nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒01‒31
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Ethnicity and the Immigration of Highly Skilled Workers to the United States By Jasso, Guillermina
  2. International Migration, Transfers of Norms and Home Country Fertility By Beine, Michel; Docquier, Frédéric; Schiff, Maurice
  3. Complements or Substitutes? Immigrant and Native Task Specialization in Spain By Amuedo-Dorantes; Sara de la Rica
  4. I'll Marry You If You Get Me a Job: Marital Assimilation and Immigrant Employment Rates By Furtado, Delia; Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos
  5. Migration and Trade: Theory with an Application to the Eastern-Western European Integration By Susana Iranzo; Giovanni Peri
  6. Preliminary Impacts of a New Seasonal Work Program on Rural Household Incomes in the Pacific By John Gibson; David McKenzie
  7. When migrant remittances are not everlasting, how can Morocco make up ?. By Fida Karam
  8. Unemployment duration among immigrants and natives: unobserved heterogeneity in a multi-spell duration model By Raquel Carrasco; J. Ignacio García Pérez
  9. Workers Without Borders? Culture, Migration and the Political Limits to Globalization By Sanjay Jain; Sumon Majumdar; Sharun Mukand
  10. When Minority Labor Migrants Meet the Welfare State By Bernt Bratsberg; Oddbjørn Raaum; Knut Røed
  11. Education and Early Career Outcomes of Second-Generation Immigrants in France By Christian Belzil; François Poinas
  12. Immigration and Inequality By David Card
  13. Low-Skilled Immigration and the Expansion of Private Schools By Dottori, Davide; Shen, I-Ling
  14. Emigration Intentions: Mere Words or True Plans? Explaining International Migration Intentions and Behavior By Dalen, H.P. van; Henkens, K.
  15. A gendered approach to temporary labour migration and cultural norms. Evidence from Romania. By Raluca Prelipceanu
  16. Distributive policy with labor mobility and the Samaritanfs dilemma By Kohei Daido; Ken Tabata
  17. Should I Stay or Should I Go ... North? First Job Location of U.S. Trained Doctorates 1957-2005 By Christopher Ferrall; Natalia Mishagina
  18. Bifurcations in Regional Migration Dynamics By Berliant, Marcus; Kung, Fan-chin
  19. Multigroup and multilevel residential segregation: the U.S. case, 1989-2005 By Ricardo Mora; Javier Ruiz-Castillo

  1. By: Jasso, Guillermina (New York University)
    Abstract: This paper examines ethnicity among highly skilled immigrants to the United States. The paper focuses on five classic components of ethnicity – country of birth, race, skin color, language, and religion – among persons admitted to legal permanent residence in the United States in 2003 in the three main employment categories (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3), using data collected in the U.S. New Immigrant Survey. Initial findings include: (1) The visa categories have distinctive ethnic configurations. India dominates EB-2 and European countries EB-1. (2) The ethnicity portfolio contains more languages than religions. (3) Language is shed before religion, and religion may not be shed at all, except among the ultra highly skilled of EB-1. (4) Highly skilled immigrants are mostly male; they are not immune from lapsing into illegality; they have a shorter visa process than their cohortmates; smaller proportions than in the cohort overall intend to remain in the United States. (5) Larger proportions in EB-2 and EB-3 sent remittances than in the cohort overall. (6) A little measure of assimilation – using dollars to describe earnings in the country of last residence, even when requested to use the country's currency – suggests that highly skilled immigrants are more likely to "think in dollars" than their cohortmates. Further work is taking a deeper look at these patterns in a multivariate context, attentive to selectivity processes and the Globalista impulse.
    Keywords: immigration policy, immigrant selection criteria, employment immigration, highly skilled immigration, illegal immigration, ethnicity, race, language, religion, remittances, assimilation, globalization
    JEL: F22 F24 J15 J24 J61 J68 K42 O15
    Date: 2009–01
  2. By: Beine, Michel (University of Luxembourg); Docquier, Frédéric (Catholic University of Louvain); Schiff, Maurice (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between international migration and source country fertility. The impact of international migration on source country fertility may have a number of causes, including a transfer of destination countries' fertility norms and an incentive to acquire more education. We provide a rigorous test of the diffusion of fertility norms using original and detailed data on migration. Our results provide evidence of a strong transfer of fertility norms from migrants to their country of origin.
