nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2008‒01‒12
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. A Gendered Assessment of the Brain Drain By Frédéric Docquier; B. Lindsay Lowell; Abdeslam Marfouk
  2. Explaining Labour Market Inactivity in Migrant-Sending Families: Housework, Hammock, or Higher Education By Dennis Görlich; Toman Omar Mahmoud; Christoph Trebesch
  3. Are Immigrants More Mobile Than Natives? Evidence from Germany By Matthias Schündeln
  4. Do Immigrants Affect Firm-Specific Wages? By Nikolaj Malchow-Møller; Jakob Roland Munch; Jan Rose Skaksen
  5. Naturalization Proclivities, Ethnicity and Integration By Amelie F. Constant; Liliya Gataullina; Klaus F. Zimmermann
  6. The Persistence of Self-Employment Across Borders: New Evidence on Legal Immigrants to the United States By Randall K. Q. Akee; David A. Jaeger; Konstantinos Tatsiramos
  7. Immigrant Networks and Their Implications for Occupational Choice and Wages By Krishna Patel; Francis Vella
  8. Entrance, Exit and Exclusion: Labour Market Flows of Foreign Born Adults in Swedish "Divided Cities" By Hedberg, Charlotta
  9. Who Leaves and Who Returns? Deciphering Immigrant Self-Selection from a Developing Country By Randall K. Q. Akee
  10. Wages, Rents and Heterogeneous Moving Costs By Douglas J. Krupka; Kwame Donaldson
  11. Welfare effects of illegal immigration By Theodore Palivos
  12. International Job Search: Mexicans In and Out of the US By Sílvio Rendon; Alfredo Cuecuecha
  13. Determinants and Impacts of Migration in Vietnam By Nguyen Thu Phuong; Tran Ngo Thi Minh Tam; Nguyen Thi Nguyet; Remco Oostendorp
  14. International Labor Migration of Nepalese Women: Impact of their Remittances on Poverty Reduction By Chandra Bhadra
  15. Why Are Hispanic and African-American Dropout Rates So High? By Magnus Lofstrom
  16. And the House Goes to - Ethnic Discrimination in the Greek Rental Market By Nick Drydakis
  17. Identity, Parochial Institutions, and Occupational Choice: Linking the Past to the Present in the American Midwest By Kaivan Munshi; Nicholas Wilson
  18. Does Immigration Affect the Phillips Curve? Some Evidence for Spain By Samuel Bentolila; Juan J. Dolado; Juan F. Jimeno
  19. Who Gentrifies Low-income Neighborhoods? By McKinnish, Terra; Walsh, Randall; White, T. Kirk

  1. By: Frédéric Docquier (FNRS, IRES, Catholic University of Louvain, World Bank and IZA); B. Lindsay Lowell (ISIM, Georgetown University); Abdeslam Marfouk (Free University of Brussels)
    Abstract: This paper updates and extends the Docquier-Marfouk data set on international migration by educational attainment. We use new sources, homogenize definitions of what a migrant is, and compute gender-disaggregated indicators of the brain drain. Emigration stocks and rates are provided by level of schooling and gender for 195 source countries in 1990 and 2000. Our data set can be used to capture the recent trend in women’s brain drain and to analyze its causes and consequences for developing countries. We show that women represent an increasing share of the OECD immigration stock and exhibit relatively higher rates of brain drain than men. The gender gap in skilled migration is strongly correlated with the gender gap in educational attainment at origin. Equating women’s and men’s access to education would probably reduce gender differences in the brain drain.
    Keywords: brain drain, gender, human capital, migration
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2007–12
  2. By: Dennis Görlich; Toman Omar Mahmoud; Christoph Trebesch
    Abstract: This article presents a new perspective on the impact of migration and remittances on labour market participation and time allocation in migrant-sending families. Departing from the common finding that labour market participation is lower in migrant households, we investigate whether the reasons for inactivity, i.e. leisure consumption, home production and higher education are affected by migration. Based on household survey data from Moldova, our results challenge the assertion that those who stay behind consume more leisure. Instead, living in a migrant household implies higher probabilities of intra-household labour substitution and a substantially higher likelihood of university enrolment.
