nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2008‒10‒13
seventeen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries By Alberto Alesina; Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
  2. Managing Migration through Quotas: an Option-theory Perspective By Michele Moretto; Sergio Vergalli
  3. Race, Ethnicity and the Dynamics of Health Insurance Coverage By Fairlie, Robert W.; London, Rebecca A.
  4. Projet OCDE sur la migration des professionnels de santé : Le cas de la France By OCDE
  5. Saving Behaviour of the Immigrants and Ethnic Minorities in the UK: Evidence from Panel Data By Sayema H. Bidisha
  6. Social Capital and Urban Growth By Edward L. Glaeser; Charles Redlick
  8. Migrant networks: Empirical Implications for the Italian Bilateral Trade By Marina Murat; Barbara Pistoresi
  9. : Italian Diaspora and Foreign Direct Investment: A Cliometric Perspective By Marina Murat; Barbara Pistoresi; Alberto Rinaldi
  10. Mismatches in the Formal Sector, Expansion of the Informal Sector: Immigration of Health Professionals to Italy By Jonathan Chaloff
  11. Intergenerational Education Mobility Among the Children of Canadian Immigrants By Aydemir, Abdurrahman; Chen, Wen-Hao; Corak, Miles
  12. The Transmission of Women's Fertility, Human Capital and Work Orientation across Immigrant Generations By Blau, Francine D.; Kahn, Lawrence M.; Liu, Albert Yung-Hsu; Papps, Kerry L.
  13. Mobilité intergénérationnelle du niveau de scolarité chez les enfants des immigrants au Canada By Aydemir, Abdurrahman; Chen, Wen-Hao; Corak, Miles
  14. ‘Living’ wage, class conflict and ethnic strife By Indraneel Dasgupta
  15. Population Ageing, Labour Market Reform and Economic Growth in China - A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis By Xiujian Peng; Yinhua Mai
  16. Gender, Source Country Characteristics and Labor Market Assimilation among Immigrants: 1980─2000 By Blau, Francine D.; Kahn, Lawrence M.; Papps, Kerry L.
  17. Ethnic Intermarriage among Immigrants: Human Capital and Assortative Mating By Chiswick, Barry R.; Houseworth, Christina A.

  1. By: Alberto Alesina (Harvard University); Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (CEFIR, NES)
    Abstract: This paper has three goals. The first, and perhaps the most important, is to provide a new compilation of data on ethnic, linguistic and religious composition at the sub-national level for a large number of countries. This data set allows us to measure segregation of di¤erent ethnic, religious and linguistic groups within the same country. The second goal is to correlate measures of segregation with measures of quality of the polity and policymaking. The third is to construct an instrument that helps to overcome the endogeneity problem that arises because groups move within country borders, partly in response to policies. Our results suggest that more ethnically and linguistically segregated countries, i.e., those where groups live more spatially separately, have a substantially lower quality of government. In contrast, we find no relationship between religious segregation and the quality of government.
    Date: 2008–07
  2. By: Michele Moretto; Sergio Vergalli
    Abstract: Recent European Legislation on immigration has revealed a particular paradox on migration policies. On one hand, the trend of recent legislation points to the increasing closure of frontiers (OECD 1999, 2001, 2004), also by using immigration quotas. On the other hand, there is an increase of regolarization, i.e., European policies are becoming less tight. Our aim here is to study these counterbalanced and opposite policies in European immigration legislation in an unified framework. To do this, we have used a real option approach to migration choice that assumes that the decision to migrate can be described as an irreversible investment decision where quotas rappresent an upper bound limit. Our results show the paradox of counterbalancing immigration policies is not odd but it could be in line with an optimal policy to control migration inflow. In particular, we show that if the government controls the information related to the immigration quota system it could delay the mass entry of immigrants maintaining, in the long run, the required immigration stock and controlling the flows in the short-run.
