nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒03‒28
eleven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Elderly Immigrants' Labor Supply Response to Supplemental Security Income By Neeraj Kaushal
  2. Voters Hold the Key: Lock-in, Mobility and the Portability of Property Tax Exemptions By Ron Cheung; Chris Cunningham
  3. Immigrant gender convergence in education and on the labor market By Veenman, J.; Heij, C.
  4. The Occupations and Human Capital of U.S. Immigrants By Schoellman, Todd
  6. Remittances and Temporary Migration By Christian Dustmann; Josep Mestres
  7. Labor Mobility and the Integration of European Labor Markets By Klaus F. Zimmermann
  8. EU Enlargement under Continued Mobility Restrictions: Consequences for the German Labor Market By Brenke, Karl; Yuksel, Mutlu; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  9. Immigration and the U.S. Labor Market By Brian Duncan; Stephen J. Trejo
  10. Intermarriage and Immigrant Employment: The Role of Networks By Delia Furtado; Nikolaos Theodoropoulos
  11. When nature rebels: international migration, climate change and inequality By Luca Marchiori; Ingmar Schumacher

  1. By: Neeraj Kaushal
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of changes in immigrant eligibility for Supplemental Security Income in 1996 on the employment and retirement behaviors of foreign-born elderly persons. I find that denial of SSI was associated with a 5 percentage point (15 percent) increase in the employment of non-citizen elderly men and a 5.6 percentage point (11 percent) decrease in their retirement rate. The estimated effects were higher for recent arrivals, a group most likely to be affected by the policy change. Further, while recent arrivals were more likely to increase part-time work, the earlier arrivals responded to the policy by increasing full-time employment. I find no consistent evidence that denial of SSI affected the employment of elderly immigrant women, but some evidence that it raised their retirement rate, specifically among those who immigrated in recent years.
    Date: 2008–12
  2. By: Ron Cheung (Department of Economics, Florida State University); Chris Cunningham (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
    Abstract: We examine support for a recent and novel Florida referendum to allow home owners with existing assessment caps to “port” their exemption to a new residence. Employing a rich dataset of all Florida real property, census-block data and precinct level voting results, we find that support for the law change was greater in high-mobility and high exemption precincts. Support was also greater in cities with more out-of-state migration or containing more second homes. Within cities, a precinct’s mobility relative to the rest of the city was more predictive suggesting that voters were savvy to the tax-share implications of the amendment.
    Keywords: tax limitations, property tax, assessment cap, referendum, voting, lock-in, mobility
    JEL: R5 H7 H5
    Date: 2009–03
  3. By: Veenman, J.; Heij, C. (Erasmus Econometric Institute)
    Abstract: Immigration tends to have a mitigating effect on the socioeconomic gender gap among immigrants. To explain this finding, we propose a gender convergence hypothesis that states that migration to a modern ‘open’ society offers women the opportunity to improve their position relative to that of men. In such a society, there are (almost) equal chances to participate in education and paid labor. The equalizing effect will be larger if the immigrants come from less developed regions, since women then have more room to improve their position. However, there may also be countervailing cultural powers within the immigrant group. The gender convergence hypothesis proposed here is tested for immigrants in the Netherlands. Using survey data, we investigate the educational and labor market position of Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese, and Antillean males and females. We find convergent trends, particularly among Moroccan immigrants who come from less developed regions in their country of origin and who meet less cultural in-group barriers than, for example, Turkish immigrants.
    Date: 2008–08–21
  4. By: Schoellman, Todd
    Abstract: This paper estimates the multi-dimensional human capital endowments of immigrants by characterizing their occupational decisions. This approach allows for estimation of physical skill and cognitive ability endowments, which are difficult to measure directly. Estimation implies that immigrants as a whole are abundant in cognitive ability and scarce in experience/training and communication skills. Counterfactual estimates of the wage impacts of immigration are skewed: the largest gain from preventing immigration is 3.2% higher wages, but the largest loss is 0.3% lower wages. Crowding of immigrants into select occupations plays a minor role in explaining these impacts; occupations’ skill attributes explain the bulk.
    Keywords: Immigration; occupations; wages
    JEL: F22 J31 J24
    Date: 2009–03–23
  5. By: Paris, Thelma; Rola-Rubzen, Maria Fay; Luis, Joyce; Thi Ngoc Shi, Truong; Wongsanum, Chaicharn; Villanueva, Donald
    Abstract: Out migration from rural areas is increasingly becoming a strategy to get out of poverty. While rice–based agriculture remains to be the backbone in Southeast Asia, majority of the farming households particularly those who produce rice under rainfed conditions remain poor and insecure. This paper examines the relationship between migration and other socio-economic factors on household income using data from 1,874 rice sample farming households in Vietnam (north and south), Thailand (northeast) and Philippines (Luzon island). In the Philippines, remittances contribute about 60 per cent of household income of recipient families. In Thailand and Vietnam, of the total household income, about 40 per cent are from remittances. International migration is most prevalent in the Philippines while rural to urban migration is more prevalent in Thailand and Vietnam due to rapid urbanization and industrialization as well as improved transport and communication networks. Migration has a positive and significant relationship on household income. Remittances both from internal and international migration are predominantly used to meet daily expenses including food, farm (inputs and payment of hired laborers) and children’s education. Given the stability and reliability of the flow or remittances, they play a significant role in consumption smoothing for the poor. Remittances partake the nature of insurance for use at times of need and ease credit constraints for investments in agriculture. Those who are left behind, the elderly and the women, manage to maintain rice yields at par with those households without migrants.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, income, rice, farming systems,
    Date: 2009
  6. By: Christian Dustmann (Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, Department of Economics, University College London); Josep Mestres (Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, Department of Economics, University College London)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the remittance behavior of immigrants and how it relates to temporary versus permanent migration plans. We use a unique data source that provides unusual detail on remittances and return plans, and follows the same household over time. Our data allows us also to distinguish between different purposes of remittances. We analyze the association between individual and household characteristics and the geographic location of the family as well as return plans, and remittances. The panel nature of our data allows us to condition on household fixed effects. To address measurement error and reverse causality, we use an instrumental variable estimator. Our results show that changes in return plans are related to large changes in remittance flows.
