nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2008‒04‒29
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. From Illegal to Legal: Estimating Previous Illegal Experience among New Legal Immigrants to the United States By Jasso, Guillermina; Massey, Douglas S.; Rosenzweig, Mark R.; Smith, James P.
  2. Civil Wars beyond their Borders: The Human Capital and Health Consequences of Hosting Refugees By Baez, Javier E.
  3. Selective Migration and Health By Halliday, Timothy; Kimmitt, Michael C.
  4. Migration Enclaves, Schooling Choices and Social Mobility By Piacentini, Mario
  5. International Migration, Ethnicity and Economic Inequality By Kahanec, Martin; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  6. Remittances, Migration and Informality in Mexico. A Simple Model By Brambila Macias, Jose
  7. Russian Migrants to Russia: Choice of Location and Labor Market Outcomes By Olga Lazareva; Konstantin Sonin
  8. Rural immigrant population growth, 1950-2000: waves or ripples? By Dust, Andrew; Orazem, Peter; Wohlgemuth, Darin
  9. Interethnic Marriage: A Choice between Ethnic and Educational Similarities By Furtado, Delia; Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos

  1. By: Jasso, Guillermina (New York University); Massey, Douglas S. (Princeton University); Rosenzweig, Mark R. (Yale University); Smith, James P. (RAND)
    Abstract: This paper develops a framework for estimating previous illegal experience among annual cohorts of new legal immigrants to the United States – using public-use administrative microdata alone, survey data alone, and the two jointly – and provides estimates for the FY 1996 cohort of new immigrants, based on both administrative and survey data. Our procedures enable assessment of type of illegal experience, including entry without inspection, visa overstay, and unauthorized employment. We compare our estimates of previous illegal experience to estimates that would be obtained using administrative data alone; examine the extent of previous illegal experience by country of birth, immigrant class of admission, religion, and geographic residence in the United States; and estimate multivariate models of the probability of having previous illegal experience. To further assess origins and destinations, we carry out two kinds of contrasts, comparing formerly illegal new legal immigrants both to fellow immigrants who do not have previous illegal experience and also to the broader unauthorized population, the latter using estimates developed by DHS (2002), Passel (2002), and Costanzo et al. (2002).
    Keywords: illegal immigration, legal immigration, administrative data, survey data
    JEL: F22 C42 K42
    Date: 2008–04
  2. By: Baez, Javier E. (Syracuse University)
    Abstract: Between 1993 and 1994, extremist militia groups carried out the extermination of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the genocides of Burundi and Rwanda. Nearly one million people were killed and thousands were forcibly uprooted from their homes. Over the course of a few months, Kagera – a region in northwestern Tanzania – received more than 500,000 refugees from these wars. This region is home to a series of geographic natural barriers, which resulted in variation in refugee intensity. I exploit this variation to investigate the short and long run causal effects of hosting refugees on the outcomes of local children. Reduced-form estimates offer evidence of adverse impacts almost 1.5 years after the shock: a worsening of children’s anthropometrics of 0.3 standard deviations, an increase of 15 to 20 percentage points in the incidence of infectious diseases and an increase of roughly 7 percentage points in mortality for children under five. I also exploit intra- and inter-cohort variation and find that childhood exposure to this massive arrival of refugees reduced height in early adulthood by 1.8 cm (1.2%), schooling by 0.2 years (7.1%) and literacy by 7 percentage points (8.6%). Designs using the distance from the village to the border with Rwanda as an alternative instrumental strategy for refugee intensity support the findings. The estimates are robust across a variety of samples, specifications and estimation methods and provide evidence of a previously undocumented indirect effect of civil wars on the well-being of children and subsequent economic growth in refugee-hosting communities.
    Keywords: civil conflicts, refugees, children, human capital, health, Africa
    JEL: O10 O12 O15
    Date: 2008–04
  3. By: Halliday, Timothy (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Kimmitt, Michael C. (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we investigate the impact of health on domestic migration within the United States. We find that, for men below 60 years of age, a move from the middle to the bottom of the health distribution reduces mobility by 32-40%. Non-random attrition from the panel implies that these are lower bounds. By contrast, we find evidence that, among older men, there is higher mobility at the top and bottom of the health distribution than there is in the middle. For women, we find no evidence of a relationship between their own health and mobility, although spousal health does affect the mobility of married women.
    Keywords: migration, health, selection, attrition
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2008–04
  4. By: Piacentini, Mario
    Abstract: This paper investigates the presence of a network externality which might explain the persistence of low schooling achievements among internal migrants. A simple analytical framework is presented to show how an initial human capital disparity between migrants and non migrants can translate into persistent skill inequality if origin shapes the composition of social networks. We test empirically whether young migrantsschooling decisions are affected by the presence of covillagers at destination, using data on life-time histories of migration and education choices from a rural region of Thailand. Different modelling approaches are used to account for the self-selection of young migrants, for potential endogeneity of the network size, and for unobserved heterogeneity in individual preferences. The size of the migrant network is found to negatively affect the propensity of young migrants to pursue schooling while in the city. This fi…nding suggests that policies seeking to minimising strati…cation in enclaves might have a socially multiplied impact on schooling participation, and, ultimately, affect the socio-economic mobility of the rural born.
