nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2008‒07‒30
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Social Protection and Migration in China: What Can Protect Migrants from Economic Uncertainty? By Song, Lina; Appleton, Simon
  2. Remittances and the household’s expenditures on health By Valero-Gil, Jorge
  3. Consumers and the Brain Drain: Product Design and the Gains from Emigration By Kuhn, Peter J.; McAusland, Carol
  4. The Agglomeration of US Ethnic Inventors By William R. Kerr
  5. Immigrants Working with Co-ethnics: Who Are They and How Do They Fare Economically? By Hou, Feng
  6. Measuring the Importance of Labor Market Networks By Judith K. Hellerstein; Melissa McInerney; David Neumark
  7. Ethnicity, Assimilation and Harassment in the Labor Market By Epstein, Gil S.; Gang, Ira N.
  8. Citizenship in the United States: The Roles of Immigrant Characteristics and Country of Origin By Chiswick, Barry R.; Miller, Paul W.
  9. Scale, Diversity, and Determinants of Labour Migration in Europe By Zaiceva, Anzelika; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  10. Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics By Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano; Giovanni Peri
  11. Development and Migration: Lessons from Southern Europe. By Alessandra Venturini; Riccardo Faini
  12. Output growth volatility and remittances By Matteo Bugamelli; Francesco Paternò
  13. Centralized Wage Determination and Regional Unemployment Differences: The Case of Italy By Caponi, Vincenzo
  14. Etat de santé des populations immigrées en France By Florence Jusot; Jérôme Silva; Paul Dourgnon; Catherine Sermet

  1. By: Song, Lina (University of Nottingham); Appleton, Simon (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: Job-related welfare entitlements are common in China. Migrants who do not hold urban registration are, in principle, not entitled to job-related welfare even if they are employees in the State sector. The official explanation is that rural-urban migrants are allocated access to farm land in their rural origins, and hence their welfare rights and security are covered by this entitlement to the use of land. In this paper, we look at whether migrants still benefited from these opportunities. Second, we investigate whether it is the poor, the unentitled and the vulnerable that are excluded from public protection programs. Chinese official social protection programs are, like in most western countries, officially designated as being for poverty alleviation. However would such programs still be targeted in ways that limit their coverage, curtail the range of basic needs provided for and allocate benefits very unequally? Thirdly, we explore whether households with favourable productive characteristics are more likely to get into social protection programs. Here, the ongoing debate concerning equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes has some relevance. Finally, we examine the roles social networks or Guanxi (the Chinese term for social connections) may play in dealing with economic shocks.
    Keywords: migration, social protection, entitlement, China
    JEL: H41 H42 D63
    Date: 2008–07
  2. By: Valero-Gil, Jorge
    Abstract: This paper considers the effect of remittances on the share of health expenditures to total household expenditure. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate whether remittances are especially targeted towards household’s health in Mexico. We use a Tobit model with random effects and find a statistically significant effect of remittances on the proportion of health expenditures for households that do not have access to employment’s medical insurance: Our results suggest that around 10% of changes in remittances are devoted to health expenditure.
    Keywords: Health expenditure; Remittances; Tobit; Health related consumption
    JEL: D12 I12 F24
    Date: 2008–06–24
  3. By: Kuhn, Peter J. (University of California, Santa Barbara); McAusland, Carol (University of Maryland)
    Abstract: We consider the welfare effects of skilled worker emigration in a context where skilled labor plays a role in product design. We show such emigration can benefit the residents left behind, even when consumers’ tastes exhibit a form of home bias. This is because emigration improves the design of goods designed by skilled emigrants but consumed in the sending country. In contrast to existing models of beneficial brain drain, our results do not require agglomeration economies, education-related externalities, remittances, return migration, or an emigration “lottery”. Instead, they are driven purely by differences in market size that induce skilled emigrants to design better products abroad than at home.
    Keywords: brain drain, international labor migration, product quality
    JEL: F22 J6 O34
    Date: 2008–07
  4. By: William R. Kerr (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)
    Abstract: The ethnic composition of US inventors is undergoing a significant transformation - with deep impacts for the overall agglomeration of US innovation. This study applies an ethnic-name database to individual US patent records to explore these trends with greater detail. The contributions of Chinese and Indian scientists and engineers to US technology formation increase dramatically in the 1990s. At the same time, these ethnic inventors became more spatially concentrated across US cities. The combination of these two factors helps stop and reverse long-term declines in overall inventor agglomeration evident in the 1970s and 1980s. The heightened ethnic agglomeration is particularly evident in industry patents for high-tech sectors, and similar trends are not found in institutions constrained from agglomerating (e.g., universities, government).
    Keywords: Agglomeration, Innovation, Research and Development, Patents, Scientists, Engineers, Inventors, Ethnicity, Immigration.
