nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒07‒17
eleven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Circular Migration or Permanent Return: What Determines Different Forms of Migration? By Vadean, Florin; Piracha, Matloob
  2. Leaving Mogadishu: The War on Terror and Displacement Dynamics in the Somali Regions By Anna Lindley
  3. Educational Mismatch: Are High-Skilled Immigrants Really Working at High-Skilled Jobs and the Price They Pay If They Aren't? By Chiswick, Barry R.; Miller, Paul W.
  4. Work and Money: Payoffs by Ethnic Identity and Gender By Constant, Amelie F.; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  5. Immigrant wages in the Spanish labour market: does the origin of human capital matter? By Esteban Sanromà; Raúl Ramos; Hipólito Simón
  6. Immigrant-Native Fertility and Mortality Differentials in the United States By Pervi Sevak; Lucie Schmidt
  7. Migration and Chronic Poverty By Uma Kothari
  8. A Cross Country View On Souh-North Migration And Trade By Giulia BETTIN; Alessia LO TURCO
  9. Labor Market and Immigration Behavior of Middle-Aged and Elderly Mexicans By Emma Aguila; Julie Zissimopoulos
  11. The Responsiveness of Remittances to the Oil Price: The Case of the GCC By Naufal, George; Termos, Ali

  1. By: Vadean, Florin (University of Kent); Piracha, Matloob (University of Kent)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the following questions: To what extent do the socio-economic characteristics of circular/repeat migrants differ from migrants who return permanently to the home country after their first trip (i.e. return migrants)? and What determines each of these distinctive temporary migration forms? Using Albanian household survey data and both a multinomial logit model and a maximum simulated likelihood (MSL) probit with two sequential selection equations, we find that education, gender, age, geographical location and the return reasons from the first migration trip significantly affect the choice of migration form. Compared to return migrants, circular migrants are more likely to be male, have primary education and originate from rural, less developed areas. Moreover, return migration seems to be determined by family reasons, a failed migration attempt but also the fulfillment of a savings target.
    Keywords: return migration, circular migration, sample selection
    JEL: C35 F22 J61
    Date: 2009–07
  2. By: Anna Lindley (Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford)
    Abstract: This paper goes beyond commonly invoked macro-political explanations for conflict-related migration, offering a micro-analysis of the causes and processes of flight from Mogadishu in the last two years. It explores how particular interactions between people, their resources, and their structural contexts produce migration, and shape the process of migration. Based on qualitative research with people from Mogadishu seeking refuge in self-declared Somaliland, the paper illuminates some of the micro-level, human consequences of the ‘war on terror’ in the Somali regions.
    Keywords: Forced Migration, Somalia, Somaliland, Violence, War on Terror
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Miller, Paul W. (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This paper examines the incidence of the mismatch of the educational attainment and the occupation of employment, and the impact of this mismatch on the earnings, of high-skilled adult male immigrants in the US labor market. Analyses for high-skilled adult male native-born workers are also presented for comparison purposes. The results show that over-education is widespread in the high-skilled US labor market, both for immigrants and the native born. The extent of over-education declines with duration in the US as high-skilled immigrants obtain jobs commensurate with their educational level. Years of schooling that are above that which is usual for a worker's occupation are associated with very low increases in earnings. Indeed, in the first 10 to 20 years in the US years of over-education among high-skilled workers have a negative effect on earnings. This ineffective use of surplus education appears across all occupations and high-skilled education levels. Although schooling serves as a pathway to occupational attainment, earnings appear to be more closely linked to a worker's occupation than to the individual's level of schooling.
    Keywords: immigrants, skill, schooling, occupations, earnings, rates of return
    JEL: I21 J24 J31 J61 F22
    Date: 2009–07
  4. By: Constant, Amelie F. (DIW DC, George Washington University); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA, DIW Berlin and Bonn University)
    Abstract: Upon arrival in the host country, immigrants undergo a fundamental identity crisis. Their ethnic identity being questioned, they can be classified into four states – assimilation, integration, separation and marginalization. This is suggested by the ethnosizer, a newly established measure to parameterize a person's ethnic identity, using individual information on language, culture, societal interaction, history of migration, and ethnic self-identification. In what state individuals end up varies among immigrants even from the same country. Moreover, the quest for ethnic identity affects women and men differentially. This paper contends that ethnic identity can significantly affect the attachment to and performance of immigrants in the host country labor market, beyond human capital and ethnic origin characteristics. Empirical estimates for immigrants in Germany show that ethnic identity is important for the decision to work and significantly and differentially affects the labor force participation of men and women. Women who exhibit the integrated identity are more likely to work than women who are German assimilated; this does not hold for men. However, once we control for selection in the labor market and a slew of individual and labor market characteristics, ethnic identity does not significantly affect the earnings of men or women immigrant workers.
    Keywords: ethnosizer, ethnicity, ethnic identity, immigrant assimilation, integration, ethnic earnings
    JEL: F22 J15 J16 Z10
    Date: 2009–07
  5. By: Esteban Sanromà (Universitat de Barcelona); Raúl Ramos (Universitat de Barcelona); Hipólito Simón (Universitat de Alicante)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse the role played by the different components of human capital in the wage determination of recent immigrants within the Spanish labour market. Using microdata from the Encuesta Nacional de Inmigrantes 2007, the paper examines returns to human capital of immigrants, distinguishing between human capital accumulated in their home countries and in Spain. It also examines the impact on wages of the legal status. The evidence shows that returns to host country sources of human capital are higher than returns to foreign human capital, reflecting the limited international transferability of the latter. The only exception occurs in the case of immigrants from developed countries and immigrants who have studied in Spain. Whatever their home country, they obtain relatively high wage returns to education, including the part not acquired in the host country. Having legal status in Spain is associated with a substantial wage premium of around 15%. Lastly, the overall evidence confirms the presence of a strong heterogeneity in wage returns to different kinds of human capital and in the wage premium associated to the legal status as a function of the immigrants’ area of origin.
