nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2008‒02‒16
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Are immigrants so stuck to the floor that the ceiling is irrelevant? By Hunt, Priscillia
  2. Labor Market Outcomes, Savings Accumulation, and Return Migration By Kirdar, Murat
  3. The Dynamic Effects of Skilled Labour Targeting in Immigration Programs By Richard G. Harris; Peter E. Robertson
  4. Reflections on Australia’s Skilled Migration Policy By Peter E. Robertson
  5. Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants By Jeffrey Grogger; Gordon H. Hanson
  6. The impact of immigration on the wage structure : Spain 1995-2002 By Raquel Carrasco; Juan F. Jimeno; Ana Carolina Ortega
  7. Agency, education and networks : gender and international migration from Albania By Davis, Benjamin; Azzarri, Carlo; Carletto, Calogero; Stecklov, Guy
  8. Competition in the Promised Land: Black Migration and Racial Wage Convergence in the North, 1940-1970 By Leah Platt Boustan
  9. Borderplex Population Modeling By Fullerton, Thomas; Barraza de Anda, Martha
  10. The returns to job mobility and inter-regional migration By Lehmer, Florian; Ludsteck, Johannes

  1. By: Hunt, Priscillia (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: In this paper, the immigrant-native wage differential is explained through quantile regression estimations. Using repeated cross-sections of the British Labour Force Survey from 1993-2005, we analyse the returns to covariates across the conditional earnings distribution. We estimate a pooled model with an immigrant dummy and separate models for immigrants and natives of the UK. Our results show that the positive wage gap in favour of immigrants is attributed to those at higher quantiles. Returns to education and experience vary wider for natives than for immigrants. We decompose the wage gap in the Blinder-Oaxaca framework and apply quantile regression techniques to see if immigrants simply have more viable labour market characteristics than natives or if there is a preference for immigrant workers (reverse discrimination). Our findings suggest immigrants should actually be earning more and there is sufficient evidence of discrimination. This finding is, however, not symmetric across the conditional wage distribution and immigrants atthe bottom face more discrimination than those at the top.
    Keywords: immigration ; wage differential ; quantile regression ; Blinder-Oaxaca ; decomposition
    JEL: J31 J61 J71
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Kirdar, Murat
    Abstract: In this paper, I test the savings accumulation conjecture that is used to rationalize return migration decisions in the context of immigrants in Germany. Using cross-country and time variation in purchasing power parity, I distinguish between the two competing capital accumulation conjectures (human capital vs. savings accumulation) and uncover evidence for the savings accumulation conjecture. In addition, I examine how labor market outcomes influence return decisions. A key finding here is that unlike previous studies which find a positive impact of unemployment on return migration, I find that the direction of the impact of unemployment changes by the spell length.
    Keywords: International Migration; Capital Accumulation; Unemployment; Duration Analysis
    JEL: F22 C41 J61
    Date: 2008–02
  3. By: Richard G. Harris (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University); Peter E. Robertson (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: We consider the impact of the recent trend in immigration policies towards selecting migrants on the basis of skills. The analysis uses an inter-temporal general equilibrium model with endogenous skill formation. The model is calibrated to a steady state benchmark that represents Australia in 2000-2001. We then consider the impact of the increase in skilled migrants of approximately 20 thousand per year, which corresponds to the increase in flows of migrant Professionals in Australia since 2000. We find that this generates substantial crowding out of the higher Education sector in Australia. Moreover we show that, when this shock is anticipated as a permanent policy change, there is very little net increase in the stock of skilled labour due to falling student enrollments of 12%. Paradoxically, in this case, the decline in students increases the number of unskilled workers in the economy such that the ratio skilled to unskilled workers in the economy actually falls and the skill premium increases.
    Keywords: Immigration; Human Capital; Computable General Equilibrium Models
    Date: 2007–07
  4. By: Peter E. Robertson (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: This paper outlines some recent points of debate over the economic impact of skilled migration on Australia. It is argued that the national gains from an increase in skilled immigration are likely to be small but there are significant effects on income distribution. Recent general equilibrium modeling results are used to show that the skill based immigration programme is a blunt instrument for targeting particular skills needs and may have many potential unintended consequences including the “crowding-out” of higher education in Australia.
