nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒07‒28
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants By Deepti Goel; Kevin Lang
  2. Labour Standards and Migration : do labour conditions matter ?. By Rémi Bazillier; Yasser Moullan
  3. The Impact of Remittances on Economic Insecurity By Krishnan Sharma
  4. Critical Periods During Childhood and Adolescence: A Study of Adult Height Among Immigrant Siblings By van den Berg, G. J; Lundborg, P; Nystedt, P; Rooth, D
  5. The Global Health Workforce: A Review By Till Bärnighausen; David E. Bloom
  6. On the robustness of brain gain estimates By Michel, BEINE; FrŽdŽric, DOCQUIER; Hillel, RAPOPORT
  7. Internal Migration of Blacks in South Africa: Self-selection and Brain Drain By Choe, Chung; Chrite, E. LaBrent
  8. Information asymmetry, education signals and the case of ethnic and native Germans By Hornig, Stephan O.; Rottmann, Horst; Wapler, Rüdiger
  9. Education, Reputation or Network? Evidence from Italy on Migrant Workers Employability By Massimiliano Mazzanti; Susanna Mancinelli; Giovanni Ponti; Nora Piva
  10. Voting with their feet?: local economic conditions and migration patterns in New England By Alicia Sasser
  11. Can Immigration Compensate for Europe's Low Fertility? By Wolfgang Lutz; Sergei Scherbov
  12. Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK By Christian Dustmann; Tommaso Frattini; Caroline Halls
  13. A Human Development Index by Internal Migrational Status By Kenneth Harttgen; Stephan Klasen
  14. The structure of migration in Estonia: survey-based evidence By Martti Randveer; Tairi Rõõm
  15. Brain drain in globalization A general equilibrium analysis from the sending countriesÕ perspective By Luca, MARCHIORI; I-Ling SHEN; FrŽdŽric, DOCQUIER

  1. By: Deepti Goel; Kevin Lang
    Abstract: We show that increasing the probability of obtaining a job offer through a network should raise the observed wages of workers in jobs found through formal channels relative to those in jobs found through the network. This prediction holds at all percentiles except the highest and lowest. The largest changes are likely to occur below the median of the offer distribution. We test and confirm these implications using a survey of recent immigrants into Canada. We develop a simple structural model consistent with the theoretical model and show that it can replicate the broad patterns in the data. Our results are consistent with the primary effect of network strength being to increase the arrival rate of offers rather than to alter the distribution from which offers are drawn at least among recent immigrants.
    JEL: J31 J61 J64
    Date: 2009–07
  2. By: Rémi Bazillier (LEO - Université d'Orléans); Yasser Moullan (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: We study in this paper the interactions between migration rates and the level of labour standards. We use an augmented version of the Grogger and Hanson (2008) model, adding the level of working conditions into the specification. Our hypothesis is that the differential of working conditions may be a complementary determinant of migration. In a first time, we test the influence of labour standards in countries of origin using a database on emigration rates built by Defoort (2006) for the period 1975-1995. For labour standards, we built an original index with a temporal dimension. We find that labour standards in the source countries does not have a significant impact on the probability of moving abroad. In a second time, we use a bilateral migration database built by Marfouk and Docquier (2004) in order to test the influence of labour standards in destination countries. If labour standards in the source countries do not have a significant impact on migration flows, level of labour conditions in destination countries have multiple effects on bilateral migration flows. Social protection or protection of collective relations have a positive impact on migration, while job and employment protection laws have the opposite effect. We also find that high-skilled workers are much more sensitive to social security benefits while low skilled workers are more attracted by a protective job and employment legislation.
    Keywords: Migration, labour standards, brain-drain, labour markets.
    JEL: J8 O1 F2
    Date: 2009–07
  3. By: Krishnan Sharma
    Abstract: This paper illustrates that cross-country generalizations about the impact of remittances on economic security are useful only up to a certain point; beyond that their effect can be influenced by the interplay of various factors relating to the motivations and characteristics of migrants, economic/social/political conditions in the country of origin, immigration policies and conditions in the host country, and the size and concentrations of the remittances. The policy implications outlined in the paper include the need for caution and retrospection in certain instances as well as action and international collaboration in other areas.
