nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒01‒17
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The Political Economy of Refugee Migration By Mathias Czaika
  2. Immigration and crime: an empirical analysis By Milo Bianchi; Paolo Buonanno; Paolo Pinotti
  3. Intermarriage and the Intergenerational Transmission of Ethnic Identity and Human Capital for Mexican Americans By Brian Duncan; Stephen J. Trejo
  4. Ancestry versus Ethnicity: The Complexity and Selectivity of Mexican Identification in the United States By Brian Duncan; Stephen J. Trejo
  5. Immigration and Students' Achievement in Spain By Natalia Zinovyeva; Florentino Felgueroso; Pablo Vazquez Vega
  6. Highly-Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice By Giovanni Peri; Chad Sparber
  7. Social networks in determining migration and labour market outcomes: Evidence from the German Reunification By Rainer H; Siedler T
  8. The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific By John Gibson; Stephen David McKenzie
  9. Migration in an Enlarged EU : A Challenging Solution? By Martin Kahanec; Klaus F. Zimmermann
  10. Immigrant earnings in the Italian labour market By Antonio Accetturo; Luigi Infante
  11. The Labour Market Impact of Immigration By Christian Dustmann; Albrecht Glitz; Tommaso Frattini
  12. International Mobility of Health Professionals and Health Workforce Management in Canada: Myths and Realities By Jean-Christophe Dumont; Pascal Zurn; Jody Church; Christine Le Thi
  13. Projecting the Future Numbers of Migrant Workers in the Health and Social Care Sectors in Ireland By Barrett, Alan; Rust, Anna
  14. Migration of Health Workers: The UK Perspective to 2006 By James Buchan; Susanna Baldwin; Miranda Munro
  15. Direct Evidence in Risk Attitudes and Migration By Jaeger David A.; Dohmen Thomas; Falk Armin; Huffman David; Sunde Uwe; Bonin Holger

  1. By: Mathias Czaika (Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg)
    Abstract: This article examines the driving forces of the magnitude, composition and duration of refugee movements caused by conflict and persecution. The decision to seek temporary or permanent refuge in the region of origin or in a more distant asylum destination is based on inter-temporal optimization. We find that asylum seeking in Western countries is rather a phenomenon of comparatively less persecuted people. In an attempt to reduce their respective asylum burdens, Western countries and host countries in the region of origin are likely to end up in a race to the bottom of restrictive asylum policies. As an alternative, this study shows that proactive refugee-related aid transfers are, under certain circumstances, an effective instrument to relieve Western countries from asylum pressure.
    Keywords: Refugee Movements, Asylum Policy, Foreign Aid
    Date: 2009–01
  2. By: Milo Bianchi (Paris School of Economics); Paolo Buonanno (Università di Bergamo); Paolo Pinotti (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the empirical relationship between immigration and crime across Italian provinces during the period 1990-2003. Drawing on police data, we first document that the size of the immigrant population is positively correlated with the incidence of property crimes and with the overall crime rate. We then use instrumental variables based on migration towards other European countries to identify the causal impact of exogenous changes in the immigrant population of Italy. According to these estimates, immigration increases only the incidence of robberies and has no effect on all other types of crime. Since robberies represent a very small fraction of all criminal offences, the effect on the overall crime rate is not significantly different from zero.
    Keywords: immigration, crime
    JEL: F22 J15 K42 R10
    Date: 2008–12
  3. By: Brian Duncan (Department of Economics, University of Colorado at Denver); Stephen J. Trejo (Department of Economics, University of Texas at Austin, and CReAM)
    Abstract: Using microdata from the 2000 U.S. Census and from recent years of the Current Population Survey (CPS), we investigate whether selective intermarriage and endogenous ethnic identification interact to hide some of the intergenerational progress achieved by the Mexican-origin population in the United States. First, using Census data for U.S.-born youth ages 16-17 who have at least one Mexican parent, we estimate how the Mexican identification, high school dropout rates, and English proficiency of these youth depend on whether they are the product of endogamous or exogamous marriages. Second, we analyze the extent and selectivity of ethnic attrition among second-generation Mexican-American adults and among U.S.-born Mexican-American youth. Using CPS data, we directly assess the influence of endogenous ethnicity by comparing an “objective” indicator of Mexican descent (based on the countries of birth of the respondent and his parents and grandparents) with the standard “subjective” measure of Mexican self-identification (based on the respondent’s answer to the Hispanic origin question). For third-generation Mexican-American youth, we show that ethnic attrition is substantial and could produce significant downward bias in standard measures of attainment which rely on ethnic self-identification rather than objective indicators of Mexican ancestry.
