nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2008‒06‒21
eight papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The Effect of Marriage on Education of Immigrants: Evidence from a Policy Reform Restricting Spouse Import By Helena Skyt Nielsen; Nina Smith; Aycan Celikaksoy
  2. Health of Immigrants in European countries. By Aïda Solé-Auró; Eileen M.Crimmins
  3. And What About the Family Back Home? International Migration and Happiness By Fernando Borraz; Susan Pozo; Máximo Rossi
  4. Gender, Migration, Remittances : Evidence from Germany By Elke Holst; Andrea Schäfer; Mechthild Schrooten
  5. Employment Assimilation of Immigrants in the Netherlands By Aslan Zorlu; Joop Hartog
  6. Relative Income Positions and Labor Migration: A Panel Study Based on a Rural Household Survey in China By Zheren WU
  7. Self-selection and Earnings of Migrants: Evidence from Rural China By Zheren WU
  8. Remittances, liquidity constraints and human capital investments in Ecuador. By C. Calero; Arjun S. Bedi; R. Sparrow

  1. By: Helena Skyt Nielsen; Nina Smith; Aycan Celikaksoy (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of immigrants’ marriage behavior on dropout from education. To identify the causal effect, we exploit a recent Danish policy reform which generated exogenous variation in marriage behavior by a complete abolishment of spouse import for immigrants below 24 years of age. We find that the abrupt change of marriage behavior following the reform is associated with improved educational attainment of young immigrants. The causal impact of marriage on dropout for males is estimated to be around 20 percentage points, whereas the effect for females is small and mostly insignificant. We interpret the results as being consistent with a scenario where family investment motives drive the behavior of males, while the association between marriage and dropout for females is driven by selection effects. The estimated causal effect varies considerably across subgroups.
    Keywords: Education, dropout, immigrants, spouse import, marriage migration, family investment model
    JEL: I21 J12
    Date: 2007–06–29
  2. By: Aïda Solé-Auró (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Eileen M.Crimmins (Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California.)
    Abstract: The health of older immigrants can have important consequences for needed social support and demands placed on health systems. This paper examines health differences between immigrants and the nativeborn populations aged 50 years and older in 11 European countries. We examine differences in functional ability, disability, disease presence and behavioral risk factors, for immigrants and non-immigrants using data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) database. Among the 11 European countries, migrants generally have worse health than the native population. In these countries, there is a little evidence of the “healthy migrant” at ages 50 years and over. In general, it appears that growing numbers of immigrants may portend more health problems in the population in subsequent years.
    Keywords: Immigrants, Mortality, Health, Disability,SHARE.
    Date: 2008–06
  3. By: Fernando Borraz (Universidad de Montevideo); Susan Pozo (Western Michigan University); Máximo Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: In this study we use data on subjective well being and migration in Cuenca, one of the Ecuador's largest cities. We examine the impact of migration on the happiness of the family left behind. We use the propensity score matching estimator to take into account the endogeneity of migration. Our results indicate that migration reduces the happiness of those left behind. We also find that the monetary inflows (remittances) that accompany migration do not increase happiness levels among recipients. These results suggest that the family left behind cannot be compensated, for the increase in unhappiness that it sustains on account of the emigration of loved ones, with remittances from abroad.
