nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒06‒03
eighteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Independent child migrants in developing countries: unexplored links in migration and development By Shahin Yaqub
  2. Housing and the Labor Market: Time to Move and Aggregate Unemployment By Rupert, Peter; Wasmer, Etienne
  3. A Reevaluation of the Role of Family in Immigrants' Labor Market Activity: Evidence from a Comparison of Single and Married Immigrants By Cohen-Goldner, Sarit; Gotlibovski, Chemi; Kahana, Nava
  4. Assortative Mating by Ethnic Background and Education in Sweden: The Role of Parental Composition on Partner Choice By Aycan, Çelikaksoy; Lena, Nekby; Saman, Rashid
  5. Ethnic Networks, Information, and International Trade: Revisiting the Evidence By Gabriel Felbermayr; Benjamin Jung; Farid Toubal
  6. Coming to America: Does Immigrant's Home Country Economic Status Impact the Probability of Self-Employment in the U.S.? By Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth; Belton, Willie
  7. Endogenous Skill Formation and the Source Country Effects of Emigration By Hartmut Egger; Gabriel Felbermayr
  8. Children's First Names and Immigration Background in France By Arai, Mahmood; Besancenot, Damien; Huynh, Kim; Skalli, Ali
  9. Two-Way Outsourcing, International Migration, and Wage Inequality By Morihiro Yomogida; Laixun Zhao
  10. Cyclical dimensions of labour mobility after EU enlargement By Alan Ahearne; Herbert Brücker; Zsolt Darvas; Jakob von Weizsäcker
  11. Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) on the Remittances Market: Money Transfer Activity and Savings Mobilisation. By Ritha Sukadi
  12. The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific By John Gibson; David McKenzie
  13. Can International Migration Ever Be Made a Pareto Improvement? By Gabriel Felbermayr; Wilhelm kohler
  14. Migratory equilibria with invested remittances By Naiditch, Claire; Vranceanu, Radu
  15. Migrants at School: Educational Inequality and Social Interaction in the UK and Germany By Entorf, Horst; Tatsi, Eirini
  16. Resident Impacts of Immigration: Perspectives from America’s Age of Mass Migration By Susan B. Carter; Richard C. Sutch
  17. Goodbye Germany - und dann? : Erste Ergebnisse einer Pilotstudie zur Befragung von Auswanderern aus Deutschland By Marcel Erlinghagen; Tim Stegmann
  18. La régulation des transferts de fonds de migrants, vers un régime international ? By Marie Coiffard

  1. By: Shahin Yaqub
    Abstract: This paper focuses on independent migrant children, defined as below 18 years old, who choose to move from home and live at destinations without a parent or adult guardian. It summarises quantitative and qualitative research, and uses this to reflect on research agendas and global debates towards linking migration and development. <br /> The paper surveys historical evidence on linkages between children’s migration and societal development in earlier periods of modernisation, and identifies parallels to contemporary developing countries. The contemporary situation in developing countries is described in terms of: (1) numerical scale; (2) individual and family characteristics of the children involved; (3) decision-makers and decision-making processes in children’s movements; (4) why it happens, including from children’s viewpoints; (5) modes of movements; and (6) situations of children at destinations. <br /> The paper considers the extent to which children may demand migration opportunities, and how this demand may be met partly with forms of movement specific to children. Research strategies are discussed to provide a bridge to development issues, including conceptualization of children’s independent movements, children’s labour migration, migration statistics and selection of who migrates. A final section draws on the review to reflect on global debates in child development and societal development <br />
    Keywords: migrant children; migrant families; migration; unaccompanied children;
    JEL: F22
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Rupert, Peter (University of California, Santa Barbara); Wasmer, Etienne (Sciences Po, Paris)
    Abstract: The Mortensen-Pissarides model with unemployment benefits and taxes has been able to account for the variation in unemployment rates across countries but does not explain why geographical mobility is very low in some countries (on average, three times lower in Europe than in the U.S.). We build a model in which both unemployment and mobility rates are endogenous. Our findings indicate that an increase in unemployment benefits and in taxes does not generate a strong decline in mobility and accounts for only half to two-thirds of the difference in unemployment from the US to Europe. We find that with higher commuting costs the effect of housing frictions plays a large role and can generate a substantial decline in mobility. We show that such frictions can account for the differences in unemployment and mobility between the US and Europe.