    Date: 2009–01
  4. By: Brian Duncan (Department of Economics, University of Colorado at Denver); Stephen J. Trejo (Department of Economics, University of Texas at Austin, and CReAM)
    Abstract: Using microdata from the 2000 U.S. Census, we analyze the responses of Mexican Americans to questions that independently elicit their “ethnicity” (or Hispanic origin) and their “ancestry.” We investigate whether different patterns of responses to these questions reflect varying degrees of ethnic attachment. For example, those identified as “Mexican” in both the Hispanic origin and the ancestry questions might have stronger ethnic ties than those identified as Mexican only in the ancestry question. How U.S.-born Mexicans report their ethnicity/ancestry is strongly associated with measures of human capital and labor market performance. In particular, educational attainment, English proficiency, and earnings are especially high for men and women who claim a Mexican ancestry but report their ethnicity as “not Hispanic.” Further, intermarriage and the Mexican identification of children are also strongly related to how U.S.-born Mexican adults report their ethnicity/ancestry, revealing a possible link between the intergenerational transmission of Mexican identification and economic status.
    Date: 2009–01
  5. By: Natalia Zinovyeva; Florentino Felgueroso; Pablo Vazquez Vega
    Abstract: In this paper we assess the differences between immigrant and native pupils' educational performance in Spain using data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). We find that immigrant pupils perform substantially worse than native pupils in all domains analyzed by PISA. Around half of this gap can be attributed to the differences in observable parental socio-economic characteristics. Between 4 and 20% of the gap can be explained by schools' fixed effects, which capture mainly the existence of differences in the average parental education of peers across schools. Immigrants tend to perform relatively worse in those areas where segregation is higher. Finally, we observe that immigrants' performance tends to improve the longer they stay in Spain.
    Date: 2008–11
  6. By: Giovanni Peri; Chad Sparber (University of California, Davis and NBER, Colgate University)
    Abstract: Economic debate about the consequences of immigration in the US has largely focused on how influxes of foreign-born labor with little educational attainment have affected similarly-educated native-born workers. Surprisingly few studies, however, analyze the effect of immigration within the market for highly-educated labor. We use O*NET data on job characteristics to assess whether native-born workers with graduate degrees respond to the presence of highly-educated foreign-born workers by choosing new occupations with different skill content. We find that immigrants with graduate degrees specialize in occupations demanding quantitative and analytical skills, whereas their native-born counterparts specialize in occupations requiring interactive and communication skills. Native employees leave occupations with a high proportion of highlyeducated immigrants for occupations with less analytical and more communicative content. For completeness, we also assess whether immigration causes highly-educated natives to lose their jobs or move across state boundaries. We no evidence that the former occurs, but mixed evidence for the latter response.
    Date: 2008–10
  7. By: Rainer H (School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews); Siedler T (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper empirically examines social network explanations for migration decisions in the context of the German reunification. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio- Economic Panel, we first show that the presence of family and friends in West Germany is an important predictor for the migration hazard rate of East Germans. We then explore whether pre-migration networks have a discernible impact on the economic and social assimilation of East German immigrants in West Germany. We find that East German immigrants are more likely to be employed, and to hold higher-paying jobs, when socially connected to the West prior to emigrating. East Germans immigrants with pre-migration networks also appear to be more integrated into their Western host communities than movers without preexisting social ties.
    Date: 2008–11–13
  8. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato and CGD); Stephen David McKenzie (World Bank, BREAD, CReAM, and IZA)
    Abstract: A unique survey which tracks worldwide the best and brightest academic performers from three Pacific countries is used to assess the extent of emigration and return migration among the very highly skilled, and to analyze, at the microeconomic level, the determinants of these migration choices. Although we estimate that the income gains from migration are very large, not everyone migrates and many return. Within this group of highly skilled individuals the emigration decision is found to be most strongly associated with preference variables such as risk aversion, patience, and choice of subjects in secondary school, and not strongly linked to either liquidity constraints or to the gain in income to be had from migrating. Likewise, the decision to return is strongly linked to family and lifestyle reasons, rather than to the income opportunities in different countries. Overall the data show a relatively limited role for income maximization in distinguishing migration propensities among the very highly skilled, and a need to pay more attention to other components of the utility maximization decision.