    Keywords: international migration, endogenous fertility, human capital, social norms
    JEL: J13 J61 O11
    Date: 2008–12
  3. By: Amuedo-Dorantes (San Diego State University, IZA); Sara de la Rica (Universidad del País Vasco, FEDEA, IZA)
    Abstract: Learning about the impact that immigration has on the labor market of the receiving nation is a topic of major concern, particularly in Spain, where immigration has more than doubled from 4 percent to roughly 10 percent of the population within a decade. Yet, very little is known about the impact that large immigrant inflows have had on the labor market outcomes of Spanish natives. Furthermore, most studies assume that natives and immigrants are perfect substitutes within skill groups –a questionable assumption given recent findings in the literature. In this paper, we first document that foreign-born workers are not perfect substitutes of similarly skilled native Spanish workers, which may help explain why immigration has not significantly lowered natives’ wages. Instead, immigration has affected the occupational distribution of natives. Specifically, owing to the comparative advantage of foreign-born workers in manual as opposed to interactive tasks, natives relocated to occupations with a lower content of manual tasks –such as technical and alike professional occupations, clerical support jobs, and sales and service occupations. Yet, possibly owing to the significant and simultaneous reduction in the manual to interactive task supply resulting from the increase in the share of native female workers, the increase in the relative supply of manual to interactive tasks from foreign-born workers does not appear to have significantly changed the overall manual to interactive task supply in the Spanish economy.
    Date: 2008–11
  4. By: Furtado, Delia (University of Connecticut); Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos (University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: Marriage to a native has a theoretically ambiguous impact on immigrant employment rates. Utilizing 2000 U.S. Census data, this paper empirically tests whether and how marriage choice affects the probability that an immigrant is employed. Results from an ordinary least squares model controlling for the usual measures of human capital and immigrant assimilation suggest that marriage to a native increases an immigrant's employment probability by approximately four percentage points. The estimated impact of marriage to a native increases to 11 percentage points in models which take into account the endogeneity of the intermarriage decision.
    Keywords: intermarriage, employment, immigration
    JEL: J12 J61
    Date: 2009–01
  5. By: Susana Iranzo (Universitat Rovira Virgili); Giovanni Peri (University of California, Davis and NBER)
    Abstract: The remarkable increase in trade flows and in migratory flows of highly educated people are two important features of globalization of the last decades. This paper extends a two-country model of inter- and intra-industry trade to a rich environment featuring technological differences, skill differences and the possibility of international labor mobility. The model is used to explain the patterns of trade and migration as countries remove barriers to trade and to labor mobility. We calibrate the model to match the features of the Western and Eastern European members of the EU and analyze first the effects of the trade liberalization which occurred between 1989 and 2004, and then the gains and losses from migration which would occur if barriers to labor mobility are reduced. The lower barriers to migration result in significant migration of skilled workers from Eastern European countries. Interestingly, this would not only benefit the migrants and most Western European workers but, via trade, it would also benefit the workers remaining in Eastern Europe.
    Date: 2009–01
  6. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato); David McKenzie (World Bank, BREAD and IZA)
    Abstract: Seasonal work programs are increasingly advocated by international aid agencies as a way of enabling both developed and developing countries to benefit from migration. They are argued to provide workers with new skills and allow them to send remittances home, without the receiving country having to worry about long-term assimilation and the source country worrying about permanent loss of skills. However, formal evidence as to the development impact of seasonal worker programs is non-existent. This paper provides the first such evaluation, studying New Zealand's new Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) program which allows Pacific Island migrants to work in horticulture and viticulture in New Zealand for up to seven months per year. We use baseline and follow-up waves of surveys we are carrying out in Tonga to form difference-in-difference and propensity score matching estimates of short-term impacts on household income and consumption.
    Keywords: propensity score matching; rural household incomes; seasonal work programs
    JEL: J61 O15
    Date: 2008–12–31
  7. By: Fida Karam (Paris School of Economics - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: In this paper, I run a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the Moroccan economy to investigate the transmission channels through which remittances affect households and sectors. I give a particular attention to the investment of remittances in the real estate sector, by allowing a segmentation of the savings market. To begin with, I assess the negative impact of immigration restrictive policies and permanent migration on the future evolution of remittances. Then I ask what would be the appropriate policies to take the maximum profit from current flows. It turns out that channelling investment from real estate to productive sectors is unexpectedly harmful in terms of growth and welfare. Positive effects stem only from government ability to attract investors through an improvement in the country risk premium, and private efforts to reduce international transfer costs.
    Keywords: Sequential dynamics, computable general equilibrium model, migration, remittances.
    JEL: C68 F22 F24
    Date: 2008–11
  8. By: Raquel Carrasco; J. Ignacio García Pérez
    Abstract: This paper studies whether the unemployment dynamics of immigrants differ from those of natives, paying special attention to the impact of accounting for unobserved heterogeneity among individuals. Using a large administrative data set for Spain, we estimate multiple-spell discrete duration models which disentangle unobserved heterogeneity from duration dependence. Specifically, we estimate random effects models assuming that the distribution of the effects is discrete with finite support, and fixed effects models in which the distribution of the unobserved effects is left unrestricted. Our results show the importance of accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and that mistaken policy implications can be derived due to improper treatment of unmeasured variables. We find that lack of control for unobserved heterogeneity leads to the conclusion that immigrant males have a higher probability of leaving unemployment than natives and that the negative effect of unemployment benefits for immigrants lasts longer than for natives. Nonetheless, the estimates which do control for unobserved heterogeneity show the opposite results.
    Keywords: Duration models, Discrete choice, Multiple spells, Unobserved heterogeneity, Unemployment, Immigration
    JEL: J64 J61 C23 C41 J65
    Date: 2008–12
  9. By: Sanjay Jain (University of Virginia); Sumon Majumdar (Queen's University); Sharun Mukand (Tufts University)
    Abstract: Despite potentially large welfare gains, the barriers to the international mobility of workers are high and persistent. We develop a simple framework that throws light on why the globalization of labor differs from that of goods and capital. In doing so we ask whether a government will ever spurn the large welfare increase from freer labor mobility, even if such a policy had no distributional impact on native workers, was desired by the host country's citizens and if the repatriation of overstaying workers could be costlessly enforced. In addressing these questions we examine the role of culture in driving the political economy of migration policy. The paper shows that there exists a broad political failure that results in inefficiently high barriers restricting the import of foreign workers. We examine the conditions under which a country is best positioned to reap the economic gains from the globalization of temporary (or permanent) labor migration. We show that culturally homogeneous countries that are poor at cultural assimilation may be better positioned to take advantage of short term foreign worker programs than more culturally diverse and tolerant countries. Our framework suggests that simple alteration of existing policy measures can help encourage international labor mobility. In particular, restrictions on the mobility of the foreign worker across firms (e.g. the H-1B program in the U.S. or the Employment R in Singapore) might work to the detriment of the host country, and make it more difficult to sustain a credible temporary worker migration program. Therefore, any policy measure that improves the mobility (and bargaining power) of the foreign worker helps not only the worker, but more surprisingly, also boosts host country welfare.
    Keywords: international migration, political economy, cultural heterogeneity, temporary workers
    JEL: D72 F22 J61
    Date: 2008–12
  10. By: Bernt Bratsberg (The Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Oddbjørn Raaum (The Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Knut Røed (The Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)
    Abstract: The lifecycle employment profiles of minority labor migrants who came to Norway in the early 1970s diverge significantly from those of native comparison persons. During the early years, employment in the migrant group was nearly complete and exceeded that of natives. But, about ten years upon arrival, immigrant employment started a sharp and steady decline, and by 2000 their employment rate was 50 percent, compared to 87 percent for the native comparison group. We find that immigrant employment is particularly sensitive to the business cycle, and that the economic downturns of the 1980s and 1990s accelerated their exit from the labor market. We trace part of the decline to the migrants initially being overrepresented in shrinking industries and occupations. But we also identify considerable disincentives embedded in the social security system that contribute to poor lifecycle employment performance of immigrants with many dependent family members.
    Date: 2008–11
  11. By: Christian Belzil (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X); François Poinas (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)
    Abstract: We estimate a flexible dynamic model of education choices and early career employment outcomes of the French population. Individuals are allowed to choose between 4 options: continue to the next grade, accept a permanent contract, accept a temporary contract, or withdraw from the labor force (a residual state). Our analysis focuses on the comparison between FrenchSecond-Generation Immigrants whose parents are born in Africa and French-natives. We find that schooling attainments explain around two thirds of thedifferences in access to early career employment stability. However, one third cannot be linked to observed investment in human capital.
    Keywords: Second-generation immigrants ; schooling attainments ; fixed term employment
    Date: 2008
  12. By: David Card
    Abstract: Immigration is often viewed as a proximate cause of the rising wage gap between high- and low-skilled workers. Nevertheless, there is controversy over the appropriate framework for measuring the presumed effect, and over the magnitudes involved. This paper offers an overview and synthesis of existing knowledge on the relationship between immigration and inequality, focusing on evidence from cross-city comparisons in the U.S. Although some researchers have argued that a cross-city research design is inherently flawed, I show that evidence from cross-city comparisons is remarkably consistent with recent findings from aggregate time series data. Both designs provide support for three key conclusions: (1) workers with below high school education are perfect substitutes for those with a high school education; (2)“high school equivalent†and “college equivalent†workers are imperfect substitutes; (3) within education groups, immigrants and natives are imperfect substitutes. Together these results imply that the impacts of recent immigrant inflows on the relative wages of U.S. natives are small. The effects on overall wage inequality (including natives and immigrants) are larger, reflecting the concentration of immigrants in the tails of the skill distribution and higher residual inequality among immigrants than natives. Even so, immigration accounts for a small share (5%) of the increase in U.S. wage inequality between 1980 and 2000.
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2009–01
  13. By: Dottori, Davide (Catholic University of Louvain); Shen, I-Ling (University of Geneva)
    Abstract: This paper provides a political-economic model to study the impact of low-skilled immigration on the host country's education system, which is characterized by sources of school funding, the average expenditure per pupil, and the type of parents who are more likely to send their children to publicly or privately funded schools. Four main effects of immigration are considered: (1) greater congestion in public schools; (2) a lower average tax base for education funding; (3) reduced wages for low-skilled workers and so more dependence by low-skilled locals on public education; (4) a greater skill premium, which makes it easier for high-skilled locals to afford private education for their children, and hence weakens their support for financing public school. It is found that when the size of low-skilled immigrants is large, the education regime tends to become more segregated with wealthier locals more likely to opt out of the public system into private schools. The fertility differential between high and low-skilled locals increases due to a quantity/quality trade-off. The theoretical predictions are consistent with empirical evidence from both the U.S. census data and the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (2003).
    Keywords: voting, taxes and subsidies, education, fertility, migration
    JEL: H42 H52 I21 D72 O15
    Date: 2009–01
  14. By: Dalen, H.P. van; Henkens, K. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Do people follow up on their intentions? In this paper we confront the emigration intentions formed by inhabitants of the Netherlands during the year 2004-2005 and the emigration steps they took in the subsequent two years. Three results stand out. First, it appears that intentions are good predictors of future emigration: 24 percent of those who had stated an intention to emigrate have actually emigrated within two years time. Second, within the group of potential emigrants, those who have emigrated and those who have not yet emigrated, do not differ much from each other. The potential emigrants who have not yet emigrated are in poorer health. Third, the forces that trigger emigration intentions are also the same forces that make people actually move.
    Keywords: emigration;intentions;behavior;public domain
    JEL: J61 F22 D84
    Date: 2008
  15. By: Raluca Prelipceanu (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne et Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA))
    Abstract: This paper analyses the determinants of the Romanian temporary labour migration during the transition period. First of all, we build a househould level model in order to explain the decision to migrate in a couple. Then, by using a 10% sample of the Romanian 2002 Census we try to assess the importance of the gender bias for the migration decision. The main questions raised are "Do migration determinants differ according to gender ?" and "Do local norms influence the propensity to migrate of women and that of men ?". Our results prove the existence of important differences between the migration decision of men and that of women as well as the influence of cultural norms on gender roles on the latter's decision to migrate.
