nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2008‒05‒17
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. I’ll Marry You If You Get Me a Job: Cross-Nativity Marriages and Immigrant Employment Rates By Delia Furtado; Nikolaos Theodoropoulos
  2. Glass Ceilings or Glass Doors? Wage Disparity Within and Between Firms By Krishna Pendakur; Simon Woodcock
  3. Return Migration as Channel of Brain Gain By Karin Mayr; Giovanni Peri
  4. The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages By Christian Dustmann; Tommaso Frattini; Ian Preston
  5. Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages By Giovanni Peri; Chad Sparber
  6. Does Immigration Raise Natives’ Income? National and Regional Evidence from Spain By Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Sara de la Rica
  7. International Job Search: Mexicans in and out of the U.S. By Silvio Rendon; Alfredo Cuecuecha
  8. Do Migrants succeed in the Australian Labour Market? Furher Evidence on Job Quality By Mahuteau, Stephane; Junankar, Pramod
  9. Controversies about the Rise of American Inequality: A Survey By Robert J. Gordon; Ian Dew-Becker
  10. Normes du travail, migrations internes et emploi : une analyse théorique. By Rémi Bazillier

  1. By: Delia Furtado (University of Connecticut); Nikolaos Theodoropoulos (University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: This paper tests whether marriage to a native affects the probability that an immigrant is employed. We provide a theoretical background which explains how marriage to a native may positively or negatively affect an immigrant’s employment probability. Utilizing the 2000 U.S. Census, we first look at the effect of cross-nativity marriages on employment using a linear probability model. Then, we estimate a two stage least squares model instrumenting for cross-nativity marriages using local marriage market conditions. Results from a linear probability model controlling for the usual measures of human capital and immigrant assimilation suggest that marriage to a native increases the employment probability of an immigrant by approximately 5 percentage points. When controlling for the endogeneity of the intermarriage decision, marriage to a native increases the employment probability by about 11 percentage points. We provide alternative explanations and suggest policy implications.
    Keywords: Intermarriage, Employment, Immigration
    JEL: J12 I21 J61
    Date: 2008–03
  2. By: Krishna Pendakur (Simon Fraser University); Simon Woodcock (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: We investigate whether immigrant and minority workers' poor access to high-wage jobs---that is, glass ceilings---is attributable to poor access to jobs in high-wage firms, a phenomenon we call glass doors. Our analysis uses linked employer-employee data to measure mean- and quantile-wage differentials of immigrants and ethnic minorities, both within and across firms. We find that glass ceilings exist for some immigrant groups, and that they are driven in large measure by glass doors. For some immigrant groups, the sorting of these workers across firms accounts for as much as half of the economy-wide wage disparity they face.
    Keywords: glass ceilings, wage differentials, immigration, visible minorities, quantile regression, linked employer-employee data
    JEL: J15 J71 J31
    Date: 2008–05
  3. By: Karin Mayr (Johannes Kepler University, Linz); Giovanni Peri (UC Davis and NBER)
    Abstract: Recent theoretical and empirical studies have emphasized the fact that the prospect of international migration increases the expected returns to skills in poor countries, linking the possibility of migrating (brain drain) with incentives to higher education (brain gain). If emigration is uncertain and some of the highly educated remain, such a channel may, at least in part, counterbalance the negative effects of brain drain. Moreover, recent empirical evidence seems to show that temporary migration is widespread among highly skilled migrants (such as Eastern Europeans inWestern Europe and Asians in the U.S.). This paper develops a simple tractable overlapping generations model that provides an economic rationale for return migration and which predicts who will migrate and who will return among agents with heterogeneous abilities. We use parameter values from the literature and the data on return migration to calibrate our model and simulate and quantify the effects of increased openness on human capital and wages of the sending countries. We find that, for plausible values of the parameters, the return migration channel is very important and combined with the incentive channel reverses the brain drain into significant brain gain for the sending country.
    Keywords: Skilled Migration, Return Migration, Returns to Education.
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2008–04
  4. By: Christian Dustmann (Department of Economics and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), University College London); Tommaso Frattini (Department of Economics and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), University College London); Ian Preston (Department of Economics and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), University College London)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effect immigration has on wages of native workers. Unlike most previous work, we estimate wage effects along the distribution of wages. We derive a flexible empirical strategy that does not rely on pre-allocating immigrants to particular skill groups. In our empirical analysis, we demonstrate that immigrants downgrade considerably upon arrival. As for the effects on native wages, we find that immigration depresses wages below the 20th percentile of the wage distribution, but leads to slight wage increases in the upper part of the wage distribution. The overall wage effect of immigration is slightly positive. The positive wage effects we find are, although modest, too large to be explained by an immigration surplus. We suggest alternative explanations, based on the idea that immigrants are paid less than the value of what they contribute to production, generating therefore a surplus, and we assess the magnitude of these effects.
    Date: 2008–04
  5. By: Giovanni Peri (UC Davis and NBER); Chad Sparber (Colgate University)
    Abstract: Many workers with low levels of educational attainment immigrated to the United States in recent decades. Large inflows of less-educated immigrants would reduce wages paid to comparably-educated native-born workers if the two groups are perfectly substitutable in production. In a simple model exploiting comparative advantage, however, we show that if less-educated foreign and native-born workers specialize in performing different tasks, immigration will cause natives to reallocate their task supply, thereby reducing downward wage pressure. We merge occupational task-intensity data from the O*NET and DOT datasets with individual Census data across US states from 1960-2000 to demonstrate that foreign-born workers specialize in occupations that require manual and physical labor skills while natives pursue jobs more intensive in communication and language tasks. Immigration induces natives to specialize accordingly. Simulations show that this increased specialization might explain why economic analyses commonly find only modest wage and employment consequences of immigration for less-educated native-born workers across U.S. states. This is especially true in states with large immigration flows.
