and Development By Zakharenko, Roman

  1. By: Schwager, Robert
    Abstract: A simple Tiebout model is presented where states provide university education to both immobile and mobile students. State governments choose the quality of public universities by trading off the value of education for the local immobile student population and the costs, net of tuition revenues, of running the university. The quality of education and the assignment of students to universities in an efficient allocation are characterised. It is shown that decentralised decisions result in efficient choices if states are allowed to choose tuition levels freely. If tuition is capped, ine±ciently low qualities are likely to arise.
    Keywords: higher education, migration, fiscal externality, club good, tuition
    JEL: H75 H77 I28
    Date: 2007
  2. By: d'Artis Kancs; Pavel Ciaian
    Abstract: Recently, the European Commission has proposed to introduce a new mi- gration policy instrument - Blue Cards - to attract highly skilled workers from abroad by lifting labour market restrictions, offering financial and housing ben- efits. The excludability character of human capital suggests that what is benefi- cial for receiving countries might be harmful for sending countries. This article investigates if and why high-skill migration in general and Blue Card scheme in particular might be harmful for sending countries. We find that the proposed Blue Card scheme makes the developing country growth prospects indeed blue. However, compared to other forms of labour migration, the upcoming Blue Card scheme is known well in advance. Analysing alternative policy options we show that, taking advantage of this ex-ante information, targeted and timed policy interventions can minimise the adverse impacts of high-skill emigration. Thus, compared to other migration regimes Blue Cards are worse for sending countries, but they o¤er better opportunities for them to avoid the adverse impacts.
    Keywords: High-skill migration, innovative capital, economic growth
    JEL: F02 F22
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Oded Stark; C. Simon Fan
    Abstract: Extending both the “harmful brain drain” literature and the “beneficial brain gain” literature, this paper analyzes both the negative and the positive impact of migration by skilled individuals in a unified framework. The paper extends the received literature on the “harmful brain drain” by showing that in the short run, international migration can result in “educated unemployment” and overeducation in developing countries, as well as a brain drain from these countries. A simulation suggests that the costs of “educated unemployment” and overeducation can amount to significant losses for the individuals concerned, who may constitute a substantial proportion of the educated individuals. Adopting a dynamic framework, it is then shown that due to the positive externality of the prevailing, economy-wide endowment of human capital on the formation of human capital, a relaxation in migration policy in both the current period and the preceding period can facilitate “take-off” of a developing country in the current period. Thus, it is suggested that while the migration of some educated individuals may reduce the social welfare of those who stay behind in the short run, it improves it in the long run.
    Date: 2007–05
  4. By: Ali, Showkat; Carden, Giles; Culling, Benjamin; Hunter, Rosalind; Oswald, Andrew J (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Owen, Nicola; Ralsmark, Hilda; Snodgrass, Natalie
    Abstract: There are signs – one is world university league tables – that people increasingly think globally when choosing the university in which they wish to work and study. This paper is an exploration of data on the international brain drain. We study highly-cited physicists, highly-cited bio-scientists, and assistant professors of economics. First, we demonstrate that talented researchers are being systematically funnelled into a small number of countries. Among young economists in the top American universities, for example, 75% did their undergraduate degree outside the United States. Second, the extent of the elite brain drain is considerable. Among the world’s top physicists, nearly half no longer work in the country in which they were born. Third, the USA and Switzerland are per capita the largest net-importers of elite scientists. Fourth, we estimate the migration ‘funnelling coefficient’ at approximately 0.2 (meaning that 20% of top researchers tend to leave their country at each professional stage). Fifth, and against our prior expectations, the productivity of top scientists, as measured by the Hirsch h-index, is similar between the elite movers and stayers. Thus it is apparently not true that it is disproportionately the very best people who emigrate. Sixth, there is extreme clustering of ISI Highly Cited Researchers into particular fields in different universities. Seventh, we debate the questions: are the brain drain and this kind of funnelling good or bad for the world, and how should universities and governments respond?
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Mistiaen, Johan; McKenzie, David J.