    Keywords: Migration, Remittances, Labour Supply, Time Allocation, Moldova
    JEL: F22 J22 O15 C35
    Date: 2007–12
  3. By: Matthias Schündeln (Harvard University and IZA)
    Abstract: Low rates of internal migration in many European countries contribute to the persistence of significant regional labor market differences. To further our understanding of the underlying reasons I study internal migration in Germany, using the Mikrozensus, a very large sample of households living in Germany. The first contribution of this paper is to quantify the low mobility of the German population by estimating the unobserved cost of migration. I then focus on the differences between immigrants and natives, and start by presenting reducedform econometric evidence for the hypothesis that immigrants, once they are in the country of destination, are more mobile than natives. Observable, individual-level characteristics can only explain part of this finding. To estimate differences in the responsiveness to labor market characteristics that are due to unobserved characteristics, I then estimate conditional logit models of the migration decision across the German federal states. I find significantly higher responsiveness to labor market differentials in the immigrant population than in the native population. Unobserved moving costs for immigrants are estimated to be only about 37% of this same cost for natives. The findings bear on the assessment of the economic impact of immigration, and the paper contributes to the current immigration-related policy debates that feature prominently in many European countries, and that likely will continue to be important in light of the ongoing EU expansion and the expected resulting east-west migration.
    Keywords: internal migration, immigrants, cost of migration, regional convergence, Germany
    JEL: J61 R23
    Date: 2007–12
  4. By: Nikolaj Malchow-Møller (CEBR and University of Southern Denmark); Jakob Roland Munch (University of Copenhagen, CEBR and EPRU); Jan Rose Skaksen (Copenhagen Business School, CEBR and IZA)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose and test a novel effect of immigration on the wages of native workers. Existing studies have focused on the wage effects that result from changes in the aggregate labour supply in a competitive labour market. We argue that if labour markets are not fully competitive, the use of immigrants may also affect wage formation at the most disaggregate level - the workplace. Using linked employer-employee data, we find that an increased use of workers from less developed countries has a significantly negative effect on the wages of native workers at the workplace - also when controlling for potential endogeneity of the immigrant share using both fixed effects and IV. Additional evidence suggests that this effect works at least partly through a general effect on the wage norm in the firm of hiring employees with poor outside options (the immigrants).
    Keywords: immigration, firm-specific wages, outside options
    JEL: F22 J31
    Date: 2007–12
  5. By: Amelie F. Constant (Georgetown University, DIW DC and IZA); Liliya Gataullina (IZA); Klaus F. Zimmermann (Bonn University, IZA and DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of naturalization among Turkish and ex-Yugoslav immigrants in Germany differentiating between actual and planned citizenship. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel, we measure the impact that integration and ethnicity indicators exert on the probability to naturalize beyond the standard individual and human capital characteristics. A robust finding is that German citizenship is very valuable to female immigrants and the generally better educated, but not to those educated in Germany. We find that the degree of integration in German society has a differential effect on citizenship acquisition. While a longer residence in Germany has a negative influence on actual or future naturalization, arriving at a younger age and having close German friends are strong indicators of a positive proclivity to citizenship acquisition. Likewise, ethnic origins and religion also influence these decisions. Muslim immigrants in Germany are more willing to become German citizens than non-Muslim immigrants, but there are also fewer German citizens among Muslims than among non-Muslims.
    Keywords: citizenship, naturalization, ethnicity, integration
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2007–12
  6. By: Randall K. Q. Akee (IZA); David A. Jaeger (College of William and Mary, University of Bonn and IZA); Konstantinos Tatsiramos (IZA)
    Abstract: Using recently-available data from the New Immigrant Survey, we find that previous selfemployment experience in an immigrant’s country of origin is an important determinant of their self-employment status in the U.S., increasing the probability of being self-employed by about 7 percent. Our results improve on the previous literature by measuring home-country self-employment directly rather than relying on proxy measures. We find little evidence to suggest that home-country self-employment has a significant effect on U.S. wages in either paid employment or self employment.
