nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2008‒03‒15
twenty-one papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Civic Participation of Immigrants: Culture Transmission and Assimilation By Aleksynska, Mariya
  2. Attitudes Towards Immigrants and Relative Deprivation: The Case of a Middle-Income Country By Aleksynska, Mariya
  3. Ethnic Networks and Employment Outcomes By Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
  4. Who Leaves the City? The Influence of Ethnic Segregation and Family Ties By Zorlu, Aslan
  5. Migration, Risk and the Intra-Household Allocation of Labor in El Salvador By Halliday, Timothy
  6. Inequality of Learning amongst Immigrant Children in Industrialised Countries By Schnepf, Sylke V.
  7. The Effects of Naturalization on Immigrants’ Employment Probability (France, 1968–1999) By Fougère, Denis; Safi, Mirna
  8. Occupational Attainment and Immigrant Economic Progress in Australia By Chiswick, Barry R.; Miller, Paul W.
  9. The Asset Portfolios of Native-born and Foreign-born Households By Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Vincent A. Hildebrand
  10. How Interethnic Marriages Affect the Educational Attainment of Children: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By van Ours, Jan C.; Veenman, Justus
  11. Remittances, Liquidity Constraints and Human Capital Investments in Ecuador By Calero, Carla; Bedi, Arjun S.; Sparrow, Robert
  12. Segregation, Entrepreneurship and Work Values: The Case of France By Senik, Claudia; Verdier, Thierry
  13. International Mobility of the Highly Skilled, Endogenous R&D, and Public Infrastructure Investment By Grossmann, Volker; Stadelmann, David
  14. Brain Drain and Productivity Growth: Are Small States Different? By Schiff, Maurice; Wang, Yanling
  15. Where Do the Brainy Italians Go? By Constant, Amelie; D'Agosto, Elena
  16. Immigrant Selection in the OECD By Michéle V.K. Belot; Timothy J. Hatton
  17. On the Dynamics of Interstate Migration: Migration Costs and Self-Selection By Bayer, Christian; Juessen, Falko
  18. How Do Very Open Economies Absorb Large Immigration Flows? Recent Evidence from Spanish Regions By Gonzalez, Libertad; Ortega, Francesc
  19. Immigrants’ Responsiveness to Labor Market Conditions and Their Impact on Regional Employment Disparities: Evidence from Spain By Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Sara de la Rica
  20. Labour market characteristics and the burden of ageing : North America versus Europe By Luca, MARCHIORI
  21. Swapping Print The Impact of Immigration and the Internet on International Trade in Newspapers By Hisham Foad

  1. By: Aleksynska, Mariya
    Abstract: This paper employs the European Social Survey and the World Values Survey to empirically investigate civic participation of immigrants from fifty-four countries of origin to the European Union. Three sets of issues are addressed in this paper. First, the paper aims at understanding what factors determine civic participation of immigrants at large. Second, it seeks to shed light on differences and similarities between participation outcomes of immigrants and natives. The main part of the paper is dedicated to testing culture transmission and culture assimilation hypothesis with respect to civic participation. Culture assimilation is analysed within the traditional synthetic cohort methodology, and also by testing whether the levels of immigrants’ civic participation depend on the levels of natives’ civic participation in the same countries. Culture transmission is looked at by relating the levels of participation of nonmigrants in countries of origin to participation outcomes of those who migrate. In addition, the effect of other country of origin and country of destination characteristics on immigrants’ civic participation is investigated. The issue of immigrants’ self-selection is addressed by matching immigrants to otherwise similar natives and compatriots who did not migrate. The study finds limited evidence for the transmission of participation culture across borders, although certain home country characteristics continue influencing participation behaviour of individuals after migration: it is those from industrialized, net immigration, culturally more homogeneous countries who tend to participate more. On the other hand, the culture of current place of residence matters most in that by observing higher (lower) participation patterns among natives immigrants tend to participate more (less).
    Keywords: immigration; civic participation; social assimilation; culture transmission
    JEL: F22 Z10 O15 J61 Z13
    Date: 2007–04
  2. By: Aleksynska, Mariya
    Abstract: This paper applies the concept of group relative deprivation to studying formation of attitudes towards immigrants in a middle-income country’s setting. It finds that the feeling of relative deprivation adversely affects the attitudes, even when the potential endogeneity of relative deprivation is taken into account. Furthermore, relative deprivation matters only for natives who subjectively underestimate their well-being, but not for those who overestimate it. When considering other forms of natives’ perceived disadvantage, such as in terms of employment, access to education or medical facilities, there is a weak evidence that only perceived disadvantage in obtaining medical aid negatively affects the attitudes.