    Date: 2009–02
  7. By: Klaus F. Zimmermann
    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
  8. By: Brenke, Karl (DIW Berlin); Yuksel, Mutlu (IZA); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA, DIW Berlin and Bonn University)
    Abstract: The numbers of migrants from the accessions countries have clearly increased since the enlargement of the EU in 2004. Following enlargement, the net inflow of EU8 immigrants has become 2.5 times larger than the four-year period before enlargement. Poles constitute the largest immigrant group among the EU8 immigrants: since enlargement, 63% of all immigrants and 71% of EU8 immigrants are from Poland. This chapter presents new evidence on the impact of immigrant flow from EU8 countries on the German labor market since EU enlargement. Unlike other EU countries, Germany has not immediately opened up its labor market for immigrants from the new member states. Nevertheless, our analysis documents a substantial inflow and suggests that the composition of EU8 immigrants has changed since EU enlargement. The majority of the new EU8 immigrants are male and young, and they are less educated compared to previous immigrant groups. We also find that recent EU8 immigrants are more likely to be self-employed than employed as a wage earner. Furthermore, these recent EU8 immigrants earn less conditional on being employed or self-employed. Our findings suggest that these recent EU8 immigrants are more likely to compete with immigrants from outside of Europe for low-skilled jobs instead of competing with German natives. While Germany needs high-skilled immigrants, our analysis suggests that the new EU8 immigrants only replace non-EU immigrants in low-skilled jobs. These results underline the importance of more open immigration policies targeting high-skilled immigrants. The current policy not only cannot attract the required high-skilled workforce, but also cannot avoid the attraction of low-skilled immigrants, and is a complete failure.
    Keywords: wages, international migration, EU enlargement, employment
    JEL: J61 F22 E24
    Date: 2009–03
  9. 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: Over the last several decades, two of the most significant developments in the U.S. labor market have been: (1) rising inequality, and (2) growth in both the size and the diversity of immigration flows. Because a large share of new immigrants arrive with very low levels of schooling, English proficiency, and other skills that have become increasingly important determinants of success in the U.S. labor market, an obvious concern is that such immigrants are a poor fit for the restructured American economy. In this chapter, we evaluate this concern by discussing evidence for the United States on two relevant topics: the labor market integration of immigrants, and the impact of immigration on the wages and employment opportunities of native workers. In these dimensions, the overall labor market performance of U.S. immigrants seems quite favorable. U.S. immigrants have little trouble finding jobs, and this is particularly true of unskilled immigrants. Most U.S. immigrants experience substantial earnings growth as they adapt to the American labor market. For most immigrant groups, the U.S.-born second generation has achieved socioeconomic parity with mainstream society; for some Hispanic groups, however, this is not the case. On the whole, immigration to the United States has not had large adverse consequences for the labor market opportunities of native workers. Therefore, with regard to the economic integration and labor market impacts of immigration, it is not obvious that the seemingly haphazard nature of U.S. immigration policy has led to unfavorable outcomes.
    Date: 2009–01
  10. By: Delia Furtado (University of Connecticut and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)); Nikolaos Theodoropoulos (University of Cyprus and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM, UCL))
    Abstract: The social integration of immigrants is believed to be an important determinant of immigrants’ labor market outcomes. Using 2000 U.S. Census data, we examine how and why marriage to a native, one measure of social assimilation, affects immigrant employment rates. We show that even when controlling for a variety of human capital and assimilation measures, marriage to a native increases the probability that an immigrant is employed. An instrumental variables approach which exploits variation in marriage market conditions suggests that the relationship between marriage decisions and employment rates is not likely to arise from positive selection into marrying a native. We then present several pieces of evidence suggesting that networks obtained through marriage play an important part in explaining this effect.
    Date: 2009–01
  11. By: Luca Marchiori (IRES - Université Catholique de Louvain); Ingmar Schumacher (Department of Economics - University of Trier, Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X)
    Abstract: This article analyzes the link between climate change and international migration. We use a two-country overlapping generations model with endogenous climate change, in which the production in the North generates climate change which negatively affects the productivity of the South. Our main findings are: (i) climate change will increase migration; (ii) small impacts of climate change have significant impacts on the number of migrants; (iv) a laxer immigration policy increases long- run migration, reduces climate change, increases North-South inequality if DRTS are significant; (v) a greener technology reduces long-run migration, provides a double- dividend in favor of the environment, reduces inequality if the migrants' impact to overall climate change is large. The preference over the policies thus depends on whether the policy maker targets inequality, wealth, the number of migrants or the environment, but the qualitative ranking between the policies does not change if the policies are costly.
    Keywords: climate change, migration, North-South model, overlapping generations, inequality.
    Date: 2009–01

This nep-mig issue is ©2009 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.
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