    Keywords: Happiness, migration, remittances
    JEL: A12 F22 I31
    Date: 2008–02
  4. By: Elke Holst; Andrea Schäfer; Mechthild Schrooten
    Abstract: Gender-specific determinants of remittances are the subject of this study based on German SOEP data (2001-2006). In 2007, about 7.3 million foreigners were living in Germany. While the total number of foreigners has decreased over the last decade, female migration to Germany has increased. A feminization of migration is observable all over the world, and is changing gender roles in the households of origin as well. Today, women constitute 48.6% of migratory flows to Germany, although the proportion varies significantly by country of origin. A feminization of migration is observable all over the world, and is changing gender roles in the households of origin as well. To date, research has failed to address the gender-specific determinants of remittances from Germany. Here we attempt to fill this gap, focusing on gender roles and network effects. We distinguish between three different groups of migrants: foreigners, Germans with migration background, and all individuals with personal migration experience. Our main findings show, above all, that gender matters. However, the gender differences identified disappear after controlling for transnational (family) networks. Taking interaction terms into account reveals gender-specific network effects. In addition, different groups of migrants show remarkable differences in international networking. We find that female foreigners, but not female migrants with German citizenship, remit less than males if their children live abroad as well. Female migrants with German citizenship send more money home if their siblings remain in the home country. We find the reverse in the case of female migrants with foreign citizenship. Our findings show that female migrants tend to support their children first and foremost, while male migrants tend to support a wider network of more distant family members and friends. This finding is in sharp contrast to previous studies on remittances. It makes clear that there is little evidence supporting the assumption that remittances simply follow income-difference based altruism or that women are more altruistic than men. Furthermore, there seems to be evidence that the gender-specific differences detected in remittance behavior might be due to gender-specific migration patterns and the relative role of the migrant within the transnational network.
    Keywords: Remittances, Economics of Gender, Immigrant Workers
    JEL: F24 J16 D13
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Aslan Zorlu (University of Amsterdam, AIAS, AMIDst, and IZA Bonn); Joop Hartog (University of Amsterdam, AIAS and IZA)
    Abstract: Using two Dutch labour force surveys, employment assimilation of immigrants is examined. We observe marked differences between immigrants by source country. Non-western immigrants never reach parity with native Dutch. Even second generation immigrants never fully catch up. Caribbean immigrants, who share a colonial history with the Dutch, assimilate relatively quick compared to other non-western immigrants but they still suffer from high unemployment. The study also documents that the quality of jobs is significantly lower for immigrants, especially for those who are at larger cultural distance to Dutch society. Job quality of immigrants increases with the duration of stay but again, does not reach parity with natives. The western immigrants seem to face no considerable difficulties in the Dutch labour market. The most remarkable conclusion is the irrelevance of education for socio-economic position of immigrants once the country of origin has been controlled for.
    Keywords: immigration;assimilation;education
    JEL: J15 J21 J24
    Date: 2008–06–05
  6. By: Zheren WU (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Migration may be used as a strategy to improve a householdfs comparative income position in residential areas. Previous studies have found empirical evidence that relative incomes affect emigration decisions. However, no effect is detected for internal migration. In this paper, we reexamine the effect of relative income positions on internal migration behavior. Based on data from a rural household panel survey of the Sichuan and Anhui provinces in China, we find that motives based on relative income play an important role in householdsf migration decisions. When all else is equal, a household that is poor relative to its home village reference group is more likely to increase migration than is a household in the upper end of the village income distribution. This effect is particularly apparent in households with pioneer migrants. The empirical results also indicate that pioneer migrants may confer a positive externality on potential future migrants. Workers belonging to households with pioneers might be less impeded by migration risks and costs and may be more likely to view migration (an increase in the number of migrants) as an effective strategy for improving their relative economic positions.
    Keywords: Migration, Relative income position, Pioneer migrants
    JEL: J24 O15 R23
    Date: 2008–06
  7. By: Zheren WU (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Using data from a rural household survey in China, this paper explores the link between employment choice (nonworking, local farm work, local nonfarm work and migratory work) and migrant earnings. We find significant self-selection in migration. Youths, males, better-educated individuals and those in good health are more likely to migrate. In terms of unobserved characteristics, we find positive selection in migration as related to the alternatives of not working and local farm work, and insignificant self-selection as related to local nonfarm work. Controlling for self-selection, the wage returns to gender (male), education and health are lower than those obtained from simple ordinary least squares (OLS), and the returns to experience are higher. More importantly, we find different self-selection between individuals who have moved as pioneers and migrants from households in which other members have already migrated.
    Keywords: Migration, Migration, Self-selection, Pioneer migrants
    JEL: J24 J31 O15
    Date: 2008–06
  8. By: C. Calero; Arjun S. Bedi; R. Sparrow
    Abstract: Over the last decade Ecuador has experienced a strong increase in financial transfers from migrated workers. 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. 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.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, transnational networks, human capital, Latin America, Ecuador.
    JEL: I20 J22 O15
    Date: 2008

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