    Keywords: Immigration, Less-Educated Labor, Manual Tasks, Communication Skills, Comparative Advantages, US States.
    JEL: F22 J61 J31 R13
    Date: 2008–03
  6. By: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Sara de la Rica
    Abstract: How immigration affects the labor market of the host country is a topic of major concern for many immigrant-receiving nations. Spain is no exception following the rapid increase in immigrant flows experienced over the past decade. We assess the impact of immigration on Spanish natives’ income by estimating the net immigration surplus accruing at the national level and at high immigrant-receiving regions while taking into account the imperfect substitutability of immigrant and native labor. Specifically, using information on the occupational densities of immigrants and natives of different skill levels, we develop a mapping of immigrant-to-native self-reported skills that reveals the combination of natives across skills that would be equivalent to an immigrant of a given self-reported skill level, which we use to account for any differences between immigrant self-reported skill levels and their effective skills according to the Spanish labor market. We find that the immigrant surplus amounts to 0.04 percent of GDP at the national level and it is even higher for some of the main immigrant-receiving regions, such as Cataluña, Valencia, Madrid, and Murcia.
    Date: 2008–05
  7. By: Silvio Rendon (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM)); Alfredo Cuecuecha (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))
    Abstract: It is argued that migration from Mexico to the US and 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
  8. By: Mahuteau, Stephane; Junankar, Pramod
    Abstract: While the Coalition Government was in power in Australia from 1996 to 2007, new immigrants have had to face tougher selection criteria and increased financial pressure. Most studies so far have overlooked the issue of the quality of the jobs obtained by new immigrants to Australia and whether the policy change has contributed to improve or worsen job quality among immigrants and their ability to move upward. Job quality is thought to be related to the channels of information used by immigrants in their job search. Some studies suggest that jobs found via networks of same origin migrants are of lower quality. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we investigate the effect of time since settlement on the ability of migrants to better their labour market outcomes. Second, we quantify the relationships between job quality and migrants’ job search methods and test whether they were affected by the policy changes. Using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA), we estimate the probabilities for immigrants to find “good jobs”, controlling for their initial employability upon arrival in Australia. We test several models involving various definitions of “good job”, from objective conditions, based on the nature and status of the occupation, to more subjective conditions based on job satisfaction. We show that the sole effect of being a second cohort migrant is beneficial for the probability to both find a job and a “good job” within the first year and half after settlement. After this time, cohort two migrants who still have not found a good job experience more difficulty to improve. Moreover, informal channels of information on job prospects have been slightly more efficient in enabling second cohort migrants to find good jobs, even though they still provide individuals with a disadvantage compared to formal channels.
    Keywords: migrants; job quality; immigration policy; migrant networks; bivariate probit
    JEL: J61 J68 C25
    Date: 2007–09
  9. By: Robert J. Gordon; Ian Dew-Becker
    Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive survey of seven aspects of rising inequality that are usually discussed separately: changes in labor's share of income; inequality at the bottom of the income distribution, including labor mobility; skill-biased technical change; inequality among high incomes; consumption inequality; geographical inequality; and international differences in the income distribution, particularly at the top. We conclude that changes in labor's share play no role in rising inequality of labor income; by one measure labor's income share was almost the same in 2007 as in 1950. Within the bottom 90 percent as documented by CPS data, movements in the 50-10 ratio are consistent with a role of decreased union density for men and of a decrease in the real minimum wage for women, particularly in 1980-86. There is little evidence on the effects of imports, and an ambiguous literature on immigration which implies a small overall impact on the wages of the average native American, a significant downward effect on high-school dropouts, and potentially a large impact on previous immigrants working in occupations in which immigrants specialize. The literature on skill-biased technical change (SBTC) has been valuably enriched by a finer grid of skills, switching from a two-dimension to a three- or five-dimensional breakdown of skills. We endorse the three-way "polarization" hypothesis that seems a plausible way of explaining differentials in wage changes and also in outsourcing. To explain increased skewness at the top, we introduce a three-way distinction between market-driven superstars where audience magnification allows a performance to reach one or ten million people, a second market-driven segment consisting of occupations like lawyers and investment bankers, and a third segment consisting of top corporate officers. Our review of the CEO debate places equal emphasis on the market in showering capital gains through stock options and an arbitrary management power hypothesis based on numerous non-market aspects of executive pay. Data on consumption inequality are too fragile to reach firm conclusions. We introduce two new issues, disparities in the growth of price indexes and also of life expectancy between the rich and the poor. We conclude with a perspective on international differences that blends institutional and market-driven explanations.
    JEL: D12 D3 D31 D63 I3 J24 J31 J62 R10
    Date: 2008–05
  10. By: Rémi Bazillier (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is to determine the impact of the settings of labour standards on the level of dualism, employment and wages. Contrary to the "conventional wisdom", we show that the reinforcement of dualism due to the improvement of labour standards is not automatic. Under certain assumptions (impact of labour standards on productivity, initial level of labour standards and ratio capital/labour), the improvement of labour standards can improve employment in the formal sector, reduce the relative weight of traditional sector and increase the wage in this sector. We also study the effects of labour standards when these standards creates an additional incentive to migrate. We show that it can create a upward pressure on the level of urban unemployment if the gap between working conditions in the two sector is too large.
    Keywords: Labor norms, dualism, migration.
    JEL: J80 J88 O15 O17
    Date: 2008–03

This nep-mig issue is ©2008 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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