    Keywords: labor search frictions, unemployment, housing market imperfections, commuting costs
    JEL: J30 J60 R20
    Date: 2009–05
  3. By: Cohen-Goldner, Sarit (Bar-Ilan University); Gotlibovski, Chemi (Academic College of Tel-Aviv Yaffo); Kahana, Nava (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: Previous papers tested the validity of the Family Investment Hypothesis (FIH) among immigrants by comparing the labor market outcomes of immigrant couples and native or mixed couples. Here we propose an alternative test for the FIH which is based on a comparison between married and single immigrants. The logic underlying this alternative method states that if credit constraints are binding, then only married immigrants can cross-finance their investment within the family. In order to overcome potential selection bias that would arise if unobserved characteristics that affect the marital status of the individual also affect his/her labor market outcomes, we construct a difference-in-differences estimator that exploits variation in the labor market outcomes of married and single natives. Implementation of this method using US and Israeli data leads to a rejection of the FIH in both countries.
    Keywords: family investment model, labor supply
    JEL: J22 J61
    Date: 2009–05
  4. By: Aycan, Çelikaksoy (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS); Lena, Nekby (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS); Saman, Rashid (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)
    Abstract: Assortative mating patterns in two dimensions namely, ethnic background and education are analysed in this paper for individuals with an immigrant background living in Sweden. We focus on the role of individual and spousal characteristics as well as the role of parental composition on partnership formation. Results indicate that assorative mating by ethnic background is significantly lower for second generation immigrants in comparison to first generation immigrants. In the case of assortative mating by education, although the descriptive statistics show that the proportion of educational homogamy is higher for second generation immigrants, after controlling for own and partners’ characteristics, educational homogamy is found to be significantly lower for those in the second generation. Gender differences in these patterns suggest that second generation females are significantly less likely than second generation men to be in educational homogamous partnerships relative to their first generation counterparts. In terms of parental composition, having a Swedish background (mother or father) is associated with lower ethnic endogamy, especially for first generation women. Having a Swedish background is also associated with significantly higher probabilities of educational homogamy but primarily only for first generation male immigrants.
    Keywords: Positive Assortative Mating; Immigrant Status; Ethnic Endogamy; Education Homogamy
    JEL: F22 J12 J15 J16
    Date: 2009–05–29
  5. By: Gabriel Felbermayr; Benjamin Jung; Farid Toubal
    Abstract: Influential empirical work by Rauch and Trindade (REStat, 2002) finds that Chinese ethnic networks of the magnitude observed in Southeast Asia increase bilateral trade by at least 60%. We argue that this estimate is upward biased due to omitted variable bias. Moreover, it is partly related to a preference effect rather than to enforcement and/or the availability of information. Applying a theory-based gravity model to ethnicity data for 1980 and 1990, and focusing on pure network effects, we find that the Chinese network leads to a more modest amount of trade creation of about 15%. Using new data on bilateral stocks of migrants from the World Bank for the year of 2000, we extend the analysis to all potential ethnic networks. We find, i.a., evidence for a Polish, a Turkish, a Mexican, or an Indian network. While confirming the existence of a Chinese network, its trade creating potential is dwarfed by other ethnic networks.
    Keywords: Gravity model, international trade,network effects, international migration. regression
    JEL: F22 F12
  6. By: Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth (Georgia Tech); Belton, Willie (Georgia Tech)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of home country economic status on immigrant self-employment probability in the U.S. We estimate a probability model and find that, consistent across race, immigrants from developed countries are more likely to be self-employed in the U.S than are immigrants from developing countries. This result is unexpected given previous research which suggests that immigrants from countries with high levels of self-employment tend to be more involved in self-employment in the U.S. Developing countries on average have higher self-employment rates than do developed countries but our research shows that immigrants from developing countries have similar or lower self-employment probabilities relative to native born White Americans, whereas immigrant from developed countries have significantly higher self-employment probabilities relative to native born White Americans. We provide two potential explanations for this result. First, immigrants from developed countries may indeed have more and better access to start-up capital from their country of origin. Second, institutional arrangements in the developed world may be similar across countries allowing immigrants from developed countries to have an informational advantage over immigrants from developing countries.
    Keywords: self-employment, immigrant, home country, entrepreneurship
    JEL: J21 E24 J61 J40
    Date: 2009–05
  7. By: Hartmut Egger; Gabriel Felbermayr
    Abstract: In this paper we set up a simple theoretical framework to study the possible source country effects of skilled labor emigration. We show that for given technologies, labor market integration necessarily lowers GDP per capita in a poor source country of emigration, because it distorts the education decision of individuals. As pointed out by our analysis, a negative source country effect also materializes if all agents face identical emigration probabilities, irrespective of their education levels. This is in sharp contrast to the case of exogenous skill supply. Allowing for human capital spillovers, we further show that with social returns to schooling there may be a counteracting positive source country effect if the prospect of emigration stimulates the incentives to acquire education. Since, in general, the source country effects are not clear, we calibrate our model for four major source countries - Mexico, Turkey, Morocco, and the Philippines - and show that an increase in emigration rates beyond those observed in the year 2000 is very likely to lower GDP per capita in poor economies.
    Keywords: Emigration; endogenous skill formation; source country effects
    JEL: F22 J24
  8. By: Arai, Mahmood (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS); Besancenot, Damien (University of Paris 13); Huynh, Kim (University of Paris 2); Skalli, Ali (University of Paris 2)
    Abstract: We present evidence indicating that immigrants and especially those from the Maghreb/Middle-East give first names to their children that are different from those given by the French majority population. When it comes to natives with an immigrant background, these differences are very little pronounced. Being born and raised up in France as well as being exposed to the French society and culture through residence, citizenship and the educational system draws individuals with or without immigrant background into similar ways of expressing belongings when choosing first names for their children, indicating the very strong assimilating forces in the French society.
    Keywords: First names; Immigration
    JEL: J13 J15
    Date: 2009–05–26
  9. By: Morihiro Yomogida (Faculty of Economics, Sophia University); Laixun Zhao (Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University)
    Abstract: This paper develops a general equilibrium model with a vertical production structure to examine the relationship between offshore outsourcing and international migration,especially emphasizing their effects on the wages of skilled and unskilled workers. Two-way outsourcing (simultaneous insourcing and outsourcing) in skilled-labor intensive services arises due to product differentiation and scale economies, and outsourcing in unskilled-labor intensive processing occurs because of factor endowment differences. The tractability of the model allows us to rank outsourcing and migration, according to the wages of both types of workers. Finally, we also analyze under what conditions outsourcing and international migration are complements or substitutes.
    JEL: F11 F12 F16 F22
    Date: 2009–04
  10. By: Alan Ahearne (Bruegel, National University of Ireland in Galway, Trinity College Dublin); Herbert Brücker (Institute for Employment Research in Nürnberg, University of Bamberg); Zsolt Darvas (Bruegel, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Corvinus University of Budapest); Jakob von Weizsäcker (Bruegel)
    Abstract: This paper explores the influence of the economic cycle on labour mobility within the EU, focusing on the likely impact of the present economic crisis. To do so, we use an econometrically calibrated simulation and a case study of Ireland. We find that, in the short run, the crisis is likely to lead to a somewhat lower stock of migrants from the new member states in the EU15 than would have been the case without the crisis on account of diminished job opportunities for migrants. By contrast, in the longer run the crisis might lead to a moderate increase in migration from some of the new member states compared to what would have been the case without the crisis. The latter is driven by the observation that the crisis may have undermined the economic growth model of some of the new member states, thereby slowing down their economic catching-up process.