    Keywords: remittances, macroeconomic insecurity, consumption, poverty, income distribution, savings, investment, incentives
    JEL: F24 F22 F30 D31
    Date: 2009–07
  4. By: van den Berg, G. J; Lundborg, P; Nystedt, P; Rooth, D
    Abstract: We identify the ages that constitute critical periods in children’s development towards their adult health status. For this we use data on families migrating into Sweden from countries that are mostly poorer, with less healthy conditions. Long-run health is proxied by adult height. The relation between siblings’ ages at migration and their heights after age 18 allows us to estimate the causal effect of conditions at a certain age on adult height. Moreover, we compare siblings born outside and within Sweden. We apply fixed-effect methods to a sample of about 9,000 brothers. We effectively exploit that for siblings the migration occurs simultaneously in calendar time but at different developmental stages (ages). We find important critical periods at ages 5/6 and 9. The effects are stronger in families migrating from poorer countries but weaker if the mother is well-educated.
    Keywords: early-life conditions, migration, parental education, adult health, height retardation, age, fetal programming, developmental origins
    JEL: I10 I12 I18 F22 I20 I30 J10 N30
    Date: 2009–07
  5. By: Till Bärnighausen; David E. Bloom
    Abstract: Past research on the health workforce can be structured into three perspectives – “health workforce planning†(1960 through 1970s); “the health worker as economic actor†(1980s through 1990s); and “the health worker as necessary resource†(1990s through 2000s). During the first phase, shortages of health workers in developed countries triggered the development of four approaches to project future health worker requirements. We discuss each approach and show that modified versions are experiencing a resurgence in current studies estimating health worker requirements to meet population health goals, such as the United Nations’ health-related Millennium Development Goals. A perceived “cost explosion†in many health systems shifted the focus to the study of the effect of health workers’ behavior on health system efficiency during the second phase. We review the literature on one example topic, health worker licensure. In the last phase, regional health worker shortages in developing countries and local shortages in developed countries led to research on international health worker migration and programs to increase the supply of health workers in underserved areas. Based on our review of existing studies, we suggest areas for future research on the health workforce, including the transfer of existing approaches from developed to developing countries.
    JEL: I12 I18 J44
    Date: 2009–07
  6. By: Michel, BEINE (UNIVERSITY OF LUXEMBURG and CES-Ifo); FrŽdŽric, DOCQUIER (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and FNRS); Hillel, RAPOPORT (Department of Economics, BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY, EQUIPPE (UniversitŽs de Lille))
    Abstract: Recent theoretical studies suggest that migration prospects can raise the expected return to human capital and thus foster education investment at home or, in other words, induce a brain gain. In a recent paper (Beine, Docquier and Rapoport, Economic Journal, 2008) we used the Docquier and Marfouk (2006) data set on emigration rates by education level to examine the impact of brain drain migration on gross (pre-migration) human capital formation in developing countries. We found a positive effect of skilled migration prospects on human capital growth in a cross-section of 127 developing countries, with an elasticity of about 5 percent. In this paper we assess the robustness of our results to the use of alternative brain drain measures, definitions of human capital, and functional forms. We find that the results hold using the Beine et al. (2007) alternative brain drain measures controlling for whether migrants acquired their skills in the home or in the host country. We also regress other indicators of human capital investment on skilled migration rates and find a positive effect on youth literacy while the effect on school enrolment depends on the exact specification chosen.
    Date: 2009–06
  7. By: Choe, Chung (CEPS/INSTEAD); Chrite, E. LaBrent (University of Arizona)
    Abstract: Migrations historically have led to fears of “brain drain” from the sending regions because many studies show that the more highly skilled and motivated people are more likely to migrate. South Africa provides a natural testing ground for the study of brain drains because the Apartheid system, which ended in the early 1990s, had long constrained the locational choices of black migrants of all skill levels. As apartheid was being dismantled, new opportunities for movement opened up to black workers, leading to a surge in internal migration. We first analyze whether migration patterns of Black South Africans during the period 1992 to 1996 match the predictions of the two seminal papers, Roy (1951) and Sjaastad (1962), where individuals are hypothesized to be income-maximizers. The results from conditional logit regressions on individual choices among 318 locations show that they do. Individuals prefer localities with higher expected log wages regardless of their educations and skills. More importantly, workers with at least some matriculation tend to favor areas where a higher share of the population attended high school. In contrast, workers who did not attend high school find such areas less attractive. Over the study period, brain drain arose among blacks within South Africa: the share of high-educated residents in areas with high shares of high schooling increased.
