nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2008‒09‒05
five papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Migration, Relationship Capital and International Travel: Theory and Evidence* By Philip McCann; Jacques Poot; Lynda Sanderson
  2. Moving Across Borders: Who is Willing to Migrate or to Commute? By Peter Huber; Klaus Nowotny
  3. Suburbanization and homeownership rates By Wolfgang R. Köhler
  4. Criminal Sentencing in Nineteenth Century Pennsylvania By Howard Bodenhorn
  5. Das enttäuschte Versprechen der Integration : Migrantennachkommen in Frankreich und Deutschland By Ingrid Tucci; Olaf Groh-Samberg

  1. By: Philip McCann (University of Waikato and University of Reading); Jacques Poot (Population Studies Centre, University of Waikato); Lynda Sanderson (Reserve Bank of New Zealand)
    Abstract: In this paper we consider how international migration is related to the frequency and duration of trips to the home country. For many migrants, international migration triggers a series of trips to visit the home country that allow for a replenishment of the depleted relationship capital with family and friends back home, but these trips incur travel costs and foregone earnings. Given plausible assumptions about the depreciation and replenishment of home country relationship capital, a steady-state level of average maintained relationship capital implies that the optimized travel frequency is inversely related to the distance and the transportation costs, and positively related to the psychological costs of separation. The total time spent at home is increasing in the trip frequency, but with an elasticity that is decreasing in cultural proximity. Empirical evidence in support of these theoretical predictions is found in a unique longitudinal sample of international travel of 13,674 New Zealand citizens and 6,882 UK citizens who migrated to Australia between 1 August 1999 and 31 July 2000.
    Keywords: International Migration; Trip Frequency, Relationship Capital
    JEL: F22 J61 R23 Z13
    Date: 2008–08
  2. By: Peter Huber (WIFO); Klaus Nowotny (WIFO)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the willingness to commute and migrate across borders. We focus on differences in the effects of individual characteristics on the willingness to migrate and the willingness to commute. Based on a random utility model we estimate a multinomial probit regression using individual level data on migration and commuting plans in regions of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia bordering on Austria. We find that indirect costs of mobility have a smaller impact on the probability of being willing to commute. Variables associated with potential earnings have mostly low marginal effects and no evidence of selection by education.
    Keywords: willingness to migrate, willingness to commute, cross-border commuting, multinomial probit regression
    Date: 2008–06–11
  3. By: Wolfgang R. Köhler
    Abstract: Homeownership rates in suburbs are much higher than in central cities. This paper shows that the systematic difference between homeownership rates causes suburbanization. We consider an economy with several regions: the central city, where most households rent, and the suburbs, where most own. Households migrate and vote on local policies. Renters do not consider the effect of policies on house prices. Therefore, renter dominated central cities provide public goods inefficiently and have high taxes and high debt. Since house prices are lower in the central city, few houses are built and households migrate to the suburbs as houses depreciate. The durability of houses has two effects: it provides owners with incentives to vote for efficient policies and it makes inefficient policies sustainable.
    Keywords: Suburbanization, homeownership, migration, local public debt, local public goods, house prices
    JEL: H41 H73
    Date: 2008–07
  4. By: Howard Bodenhorn
    Abstract: How law is interpreted and enforced at a particular historical moment reflects contemporary social concerns and prejudices. This paper investigates the nature of criminal sentencing in mid-nineteenth-century Pennsylvania. It finds that extralegal factors, namely place of conviction and several personal characteristics, were important determinants of sentence length. The observed disparities in the mid-nineteenth century, however, are different than modern disparities. Instead of longer sentences, African Americans and recent immigrants tended to receive shorter sentences, whereas more affluent offenders received longer sentences. The results are consistent with other interpretations of the period as the "era of the common man."
    JEL: K14 K42 N41
    Date: 2008–08
  5. By: Ingrid Tucci; Olaf Groh-Samberg
    Abstract: Dieser Beitrag beschäftigt sich mit den sozialstrukturellen Voraussetzungen, die der Dynamik bzw. dem Ausbleiben von Protestverhalten zu Grunde liegen. Ausgehend von drei theoretischen Erklärungsansätzen wird empirisch anhand von repräsentativen Mikrodaten gezeigt, dass die Konzeption der Integration der Migrantennachkommen durch die Staatsbürgerschaft und die Schule in Frankreich als ein Versprechen der Integration verstanden werden kann, das im Übergang auf den Arbeitsmarkt strukturell enttäuscht wird. Demgegenüber setzt die Ausgrenzung von Migrantennachkommen in Deutschland schon im Bildungssystem ein, so dass größere Erwartungshaltungen gar nicht erst entstehen. Die Revolten der jungen MigrantInnen in Frankreich können damit u.a. als Ergebnis von strukturell enttäuschten Erwartungen interpretiert werden.
    Keywords: Integration, Zweite Generation, Migration, Deutschland, Frankreich
    Date: 2008

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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.