    Keywords: labour mobility, economic cycle, crisis, European Union
    JEL: F22 C33 J61 O11 O15 O24
    Date: 2009–03–02
  11. By: Ritha Sukadi (Centre Emile Bernheim, CERMi, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.)
    Abstract: This paper is a first attempt to empirically measure the impact of a money transfer activity on MFIs’ savings mobilisation. After analysing the opportunities for MFIs to succeed in transforming remittances receivers into clients, the paper empirically tests whether MFIs operating on the remittances market have a significantly higher level of savings than others, thanks to their money transfer activity. After building our variable of interest (a dummy for the money transfer activity) based on the Mixmarket website (for the regions of Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia and the Pacific, South Asia and Africa), we run a cross-section regression for the year 2006 between the “savings over assets” ratio as explained variable and a set of explaining variables, including our variable of interest. We find a positive and significant coefficient for the money transfer activity dummy.
    Keywords: savings, migrants’ savings, remittances, microfinance institutions (MFIs), money transfer activity.
    JEL: G21 O15 O16 O17
    Date: 2009–05
  12. By: John Gibson; David McKenzie
    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.
    Keywords: Brain Drain, Brain Gain, Highly Skilled Migration, Return Migration, Selectivity
    JEL: O15 F22 J61
    Date: 2009–05
  13. By: Gabriel Felbermayr; Wilhelm kohler
    Abstract: We argue that compensating losers is more difficult for immigration than for trade and capital movements. While a tax-cum-subsidy mechanism allows the government to turn the gains from trade into a Pareto improvement, the same is not true for the so-called immigration surplus, if the redistributive mechanism is not allowed to discriminate against migrants. We discuss policy conclusions to be drawn from this fundamental asymmetry between migration and other forms of globalization.
    Keywords: Gravity model, international trade, international migration, cross-country income regression
  14. By: Naiditch, Claire (Ecole doctorale d'Economie Panthéon Sorbonne); Vranceanu, Radu (ESSEC Business School)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes international migrations when migrants invest part of their income in their origin country. This investment contributes to increase capital intensity and wages in the origin country, thus reducing the scope for migrating. We show that a non-total migratory equilibrium can exist if the foreign wage is not too high, and/or migratory and transfer costs are not too low. Exogenous shocks, such as an increase in the foreign wage, lead to an increase in optimal remittances per migrant, and a higher wage in the origin country. Yet the net effect on the equilibrium number of migrants is positive. Hence, in equilibrium, optimal remittances and number of migrants are positively related. We use data from twenty five countries from Eastern Europe and Central Asia in 2000 in order to test for this implication of our model. OLS and bootstrap estimates put forward a positive elasticity of the number of migrants with respect to remittances per migrant. Policy implications follow.
    Keywords: Investment motive; Migration; Migratory policy; Remittances
    JEL: F22 F24 J61 O15
    Date: 2009–04
  15. By: Entorf, Horst (University of Frankfurt); Tatsi, Eirini (University of Frankfurt)
    Abstract: We test potential social costs of educational inequality by analysing the influence of spatial and social segregation on educational achievements. In particular, based on recent PISA data sets from the UK and Germany, we investigate whether good neighbourhoods with a relatively high stock of social capital lead to larger 'social multipliers' than neighbourhoods with low social capital. Estimated 'social multipliers' are higher for the German early tracking schooling system than for comprehensive schools in the UK. After aggregating data and employing the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, the results suggest that the educational gap between natives and migrants is mainly due to the 'endowment effect' provided by the socioeconomic background of parents and cultural capital at home. Some adverse 'integration effects' do exist for female migrants in Germany who lose ground on other groups.