    Keywords: Immigration, wages, human capital.
    JEL: J15 J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2009
  6. By: Pervi Sevak (Hunter College); Lucie Schmidt (Williams College)
    Abstract: Immigrants have been discussed as a means of alleviating fiscal pressures on Social Security. Their long-term impact on the Social Security system depends critically on their fertility and mortality patterns. In this paper, we examine the fertility and mortality patterns of immigrants to the United States and compare these patterns with those of non-immigrants. We find that both the recent and cumulative fertility of immigrant women is higher than that of native-born women, but that a large share of these differentials can be “explained” by differences in age structures, race and ethnicity, years in the United States, and country of origin. Using a synthetic cohort approach, we examine the role of years in the United States in more detail, and find no evidence of assimilation towards native-born fertility patterns. Consistent with previous research, we find evidence of a disruption effect on fertility – the fertility of immigrant women in the most recent arrival cohorts is low, but increases at a faster rate relative to both the fertility of immigrants from earlier cohorts and relative to the fertility of natives. We find that immigrants experience lower mortality than native-born individuals in the United States, and these differences remain even after controlling for underlying differences in observable characteristics. However we find that they do not exhibit differences in their subjective expectations of their mortality.
    Date: 2008–09
  7. By: Uma Kothari
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of conceptual understandings of, and methodological research issues on, the relationship between chronic, or long-term, poverty and processes of migration. The paper presents a framework to enable an analysis of social relations and processes of exclusion, and the ways in which these are structured around poverty-related capitals. This paper explores how research can be carried out to examine the characteristics of those who move and those who stay, the processes by which they are compelled or excluded from adopting migration as a livelihood strategy and the circumstances under which migration sustains chronic poverty or presents an opportunity to move out of poverty [WP No. 16].
    Keywords: migration, chronic poverty, migrants, household, livelihood strategies, environment, social, immobility, gender, age, population, Bangladesh, cultural,
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Giulia BETTIN (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia); Alessia LO TURCO (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse the relationship between North-South migration and trade. The evidence on the topic is mainly based on country case studies and is mixed. Trade data disaggregated by good typologies, together with a recent dataset on migrants in OECD countries from developing and transition economies, are used in a gravity model. The availability of migration data for three different years allows for panel data techniques. Moreover the estimation of the empirical model for each trade sector separately - besides overall imports and exports - highlights heterogeneous responses of trade to migration according to dikerent good typologies.
    Keywords: migration, north-south, trade
    JEL: F16 F22
    Date: 2009–03
  9. By: Emma Aguila (RAND); Julie Zissimopoulos (RAND)
    Abstract: In this study we analyzed the retirement behavior of Mexicans with migration spells to the United States that returned to Mexico and non-migrants. Our analysis is based on rich panel data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS). Approximately 9 percent of MHAS respondents aged 50 and older reported having lived or worked in the United States. These return migrants were more likely to be working at older ages than non-migrants. Consistent with much of the prior research on retirement in the United States and other developed countries, Mexican non-migrants and return migrants were responsive to institutional incentives. Both groups were more likely to retire if they had publicly provided health insurance and pensions. In addition, receipt of U.S. Social Security benefits increased retirement rates among return migrants. Return migrants were more likely to report being in poor health and this also increased the likelihood of retiring. The 2004 draft of an Agreement on Social Security would coordinate benefits across United States and Mexico boundaries to protect the benefits of persons who have worked in foreign countries. The agreement would likely increase the number of authorized and unauthorized Mexican workers and family member eligible for Social Security benefits. The responsiveness of current, older Mexican return migrants to pension benefits, suggests that an Agreement would affect the retirement behavior of Mexican migrants.
    Date: 2008–09
  10. By: Russell Smyth; Qingguo Zhai; Xiaoxu Li
    Abstract: This study examines the determinants of turnover intentions of off farm migrant workers, using data collected from China’s Jiangsu Province. Turnover intention is posited to be a function of demographic/human capital characteristics, job characteristics and job satisfaction. We find that higher levels of education have a positive effect on reported turnover intentions, while higher income and job satisfaction have a negative effect on turnover intentions. As turnover intentions represent a good proxy for actual turnover, the results can be viewed as providing reliable predictors of job mobility among off farm migrant workers at a time when there is a growing shortage of such workers in China’s coastal provinces.
    Date: 2009–06
  11. By: Naufal, George (American University of Sharjah); Termos, Ali (American University of Sharjah)
    Abstract: We investigate the responsiveness of remittances from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to the changes in the price of crude oil. Most of the GCC countries rank in the top 20 remitting countries in the world. We find that oil price elasticity of remittances is around 0.4. While most studies have examined the impact of remittances on the real economic activities in the receiving countries, this study emphasises the impact of remittances on the remitting countries. We examine various policy implications with regard to macroeconomic shocks, monetary policy and fiscal policy of the GCC countries.
    Keywords: elasticity, remittances, oil price, GCC
    JEL: F24 P22 N15
    Date: 2009–07

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