    Keywords: Migration; Skilled immigration; Human capital; Education
    Date: 2007–07
  5. By: Jeffrey Grogger; Gordon H. Hanson
    Abstract: Two prominent features of international labor movements are that more educated individuals are more likely to emigrate (positive selection) and more-educated migrants are more likely to settle in destination countries with high rewards to skill (positive sorting). Using data on emigrant stocks by schooling level and source country in OECD destinations, we find that a simple model of income maximization can account for both phenomena. Results on selection show that migrants for a source-destination pair are more educated relative to non-migrants, the larger is the skill-related difference in earnings between the destination country and the source. Results on sorting indicate that the relative stock of more-educated migrants in a destination is increasing in the level earnings difference between high and low-skilled workers. We use our framework to compare alternative specifications of international migration, estimate the magnitude of migration costs by source-destination pair, and assess the contribution of wage differences to how migrants sort themselves across destination countries.
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2008–02
  6. By: Raquel Carrasco; Juan F. Jimeno; Ana Carolina Ortega
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the impact of inward migration flows on the Spanish wage structure over the period 1995-2002 by constructing counterfactual wage distributions that provide the wages that would have been observed had individual and job characteristics remain constant over time. Hence, we compute the impact of immigration on the wage distribution from (i) the estimated wage gaps between similar immigrants and native workers and (ii) the changes in the composition of employment associated to the arrival of new immigrants. Overall, we find that (i) the effects of immigration on wage changes are small and only noticeable when job characteristics are included as determinants of wages, and (ii) the correlation between the incidence of immigration in each decile of the wage distribution and the change in native wages not explained by changes in their individual and job characteristics is positive. These results suggest that other factors, besides immigration, should be identified as the key determinants of the wage moderation observed since the early nineties in Spain.
    Keywords: Immigration, Wage structure, Quantile regressions
    JEL: J31 J21
    Date: 2008–02
  7. By: Davis, Benjamin; Azzarri, Carlo; Carletto, Calogero; Stecklov, Guy
    Abstract: This paper examines the causes and dynamics of the shift in the gender composition of migration, and more particularly, in the access of women to migration opportunities and decision making. The context of the analysis is Albania, a natural laboratory for studying migration developments given that out-migration was practically eliminated from the end of World War II to the end of the 1980s. The authors use micro-level data from the Albania 2005 Living Standards Measurement Study including migration histories for family members since migration began. Based on discrete-time hazard models, the analysis shows an impressive expansion of female participation in international migration. Female migration, which is shown to be strongly associated with education, wealth, and social capital, appears responsive to economic incentives and constraints. Yet, using unique data on the dependency of female migration to the household demographic structure as well as the sensitivity of female migration to household-level shocks, the authors show that it is the households themselves that are the decision-making agents behind this economic calculus and there is little to suggest that increased female migration signals the emergence of female agency.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Anthropology,Human Rights,Voluntary and Involuntary Resettlement,Human Migrations & Resettlements
    Date: 2008–02–01
  8. By: Leah Platt Boustan
    Abstract: In the mid-twentieth century, relative black wage growth in the North lagged behind the Jim Crow South. Inter-regional migration may explain this trend. Four million black southerners moved North from 1940 to 1970, more than doubling the northern black population. Black migrants will exert more competitive pressure on black wages if blacks and whites are imperfect substitutes. I use variation in the relative black-white migrant flows across skill groups to estimate the elasticity of substitution by race in the northern economy. I then calculate a counterfactual rate of black-white wage convergence in the North in the absence of southern migration. Migration slowed the pace of northern convergence by 50 percent, more than accounting for the regional gap. Ongoing migration appears to have been an impediment to black economic assimilation in the urban North.
    JEL: J61 J71 N22
    Date: 2008–02
  9. By: Fullerton, Thomas; Barraza de Anda, Martha
    Abstract: Although numerous studies have examined international migratory flows from Mexico to the United States, none have previously done so at the metropolitan level. This study utilizes time series data to econometrically model population change for El Paso, Texas, USA and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, including net domestioc and net international migration for both cities. Results obtained indicate that such an approach may be applicable to other border city pairs elsewhere.
    Keywords: Border region; population; migration; applied econometrics.
    JEL: J40 R15
    Date: 2008–01
  10. By: Lehmer, Florian; Ludsteck, Johannes (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "This paper analyses extensively the effects of inter-regional mobility on the earnings of skilled workers. We interact returns to inter-regional migration with employer changes to separate the two effects and find that inter-regional mobility results in positive additional returns as compared to job mobility within a region in general. Partitioning the sample by experience level and tracing the exact paths of migration, it turns out that both the contemporaneous returns and the wage-growth effects exhibit large differences: for young workers we find the highest contemporaneous returns and the largest wage growth effects. Further analyses show that these returns to migration are strongly influenced by the characteristics of both the region of origin and the region of destination. In contrast to results from economic theory, the returns to inter-regional migration are most significant for people who move to rural districts in agglomerated areas. Altogether, the results indicate that switching to a different workplace in a similar region type pays more than moving to a different type of region." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J61 R23
    Date: 2008–02–12

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