nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒09‒11
eight papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Immigration, family responsibilities and the labor supply of skilled native women By Francesc Ortega; Libertad González; Lídia Farré Olalla
  2. Immigration and Social Security in Spain By Clara I. Gonzalez; José Ignacio Conde Ruiz; Michele Boldrin
  3. Information and discrimination in the rental housing market: evidence from a field experiment By M. Angeles Carnero Fernández; Lídia Farré Olalla; Mariano Bosch
  4. The Remitting Patterns of African Migrants in the OECD By Albert Bollard; David McKenzie; Melanie Morten
  5. Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration By Thierry Warin; Andrew Blakely
  6. Colombian and South American Immigrants in the United States of America: Education Levels, Job Qualifications and the Decision to Go Back Home By Carlos Medina; Cristhian Manuel Posso
  7. Do Remittances Impact the Economy? Some Empirical Evidences from A Developing Economy By Hrushikesh Mallick
  8. Voters hold the key: lock-in, mobility, and the portability of property tax exemptions By Ron Cheung; Chris Cunningham

  1. By: Francesc Ortega (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Libertad González (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Lídia Farré Olalla (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of Spain's large recentimmigration wave on the labor supply of highly skilled native women. Wehypothesize that female immigration led to an increase in the supply ofaffordable household services, such as housekeeping and child or elderlycare. As a result, i) native females with high earnings potential were ableto increase their labor supply, and ii) the effects were larger on skilledwomen whose labor supply was heavily constrained by familyresponsibilities. Our evidence indicates that over the last decadeimmigration led to an important expansion in the size of the householdservices sector and to an increase in the labor supply of women in highearningoccupations (of about 2 hours per week). We also find thatimmigration allowed skilled native women to return to work sooner afterchildbirth, to stay in the workforce longer when having elderlydependents in the household, and to postpone retirement.Methodologically, we show that the availability of even limited Registrydata makes it feasible to conduct the analysis using quarterly householdsurvey data, as opposed to having to rely on the decennial Census.
    Keywords: Immigration, labor supply, fertility, retirement, household services
    JEL: J61 J22 J13
    Date: 2009–01
  2. By: Clara I. Gonzalez; José Ignacio Conde Ruiz; Michele Boldrin
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to understand the impact of immigration on the Spanish pension system during the next fifty years by building aquantitative-theoretical framework. In order to carry out the exercise of projection of revenues and expenditures in the Spanish pension system, we have developed an Overlapping Generation Model where individuals differ by age, gender, skill and nationality. The Cohort Component Population Projection Method is used for the demographic projections, and for the labor market scenario we have simulated the full labor history of all of our different workers for the period-taking into account the future evolution of the educational levels and five possible situations during their labor history (employed, self-employed, unemployed, disable and inactive). In a first baseline scenario the system will be in deficit around year according to the last official estimations. The arrival of a large number of foreign workers is offering the Social Security System roughly five years of additional time to correct its important underlying unbalances. However after this period, the structural problems will come back and may be even magnified by the presence of an additional number of retired immigrants. Even if immigration reaches its total assimilation in the labor market it will not be sufficient to avoid that the pension system will be in deficit. However, immigration is allowing us to obtain very valuable additional time in order to carry out the necessary reforms.
    Date: 2009–07
  3. By: M. Angeles Carnero Fernández (Universidad de Alicante); Lídia Farré Olalla (Universidad de Alicante); Mariano Bosch (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of disclosing information on the discriminatory behaviour against immigrants in the Spanish rental market. We conduct a field experiment where emails are sent showing interest on vacant rental apartments. Fictitious applicants whose names represent different ethnic groups send emails with different amount of information about their ability to pay the rent. Our results show that applicants with a Moroccan sounding name are 15 percentage points less likely to be contacted by the property owner than those with a Spanish name. We also find that revealing positive information about the socioeconomic status of the Moroccan candidate increases the probability of being contacted by 8 percentage points. However, the information revealed does not completely eliminate discriminatory behavior, suggesting the presence of negative attitudes towards immigrants.
    Keywords: Discrimination, migration, rental market, field experiment
    Date: 2009–01
  4. By: Albert Bollard (Stanford University); David McKenzie (Development Research Group, World Bank); Melanie Morten (Yale University)
    Abstract: Recorded remittances to Africa have grown dramatically over the past decade. Yet data limitations still mean relatively little is known about which migrants remit, how much they remit, and how their remitting behavior varies with gender, education, income levels, and duration abroad. We construct the most comprehensive remittance database on immigrants in the OECD currently available, containing microdata on over 12,000 African immigrants. Using this microdata we establish several basic facts about remitting patterns of Africans, and then explore how key characteristics of policy interest relate to remittance behavior. Africans are found to remit twice as much on average as migrants from other developing countries, while those from poorer African countries are more likely to remit than those from richer African countries. We find male migrants remit more than female migrants, particularly among those with a spouse remaining in the home country; that more educated migrants remit more than less educated migrants; and that while the amount remitted increases with income earned, the gradient is quite flat over a large range of income. Finally, we find little evidence that the amount remitted decays with time spent abroad, with reductions in the likelihood in remitting offset by increases in the amount remitted conditional on remitting.