    Keywords: Internal Migration; South Africa ; Self-selection ; Brain Drain
    JEL: D31 J61 O15
    Date: 2009–07
  8. By: Hornig, Stephan O.; Rottmann, Horst; Wapler, Rüdiger (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "This paper analyses the effects of education signals for Ethnic Germans and Germans without a migration background ('Native Germans'). We base our analysis on a sorting model with productivity enhancing effects of education. We compare whether the signalling value differs between the migrants and non-migrants in the German labour market. Starting from the theoretical result that only a separating equilibrium can exist, we find substantial empirical differences between Ethnic and Native Germans with the same formal education level. This empirical analysis is done with a completely new dataset based on administrative data from the German Federal Employment Agency." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J24 J31 F22
    Date: 2009–07–17
  9. By: Massimiliano Mazzanti (University of Ferrara); Susanna Mancinelli (University of Ferrara); Giovanni Ponti (University of Ferrara); Nora Piva (University of Ferrara)
    Abstract: The strong adverse selection that immigrants face in hosting labour markets may induce them to adopt some behaviours or signals to modify employers’ beliefs. Relevant mechanisms for reaching this purpose are personal reputation; exploiting ethnic networks deeply-rooted in the hosting country; and high educational levels used as an indirect signal of productivity. On this last point, the immigrant status needs a stronger signal compared to that necessary for a local worker, and this may lead the immigrant to accept job qualifications which are lower than those achievable through the embodied educational level. This could explain the over education problem that characterizes many countries, Italy included. The aim of the paper is to investigate whether the above mentioned mechanisms are adopted by immigrants in Italy, a crucial country for EU immigration flows, and if they are useful in increasing immigrants’ likelihood of employment. The empirical analysis has been conducted using the dataset from a national Labour Force Survey which provides information on 6,860 documented immigrants. We estimate a logit model for immigrants’ likelihood of being employed, focusing on the above mentioned mechanisms: reputation, ethnic networks and educational level. Moreover we concentrate on the interaction effects of the mechanisms and investigate whether one of them wins on the others. Results show that each of the three mechanisms is statistically and economically significant and exerts positive influence: all factors contribute to increasing the immigrant’s probability of being employed. Anyway, a high level of education increases the probability of being employed more than the belonging to ethnic networks deeply-rooted in Italy. The specific embodied capital of workers matter relatively more. This is relevant for labour public policies in this specific realm since the human capital lever is a possible direct target of various public policies and private human capital investments.
    Keywords: Educational Qualifications, Migrant Networks, Immigrant Employability, Reputation, Segmented Labour Markets
    JEL: D82 J24 I2 F22
    Date: 2009–06
  10. By: Alicia Sasser
    Abstract: Over the past several years, policymakers and business leaders throughout New England have expressed concern regarding the region's ability to attract and retain skilled workers, given the economic climate of the region compared with other parts of the nation. Indeed, net domestic migration for New England became increasingly negative after the 2001 recession, as the number of people leaving the region exceeded those entering. Examining the factors underlying these migration trends is important for determining what role, if any, public policy might play in addressing their potential impact on the region's labor supply. Using a logistic migration model, this paper examines the relative role of economic factors - namely labor market conditions, per capita incomes, and housing affordability - in determining domestic state-to-state migration flows. Using such flows from the Internal Revenue Service for each of the 48 states in the continental United States from 1977 through 2006, the model controls for demographic characteristics of origin states as well as state-specific fixed amenities, such as climate, culture, and natural features. The model's estimates show that while all three measures of relative economic conditions are significant determinants of migration, the magnitude of their impact varies. The estimates also show that the impact of these economic factors on state-to-state migration flows has changed considerably over time. For example, the importance of per capita income as a determining factor has fallen considerably since the late 1970s, while that of housing affordability has risen. Forecasts of net domestic migration based on the model show that while New England will continue to lose individuals to other states during 2009, the pace of out-migration will likely slow, particularly in Massachusetts. This is likely due to the fact that both the region and the Bay State are performing slightly better than the nation as a whole during the current recession. However, this trend may reverse itself if economic conditions deteriorate in the New England states relative to other parts of the country.
    Keywords: Labor supply - New England ; Migration, Internal - United States
    Date: 2009
  11. By: Wolfgang Lutz; Sergei Scherbov
    Abstract: This paper addresses in a systematic demographic manner the widely discussed question: To what extent can immigration compensate for low fertility in Europe? We begin with a set of 28 alternative scenarios combining seven different fertility levels with four different migration assumptions at the level of the EU-15 to 2050. Next, we address the research question in the context of probabilistic population projections, and the new concept of conditional uncertainty distributions in population forecasting is introduced. Statistically this is done by sorting one thousand simulations into low, medium, and high groups for fertility and migration according to the average levels of paths over the simulation period. The results show a similar picture to that of the probability-free scenarios, but also indicate that for the old-age dependency ratio, the uncertainty about future mortality trends greatly adds to the ranges of the conditional uncertainty distributions.