    Keywords: attitudes towards immigrants; relative deprivation; subjective well-being
    JEL: F22 O15 J61 Z13
    Date: 2007–04
  3. By: Patacchini, Eleonora (University of Rome La Sapienza); Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We analyse the effect of strong and weak ties on the individual probability of finding a job. Using the dynamic model of Calvó-Armengol and Jackson (2004), two results are put forward: (i) the individual probability of finding a job is increasing in the number of strong and weak ties; (ii) the longer the length of ties, the lower is this effect. We approximate the social space by the geographical space. Ethnicity is the chosen dimension along which agents’ social contacts develop and, as a result, we use ethnic population density to capture social interactions within the given ethnic group. Using a panel of local authority-level data in England between 1993 and 2003, we find that (i) the higher the percentage of a given ethnic group living nearby, the higher the employment rate of this ethnic group; (ii) this effect decays very rapidly with distance, losing significance beyond approximately 90 minutes travel time.
    Keywords: ethnic minorities, social interactions, population density, weak and strong ties
    JEL: A14 C33 J15 R23
    Date: 2008–02
  4. By: Zorlu, Aslan (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In the last three decades, the population of Amsterdam has been ‘coloured’ due to immigration flows from abroad and a low outflow rate among these immigrants and their descendants. The question is to what extent differences in spatial mobility behaviour of migrants and natives are generated by neighbourhood characteristics – among which the level of ethnic segregation – and family ties? This article examines spatial mobility process of Amsterdam population using administrative individual data covering the entire population of the city. The analysis shows that Caribbean (Surinamese and Antillean) migrants have a higher probability of moving to suburbs while Moroccans and Turks tend to rearrange themselves within the city. The estimates reveal that neighbourhood ‘quality’ has only a modest impact on the probability of moving while family ties significantly hamper the out-mobility of all individuals. The impact of family ties is the largest for Turkish and Moroccan migrants.
    Keywords: migrants, residential mobility, family ties
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2008–02
  5. By: Halliday, Timothy (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: We use panel data from El Salvador and investigate the intra-household allocation of labor as a risk-coping strategy. Adverse agricultural productivity shocks both increased male migration to the US and male agricultural labor supply. This is not a contradiction if there were non-monotonic effects on shadow wages within the survey period. In contrast, damage sustained from the 2001 earthquakes exclusively stunted female migration. This is consistent with the earthquakes increasing the demand for home production.
    Keywords: migration, labor supply, insurance, intra-household allocation
    JEL: J22 J61
    Date: 2008–01
  6. By: Schnepf, Sylke V. (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: Literature examining immigrants’ educational disadvantage across countries focuses generally on average differences in educational outcomes between immigrants and natives disguising thereby that immigrants are a highly heterogeneous group. The aim of this paper is to examine educational inequalities among immigrants in eight high immigration countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA. Results indicate that for almost all countries immigrants’ educational dispersion is considerably higher than for natives. For most countries higher educational dispersion derives from very low achieving immigrants. Quantile regression results reveal that at lower percentiles language skills impact more on educational achievement than at the top of the achievement distribution. Results are presented separately for immigrants of different age cohorts, varying time of immigrants’ residence in the host country and subject examined (maths and reading) highlighting thereby the different patterns found by immigrant group and achievement measure.
