nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒10‒03
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. European hoarding: currency use among immigrants in Switzerland By Andreas M. Fischer
  2. Does Poverty Alleviation Increase Migration? Evidence from Mexico By Oliver, Azuara
  3. Older Americans On The Go: Financial and Psychological Effects of Moving By Esteban Calvo; Kelly Haverstick; Natalia A. Zhivan
  4. Residential mobility, neighbourhood quality and life-course events By Rabe B; Taylor M
  5. Immigrants and Employer-provided Training By Barrett, Alan; McGuinness, Seamus; O'Brien, Martin; O'Connell, Philip J.
  6. Culture matters: America’s African Diaspora and labor market outcomes By Mason, Patrick
  7. Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration of Skilled-Worker Mobility and Development By Michael Clemens
  8. Remittances and Financial Development:;Substitutes or Complements in Economic Growth? By Giulia Bettin; Alberto Zazzaro
  9. The Static and Dynamic Benefits of Migration and Remittances in Nicaragua By Lykke E. Andersen; Bent Jesper Christensen
  10. The Economic Situation of First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in France, Germany, and the UK By Yann Algan; Christian Dustmann; Albrecht Glitz; Alan Manning
  11. Mismatch in the Graduate Labour Market Among Immigrants and Second-Generation Ethnic Minority Groups By Byrne, Delma; McGuinness, Seamus
  12. Improving Canada's Immigration Policy By Charles Beach; Alan Green; Christopher Worswick
  13. Estimating the Impact of Immigration on Wages in Ireland By Barrett, Alan; Bergin, Adele; Kelly, Elish
  14. The Euro-mediterranean partnership : trade in services as an alternative to migration ? By Hoekman, Bernard; Ozden, Caglar
  15. Rethinking China's underurbanization: An evaluation of its county-to-city upgrading policy By Fan, Shenggen; Li, Lixing; Zhang, Xiaobo

  1. By: Andreas M. Fischer
    Abstract: Do immigrants have a higher demand for large denominated banknotes than natives? This study examines whether cash orders for CHF 1000 notes, a banknote not used for daily transactions, is concentrated in Swiss cities with a high foreign-to-native ratio. Controlling for a range of socio-economic indicators across 250 Swiss cities, European immigrants in Switzerland are found to hoard less CHF 1000 banknotes than natives. A 1 percent increase in the immigrant-to-native ratio leads to a reduction in currency orders by CHF 4000. This negative correlation between immigrant-to-native ratio and currency orders for CHF 1000 notes holds irrespective of the European immigrants' country of origin. Hoarding of large denominated banknotes by natives is attributed tax avoidance.
    Keywords: Money ; Immigrants ; Bank notes ; Monetary policy
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Oliver, Azuara
    Abstract: What is the long term effect of cash transfers (CT) on rural migration? CT programs have demonstrated to increase human capital investments of poor families by increasing nutrition, health and schooling levels. How- ever, there is little evidence on the long term effects of CT programs particularly on migration decisions. Progresa-Oportunidades, the pioneer Mexican CT program that started in 1997, would give some evidence for this open question. I examine the sudden drop in the population size and gender composition of Mexican rural villages where this program was implemented between 1998 and 2005. I use a regression discontinuity design to identify the effects of the program on villages located on the margin of the poverty distribution and close to the cutoff point of the eligibility criteria. The average population in a fully covered village decreased by 70 people in 2005 compared to 1995 (almost 10 percent of the average population of 1995). Sixty five percent of this reduction corresponds to adults who left their villages and forty percent of this reduction can be attributed to Progresa-Oportunidades. The reduction of adult population of males is 6 times higher than for females, a clear sign of a significant increase in the migration patterns of this population.
    Keywords: Progresa; Oportunidades; Mexico; CCT; Migration
    JEL: O15 R23
    Date: 2009–09–27
  3. By: Esteban Calvo; Kelly Haverstick; Natalia A. Zhivan
    Abstract: Moving is an important decision for any homeowner, requiring one to weigh the familiar comforts of a home and neighborhood against the uncertain potential of a new location. A move decision may be even more challenging for an older person. On the one hand, older people often have a decades-long attachment to their current residence. On the other hand, they may face new opportunities (ample leisure time) or challenges (the loss of a spouse) that affect their desire or ability to stay where they are. This brief is the second of two examining moving decisions among older Americans. The first brief covered how often older households move, where they move, and their stated reasons for moving. An initial analysis of these reasons indicated two general types of movers: those who are able to affirmatively plan a move (“Planners”) and those who react to a change in their circumstances that may force them to relocate (“Reactors”). Given the different stated motivations of these movers, the determinants and consequences of their move decisions may vary. This brief tests these hypotheses, using the Health and Retirement Study. The first section introduces the sample of households used in the analysis. The second section analyzes what characteristics influence a decision to move. The third section looks at the impact of moving on home equity, while the fourth section considers the impact on psychological well-being. The final section concludes.
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Rabe B (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Taylor M (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: Neighbourhood characteristics affect the social and economic opportunities of their residents. While a number of studies have analysed housing adjustments at different life stages, little is known about neighbourhood quality adjustments. Based on a model of optimal housing consumption we analyse the determinants of residential mobility and the neighbourhood quality adjustments made by those who move, drawing on data from the British Household Panel Survey and Indices of Multiple Deprivation. We measure neighbourhood quality both subjectively and objectively and find that not all life-course events that trigger moves lead to neighbourhood quality adjustments. Single people are negatively affected by leaving the parental home and couples by a husbandÂ’s unemployment. Couples having a new baby move into better neighbourhoods.
    Date: 2009–09–17
  5. By: Barrett, Alan (ESRI); McGuinness, Seamus (ESRI); O'Brien, Martin (Central Bank & Financial Services Authority of Ireland); O'Connell, Philip J. (ESRI)
    Abstract: Much has been written about the labour market outcomes for immigrants in their host countries, particularly with regard to earnings, employment and occupational attainment. However, much less attention has been paid to the question of whether immigrants are as likely to receive employer-provided training relative to comparable natives. As such training should be crucial in determining the labour market success of immigrants in the long run it is a critically important question. Using data from a large scale survey of employees in Ireland, we find that immigrants are less likely to receive training from employers, with immigrants from the New Member States of the EU experiencing a particular disadvantage. The immigrant training disadvantage arises in part from a failure on the part of immigrants to get employed by training-oriented firms. However, they also experience a training disadvantage relative to natives within firms where less training is provided.
    Date: 2009–09
  6. By: Mason, Patrick
    Abstract: This paper contrasts the explanatory power of the mono-cultural and diversity models of racial disparity. The mono-cultural model ignores nativity and ethnic differences among African Americans. The diversity model assumes that culture affects both intra- and interracial labor market disparity. The diversity model seeks to enhance our ability to understand the relative merits of culture versus market discrimination as determinants of racial inequality in labor market outcomes. Our results are consistent with the diversity model of racial inequality. Specifically, racial disparity consists of the following outcomes: 1) persistent racial wage and employment effects between both native and immigrant African Americans and whites, 2) limited ethnicity effects among African Americans, 3) diverse employment and wage effects among native and immigrant African Americans, 4) intra-racial wage penalties (premiums) for immigrant (native) African Americans, and 5) evidence of relatively higher unobserved productivity-linked attributes among Caribbean-English immigrants. There are regional and intertemporal variations in these inequalities.
    Keywords: racial discrimination; racial inequality; immigration; identity; African American; Caribbean; African Diaspora; wage discrimination; employment discrimination; Hispanic; acting white; multi-racial; skin shade
    JEL: J31 J21 J61 J15 Z13 J7 J16
    Date: 2009–05–25
  7. By: Michael Clemens
    Abstract: Large numbers of doctors, engineers, and other skilled workers from developing countries choose to move to other countries. Do their choices threaten development? The answer appears so obvious that their movement is most commonly known by the pejorative term “brain drain.” This paper reconsiders the question, starting from the most mainstream, explicit definitions of “development.” Under these definitions, it is only possible to advance development by regulating skilled workers’ choices if that regulation greatly expands the substantive freedoms of others to meet their basic needs and live the lives they wish. