nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒02‒28
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Long-Term Effects of Forced Migration By Sarvimäki, Matti; Uusitalo, Roope; Jäntti, Markus
  2. “Deae ex Machina”: migrant women, care work and women’s employment in Greece By Antigone Lyberaki
  3. TIPping the Scales towards Greater Employment Chances? Evaluation of a Trial Introduction Program (TIP) for Newly-Arrived Immigrants based on Random Program Assignment - Mid Program Results. By Andersson Joona, Pernilla; Nekby, Lena
  4. When is "Too Much" Inequality Not Enough? The Selection of Israeli Emigrants By Gould, Eric D; Moav, Omer
  5. Naturalization and Employment of Immigrants in France (1968-1999) By Fougère, Denis; Safi, Mirna
  6. Immigrant Links, Diasporas and FDI. An Empirical Investigation on Five European Countrie By Marina Murat; Sara Flisi
  7. Labor Mobility and the Integration of European Labor Markets By Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  8. The Elite Brain Drain By Hunter, Rosalind S.; Oswald, Andrew J.; Charlton, Bruce G.
  9. Testing the 'Brain Gain' Hypothesis: MIcro Evidence from Cape Verde By Catia Batista, Aitor Lacuesta and Pedro C. Vicente
  10. Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries By Alesina, Alberto F; Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina
  11. Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side of the River?: The Choice of Where to Work and Where to Live for Movers By Ken Sanford; William Hoyt
  12. Decentralized Tax and Public Service Policies with Differential Mobility of Residents By William H. Hoyt
  13. The Impact of U.S. Regional Business Cycles on Remittances to Latin America By Magnusson, Kristin
  14. Great Appreciations: Accounting for the Real Exchange Rate in Mexico, 1988-2002 By Felipe Meza; Antonio Carlos Urrutia
  15. Exchange Rates and Wages in an Integrated World By Mishra, Prachi; Spilimbergo, Antonio

  1. By: Sarvimäki, Matti (London School of Economics); Uusitalo, Roope (VATT, Helsinki); Jäntti, Markus (Abo Academy of Finland)
    Abstract: We study the long-term effects of human displacement using individual-level panel data on forced migrants and comparable non-migrants. After World War II, Finland ceded a tenth of its territory to the Soviet Union and resettled the entire population living in these areas in the remaining parts of the country. We find that displacement increased geographical and occupational mobility. Furthermore, displacement increased the long-term income of men, but had no effect on that of women. We attribute a large part of the effect to faster transition from traditional (rural) to modern (urban) occupations among the displaced.
    Keywords: migration, displaced persons, regional labor markets
    JEL: J60 O15 R23
    Date: 2009–02
  2. By: Antigone Lyberaki
    Abstract: This paper is about women’s work in the context of fast socioeconomic change. Drawing from feminist analyses on women’s work and the care sector, it highlights the link between women’s paid employment and the supply of low-paid immigrant (female) labour in Greece in the sphere of care provision. It examines three issues: First, the acceleration of women’s involvement in the paid labour force after 1990. Second, the parallel influx of immigrants in Greece –half of whom are female (of which, half are involved in service provision for households). And third, the “big picture” of the demand for care (both paid and unpaid, childcare as well as care for the elderly) in the context of ageing and rising female participation in paid work. The analysis highlights the key contribution of migrant women acting as catalysts for social change, the ‘deae ex machina’ of the story.
    Keywords: female migrants, care services provision, elderly, family structure, female employment participation.
    Date: 2008–11
  3. By: Andersson Joona, Pernilla (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS); Nekby, Lena (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)
    Abstract: A Trial Introduction Program (TIP) for newly-arrived immigrants to Sweden was set up in October 2006 in order to meet the main criticisms directed at existing introduction programs. Two primary innovations were introduced, flexible language instruction parallel with other labor market activities at the Public Employment Service (PES) and intensive counselling and coaching by PES caseworkers with considerably reduced caseloads. Within participating municipalities, newly-arrived immigrants were randomly assigned into TIP or the control group, i.e., regular introduction programs. Results indicate small but significant treatment effects on the probability of attaining regular employment and subsidized employment. In addition, TIP participants were considerably more likely to enter intermediate PES training programs. Hazard rates into PES training programs were also significantly higher for participants in TIP in comparison to participants in regular introduction programs.
    Keywords: Labor Market Policy Evaluation; Integration; Introduction Programs; Experiment
    JEL: C41 J15 J61 J64 J68
    Date: 2009–02–19
  4. By: Gould, Eric D; Moav, Omer
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of inequality on the incentives to emigrate according to a person’s observable and unobservable skills. Borjas (1987) shows that higher skilled individuals are more likely to emigrate than lower skilled individuals when the returns to skill are higher in a potential foreign destination. Building on this framework, we develop a model which shows that this prediction holds for observable skills like education which are "general" in the sense of being easily transferable to another country. However, we show that the relationship between unobservable skills and the probability of emigrating is an inverse U-shape - since unobservable skills are a mixture of "general skills" and "country-specific skills" which are not easily transferable. We examine the predictions of our model with a unique data set containing information on who emigrates from Israel between 1995 and 2004, combined with a full set of demographic and labor market variables for both movers and stayers in 1995. By exploiting differences between Israel and the United States in the returns to observable (education) and unobservable skills across different sectors (industries and occupations), we find strong evidence that a lower return to unobservable skills in Israel versus the US entices higher ability Israelis to leave the country. Also, we find that virtually the entire positive relationship between education and the rate of emigration would be eliminated if the returns to education were increased in Israel to US levels within each industry. Overall, the results strongly support our model and the importance of differentiating between general and "country-specific" skills in the analysis of immigrant selection.
    Keywords: country-specific skills; emigration; general skills; income inequality; return to education
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2008–09
  5. By: Fougère, Denis; Safi, Mirna
    Abstract: Our study examines the empirical link between the naturalization of immigrants and their subsequent employment status in France from 1968 to 1999. For that purpose, we use longitudinal data coming from a panel dataset which follows almost 1% of the French population from 1968 to 1999 through information contained in the 1968, 1975, 1982, 1990 and 1999 French censuses. The dataset we use is especially valuable for studying social integration of immigrants since it allows us to deal with significant samples of immigrants, according to their origin country, these groups being generally too small in other surveys. We control for the potential endogeneity of the naturalization process through a bivariate probit model. We find that naturalization has a significant positive relationship with immigrants’ subsequent employability. This is particularly true for groups of immigrants who have a low probability of employment in the host country.
    Keywords: citizenship; employment; immigration; naturalization
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2008–12
  6. By: Marina Murat; Sara Flisi
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of migration on the bilateral FDI of five European countries, Germany, Italy, France, UK and Spain. It is based on five datasets with time spans going from 1990 to 2006. It analyses the impacts of skilled and less-skilled immigrants, of skilled networks from developed and developing countries and, for Italy and Spain, of emigrants. Results are that skilled immigrants, originating from both developed and developing countries, have positive and robust effects on the bilateral FDI of UK, Germany and France. The FDI of Italy and Spain are influenced by their respective diasporas.
    Keywords: migration; networks; diasporas; FDI
    JEL: F21 F22 F23
    Date: 2009–02
  7. By: Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA, DIW Berlin and Bonn University)
    Abstract: This paper outlines the importance of labor mobility for the improvement in allocating and distributing economic resources. We are faced with an increasing lack of skilled workers and a growing tendency of unemployment amongst the low-skilled. A central political objective for the future will not only be education policy but also the recruitment of high-skilled workers from international and European labor markets. Additional skilled labor increases well-being and reduces inequality. However, internal European barriers to mobility are difficult to break through. An improved transparency of the European labor market, a greater command of languages and a standardization of the social security system can strengthen mobility. The key to mobility is in promoting the integration of international workers in the European migration process, which can be strengthened through circular migration. The European “blue card” initiative and the opening of labor markets to foreign graduates who have been trained in Europe could set a new course.
    Keywords: migration, migration effects, EU Eastern enlargement, free movement of workers
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2009–02
  8. By: Hunter, Rosalind S. (University of Warwick); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick); Charlton, Bruce G. (Newcastle University)
    Abstract: We collect data on the movement and productivity of elite scientists. Their mobility is remarkable: nearly half of the world's most-cited physicists work outside their country of birth. We show they migrate systematically towards nations with large R&D spending. Our study cannot adjudicate on whether migration improves scientists' productivity, but we find that movers and stayers have identical h-index citations scores. Immigrants in the UK and US now win Nobel Prizes proportionately less often than earlier. US residents' h-indexes are relatively high. We describe a framework where a key role is played by low mobility costs in the modern world.
    Keywords: brain drain, science, mobility, citations
    JEL: O3 J6
    Date: 2009–02
  9. By: Catia Batista, Aitor Lacuesta and Pedro C. Vicente
    Abstract: Does emigration really drain human capital accumulation in origin countries? This paper explores a unique household survey purposely designed and conducted to answer this research question. We analyze the case of Cape Verde, a country with allegedly the highest ‘brain drain’ in Africa, despite a marked record of income and human capital growth in recent decades. Our micro data enables us to propose the first explicit test of ‘brain gain’ arguments according to which the prospects of own future migration can positively impact educational attainment. According to our results, a 10pp increase in the probability of own future migration improves the average probability of completing intermediate secondary schooling by 8pp. Our findings are robust to the choice of instruments and econometric model. Overall, we find that there may be substantial human capital gains from lowering migration barriers.
    Date: 2009–02–16
  10. By: Alesina, Alberto F; Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina
    Abstract: This paper has three goals. The first (and perhaps the most important one) 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 different 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 due to the fact that groups move within country borders, partly in response to policies. Our results suggest that more segregated countries in terms of ethnicity and language, i.e., those where groups live more spatially separately, have a substantially lower quality of government. In contrast, there is no relationship between religious segregation and the government quality.