    Keywords: self-employment, entrepreneurship, New Immigrant Survey
    JEL: J61 J21
    Date: 2007–12
  7. By: Krishna Patel (Georgetown University); Francis Vella (Georgetown University and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper employs United States Census data to study the occupational allocation of immigrants. The data reveal that the occupational shares of various ethnic groups have grown drastically in regional labor markets over the period 1980 to 2000. We examine the extent to which this growth can be attributed to network effects. That is, we examine the relationship between the occupational choice decision of recently arrived immigrants with those of established immigrants from the same country. We also consider the earnings implications of these immigrant networks for recent arrivals. The empirical evidence strongly suggests the operation of networks in the immigrant labor market. First, we find evidence that new arrivals are locating in the same occupations as their countrymen. Moreover, this location decision is operating at the level of regional labor markets. Second, we find that individuals who locate in the "popular" occupations of their countrymen enjoy a large and positive effect on their hourly wage and their level of weekly earnings.
    Keywords: network effects, immigrants, occupational choice, earnings
    JEL: J24 J3 J61
    Date: 2007–12
  8. By: Hedberg, Charlotta (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)
    Abstract: International migrants often achieve subordinate positions in the labour market or are left outside it. On the basis of unique, longitudinal data, this article investigates the socio-economic mobility of the foreign-born adult population in two Swedish cities, 1993–2002. Patterns of entrance, exit and exclusion from the labour market are compared between foreign- and native-born populations, focussing on variations between ‘distressed’ neighbourhoods and surrounding city regions. The results reveal that the foreign-born population experiences high labour turnover, generally with increasing employment stability, but that considerable vulnerability remains. However, surprisingly small differences were found between residents of ‘distressed’ and other neighbourhoods. Consequently, ethnic rather than residential status influenced the employment situation of foreign-born adults in Swedish cities.
    Keywords: Labour mobility; Segregation; Foreign Born; Life course; Sweden
    JEL: J15 J61 J63 R12
    Date: 2008–01–07
  9. By: Randall K. Q. Akee (IZA)
    Abstract: Existing research examining the self-selection of immigrants suffers from a lack of information on the immigrants’ labor force activities in the home country, quotas limiting who is allowed to enter the destination country, and non-economic factors such as internal civil strife in the home country. Using a novel data set from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), I analyze a migration flow to the U.S. that suffers from none of these problems. I find that high-skilled workers (relative to the home country skill distribution) are the most likely to migrate from the FSM to the U.S. and that their behavior is explained mainly by the difference in average wages for their skill group. This finding suggests that previous immigration studies have overemphasized the role played by differences in the distributions of countries’ wages and skills. Including information on the immigrants’ characteristics prior to migration is central to my analysis, which highlights the importance of datasets that contain both home and destination country data on immigrants. Given the home country information, I use weather shocks to predict the probability of outmigration, which overcome the usual endogeneity problems in determining self-selection of immigrants. Second, I conduct nearest neighbor matching for immigrants prior to their leaving the home country using home country wages as the outcome variable to determine the nature of selection on unobservable characteristics.
    Keywords: immigration, developing country, self-selection
    JEL: O15 J31
    Date: 2007–12
  10. By: Douglas J. Krupka (IZA); Kwame Donaldson (Georgia State University)
    Abstract: The model of compensating differentials in regional labor markets was developed by Roback (1982). The model interprets regional differences in constant quality wages and rents as compensating firms and residents for inter-regional differences in amenities. The model assumes that the costs of relocating to a new city are zero. The results hold in the presence of moving costs for the marginal migrant. This paper extends the Roback model to allow for moving costs which vary among a city’s residents and businesses. This modification of the model generates new interpretations of regional differences in rents and (to a lesser extent) wages. The importance of amenities is retained, but housing supply becomes the main other determinant of regional rents. Housing supply was for the most part ignored in the literature following on Roback’s initial insight. The new perspective also provides a bridge between the neo-classical perspective implicit in Roback’s approach and the newer literature on agglomeration economies.
    Keywords: compensating differentials, quality of life, housing supply, amenities, capitalization
    JEL: R12 R13 R23 R31 J31
    Date: 2007–12
  11. By: Theodore Palivos (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the welfare effect of illegal immigration on the host country within a dynamic general equilibrium framework and shows that it is positive for two reasons. First, immigrants are paid less than their marginal product and second, following an increase in immigration, domestic households find it optimal to increase their holdings of capital. It is also shown that dynamic inefficiency may arise, despite the fact that the model is of the Ramsey type. Nevertheless, the introduction of a minimum wage, which leads to job competition between domestic unskilled workers and immigrants reverses all of the above results.