    Keywords: Temporary labour migration, gender inequality, household production, social norms.
    JEL: R23 J16 D13 O12
    Date: 2008–12
  16. By: Kohei Daido (Kwansei Gakuin University); Ken Tabata (Kobe City University of Foreign Studies)
    Abstract: We consider a model with two countries in which each government redistributes income between two types of individuals (the rich and the poor). This model shows that an increase in the mobility of individuals induces intensive tax competition across countries and lowers the level of redistribution undertaken by each country. However, this lower level of redistribution enhances individualsf efforts to raise his own labor income and alleviates the consequences of the Samaritanfs dilemma. Welfare evaluation of economic integration should be based on the balance of these two competing effects.
    Keywords: Redistribution, Samaritanfs, dilemma, Migration, Economic, integration, Psychological attachment
    JEL: C72 F15 F22 H53
    Date: 2009–01
  17. By: Christopher Ferrall (Queen's University); Natalia Mishagina (Analysis Group)
    Abstract: Based on a survey of graduating PhD students in the U.S., we study the determinants of location of their first jobs. We consider how locating in Canada versus the U.S. for all graduates is influenced by both their background and time-varying factors that affect international mobility. We also study the choice of European graduates between North America and returning to Europe. We find that in many cases macro factors have the expected effect of choices after controlling for biases for home, which depend upon background variables in expected ways.
    Keywords: Doctoral Education, International Mobility, Brain Drain
    JEL: J6 J44 I2
    Date: 2009–01
  18. By: Berliant, Marcus; Kung, Fan-chin
    Abstract: The tomahawk bifurcation is used by Fujita et al. (1999) in a model with two regions to explain the formation of a core-periphery urban pattern from an initial uniform distribution. Baldwin et al. (2003) show that the tomahawk bifurcation disappears when the two regions have an uneven population of immobile agricultural workers. Thus, the appearance of this type of bifurcation is the result of assumed exogenous model symmetry. We provide a general analysis in a regional model of the class of bifurcations that have crossing equilibrium loci, including the tomahawk bifurcation, by examining arbitrary smooth parameter paths in a higher dimensional parameter space. We find that, in a parameter space satisfying a mild rank condition, generically in all parameter paths this class of bifurcations does not appear. In other words, conclusions drawn from the use of this bifurcation to generate a core-periphery pattern are not robust. Generically, this class of bifurcations is a myth, an urban legend.
    Keywords: Bifurcation; Genericity Analysis; Migration Dynamics
    JEL: F12 C61 R23
    Date: 2009–01–28
  19. By: Ricardo Mora; Javier Ruiz-Castillo
    Abstract: This paper presents a multigroup and multilevel approach to the study of residential segregation for the public school population in U.S. urban areas in 1989 and 2005. The multigroup approach includes Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians, blacks and whites. The multilevel approach distinguishes neighborhoods, cities, and regions, leading to notions of within-cities, between-cities, and between-regions residential segregation. Measures of these notions are computed using the Mutual Information, or M segregation index. The decomposability properties of the M index are exploited for two purposes: first, to identify the smallest set of regions in the U.S. which include similar states in terms of racial mix; and second, to establish the precise relationship between our measurements and the classic residential segregation literature that focuses on pairwise comparisons. Among the empirical results, three findings should be highlighted. First, the set of regions and racial groups for whom between-regions and between-cities segregation is important differs from the set for whom the within-cities component dominates. Second, minorities’ segregation declines but their population share goes up, while whites’ population share declines but their segregation index increases. Third, the portion of segregation disregarded by the traditional pairwise approach is large in all cases and increasing in the case of withincities segregation between whites and blacks.
    Keywords: Multigroup segregation, Multilevel segregation, Residential segregation, Mutual information, Entropy indices
    Date: 2008–12

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