    Abstract: Few representative surveys of households of migrants exist, limiting the analysis of the effects of international migration on sending families. This paper reports the results of an experiment designed to compare the performance of three alternative survey methods in collecting data from Japanese-Brazilian families, many of whom send migrants to Japan. The three surveys conducted were 1) Households selected randomly from a door-to-door listing using the Brazilian Census to select census blocks; 2) A snowball survey using Nikkei community groups to select the seeds; and 3) An intercept point survey collected at Nikkei community gatherings, ethnic grocery stores, sports clubs, and other locations where family members of migrants are likely to congregate. The authors analyze how closely well-designed snowball and intercept point surveys can approach the much more expensive census-based method in terms of giving information on the characteristics of migrants, the level of remittances received, and the incidence and determinants of return migration.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Anthropology,Social Analysis,Access to Finance
    Date: 2007–12–01
  6. By: Akay, Alpaslan (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The employment- and earnings-assimilation of first-generation immigrant men in Sweden was estimated using a dynamic random-e¤ects sample-selection model with eleven waves of unbalanced panel-data during 1990-2000. Endogenous initial values were controlled for using the simple Wooldridge method. Local market unemployment-rates were used as a proxy in order to control for the effect of changing macroeconomic conditions. Significant structural (true) state-dependence was found both on the employment-probabilities and on the earnings of both immigrants and native Swedes. The size of structural state-dependence differed between immigrants and Swedes. Failure to control for the structural state-dependence could have caused bias not only in the assimilation measures but also in the cohort-effects. For example, standard (classic) assimilation model seriously overestimates short-run marginal assimilation-rates and underestimates long-run marginal assimilation- rates. The model controlling for structural state-dependence shows that the earnings of all immigrants in Sweden (except Iraqies) eventually converge to those of native Swedes, but only Nordics and Westerners are able to reach the employment- probability of native Swedes.<p>
    Keywords: Dynamic random-e¤ects sample-selection model; employment and earnings assimilation; initial values problem; wage-curve method
    JEL: C33 J15 J61
    Date: 2007–12–05
  7. By: Akay, Alpaslan (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Tezic, Kerem (SLI, Swedish Institute for Food and Agricultural Economics)
    Abstract: The earnings-assimilation of first-generation immigrant men in Sweden was analyzed using eleven waves of panel-data, 1990-2000. Employment-probabilities and earnings were estimated simultaneously in a random-effects model, using a quasifixed effects to control for both individual effects and panel-selectivity due to missing earnings-information. Assuming equal-period effects produced bias which could distort the findings. To correct the bias, local unemployment-rates were used to proxy for changing economy-wide conditions. Labour-market outcomes differed consider- ably across immigrant arrival cohorts, region and country of origin, and educational levels.<p>
    Keywords: Immigrants; earnings-assimilation; unbalanced panel; selection-bias; random-effects; Mundlak's formulation; local unemployment-rates
    JEL: C33 J15 J61
    Date: 2007–12–05
  8. By: Walmsley, Terrie; Alan Winters; Syud Amer Ahmed
    Abstract: The economics literature increasingly recognizes the importance of migration and its ties with many other aspects of development and policy. Examples include the role of international remittances (Harrison et al, 2003) or those immigrant-links underpinning the migration-trade nexus (Gould, 1994). More recently Walmsley and Winters (2005) utilised their Global Migration model (GMig) to demonstrate that lifting restrictions on the movement of natural persons would significantly increase global welfare with the majority of benefits accruing to developing countries. Although an important result, the lack of bilateral labor migration data forced Walmsley and Winters (2005) to make approximations in important areas and naturally precluded their tracking bilateral migration agreements. In this paper we incorporate bilateral labor flows into the GMig model developed by Walmsley and Winters (2005) to examine the impact of liberalizing the temporary movement of natural persons. Quotas on both skilled and unskilled temporary labor in the developed economies are increased by 3% of their labor forces. This additional labor is supplied by the developing economies. The results confirm that restrictions on the movement of natural persons impose significant costs on nearly all countries, and that those on unskilled labor are more burdensome than those on skilled labor. Developed economies increasing their skilled and unskilled labor forces by 3% raise the real incomes of their permanent residents. Most of those gains arise from the lifting of quotas on unskilled labor. On average the permanent residents of developing countries also gain in terms of real incomes from sending unskilled and skilled labor, albeit the gains are lower for skilled labor. While results differ across developing economies, most gain as a result of the higher remittances sent home.
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Zakharenko, Roman
    Abstract: US-educated Indian engineers played a major role in the establishment of the “Silicon Valley of Asia” in Bangalore. The experience of India and other countries shows that returning well-educated emigrants, despite their small numbers, can make a difference. This paper builds a model of “local” knowledge spillovers, in which migration of a small number of highly skilled individuals greatly affects country-level human capital accumulation. All economic activity occurs in pairs of individuals randomly matched to each other. Each pair produces the consumption good; the skills of the two partners are complementary. At the same time, the less skilled partner increases human capital by learning from the more skilled colleague. With poor institutions at home, highly skilled individuals leave the country seeking better opportunities abroad. On the contrary, improved institutions foster return migration of emigrants who have acquired more knowledge while abroad. These return migrants greatly amplify the positive effect of better institutions.
    JEL: F22 C78 O15 J61
    Date: 2007–11

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