    Keywords: Economic Growth, Illegal Immigration
    JEL: F2 O4
    Date: 2007–12
  12. By: Sílvio Rendon (Stony Brook University and IZA); Alfredo Cuecuecha (ITAM)
    Abstract: It is argued that migration from Mexico to the US and its corresponding return migration are determined by international wage differentials and preferences for origin. We use a model of job search, savings and migration to show that job turnover is a crucial determinant of the migration process. We estimate this model by Simulated Method of Moments (SMM) and find that migration practically disappears if Mexico has American arrival rates while employed. Doubling migration costs reduces migration rates in half, while subsidizing return migration in $300 reduces migration rates of older migrants but increases migration rates of younger migrants.
    Keywords: international migration, job search, job turnover, savings, structural estimation
    JEL: F22 J64 E20
    Date: 2007–12
  13. By: Nguyen Thu Phuong (Centre for Analysis and Forecasting, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences); Tran Ngo Thi Minh Tam (Centre for Analysis and Forecasting, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences); Nguyen Thi Nguyet (Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), Vietnam); Remco Oostendorp (Free University, Amsterdam)
    Abstract: <p>This paper uses the recent Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey 2004 to analyze the determinants and impacts of migration in Vietnam. Most of the previous studies on the determinants and impacts of migration have focused on destination rather than origin areas of migration. This limits our understanding of the determinants of migration and also does not provide evidence on important impacts of migration such as on household inequality in origin areas.</p><p>In terms of determinants of migration, the study shows that migration is a highly selective process and strongly affected by household and commune characteristics, although differently across type of migration and across urban and rural areas. We do find evidence for the existence of a 'migration hump' for economic long-term migration, with an inverted U-shape in the probability of migration with respect to per capita expenditures. The presence of non-farm employment opportunities does reduce short-term migration but not long-term out-migration for economic reasons.</p><p>In terms of impacts the study analyzes the impact of migration on household expenditures and household inequality. Migration is found to have a strong positive impact on household expenditures but increases the Gini coefficient of per capita household expenditures from 0.38 to 0.42 in origin areas compared to the no-migration case.</p>
    Keywords: Migration; Vietnam; Household
    Date: 2008
  14. By: Chandra Bhadra (Tribhuvan University, Nepal)
    Abstract: The general objective of the study is to assess the impact of Women Migrant Workers’ (WMWs) remittance in poverty reduction. The specific objectives are to investigate the financial aspect, to explore the human factors, and to examine WMWs’ perception and preferences of the State’s policy.
    Keywords: International, Labor, Migration, Napalese, women, Impact, remittances, Poverty, reduction
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2007–09
  15. By: Magnus Lofstrom (University of Texas at Dallas and IZA)
    Abstract: The proportion of students who do not graduate from high school is dramatically higher among the two largest minority groups, Hispanics and African-Americans, compared to non- Hispanic whites. In this paper we utilize unique student-level data from the Texas Schools Microdata Panel (TSMP) in an attempt to determine what factors contribute to the higher minority dropout rates. We show that poverty is a key contributor. Lack of English proficiency among Hispanic student is linked to the higher Hispanic dropout probability. Our results also suggest that neighborhood characteristics may be important in explaining the high African- American dropout rates. We also address the issue of the surprisingly low official dropout rates reported by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and show that the GED program explains some of the discrepancy.