    Date: 2009–09
  5. By: Thierry Warin; Andrew Blakely
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of herd behavior (mimetism) and network effects as determinants of bilateral migration flows to thirteen of the EU-15 countries. Using an adapted gravity model controlling for economic activity, welfare progressivity, geospatial, and historic relationships, the results force us to question the ways in which we explain migration flows. Herd behavior influences positively the flows of migrants to Europe, whereas the existence of network complementarities in the receiving country does not consistently predict and may in some cases reduce the likelihood of immigrant inflows. Moreover, economic activity and particularly labor market conditions play a lesser role in migrants’ choice of location than was previously thought. The introduction of herd behavior as a determinant of European Migration in our empirical analysis changes the paradigm for understanding migration and suggests that prior definitions of social perceptions are inadequate. <P>Cet article étudie le rôle des comportements mimétiques et des effets de réseaux dans les décisions de migration vers treize pays de l’Union européenne. En utilisant un modèle de gravité adapté à cette question et incluant des indicateurs mesurant l’activité économique, le progrès social, et les relations historiques, les résultats de cette étude précisent les méthodes traditionnelles d’évaluation des flux migratoires. Les comportements mimétiques influencent positivement les flux migratoires vers l’Europe, alors que les effets de réseaux dans le pays hôte ne prédisent pas de façon toujours satisfaisante les flux d’immigration. De plus, l’activité économique, et en particulier les conditions du marché du travail, jouent un rôle moindre que ceux mis en évidence dans des études précédentes. La prise en compte des comportements mimétiques en tant que déterminant des flux migratoires en Europe vient donc changer le paradigme pour l’étude des flux migratoires.
    Keywords: migration, herd behavior, network effects, flux migratoires, comportements mimétiques, effets de réseaux
    JEL: J6 O15 Z13
    Date: 2009–08–01
  6. By: Carlos Medina; Cristhian Manuel Posso
    Abstract: This document provides evidence to show that Colombia is a net exporter of 5% of its population with a university or post-graduate degree, while Argentina, Brazil and Chile are net importers of people with a similar level of education. We find that those Colombians who returned home to Colombia from the United States between the years 1990 and 2005 were, on average, less well educated than those who decided to stay in the States, a fact which has contributed to emphasising the positive selection made by Colombians when choosing the US as their destination, and as a result has increased the net flight of human capital (the so-called “brain drain”). The same exercise carried out on the South American countries as a whole leads to an analogous result. Although data does not allow us to include the quality of jobs immigrants are performing in the US as a determinant of the decision to return, it allow us to show that immigrants to the US from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela are generally employed in activities that require better qualifications than those in which Colombian migrants are working, although the Colombians are usually engaged in work which requires better qualifications than the jobs where migrants from Ecuador and Peru are employed. In the case of Colombians, and for the rest of South Americans taken as a whole, their level of education is closely linked to the level of qualification required for the work they do in the United States.
    Date: 2009–08–31
  7. By: Hrushikesh Mallick
    Abstract: The study attempts to examine the impact of remittances on macroeconomic activities (private consumption and investment) and its implications on economic growth in India for the period from 1966-67 to 2003-04. Estimating a general consumption model, the results indicate that remittances along with debt, money supply (net of bank demand deposits) and income, consistently have a positive influence on private consumption. [WP no. 407].
    Keywords: income, emigrant workers, economy, debt, money supply, bank, demand deposits, bank, bank demand deposits, Remittances, consumption, Investment, Growth, Interest Rates, Government Borrowings, Openness of the economy, macroeconomic activities, consumption, investment, private consumption,
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Ron Cheung; Chris Cunningham
    Abstract: Since California voters approved Proposition 13 in 1978, fifteen states have enacted caps on the annual growth in assessed property values. These laws often impose a great burden on municipal finances and create horizontal inequity among homeowners. Why do voters choose to limit local government in this way? Reasons may include controlling the power of special interests, addressing agency failures of government officials (the "Leviathan" hypothesis), or preserving the impact of a current but fleeting antitax political alignment. Yet research has found that voters' perception of a limitation's fiscal consequences do not match reality, questioning the rationality of voter behavior. To counter this position, another strand of literature argues that support for tax limitations is driven not by perceptions of government inefficiency but by reasonable expectations of who will ultimately bear the tax limitation's burden. We explore this view by exploiting the differential tax treatment generated by assessment caps in the context of a recent, novel referendum in Florida. We examine voter support for a 2008 constitutional amendment that included a unique provision making the existing assessment cap portable within the state. We test the hypothesis that voters understood the mobility consequences of tax limitations and the net burden of the cap. We find that high potential tax savings and high expected mobility rates result in higher support for portability. We also find that the degree of racial segregation, the presence of nonresidential tax bases, and the share of migrants from out of state all contribute to support for the amendment. Results suggest that voters were as concerned with reducing their own tax share at the expense of other property owners as they were with curtailing local expenditures.
    Date: 2009

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