    Keywords: Diversity; Ethnicity; Fractionalization; Language; Quality of government; Religion; Segregation
    JEL: H11 J15 O1
    Date: 2008–08
  11. By: Ken Sanford (Graduate Student, Department of Economics, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky); William Hoyt (Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and Department of Economics, University of Kentucky)
    Abstract: This analysis examines how differences in state income tax rates, as well as other state and local taxes and public service expenditures, influence the choice of state of residence for households (federal tax filers) moving into multistate metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) using data from the one in twenty sample of the 2000 Census of Population and Housing microdata. MSAs that are on state borders provide a spatial discontinuity – discrete differences in tax rates within a single labor market. These MSAs allow residents to live in one state and work in another state. After controlling for other factors believed to affect household location, differences in state income tax rates have a statistically significant impact on the probability a household locates in the low tax state within an MSA. Complicating the analysis of location choice is the presence of state reciprocity agreements. These bilateral agreements between state governments allow taxpayers to pay income tax based on place of residence rather than their place of work. The theoretical roles of these agreements are discussed and the impacts of these laws are tested. The results suggest that reciprocity agreements alter the role that taxes play in location.
    JEL: H73 H71 J61
    Date: 2009–01
  12. By: William H. Hoyt (Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and Department of Economics, University of Kentucky)
    Abstract: A central focus of an extensive literature on fiscal competition has been on how the decentralization of tax and service policy affects efficiency, generally whether public services are inefficiently under- or overprovided. This question has traditionally been addressed in a framework in which the tax base regions compete for mobile capital. Here I am also interested in the impact of fiscal decentralization on both public service provision and tax policy but in a framework with both labor and capital mobility. Rather than limiting the competing regions to taxing only capital or only labor, I consider the endogenous choice of the two tax instruments in the context of two related models. In the first model, while labor is mobile it is also homogeneous. In this model I show that regions will choose to only tax income and not capital when public service costs are proportionate to the population and, by doing so, will provide the efficient level of public services. However, if there are public service costs not proportionate to the population, “fixed costs,” if given the option, regions will tax or subsidize capital as well as tax income. As a result of capital taxation, the public service is underprovided. I extend the model along the lines of Wildasin (AER, 2000) to consider two groups of workers who differ in both mobility and, in my case, human capital (skill). Unlike Wildasin, the difference in income is exogenous and not the result of investment decisions. In this model, I first consider the policies chosen by these regions when they can only tax income. I find that the public service can be either over or underprovided, depending on the relative impact of changes in public services and taxes on the mobility of the two groups. Next, I consider whether, in the absence of fixed costs, regions will want to tax or subsidize capital and find that in general they will with the magnitude and sign of a tax (subsidy) on capital depending on how capital taxation affects the relative mobility of the two groups of workers.
    Date: 2009–01
  13. By: Magnusson, Kristin (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: The current economic slowdown in the United States and the decline in remittance growth to some Latin American countries have intensified the interest in the relationship between these variables. We investigate whether host country conditions affect remittance outflows to Latin America, focusing on the roles of regional U.S. business cycles, geographical variation in immigrant density and sectoral factors. Using quarterly data for 1995-2008, we find that remittance flows are strongly influenced by economic conditions in the specific regions of the U.S. where migrants are clustered, as well as in the sectors especially important for immigrants' employment opportunities. The results are in sharp contrast to previous research suggesting that remittance flows are relatively insensitive to fluctuations in the aggregate U.S. business cycle. Precise estimation of these linkages is also shown to matter for gauging the sensitivity of remittances to economic conditions in the home country, and hence the extent to which remittances might buffer domestic shocks as well as transmitting external ones.
    Keywords: Remittances; Business Cycles; Central America; Mexico; United States
    JEL: E32 F15 F22 F24 R11
    Date: 2009–02–16
  14. By: Felipe Meza (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM)); Antonio Carlos Urrutia (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))
    Abstract: Between 1988 and 2002, the real exchange rate in Mexico appreciated by 45%. We account for this movement in relative prices using a two sector, dynamic general equilibrium model of a small open economy with tradable an non-tradable goods. The model allows us to identify the effect of the differential in productivity growth across sectors (the Balassa-Samuelson effect) from other types of shocks affecting the allocation of resources (terms of trade, migration remittances and international reserves accumulation). We find that productivity growth in the tradable sector and a decline in the real interest rate faced by Mexico in the international markets account for 70% of the real exchange rate appreciation. Our model is also consistent with the reallocation of capital and labor from tradable to non-tradable sectors. None of our results support a significant role for terms of trade, migration remittances or international reserves accumulation.
    Date: 2008–10
  15. By: Mishra, Prachi; Spilimbergo, Antonio
    Abstract: We analyze how the pass-through from exchange rate to domestic wages depends on the degree of integration between domestic and foreign labor markets. Using data from 66 countries over the period 1981–2005, we find that the elasticity of domestic wages to real exchange rate is 0.1 after a year for countries with high barriers to external labor mobility, but about 0.4 in countries with low barriers to mobility. The results are robust to the inclusion of various controls, different measures of exchange rates, and concepts of labor market integration. These findings call for including labor mobility in macro models of external adjustment.
    Keywords: Exchange rates; Labor market integration; Migration
    JEL: F16 F22 J31
    Date: 2009–02

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