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Fairlie, Robert W. (University of California, Santa Cruz); London, Rebecca A. (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Using matched data from the 1996 to 2004 Current Population Survey (CPS), we examine racial patterns in annual transitions into and out of health insurance coverage. We first decompose racial differences in static health insurance coverage rates into group differences in transition rates into and out of health insurance coverage. The low rate of health insurance coverage among African-Americans is due almost entirely to higher annual rates of losing health insurance than whites. Among the uninsured, African-Americans have similar rates of gaining health insurance in the following year as whites. Estimates from the matched CPS also indicate that the lower rate of health insurance coverage among Asians is almost entirely accounted for by a relatively high rate of losing health insurance. In contrast to these findings, differences in health insurance coverage between Latinos and whites are due to group differences in both the rate of health insurance loss and gain. Using logit regression estimates, we also calculate non-linear decompositions for the racial gaps in health insurance loss and gain. We find that two main factors are responsible for differences in health insurance loss between working-age whites and minorities: job loss and education level. Higher rates of job loss account for 30 percent of the health insurance gap for African-Americans and Asians, and 16 percent of the health insurance gap for Latinos. Lower levels of education explain roughly 15 percent of the gap for African-Americans and Latinos (Asians' higher levels of education serve to close the gap). Higher rates of welfare and SSI participation among African-Americans also serve to widen the gap in health insurance loss by 8 percent.
    Keywords: race, health insurance, insurance dynamics
    JEL: I1 J15
    Date: 2008–09
  4. By: OCDE
    Abstract: Ce document examine la démographie des professionnels de la santé en France ainsi que les évolutions récentes des politiques migratoire relatives aux professionnels de la santé. Il traite également de la planification des effectifs et du rôle possible du recrutement du personnel de la santé étranger dans les années à venir.<p> L’évolution des effectifs au cours des années 90 a été marquée par des restrictions concernant la formation de médecins et d’infirmières. Depuis lors, les capacités de formation ont été fortement accrues, et la France se situe ainsi au niveau de la moyenne européenne et au dessus de l’ensemble des pays de l’OCDE en termes de densité de médecin. Les chiffres disponibles montrent qu’en France, le recrutement international de professionnels de santé ne joue pas un rôle prépondérant. Une proportion importante de ceux qui sont formés à l’étranger sont originaires de pays membres de l’Union Européenne, notamment en raison des dispositions législatives européennes, qui vise à faciliter la reconnaissance de diplôme des ressortissants de l’UE pour la plupart des professions de la santé. Pour ce qui est des diplômés hors Union Européenne, ils doivent répondre à des mesures plus restrictives, mises en place par la législation française, qui limite l’accès à la profession. Les médecins et infirmiers formés à l’étranger sont principalement employés en milieu hospitalier.... <BR>This report examines health workforce demographics in France, together with recent trends in migration policies regarding health professionals. It also analyses workforce planning and the possible role of the recruitment of foreign health workers in coming years.<p> Workforce trends in the 1990s were marked by restrictions governing the training of doctors and nurses. Since then, training capacities have expanded significantly, and France is now on a par with the European average and above the OECD-wide average in terms of density of doctors. The available figures show that the international recruitment of health professionals does not play a decisive role in France. A large share of foreign-trained health workers come from EU countries, in particular because of the European legislation aimed at facilitating recognition of diplomas of EU nationals for most health professions. Non-EU diplomas, however, are subject to tighter restrictions laid down by French legislation, which limits access to the profession. Foreign-trained doctors and nurses are primarily employed in hospitals....
    Date: 2008–10–01
  5. By: Sayema H. Bidisha
    Abstract: The fact that members of an immigrant community may have different demographic characteristics, or may have different tastes, to the indigenous population, may manifest itself in differences in saving behaviour. In addition, depending on their ethnic background, there could be differences among the immigrants themselves. Using household level panel data for the UK, this paper analyzes the saving behaviour of the immigrants of different ethnicities vis a vis the natives. Our estimation results provide evidence of diverse saving behaviour among British households, which depends on both immigration status as well as ethnic background. Decomposition analysis indicates that these differences are primarily attributable to unobservable rather than to the differences in observed characteristics.
    Keywords: Immigrant, Ethnicity, Household Savings, Decomposition Analysis
  6. By: Edward L. Glaeser; Charles Redlick
    Abstract: Social capital is often place-specific while schooling is portable, so the prospect of migration may reduce the returns to social capital and increase the returns to schooling. If social capital matters for urban success, it is possible that an area can get caught in a bad equilibrium where the prospect of out-migration reduces social capital investment and a lack of social capital investment makes out-migration more appealing. We present a simple model of that process and then test its implications. We find little evidence to suggest that social capital is correlated with either area growth or rates of out-migration. We do, however, find significant differences in the returns to human capital across space, and a significant pattern of skilled people disproportionately leaving declining areas. For people in declining areas, the prospect of out-migration may increase the returns to investment in human capital, but it does not seem to impact investment in social capital.