    Keywords: education, educational inequalities, immigration, PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS
    JEL: I21 J15 O15
    Date: 2008–02
  7. By: Fougère, Denis (CREST-INSEE); Safi, Mirna (CREST-INSEE)
    Abstract: Naturalization is usually regarded as an important sign of civic and political integration amongst immigrants, but it can also be seen as a factor of their economic integration. The aim of this study is to analyze the naturalization phenomenon in France and examine its link with the immigrants’ labor force status. We use longitudinal data from the “Echantillon Démographique Permanent” (EDP) sample. The EDP is a panel dataset by which we can follow almost 1% of the French population from 1968 to 1999 through information contained in the 1968, 1975, 1982, 1990 and 1999 French census. The sample we use (N = 36,685) is limited to immigrants who declared themselves non-naturalized at the time they first appeared in the panel. This makes it possible for us to observe possible changes of nationality between two census dates and their potential consequences on the employment probability at the second date. In our study, the probability of naturalization between two census dates not only depends on observable individual characteristics of immigrants (country of birth, age, marital situation, occupation, human capital, etc.), but also on a number of contextual variables related to the role of the community in the assimilation process (size of the community and number of foreigners in the region of residence). We compare the differential rates of naturalization between the various ethnic groups and try to answer the following question: are there differences between the naturalized immigrant population and the immigrant population as a whole? In the second stage, we analyze the effect of naturalization on the individual employment probability by estimating a univariate probit model. To control for the potential endogeneity of the naturalization process, we also estimate a bivariate probit model. With both models, we find that naturalization has a significant positive effect on immigrants’ employability and that this effect is particularly high for groups of immigrants who have a low probability of employment in the host country.
    Keywords: immigration, naturalization, citizenship, employment
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2008–02
  8. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Miller, Paul W. (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: Using data from the 2001 Australian Census of Population and Housing, on adult men in full-time employment, this paper augments a conventional human capital earnings function with information on occupations. It also estimates models of occupational attainment. The results from both the earnings function and model of occupational attainment indicate that the limited international transferability of human capital skills results in immigrants entering into relatively low status occupations when they first enter the Australian labour market. Comparison with similar research for the US suggests that the different immigrant selection regimes (primarily family reunion in the US, skill-based immigration in Australia) do not impact on the negative association between occupational status and pre-immigration labour market experience.
    Keywords: earnings, occupation, immigrants
    JEL: J24 J31 J F22
    Date: 2008–01
  9. By: Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Vincent A. Hildebrand
    Abstract: This paper analyses the net worth and asset portfolios of native- and foreign-born Australian families using HILDA (wave 2) data. Specifically, we estimate a system of asset equations with an adding-up constraint imposed to control for variation in households’ total net worth. Our results indicate that after accounting for differences in human capital and income levels, single immigrants have a wealth advantage of almost $185,000 relative to single native-born individuals. Although the wealth gap between mixed and native-born couples is not statistically significant, immigrant-only couples have approximately $150,000 less wealth on average than native-born couples. Relative to equally wealthy native-born couples, immigrant-only couples hold substantially more of their wealth in their homes and less in the form of vehicles and financial assets. mixed couples, on the other hand, allocate their wealth across assets in the same way as nativeborn couples.
    Keywords: Wealth, immigrants, housing
    JEL: J61 G11 J1
    Date: 2008–01
  10. By: van Ours, Jan C. (Tilburg University); Veenman, Justus (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: The allocation of Moluccan immigrants across towns and villages at arrival in the Netherlands and the subsequent formation of interethnic marriages resemble a natural experiment. The exogenous variation in marriage formation allows us to estimate the causal effect of interethnic marriages on the educational attainment of children from such marriages. We find that children from Moluccan fathers and native mothers have a higher educational attainment than children from ethnic homogeneous Moluccan couples or children from a Moluccan mother and a native father.
    Keywords: interethnic marriages, educational attainment
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2008–01
  11. By: Calero, Carla (Ministerio de Coordinación de Desarrollo Social- SIISE); Bedi, Arjun S. (Institute of Social Studies); Sparrow, Robert (Institute of Social Studies)
    Abstract: Over the last decade Ecuador has experienced a strong increase in financial transfers from migrated workers, amounting to 6.4 percent of GDP and 31.5 percent of total exports of goods and services in 2005. This paper investigates how remittances via trans-national networks affect human capital investments through relaxing resource constraints and facilitate households in consumption smoothing by reducing vulnerability to economic shocks. In particular, we explore the effects of remittances on school enrolment and child work in Ecuador. Identification relies on instrumental variables, exploiting information on source countries of remittances and regional variation in the availability of bank offices that function as formal channels for sending remittances. Our results show that remittances increase school enrolment and decrease incidence of child work, especially for girls and in rural areas. Furthermore, we find that aggregate shocks are associated with increased work activities, while remittances are used to finance education when households are faced with these shocks. This suggests that liquidity constraints and vulnerability to covariate risk are especially relevant in rural areas, as it affects household’s investments in human capital of school age children. In this context both child labour supply and transnational remittances serve as coping mechanisms.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, trans-national networks, education, child labour, Ecuador
    Date: 2008–02
  12. By: Senik, Claudia (University of Paris IV Sorbonne, PSE); Verdier, Thierry (PSE)
    Abstract: This paper studies the interaction between labor market integration, the evolution of “work values” and entrepreneurial capital inside minority communities. A simple model of labor market segmentation with ethnic capital and endogenous transmission of cultural values inside the minority group is presented. It emphasizes the role of entrepreneurial capital as an important driver of labor market integration and as a promoter of meritocratic work values inside the community. The case of South European and North African second generation immigrants in France is then empirically studied as an example, contrasting strongly how the differential economic and cultural integration in the labor market correlates with the differential level of entrepreneurial capital of the two communities.