    Date: 2009–01
  9. By: Martin Kahanec; Klaus F. Zimmermann
    Abstract: The 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the European Union were unprecedented in a number of economic and policy aspects. This essay provides a broad and in-depth account of the effects of the post-enlargement migration flows on the receiving as well as sending countries in three broader areas: labour markets, welfare systems, and growth and competitiveness. Our analysis of the available literature and empirical evidence shows that (i) EU enlargement had a significant impact on migration flows from new to old member states, (ii) restrictions applied in some of the countries did not stop migrants from coming but changed the composition of the immigrants, (iii) any negative effects in the labour market on wages or employment are hard to detect, (iv) post-enlargement migration contributes to growth prospects of the EU, (v) these immigrants are strongly attached to the labour market, and (vi) they are quite unlikely to be among welfare recipients. These findings point out the difficulties that restrictions on the free movement of workers bring about.
    Keywords: migration, migration effects, EU Eastern enlargement, free movement of workers
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2008
  10. By: Antonio Accetturo (Bank of Italy, Milan Branch); Luigi Infante (Bank of Italy, Economic and Financial Statistics Department)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between individual skills and labour market performance of immigrants residing in Lombardy during the period 2001-2005. We use a recent dataset collected by the NGO ISMU, which includes information on individual characteristics and the legal status of each immigrant. Our results show that returns on schooling are positive and range from 0.8 per cent to 0.9 per cent, a figure that is much lower than the one estimated for native Italians. This result is robust to a number of specifications and tests. In particular, it is not influenced by the legal status of the alien or by a possible self-selection in the labour supply. Moreover, although more talented immigrants tend to self-select in the Lombardy region compared with the other Italian regions, their return on schooling remains low compared with natives. We also show that a certain heterogeneity exists across educational levels and countries of origin: immigrants from Eastern Europe are better able to exploit their human capital, especially when they hold a university degree, while the school-wage profile of Latin Americans and Asians is basically flat. Finally, there is some evidence of a cohort effect in migration, but this tends to impact on the return on experience rather than on the return on schooling.
    Keywords: Immigration, return on schooling, return on experience
    JEL: J31 O15
    Date: 2008–12
  11. By: Christian Dustmann; Albrecht Glitz; Tommaso Frattini (Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, UCL, Department of Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: In the first part of this paper, we present a stylised model of the labour market impact of immigration. We then discuss mechanisms through which an economy can adjust to immigration: changes in factor prices, output mix and production technology. In the second part, we explain the problems of empirically estimating how immigration affects labour market outcomes of the resident population and review some strategies to address these. We then summarise some recent empirical studies for the UK and other countries. We conclude with an outlook of what we believe are important avenues for future research.
    Keywords: Migration, Labour Market Impact, Wage Distribution
    JEL: J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2008–09
  12. By: Jean-Christophe Dumont; Pascal Zurn; Jody Church; Christine Le Thi
    Abstract: This report examines the role played by immigrant health workers in the Canadian health workforce but also the interactions between migration policies and education and health workforce management policies. Migrant health worker makes a significant contribution to the Canadian health workforce. Around 2005-06, more than 22% of the doctors were foreign-trained and 37% were foreign-born. The corresponding figures for nurses are close to 7.7% and 20%, respectively. Foreign-trained doctors play an important role in rural areas as they contribute to filling the gaps. In most rural areas, on average, 30% of the physicians were foreign-trained in 2004. Over past decades the evolution of the health workforce in Canada has been characterised notably by a sharp decline in the density of nurses and a stable density of doctors, which is in contrast with the trends observed in other OECD countries. This evolution is largely the result of measures were adopted at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s in order to address a perceived health workforce surplus.<BR>Ce rapport examine le rôle joué par la migration de personnel de santé dans les effectifs de santé au Canada mais aussi les interactions entre les politiques migratoires, la formation et les politiques de gestion de ressources humaines. Le personnel de santé recruté à l’étranger contribue de façon significative aux effectifs de santé au Canada. En 2005-06, plus de 22 % des médecins au Canada sont formés à l’étranger et 37 % d’entre eux sont nés à l’étranger. Respectivement pour les infirmières, la part des personnes formées à l’étranger est de 7.7 % et celle des personnes nées à l’étranger de 20%. Les médecins formés à l’étranger jouent un rôle important dans des zones rurales ayant contribué à réduire au manque d’effectif dans les zones rurales. En 2004, dans la plupart des zones rurales, en moyenne 30 % des médecins sont formés à l’étranger. Au cours des dernières décennies, l’évolution des effectifs de santé au Canada a été marquée notamment par un net déclin de la densité des infirmières et par une densité stable des médecins, ce qui contraste avec les tendances observées dans les pays de l’OCDE. Cette évolution est largement due aux mesures adoptées à la fin des années 80 et au début des années 90 afin de répondre au surplus perçu d’effectif de personnel de santé.