    JEL: D0 H0 I0 J0 R0
    Date: 2008–10
  7. By: CARMEN AINA; GIORGIA CASALONE; PAOLO GHINETTI (SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont)
    Abstract: This paper aims at analysing the educational outcomes of a cohort of youths living in an Italian province (Novara), which was interested by large migration phenomenon during the last decades and, therefore, it is particularly suited to study inter-regional mobility issues. In particular we aim at establishing if, once controlled for parental educational background, family origin affects human capital accumulation. We find that non native youths on average have a higher probability of early leaving educational system. If the 1st generation migrants are the less advantaged as for educational attainment, even 2nd generation migrants, that in principle should be completely integrated, perform worse than the native born. This evidence calls into question the integration of internal migrants, for whom education plays a crucial role, even in a period in which foreign immigration seems to be of major concern.
    Keywords: Internal migration; Education; Survival analysis; Unobserved heterogeneity.
    JEL: J24 R23
    Date: 2008–09
  8. By: Marina Murat; Barbara Pistoresi
    Abstract: A significant number of empirical studies, focusing on different countries, have found a positive link between migration and trade. This paper studies the relationship between emigration, immigration and trade using Italian data. The sample regards 51 foreign trading partners and spans from 1990 to 2005. The results suggest that: networks of Italian emigrants in foreign countries boost bilateral trade. The effects of immigrants are weak, on exports, or negative, on imports. Results do not change when the cultural and institutional dissimilarities between countries are considered.
    Keywords: International Migration, Italian Bilateral Trade
    JEL: F10 F22 F23
    Date: 2007–09
  9. By: Marina Murat; Barbara Pistoresi; Alberto Rinaldi
    Abstract: Recent economic literature highlights that migrant networks help to overcome the informal barriers that exist in the international markets and boost international investment. Empirical studies on different countries confirm this prediction. This paper estimates (OLS-IV) an econometric model to study the impact of both emigration and immigration on Italy’s bilateral foreign direct investment (FDI). The main result is that only the Italian diaspora has a significant positive effect on Italy’s both inward and outward FDI. A theoretical framework, a profile of the diaspora and of immigration in Italy and some exemplary entrepreneurial histories help to interpret the econometric evidence.
    Keywords: International Investments, Migrant Networks, Entrepreneurial Histories
    JEL: F21 F23 N84
    Date: 2008–03
  10. By: Jonathan Chaloff
    Abstract: Italy has an aging population which is placing a strain on the public health system and on families. At the same time, it has a distorted market of supply of health professionals. Past over enrolment in medical faculties has produced a current glut of doctors, although shortages will appear as this cohort retires. It is difficult for foreign-trained doctors, and Italian-trained foreigners, to practice medicine in Italy. In nursing, the situation is more critical, with far fewer graduates of nursing schools than necessary even to meet replacement needs. Care for the aged, which was traditionally borne by families, has increasingly been delegated to informal immigrant workers. In the absence of major changes in the care industry, recruitment efforts for nurses and other health technicians has expanded to include other source countries. Obstacles to international recruitment of nurses have been reduced, both by simplifying recognition of foreign qualifications and by exempting nurses from limits on labour migration to Italy. However, a ban on permanent employment in the public sector has relegated foreign nurses largely to private sector and shorter-term contract work. National and local health authorities have also become involved in supporting international recruitment of nurses, often through private agencies. In the home-care sector, families have been granted more opportunities to hire care workers from abroad legally, and many local authorities are attempting to integrate this spontaneous private care into their eldercare system through skill upgrades and support. Nonetheless, international migration will not be sufficient to solve Italy’s health care professional needs. <BR>Le vieillissement de la population en Italie pèse lourdement sur le système de santé public et les familles. Parallèlement, l’offre de professionnels de la santé sur le marché du travail est déséquilibré. Dans le passé, le nombre excessif d’inscriptions dans les facultés de médecine a entrainé une surabondance de médecins, mais des pénuries apparaîtront au fur et à mesure qu’ils partiront à la retraite. Il est difficile pour les médecins ayant étudié à l’étranger et les immigrés qui se sont qualifiés en Italie d’exercer la médecine dans ce pays. En ce qui concerne les infirmières, la situation est plus critique, avec un trop petit nombre de diplômés des écoles d’infirmières, même pour satisfaire uniquement les besoins de remplacement. Les soins aux personnes âgées, incombant traditionnellement aux familles, ont été de plus en plus délégués aux immigrés du secteur informel. En l’absence de changements majeurs dans les politiques de la santé, des efforts ont été faits pour recruter des infirmières et personnels de santé dans d’autres pays d’origine. La simplification de la reconnaissance des qualifications acquises à l’étranger et l’exemption de quotas d’infirmières étrangères sur le marché du travail en Italie ont réduit les obstacles au recrutement international d’infirmières. Cependant, l’interdiction de les employer de façon permanente dans le secteur public a relégué la majorité des infirmières étrangères dans le secteur privé et dans les contrats de travail à court terme. L’administration sanitaire nationale et locale a aussi contribué au recrutement international des infirmières souvent par le biais d’agences privées. Dans le secteur des soins à domicile, les familles se sont vu octroyer plus d’opportunités pour recruter légalement à l’étranger du personnel de soins à domicile. Beaucoup d’autorités locales s’efforcent d’intégrer ce type de soins privés dans leurs systèmes de soins aux personnes âgées en assistant les personnels soignants privés et en renforçant leurs compétences. Néanmoins, les migrations internationales ne seront pas suffisantes pour répondre aux besoins de l’Italie en professionnels de la santé.