    Date: 2009–05
  12. By: Christian Dustmann (University College London, CReAM); Tommaso Frattini (University College London, CReAM); Caroline Halls (CReAM)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the fiscal consequences of migration to the UK from the Central and Eastern European countries that joined the EU in May 2004 (A8 countries). We show that A8 immigrants who arrived after EU enlargement in 2004, and who have at least one year of residence – and are therefore legally eligible to claim benefits - are 60% less likely than natives to receive state benefits or tax credits, and 58% less likely to live in social housing. Even if A8 immigrants had the same demographic characteristics of natives, they would still be 13% less likely to receive benefits and 28% less likely to live in social housing. We then compare the net fiscal contribution of A8 immigrants with that of individuals born in the UK, and find that in each fiscal year since enlargement in 2004, A8 immigrants made a positive contribution to public finance despite the fact that the UK has been running a budget deficit over the last years. This is because they have a higher labour force participation rate, pay proportionately more in indirect taxes, and make much lower use of benefits and public services.
    Date: 2009–07
  13. By: Kenneth Harttgen; Stephan Klasen
    Abstract: Migration continues to be a very important income diversi¯cation strategy, es- pecially for poor populations in developing countries. However, while there has been much analysis on the economic consequences of migration for migrants and the receiving regions, whether internal migration improves or deteriorates human development is not easy to determine. This papers applies a recently de- velopment analytical framework that allows to calculate the HDI for subgroups of a population. We use this approach to calculate the HDI by internal migra- tional status to assess the di®erences between the levels of human development of internal migrants compared to non-migrants, and also across countries as well as by urban and rural areas. An empirical illustration for a sample of 16 low and middle income countries shows that, overall, internal migrants slightly achieve a higher level of human development than non-migrants. The results further show that di®erences in income between migrants and non-migrants are generally higher than di®erences in education and life-expectancy. Disag- gregating the analysis by urban and rural areas reveals that urban internal migrants are better o® than urban non-migrants and rural migrants are better o® than rural non-migrants.
    Keywords: Human Development; Migration Income Inequality; Differential Mortality; Inequality in Education
    Date: 2009–07–15
  14. By: Martti Randveer; Tairi Rõõm
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence from a unique survey of firm managers on migration patterns in Estonia in 2007. An average emigrant from Estonia was most likely a young person between 15-34 years of age, a blue-collar worker and male. Contrary to evidence from other countries and/or earlier time periods, employees with a low level of education were more likely to emigrate than highly educated workers. We assessed which enterprises were more exposed to the crossborder movement of workers. The vast majority (97%) of emigrants left from private sector enterprises. Most immigrant workers were employed by private sector companies as well. Firms hiring a larger share of low-skilled blue-collar workers were more exposed to the mobility of international labour. The regression results indicated that the tendency to emigrate was the strongest among construction sector employees, whereas immigrant workers were most likely hired by manufacturing companies
    Keywords: immigration, emigration, survey
    JEL: F22 J61 J62
    Date: 2009–07–14
  15. By: Luca, MARCHIORI (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and UNIVERSITY OF LUXEMBOURG, Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance); I-Ling SHEN (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), UNIVERSITY OF GENEVA, Department of Econometrics and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)); FrŽdŽric, DOCQUIER (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), Belgian National Fund of Scientific Research and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))
    Abstract: The paper assesses the global effects of brain drain on developing economies and quantifies the relative sizes of various static and dynamic impacts. By constructing a unified generic framework characterized by overlappinggenerations dynamics and calibrated to real data, this study incorporates many direct impacts of brain drain whose interactions, along with other indirect effects, are endogenously and dynamically generated. Our findings suggest that the short-run impact of brain drain on resident human capital is extremely crucial, as it does not only determine the number of skilled workers available to domestic production, but it also affects the sending economyÕs capacity to innovate or to adopt modern technologies. The latter impact plays an important role particularly in a globalized economy where capital investments are made in places with higher production efficiencies ceteris paribus. Hence, in spite of several empirically documented positive feedback effects, those countries with high skilled emigration rates are the most candid victims to brain drain since they are least likely to benefit from the Òbrain gainÓ effect, and thus suffering from declines of their resident human capital.
    Keywords: Brain Drain, Capital Flow, Development, Human Capital, Remittances
    JEL: F22 J24 O15
    Date: 2009–06

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