    Keywords: human capital; schooling; networks; migration; inequality
    JEL: O1 O10 O15
    Date: 2008–03–01
  5. By: Kahanec, Martin (IZA); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA, DIW Berlin and Bonn University)
    Abstract: While the allocative efficiency of mobility is typically considered to be positive but small in the long run, the induced changes in equality may be considerable in size. In practice, however, migrants typically improve their income position in comparison to those at home, stimulate the economic situation of the sending countries through remittances and rise the economic performance of natives and of capital in the host country through complementarities. The chapter suggests that at least skilled immigration promotes economic equality in the host country under standard conditions. The context is empirically documented und theoretically explained in a core model. Also, immigrant assimilation and selection is discussed, as is the role of ethnicity and ethnic identity for relative economic performance.
    Keywords: ethnosizing, inequality, income distribution, migration, ethnicity, minority, assimilation, integration, Gini-coefficient
    JEL: D33 D63 E25 F22 F24 J15 J61 O15
    Date: 2008–04
  6. By: Brambila Macias, Jose
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyse the possible channels through which informality, remittances and migration could interact and consequently affect growth in Mexico. In order to do so, we develop a simple endogenous growth model that allows for remittances and the coexistence of the formal and informal sector in the production function. In the literature, there is no agreement regarding the effects of the informal sector on economic growth. Moreover, thanks to globalization, migration and remittances have increased significantly their macroeconomic weight, renewing interest in studying the interactions that these variables might have, especially in developing countries like Mexico, where remittances are the third source of income after oil and tourism revenues. Our model shows that remittances play a crucial role on enhancing the Mexican resource constraint, while the possibility of migration in the informal sector drains the aggregate labor force. However, the magnitude of potential remittances may offset this loss, thus having an overall positive effect on economic growth.
    Keywords: Growth; Informal Sector; Migration; Remittances
    JEL: F22 O17 O40 F24
    Date: 2008–03–31
  7. By: Olga Lazareva (New Economic School (NES), Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR), Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)); Konstantin Sonin (Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm; Centre for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR), Moscow)
    Abstract: The move of five million Russian and Russian-speaking people from the former Soviet Union countries to Russia which took place during 1990s has been studied by demographers, sociologists and to a lesser extent by economists. This paper presents a study of the labor market outcomes for the Russian migrants to Russia, using the data from a representative survey of the Russian population in 2004 and 2005. Author focuses on the location choice by Russian immigrants and tests the hypothesis of skill sorting across regions. It is shown that in the regions with low fraction of immigrant population immigrants are doing better in terms of employment opportunities than local population while in the regions with high fraction of immigrants they are doing worse than locals. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that immigrants choose regions where the demand for their skills is high and compete for the jobs with fellow immigrants rather than with locals. Wage premiums for the migrants are found in some occupations but not in others. The results of the analysis indicate that the Russian migration to Russia has played some equilibrating role in the regional labor markets in presence of high barriers for internal labor migration.
    Keywords: migration, regional labor markets, wages, employment
    JEL: J61 J31
    Date: 2008–04
  8. By: Dust, Andrew; Orazem, Peter; Wohlgemuth, Darin
    Abstract: Using U.S. Census data from 1950 to 2000, this paper provides a framework to compare the responses of immigrant and native population growth to the economic incentives offered by rural counties in the Midwest and the South. We find that in marked contrast to urban immigrant populations, rural immigrants do not congregate in ethnic enclaves. Larger rural populations of immigrants do not attract more immigrants, nor do they retard growth of the young native born population. Immigrant populations are more responsive than native populations to economic incentives. The native-born population tends to respond more to growth in specific industries, while immigrant populations are more responsive to overall employment growth. Rural immigrant population growth is not positively influenced by levels of local welfare or other public services. Compared to earlier immigrant groups, more recent waves of immigrants are influenced more by the number of jobs than by income levels in deciding where to live.
    Keywords: rural, immigrant, population, native-born, migration, incentives, income, jobs, welfare, public services
    JEL: R0
    Date: 2008–04–19
  9. By: Furtado, Delia (University of Connecticut); Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos (University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of education on intermarriage, and specifically whether the mechanisms through which education affects intermarriage differ by immigrant generation, age at arrival, and race. We consider three main paths through which education affects marriage choice. First, educated people may be better able to adapt to different cultures making them more likely to marry outside of their ethnicity (cultural adaptability effect). Second, because the educated are less likely to reside in ethnic enclaves, meeting potential spouses of the same ethnicity may be difficult (enclave effect). Lastly, if spouse-searchers value similarities in education as well as similarities in ethnicity, then the effect of education will depend on the availability of same-ethnicity potential spouses with a similar level of education (assortative matching effect). Using data from the 2000 U.S. Census, we find that controlling for the enclave effect, there is empirical evidence for both the cultural adaptability and assortative matching effects. Our estimates also suggest that assortative matching is relatively more important for the native born rather than the foreign born, for the foreign born that arrived young rather than old, and for Asians rather than Hispanics. We provide additional evidence suggestive of our hypotheses and discuss policy implications.
    Keywords: ethnic intermarriage, education, immigration
    JEL: J12 I21 J61
    Date: 2008–04

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