    JEL: I19 J61
    Date: 2008–10–01
  11. By: Aydemir, Abdurrahman; Chen, Wen-Hao; Corak, Miles
    Abstract: We analyse the intergenerational education mobility of Canadian men and women born to immigrants. A detailed portrait of Canadians is offered, as are estimates of the degree of intergenerational mobility among the children of immigrants. Persistence in the years of schooling across the generations is rather weak between immigrants and their Canadian-born children, and one third as strong as for the general population. Parental earnings are not correlated with years of schooling for second-generation children and, if anything, are negatively correlated. Finally, we find that the intergenerational transmission of education has not changed across the birth cohorts of the post-war period.
    Keywords: Education, training and learning, Population and demography, Ethnic diversity and immigration, Educational attainment, Mobility and migration, Ethnic groups and generations in Canada
    Date: 2008–10–02
  12. By: Blau, Francine D. (Cornell University); Kahn, Lawrence M. (Cornell University); Liu, Albert Yung-Hsu (Cornell University); Papps, Kerry L. (Nuffield College, Oxford)
    Abstract: Using 1995–2006 Current Population Survey and 1970–2000 Census data, we study the intergenerational transmission of fertility, human capital and work orientation of immigrants to their US-born children. We find that second-generation women's fertility and labor supply are significantly positively affected by the immigrant generation's fertility and labor supply respectively, with the effect of mother's fertility and labor supply larger than that of women from the father's source country. The second generation's education levels are also significantly positively affected by that of their parents, with a stronger effect of father's than mother's education. Second-generation women's schooling levels are negatively affected by immigrant fertility, suggesting a quality-quantity tradeoff for immigrant families. We find higher transmission rates for immigrant fertility to the second generation than we do for labor supply or education: after one generation, 40-65% of any immigrant excess fertility will remain, but only 12-18% of any immigrant annual hours shortfall and 18-36% of any immigrant educational shortfall. These results suggest a considerable amount of assimilation across generations toward native levels of schooling and labor supply, although fertility effects show more persistence.
    Keywords: immigration, second generation, gender, labor supply, fertility, human capital
    JEL: D10 J16 J22 J24 J61
    Date: 2008–09
  13. By: Aydemir, Abdurrahman; Chen, Wen-Hao; Corak, Miles
    Abstract: Nous analysons la mobilité intergénérationnelle du niveau de scolarité des hommes et des femmes canadiens nés d'immigrants. Nous traçons un portrait détaillé des Canadiens et nous fournissons des estimations du degré de mobilité intergénérationnelle chez les enfants d'immigrants. La persistance intergénérationnelle du nombre d'années de scolarité est assez faible entre les immigrants et leurs enfants nés au Canada, se situant au tiers de celle de la population en général. Les gains des parents ne sont pas corrélés avec les années de scolarité pour les enfants de deuxième génération, ou encore comportent une corrélation négative. Enfin, nous déterminons que la transmission intergénérationnelle du niveau de scolarité n'a pas changé pour les cohortes de naissance de la période d'après guerre.
