nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒05‒30
six papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity By Stelios Michalopoulos
  2. Mobile criminals, immobile crime: the efficiency of decentralized crime deterrence By Martin Gregor; Lenka Šťastná
  3. The effect of social diversity on volunteering: Evidence from New Zealand By Jeremy Clark; Bonggeun Kim
  4. Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation Among U.S. Immigrants By Hoyt Bleakley; Aimee Chin
  5. The Impact of Immigration on the Japanese Economy: A multi-country simulation model By SHIMASAWA Manabu; OGURO Kazumasa
  6. Migration-Regime Liberalization and Social Security: Political-Economy Effect By Assaf Razin; Edith Sand

  1. By: Stelios Michalopoulos
    Abstract: This research examines the economic origins of ethnolinguistic diversity. The empirical analysis constructs detailed data on the distribution of land quality and elevation across contiguous regions, virtual and real countries, and shows that variation in elevation and land quality has contributed significantly to the emergence and persistence of ethnic fractionalization. The empirical and historical evidence is consistent with the proposed hypothesis, according to which heterogeneous land endowments generated region specific human capital, limiting population mobility and leading to the formation of localized ethnicities and languages. The research contributes to the understanding of the emergence of ethnicities and their spatial distribution and offers a distinction between the natural, geographically driven, versus the artificial, man-made, components of contemporary ethnic diversity.
    Keywords: Ethnic Diversity, Geography, Technological Progress, Human Capital, Colonization
    JEL: O11 O12 O15 O33 O40 J20 J24
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Martin Gregor (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic); Lenka Šťastná (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine a class of local crimes that involve perfectly mobile criminals, and perfectly immobile criminal opportunities. We focus on local non-rival crime deterrence that is more efficient against criminals pursuing domestic crimes than criminals pursuing crimes elsewhere. In a standard case of sincerely delegated politicians and zero transfers to other districts, we show that centralized deterrence unambiguously dominates the decentralized deterrence. With strategic delegation and voluntary in-kind transfers, the tradeoff is exactly the opposite: Decentralization achieves the social optimum, whereas cooperative centralization overprovides for enforcement. This is robust to various cost-sharing modes. We also examine the effects of the growing interdependence of districts, stemming from criminals' increasing opportunities to strategically displace. Contrary to the supposition in Oates's decentralization theorem, increasing interdependence makes centralization less desirable.
    Keywords: crime mobility; crime deterrence; decentralization; strategic delegation; side payments
    JEL: H41 H73 H76 R50
    Date: 2009–05
  3. By: Jeremy Clark (University of Canterbury); Bonggeun Kim
    Abstract: We survey the emerging empirical literature that identifies a negative relationship between heterogeneity of race, ethnicity, income etc. at the neighborhood level, and individuals’ likelihood of contributing money or time to public goods or of trusting their neighbors. One problem in this literature is that the “neighborhoods” used are often by necessity overly broad, and arguably not those that individuals experience day to day. We present a simple model showing the effect of neighbourhood definition when measuring the effect of heterogeneity on peoples’ actions or attitudes. The broad definitions commonly used could produce a spurious negative effect of heterogeneity. With these limitations in view, we use panel data from the 1996, 2001 and 2006 censuses in New Zealand to test whether heterogeneity by race/ethnicity, birthplace, income or language negatively affect New Zealander’s probability of volunteering. Using cross sectional analysis, we estimate the effect of each kind of heterogeneity on volunteering at the “meshblock” (tract) and broader “area unit” levels. We control for confounding neighbourhood characteristics such as household income and deprivation, employment and education status, and religious affiliation. We next address the issue of endogenous self-selection to neighbourhood by comparing cross sectional and fixed effects analysis over the three years of the census. In results, we find that the size of neighbourhood unit significantly affects the estimated effects of heterogeneity on volunteering. Second, in cross sectional analysis at the meshblock level, volunteering appears reduced by heterogeneity of race/ethnicity and language, not affected by heterogeneity of birthplace, and increased by heterogeneity of household income. Third, in fixed effects analysis only racial/ethnic heterogeneity retains a direct negative effect on volunteering.
    Keywords: heterogeneity; volunteering
    JEL: D13 D64 H31
    Date: 2009–05–14
  4. By: Hoyt Bleakley (Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, NBER, and CReAM); Aimee Chin (Department of Economics, University of Houston, and NBER)
    Abstract: Are U.S. immigrants’ English proficiency and social outcomes the result of their cultural preferences, or of more fundamental constraints? Using 2000 Census microdata, we relate immigrants’ marriage, fertility and residential location variables to their age at arrival in the U.S., and in particular whether that age fell within the “critical period” of language acquisition. We interpret the differences between younger and older arrivers as effects of English-language skills and construct an instrumental variable for English-language skills. Two-stage-least-squares estimates suggest that English proficiency increases the likelihood of divorce and intermarriage. It decreases fertility and, for some groups, ethnic enclave residence.
    Date: 2008–05
  5. By: SHIMASAWA Manabu; OGURO Kazumasa
    Abstract: To quantify the impacts of immigration on the Japanese economy, we present a large-scale numerical dynamic equilibrium model with OLG and a total of 16 countries and regions, both those that are industrialized including Japan, the U.S. and EU, and developing countries China, Brazil, the Philippines and Peru. Our simulation results show that immigration will improve the Japanese economy. Specifically, annual immigrant flows of 150,000 will dramatically improve the welfare of current and future generations. On the other hand, we canft expect a significant long-run improvement in welfare solely by implementing a policy increasing the consumption tax. The results indicate that substantially increased inflows of working-age immigrants would alleviate the need for future fiscal reform and also help to dramatically reduce the public pension burden on the working generations.
    Date: 2009–05
  6. By: Assaf Razin; Edith Sand
    Abstract: The pay-as-you-go social security system, increasingly burdened by dwindling labor force, can benefit from immigrants whose birth rates exceed those of the native born birth. The paper examines adynamic political-economy mechanism through which the social security system influences the young decisive voter’s attitudes in favor of a more liberal immigration regime. A Markov equilibrium with social security consists of a more liberal migration policy, than a corresponding equilibrium with no social security. Thus, the social security system effectively provides an incentive to liberalize migration policy through a political-economy mechanism.
    JEL: F2 H0
    Date: 2009–05

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