    Keywords: dropout rate, educational attainment
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2007–12
  16. By: Nick Drydakis (Department of Economics - University of Crete, Greece)
    Abstract: A field experiment was contacted in order to unbiased test whether female ethnic minorities; Albanians, face housing discrimination by owners when they seek to rent a unit in Greece three years after the national adoption of the European anti-discrimination legislation. Replicated the commonest process to rent a unit in Greece; telephone contact, we investigated a big sample represented by 122 areas. Rationally classified them in three status groups, according to their average rent levels, we found that discrimination increased monotonically with areas¢ status. The estimated probability of Albanians to receive an invitation to investigate a unit was lower by 0.231 in low status areas, followed by 0.324 in medium status areas, and by 0.419 in high status areas than that of Greeks. Adjusted for intra-class correlation the estimated differentials were found to be statistically significant. Similarly, we estimated an insignificant rent penalty against Albanians of 0.010 in low status areas, and significant penalties of 0.015 in medium status areas and of 0.023 in high status areas against Albanians. Consequently, a taste and/or statistical discrimination implied against Albanian seekers. Interestingly, the study enabled to estimate further that good rental housings are in significant degree unavailable to Albanians restricted their freedom in selecting a place to live. Specifically, Albanian seekers faced significantly less probabilities to investigate newer, busheled and units placed in floor than Greeks. Whilst, Albanians in order to have access to good units they had to pay more than Greeks. Finally, we estimated that female owners practiced significantly more availability constraints to Albanians than male owners. The current research contributes to two areas that have attracted scarce research attention in Greece: the experimental investigation of housing discrimination and discrimination by ethnicity. The results of this study have implications for understanding some of the enduring patterns of ethnic discrimination in the housing market.
    Keywords: Field Experiment, Ethnic Discrimination, Housing Discrimination, Housing Demand
    JEL: C93 J70 J71 J16 R
    Date: 2007–11–22
  17. By: Kaivan Munshi; Nicholas Wilson
    Abstract: This paper documents the presence of non-economic career motivations in the U.S. labor market, explores reasons why such motivations could arise, and provides an explanation for why they might have persisted across many generations. The analysis links ethnic (migrant) labor market networks in the American Midwest when it was first being settled, the local identity or attachment to place that emerged endogenously to maintain the integrity of these networks, and occupational choice today. While fractionalization may adversely affect the performance of secular institutions, ethnic competition in the labor market could at the same time have strengthened within-group loyalty and parochial institutions. These values and their complementary institutions, notably the church, could have mutually reinforced each other over many overlapping generations, long after the networks themselves had ceased to be salient. Counties with greater ethnic fractionalization in 1860 are indeed associated with steadily increasing participation in select religious denominations historically dominated by the migrants all the way through the twentieth century. Complementing this result, individuals born in high fractionalization counties are significantly less likely to select into geographically mobile professional occupations and, hence, to migrate out of their county of birth, despite the fact that these counties are indistinguishable from low fractionalization counties in terms of local public good provision and economic activity today.
    JEL: J24 J61 N11 R23
    Date: 2008–01
  18. By: Samuel Bentolila (CEMFI, CEPR and CESifo); Juan J. Dolado (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, CEPR and IZA); Juan F. Jimeno (Banco de España, CEPR and IZA)
    Abstract: The Phillips curve has flattened in Spain over 1995-2006: unemployment has fallen by 15 percentage points, with roughly constant inflation. This change has been more pronounced than elsewhere. We argue that this stems from the immigration boom in Spain over this period. We show that the New Keynesian Phillips curve is shifted by immigration if natives’ and immigrants’ labour supply or bargaining power differ. Estimation of the curve for Spain indicates that the fall in unemployment since 1995 would have led to an annual increase in inflation of 2.5 percentage points if it had not been largely offset by immigration.
    Keywords: immigration, Phillips curve
    JEL: E31 J64
    Date: 2007–12
  19. By: McKinnish, Terra; Walsh, Randall; White, T. Kirk
    Abstract: This paper uses confidential Census data, specifically the 1990 and 2000 Census Long-Form data, to study the demographic processes underlying the gentrification of low income urban neighborhoods during the 1990’s. In contrast to previous studies, the analysis is conducted at the more refined census-tract level with a narrower definition of gentrification and more narrowly defined comparison neighborhoods. The analysis is also richly disaggregated by demographic characteristic, uncovering differential patterns by race, education, age and family structure that would not have emerged in the more aggregate analysis in previous studies. The results provide little evidence of displacement of low-income non-white households in gentrifying neighborhoods. The bulk of the income gains in gentrifying neighborhoods are attributed to white college graduates and black high school graduates. It is the disproportionate in-migration of the former and the disproportionate retention and income gains of the latter that appear to be the main engines of gentrification.
    Keywords: gentrification; neighborhood change; migration
    JEL: J6 R0 R2
    Date: 2007–11

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