    Keywords: Éducation, formation et apprentissage, Population et démographie, Diversité ethnique et immigration, Niveau de scolarité, Mobilité et migration, Groupes ethniques et générations au Canada
    Date: 2008–10–02
  14. By: Indraneel Dasgupta
    Abstract: We examine how group-specific differences in reservation wage, arising due to asymmetries in social entitlements, impact on distribution via the joint determination of class conflict between workers and employers, and ‘ethnic’ conflict among workers. We model a two-dimensional contest, where two unions, representing different sections of workers, jointly but non-cooperatively invest resources against employers in enforcing an exogenously given rent, while also contesting one another. The rent arises from a ‘living’ wage, set above reservation wage rates via labour regulations. We show that high reservation wage workers gain, and employers lose, from better social entitlements for low reservation wage workers. The latter however benefit, with employers and against the former, from weak labour regulations. When minority/immigrant workers are marginalized both in the labour market and in non-wage entitlements, improving job access and expanding ‘social support’ has contradictory effects on class and ethnic conflicts. ‘Trade unionism’, i.e. political articulation of shared economic interests alone, appears insufficient to temper ethnic conflicts among workers.
    Keywords: Class conflict, Ethnic conflict, Living wage, Labour regulation, Social entitlement, Affirmative action, Distribution.
  15. By: Xiujian Peng; Yinhua Mai
    Abstract: The dramatic fertility decline since the beginning of 1970s has decelerated the growth of China's working age population. From 2015, this growth will turn sharply negative, resulting declining labour force in China. This has caused concerns about the sustainability of China's economic growth. This paper sheds lights on the view that a more efficient allocation of labour between sectors is likely counter balance the negative effect of populating ageing. Using a dynamic CGE model of China, we analyse the effects of removing labour market distortions that hinder the movement of labour from agricultural to manufacturing and services sectors over the period 2008 to 2020 in the context of declining growth of labour supply in China. Simulation results shows that removing the discriminations against rural workers in urban area will increase the labour shift from agricultural to non-agricultural sectors. The resulting increase in the movement of rural labour will mitigate the adverse effects of population ageing by raising not only the growth rate of total output but also household living standard. China can enjoy continued growth in its manufactured exports even with a slower growth in its labour force.
    Keywords: population ageing, labour market reform, rural migration, CGE model, China
    JEL: J21 J61 E17
    Date: 2008–05
  16. By: Blau, Francine D. (Cornell University); Kahn, Lawrence M. (Cornell University); Papps, Kerry L. (Nuffield College, Oxford)
    Abstract: We use 1980, 1990 and 2000 Census data to study the impact of source country characteristics on the labor supply assimilation profiles of married adult immigrant women and men. Women migrating from countries where women have high relative labor force participation rates work substantially more than women coming from countries with lower relative female labor supply rates, and this gap is roughly constant with time in the United States. These differences are substantial and hold up even when we control for wage offers and family formation decisions, as well as when we control for the emigration rate from the United States to the source country. Men's labor supply assimilation profiles are unaffected by source country female labor supply, a result that suggests that the female findings reflect notions of gender roles rather than overall work orientation. Findings for another indicator of traditional gender roles, source country fertility rates, are broadly similar, with substantial and persistent negative effects of source country fertility on the labor supply of female immigrants except when we control for presence of children, in which case the negative effects only become evident after ten years in the United States.
    Keywords: immigration, labor supply, fertility, assimilation, gender
    JEL: D10 J16 J22 J24 J61
    Date: 2008–09
  17. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Houseworth, Christina A. (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of interethnic marriages among immigrants in the United States. The dependent variable is intermarriage across ethnic groups and the inclusion of the explanatory variables is justified by a simple rational choice economic model. A binomial logistic regression is estimated using data from the 1980 US Census, the last Census where post-migration marriages can be identified. Results show that the probability of intermarriage increases the longer a migrant resides in the U.S. and the younger the age at arrival. Both relationships can be attributable to the accumulation of US-specific human capital and an erosion of ethnic-specific human capital. Inter-ethnic marriages are more likely between individuals with similar education levels, providing evidence of positive assortative mating by education for immigrants. Construction of the availability ratio for potential spouses and group size are unique to this study, providing a more accurate measure of the marriage market by using data from several Censuses. Intermarriage is lower the greater the availability ratio and the larger the size of the group. Linguistic distance indirectly measures the effect of English language ability at arrival and is found to be a significant negative predictor of intermarriage. Those who report multiple ancestries and who were previously married are more likely to intermarry.
    Keywords: immigrants, marriage, ethnicity/ancestry
    JEL: J12 J15 J61 F22
    Date: 2008–09

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.