    JEL: F15 F22 J44 J61 O31
    Date: 2008–07
  5. By: Hou, Feng
    Abstract: Participation in ethnic economies has been regarded as an alternative avenue of economic adaptation for immigrants and minorities in major immigrant-receiving countries. This study examines one important dimension of ethnic economies: co-ethnic concentration at the workplace. Using a large national representative sample from Statistics Canada's 2002 Ethnic Diversity Survey, this study addresses four questions: (1) What is the level of co-ethnic concentration at the workplace for Canada's minority groups? (2) How do workers who share the same ethnicity with most of their co-workers differ from other workers in sociodemographic characteristics? (3) Is a higher level of co-ethnic concentration at the workplace associated with lower earnings? (4) Is a higher level of co-ethnic concentration at the workplace associated with higher levels of life satisfaction? The results show that only a small proportion of immigrants and the Canadian born (persons born to immigrant parents) work in ethnically homogeneous settings. In Canada's eight largest metropolitan areas, about 10% of non-British/French immigrants share the same ethnic origin with the majority of their co-workers. The level is as high as 20% among Chinese immigrants and 18% among Portuguese immigrants. Among Canadian-born minority groups, the level of co-ethnic workplace concentration is about half the level for immigrants. Immigrant workers in ethnically concentrated settings have much lower educational levels and a lower proficiency in English/French. Immigrant men who work mostly with co-ethnics earn, on average, about 33% less than workers with few or no co-ethnic co-workers. About two thirds of this gap is attributable to differences in demographic and job characteristics. Meanwhile, immigrant workers in ethnically homogenous settings are less likely to report low levels of life satisfaction than other immigrant workers. Among the Canadian born, co-ethnic concentration is not consistently associated with ea
    Keywords: Ethnic diversity and immigration,
    Date: 2008–07–14
  6. By: Judith K. Hellerstein; Melissa McInerney; David Neumark
    Abstract: We specify and implement a test for the importance of network effects in determining the establishments at which people work, using recently-constructed matched employer-employee data at the establishment level. We explicitly measure the importance of network effects for groups broken out by race, ethnicity, and various measures of skill, for networks generated by residential proximity. The evidence indicates that labor market networks play an important role in hiring, more so for minorities and the less-skilled, especially among Hispanics, and that labor market networks appear to be race-based.
    JEL: J15 J61
    Date: 2008–07
  7. By: Epstein, Gil S. (Bar-Ilan University); Gang, Ira N. (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: We often observe minority ethnic groups at a disadvantage relative to the majority. Why is this and what can be done about it? Efforts made to assimilate, and time, are two elements working to bring the minority into line with the majority. A third element, the degree to which the majority welcomes the minority, also plays a role. We develop a simple theoretical model useful for examining the consequences for assimilation and harassment of growth in the minority population, time, and the role of political institutions. Over time, conflicts develop within the minority group as members exhibit different interests in assimilating and in maintaining their cultural identity. We discuss how this affects the minority’s position over time and the influence of public policy.
    Keywords: market structure, ethnicity, assimilation, contracts, networks, harassment
    JEL: D74 F23 I20 J61 L14
    Date: 2008–07
  8. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Miller, Paul W. (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This study develops and estimates a model of the naturalization process in the US. The model is based on both the characteristics of immigrants and features of their countries of origin. The empirical analysis is based on the 2000 US Census. Both the characteristics of immigrants and the origin-country variables are shown to be important determinants of citizenship status. The individual characteristics that have the most influence are educational attainment, age at migration, years since migration, veteran of the US armed forces, living with family, and spouses’ educational attainment. The country of origin variables of most importance are their degree of civil liberties and political rights, GDP per capita, whether the origin country recognizes dual citizenship, and the geographic distance of the origin country from the US.
    Keywords: immigrants, citizenship, country of origin, human capital
    JEL: I38 J15 J38 F22
    Date: 2008–07
  9. By: Zaiceva, Anzelika (IZA); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA, DIW Berlin and Bonn University)
    Abstract: While global migration is increasing, internal EU migration flows have remained low. This paper contributes to a better understanding of the determinants and scale of European migration. It surveys previous historical experiences and empirical findings including the recent Eastern enlargements. The determinants of migration before and after the 2004 enlargement and in the EU15 and EU10 countries are analysed using individual data on migration intentions. In addition, perceptions about the size of migration after the enlargement are studied. The potential emigrant from both old and new EU member states tends to be young, better educated and to live in larger cities. People from the EU10 with children are less likely to move after enlargement in comparison to those without family. There exists a correlation between individual perceptions about the scale of migration and actual flows. Better educated and left-oriented individuals in the EU15 are less likely to perceive these flows as important.
    Keywords: migration, EU Eastern enlargement, migration intentions, determinants of labour migration
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2008–07
  10. By: Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano; Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effects of immigration on wages of native workers at the national U.S. level. Following Borjas (2003) we focus on national labor markets for workers of different skills and we enrich his methodology and refine previous estimates. We emphasize that a production function framework is needed to combine workers of different skills in order to evaluate the competition as well as cross-skill complementary effects of immigrants on wages. We also emphasize the importance (and estimate the value) of the elasticity of substitution between workers with at most a high school degree and those without one. Since the two groups turn out to be close substitutes, this strongly dilutes the effects of competition between immigrants and workers with no degree. We then estimate the substitutability between natives and immigrants and we find a small but significant degree of imperfect substitution which further decreases the competitive effect of immigrants. Finally, we account for the short run and long run adjustment of capital in response to immigration. Using our estimates and Census data we find that immigration (1990-2006) had small negative effects in the short run on native workers with no high school degree (-0.7%) and on average wages (-0.4%) while it had small positive effects on native workers with no high school degree (+0.3%) and on average native wages (+0.6%) in the long run. These results are perfectly in line with the estimated aggregate elasticities in the labor literature since Katz and Murphy (1992). We also find a wage effect of new immigrants on previous immigrants in the order of negative 6%.