    Keywords: peer effects, identification, social interaction, reflection problem, empirical analysis, education, migrants
    JEL: I20 J15 J18 O15 Z13
    Date: 2009–05
  16. By: Susan B. Carter (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside); Richard C. Sutch (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)
    Abstract: Elementary economic models are often used to suggest that immigration depresses the wages of native-born workers. These models assume that when immigrants enter a labour market, all other features of that market remain unchanged. Such an assumption is almost never valid. Here we explore the economic impacts of immigrants during America’s Age of Mass Migration a century ago. This was a period of dynamic structural change that witnessed the appearance of new industries, adoption of new technologies, discovery of new mineral resources, the rise of big business, and the geographic concentration of industries. We show that immigrants – and residents – selected destinations where labour demand and wages were rising. Thus, native workers experienced wage increases in the presence of heavy immigration. Models that abstract from the special characteristics of labour markets that attract immigrants misrepresent their economic impact.
    Keywords: Immigration, Internal migration, Economic history of immigration, Counterfactual analysis
    Date: 2006–08
  17. By: Marcel Erlinghagen; Tim Stegmann
    Abstract: In contrast to the vast body of data on immigration to Germany, there is almost no scientifically valid data available on emigration flows from Germany and the factors motivating people to emigrate. In particular, there is an almost total lack of data on the living conditions of emigrants after their arrival in their new home countries. It is thus unsurpising that the German emigration research is currently based mainly on aggregated emigration data from official statistical sources as well as on non-representative quantitative and qualitative studies of specific emigrant groups. This was the point of departure for the pilot project “Life outside Germany,” which attempted to follow Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) participants who left Germany between 2002 and 2006, with the central aim of obtaining information about these individuals’ motivations for leaving and their living conditions in their new home countries. The project succeeded in locating 67 of the 288 former SOEP respondents who had been identified as emigrants. These individuals were sent the specially designed questionnaire by mail, and a total of 32 interviews were completed and returned. The present study starts by presenting the empirical findings from the pilot study. The main problem of the analysis lies less in the (controllable) selectivity of the respondents (32 of 288), and more the (still) extremely low case numbers, which do not allow scientifically sound conclusions to be drawn from the results. A further aim of this paper is therefore to provide an example of the basic research potential that lies in emigrant surveys, particularly in surveying SOEP respondents who have moved abroad. Linking information before and after the point of emigration creates new possibilities for empirical life-course research, which in turn—from an understanding of migration as a fundamentally open-ended process—open up new empirical perspectives for migration research.
    Keywords: SOEP, migration, emigration, emigrants, Germany
    JEL: C81 F22 J61
    Date: 2009
  18. By: Marie Coiffard (LEPII - Laboratoire d'Économie de la Production et de l'Intégration Internationale - CNRS : UMR5252 - Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II)
    Abstract: Cet article propose d'analyser les premiers pas de la coopération internationale portant sur les transferts de fonds des travailleurs migrants (TFM) au moyen des outils de l'économie politique internationale. En quelques années, les TFM sont devenus l'une des premières sources de devises pour les pays en développement. En plus d'être devenu un enjeu national, les TFM prennent une dimension internationale croissante en éveillant l'intérêt des institutions multilatérales et régionales. La question est alors de savoir si cette coopération, accompagnée de la formation d'un consensus international sur l'efficacité des TFM constitue une avancée vers un régime international. La détermination des objectifs de cette coopération, ainsi que des coûts qui s'y rattachent, nous conduisent à conclure à la possibilité de l'émergence d'un véritable régime international sur les TFM.
    Keywords: coopération internationale ; travailleur migrant ; transfert de fonds ; économie politique internationale ; régulation
    Date: 2009–05–14

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