    Date: 2008–10–16
  13. By: Barrett, Alan (ESRI); Rust, Anna (ESRI)
    Abstract: Ireland will experience population ageing in the coming years, whereby the percentage of the population aged 65 and over will rise from its current level of 11 percent to over 20 percent in 2035. A number of papers have looked at the implications of this process for the public finances. However, less attention has been paid to the human resource needs that will arise if increased demands are placed on health and social care systems. In this paper, we provide projections of the possible numbers that will be needed to work in the health and social care sectors out to 2035. We also consider what proportion of the extra employees will be migrants. We discuss both practical and ethical issues which arise when foreign health and social care workers are recruited.
    Date: 2009–01
  14. By: James Buchan; Susanna Baldwin; Miranda Munro
    Abstract: The UK has a population of 56 million, and most healthcare is delivered through the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS employs more than one million staff. In the late 1990s shortages of skilled staff were a main obstacle to improving services in the NHS. The response by government was to “grow” the NHS workforce. There are four main policy options to “grow” the workforce- increase home based training; improve retention rates of current staff (to reduce need to recruit additional staff); improve “return” of staff currently not practising; and internationally recruit health professionals. International recruitment was used to achieve rapid growth in the NHS workforce. It was facilitated by fast tracking work permits for health professionals, by targeting recruits in specified countries, using specialist recruitment agencies, and by co-ordinating local level recruitment within the NHS (...)<BR>Le Royaume-Uni compte 56 millions d’habitants, et en matière de santé, la plupart des prestations y sont fournies par le biais du National Health Service (NHS). Le NHS emploie plus d’un million d’agents. A la fin des années 90, un des principaux obstacles à l’amélioration du NHS était la pénurie de personnel qualifié. La réponse du gouvernement a consisté à « étoffer » les effectifs du NHS. Pour ce faire, les pouvoirs publics disposent de quatre grands moyens d’action possibles : développer la formation dispensée dans le pays même, améliorer le taux de maintien des agents en poste (ce qui permet de diminuer les besoins en recrutement de nouveaux agents), convaincre les agents ayant cessé d’exercer pour le moment de « reprendre du service », et recruter des professionnels de la santé à l’international. Soucieux d’étoffer rapidement ses effectifs, le NHS a eu recours au recrutement à l’international. L’opération a été facilitée par l’application de la procédure de traitement accéléré des demandes de permis de travail pour les professionnels de la santé, par le ciblage des personnes à recruter dans des pays précis (en faisant appel à des agences de recrutement spécialisées), et par la coordination du recrutement au niveau local au sein du NHS (...)
    Date: 2008–10–13
  15. By: Jaeger David A.; Dohmen Thomas; Falk Armin; Huffman David; Sunde Uwe; Bonin Holger (ROA rm)
    Abstract: It has long been hypothesized that individuals'' migration propensities depend on their attitudes towards risk, but the empirical evidence, to the extent that it exists, has been indirect. In this paper, we use newly available data from the German Socio-Economic Panel to measure directly the relationship between migration propensities and attitudes towards risk. We find that individuals who are more willing to take risks are more likely to migrate between labor markets in Germany. This result is robust to stratifying by age, sex, education, national origin, and a variety of other demographic characteristics. The effect is substantial relative to the unconditional migration propensity and compared to the conventional determinants of migration. We find no evidence that these findings are the result of reverse causality.
    Keywords: education, training and the labour market;
    Date: 2009

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