    JEL: F22 J31 J61
    Date: 2008–07
  11. By: Alessandra Venturini; Riccardo Faini
    Abstract: Policy-makers in OECD countries appear to be increasingly concerned about growing migration pressure from developing countries. At the same, at least within Europe, they typically complain about the low level of internal labor mobility. In this paper, we try to shed some light on the issues of both internal and external labor mobility. We investigate the link between development and migration and argue, on both theoretical and empirical grounds, that it is likely be non linear. More precisely, we find that, in a relatively poor sending country, an increase in income will have a positive impact on the propensity to migrate, even if we control for the income differential with the receiving country, because the financial constraint of the poorest become less binding. Conversely, if the home country is relatively better off, an increase in income may be associated with a fall in the propensity to migrate even for an unchanged income differential. Econometric estimation for Southern Europe over the period 1962-1988 provides substantial support to this approach. We estimate first the level of income for which the financial constraint is no longer binding, around 950$, and then the level of income for which the propensity to migrate declines, which is around $ 4300 in 1985 prices. We therefore predict a steady decline in the propensity to migrate from Southern European countries. Similarly, our results highlight the possibility that the pressure to migrate from Northern African countries and other developing countries may increase with further growth.
    Keywords: migration, growth
    JEL: O15
    Date: 2008–06
  12. By: Matteo Bugamelli (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department); Francesco Paternò (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)
    Abstract: Since output growth volatility has negative effects on growth, poverty and welfare, especially in poorer countries, it is crucial to identify the country-specific factors that affect it. The empirical literature has focused mostly on financial development, policy distortions and globalization variables. Among the latter, attention has been directed in particular to trade and financial openness. We contribute to this literature by adding what we see as the missing globalization variable, the one related to the increasingly important phenomenon of international migrations, namely emigrants' remittances. Remittances can help reduce output growth volatility thanks to their considerable magnitude, stability and low pro-cyclicality. Applying an empirical framework taken from the existing literature to a sample of about 60 emerging and developing economies over the period 1980-2003, we provide robust evidence that remittances are negatively correlated to output growth volatility. Instrumental variable estimation supports our intuition about the direction of causality.
    Keywords: output growth volatility, workersÂ’ remittances, compensation of employees, financial development, trade and financial openness
    JEL: E32 F22 J61 O1
    Date: 2008–06
  13. By: Caponi, Vincenzo (Ryerson University)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the problem of the dualism of the Italian economy, particularly of its labor market. Although the Italian labor market is considered to be the most highly regulated among OECD countries, the unemployment rate in the North, which represents two thirds of the whole economy, is one of the lowest in Europe. In contrast, the South faces an unemployment rate between two to five times higher than the North. GDP per capita is also twice in the North than in the South, while nominal wages do not differ substantially across regions. Finally internal migration is the lowest among European countries since the middle seventies. This paper argues that the uniform wage is the result of the centralized wage setting carried on by unions, and that the absence of migration is the result of the proactive role of the government, which in the seventies stopped the mass internal migration from the South to the North and since then is acting to prevent the reappearance of such phenomenon. Uniform wage across regions, the active role of the government to prevent internal mass migration and a structural productivity divide between North and South are the institutional features that, within a general equilibrium matching model, explain the high unemployment rate in the South and, perhaps more interestingly, the low unemployment rate accompanied by low wages in the North even when compared to other western European countries.
    Keywords: Italy, European unemployment, internal migration, regional unemployment
    JEL: E24 J51 J60
    Date: 2008–07
  14. By: Florence Jusot (IRDES institut for research and information in health economics); Jérôme Silva (IRDES institut for research and information in health economics); Paul Dourgnon (IRDES institut for research and information in health economics); Catherine Sermet (IRDES institut for research and information in health economics)
    Abstract: Cet article étudie les liens existant entre nationalité, migration et état de santé à partir des données de l'Enquête décennale Santé menée en 2002-2003 en France. Les résultats montrent l'existence d'inégalités face à la santé des personnes d'origine étrangère, liées à l'existence d'un effet de sélection à la migration compensé à long terme par un effet délétère de la migration, expliqué en partie seulement par la situation sociale difficile des immigrés. Cette analyse suggère également un effet non négligeable à long terme des caractéristiques économiques et sanitaires du pays de naissance, propre à expliquer les disparités d'état de santé observées au sein de la population immigrée.
    Keywords: santé, nationalité, immigrés, situation économique
    JEL: I12 J15
    Date: 2008–07

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