    Keywords: social capital, ethnic segmentation, work values, labor discrimination
    JEL: J15 J61 J7 Z13
    Date: 2008–01
  13. By: Grossmann, Volker (University of Fribourg); Stadelmann, David (University of Fribourg)
    Abstract: This paper theoretically and empirically analyzes the interaction of emigration of highly skilled labor, an economy’s income gap to potential host economies of expatriates, and optimal public infrastructure investment. In a model with endogenous education and R&D investment decisions we show that international integration of the market for skilled labor aggravates between-country income inequality by harming those which are source economies to begin with while benefiting host economies. When brain drain increases in source economies, public infrastructure investment is optimally adjusted downward, whereas host economies increase it. Evidence from 77 countries well supports our theoretical hypotheses.
    Keywords: brain drain, cross-country evidence, educational choice, public infrastructure investment, R&D investment
    JEL: F22 O30 H40
    Date: 2008–02
  14. By: Schiff, Maurice (World Bank); Wang, Yanling (Carleton University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of North-South trade-related technology diffusion on TFP growth in small and large states in the South. The main findings are: i) TFP growth increases with North-South trade-related technology diffusion, with education, and with the interaction between the two, and it decreases with the emigration of skilled labor (brain drain); ii) these effects are substantially (over three times) larger in small states than in large ones. Small states also exhibit a much higher brain drain level. Consequently, the brain drain generates greater losses in terms of TFP growth both because of its greater sensitivity to the brain drain and because the brain drain is substantially larger in small than in large states.
    Keywords: trade, technology diffusion, brain drain, productivity growth
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2008–02
  15. By: Constant, Amelie (DIW DC, Georgetown University and IZA); D'Agosto, Elena (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: This paper studies the major determinants that affect the country choice of the talented Italian scientists and researchers who have at least a bachelor’s from Italy and live abroad. There are three alternative country choices: the US/Canada, the UK, and other EU countries. On average, the brainy Italians exhibit a higher predicted probability to go to the US. Ceteris paribus, both push and pull factors are important. While having a Ph.D. from outside Italy predicts the UK choice, having extra working experience from outside Italy predicts migration to other EU countries. Those who stay abroad temporarily for two to four years are definitely more likely to go to the UK. Specialization in the fields of humanities, social sciences, and health are strong determinants of migration to the UK. For the move to the US, while the humanities area is a significant deterrent, health is a positive deciding factor. Lack of funds in Italy constitutes a significant push to the US.
    Keywords: brain drain, skilled migration, Italy, push-pull factors
    JEL: J61 J24 F22
    Date: 2008–01
  16. By: Michéle V.K. Belot; Timothy J. Hatton
    Abstract: The selection of immigrants by skill and education is a central issue in the analysis of immigration. Since highly educated immigrants tend to be more successful in host country labour markets and less of a fiscal cost it is important to know what determines the skill-selectivity of immigration. In this paper we examine the proportions of highly educated among migrants from around 80 source countries who were observed as immigrants in each of 29 OECD countries in 2000/1. We develop a variant of the Roy model to estimate the determinants of educational selectivity by source and destination country. We also estimate the determinants of the share of migrants from different source countries in each destination country’s immigrant stock. Two key findings emerge. One is that the effects of the skill premium, which is at the core of the Roy model, can be observed only after we take account of poverty constraints operating in source countries. The other is that cultural links and distance are often more important determinants of the proportion of high educated immigrants in different OECD countries than wage incentives or policy.
    Keywords: immigration, migrant selection, migrant skills
    JEL: F22 J24 J61
    Date: 2008–02
  17. By: Bayer, Christian (Bocconi University, Milan); Juessen, Falko (University of Dortmund)
    Abstract: This paper develops a tractable dynamic microeconomic model of migration decisions that is aggregated to describe the behavior of interregional migration. Our structural approach allows us to deal with dynamic self-selection problems that arise from the endogeneity of location choice and the persistency of migration incentives. Keeping track of the distribution of migration incentives over time has important consequences for the econometrical treatment, because the dynamics of this distribution influences the estimation of structural parameters, such as migration costs. For US interstate migration, we obtain a cost estimate of less than one-half of an average annual household income. This is substantially smaller than the migration costs estimated by previous studies. We attribute this difference to the treatment of the dynamic self-selection problem.
    Keywords: dynamic self-selection, migration, indirect inference
    JEL: C61 C20 J61 R23
    Date: 2008–02
  18. By: Gonzalez, Libertad (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Ortega, Francesc (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: In recent years, Spain has received unprecedented immigration flows. Between 2001 and 2006 the fraction of the population born abroad more than doubled, increasing from 4.8% to 10.8%. For Spanish provinces with above-median inflows (relative to population), immigration increased the high school dropout population by 24%, while only increasing the number of college graduates by 11%. We study the different channels by which regional labor markets have absorbed the large increase in the relative supply of low educated (foreign-born) workers. We identify the exogenous supply shock using historical immigrant settlement patterns by country of origin. Using data from the Labor Force Survey and the decennial Census, we find a large expansion of employment in high immigration regions. Specifically, most industries in high-immigration regions experienced a large increase in the share of low-education employment. We do not find an effect on regions’ sectoral specialization. Overall, and perhaps surprisingly, Spanish regions have absorbed immigration flows in the same fashion as US local economies.
    Keywords: immigration, open economies, Rybcszynski, instrumental variables
    JEL: J2 F1 O3
    Date: 2008–01
  19. By: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (Department of Economics, San Diego State University); Sara de la Rica (Depto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico II, Universidad del País Vasco & IZA)
    Abstract: Using data from the Spanish Labor Force Survey (Encuesta de Población Activa) from 1999 through 2007, we explore the role of employment opportunities in explaining the growing immigrant flows of recent years. Subsequently, we investigate whether immigrant inflows have helped reduce regional employment disparities. Our results indicate that immigrants choose to reside in regions with higher employment rates for their particular skills. However, perhaps owing to its recent nature or the ability of the production infrastructure to absorb the increase in immigrant labor, immigration does not seem to have significantly helped employment convergence across regions.
    Date: 2007–11
  20. By: Luca, MARCHIORI (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: A transition from pay-as-you-go pension systems to more private funded systems is often suggested as a solution to finance pension systems threatened by ageing. This paper analyses alternative potential remedies linked to changes in labour market characteristics, within an international computable overlapping-generations model of the world economy. A prolongation of the working life of skilled or unskilled individuals, an increase in the demand of skills, a rise in the education levels and increased skilled or unskilled immigration have very different outcomes in North-America and in Europe. In the latter region, a postponement in the retirement age of unskilled individuals has the most beneficial effect in relieving the fiscal pressure on pensions systems, because the proportion of unskilled workers is relatively larger in Europe than in North-America. In North-America, where skilled labour is more abundant, an acceleration in skill-biased technical change has the biggest impact on pensions systems, as it raises the productivity of skilled workers.
    Keywords: OLG-CGE Model, ageing, labour market, migration
    JEL: C68 H55 O30 J26 J61
    Date: 2008–02–15
  21. By: Hisham Foad (Department of Economics, San Diego State University)
    Abstract: Why is there international trade in newspapers? Why do even very small countries both import from and export to large nations? New trade models founded on transport costs and increasing returns fail to explain the high degree of bilateral trade in cultural goods like newspapers and periodicals. I argue that immigration is complementary to newspaper trade, with small cosmopolitan countries having the largest trade as a percentage of GDP. These predictions are empirically confirmed, with a 10% increase in bilateral immigration inducing a 4.4% increase in newspaper trade between nations. While increased immigration has lead to greater trade, this effect is decreasing in internet usage. The trade-immigration elasticity is 8.5% smaller for high-internet usage countries, reflecting the fact that immigrants increasingly get their foreign news fix online. These results suggest that cultural goods need not be protected from trade as a country’s economic presence on the global stage creates a market for its products.
    Date: 2007–03

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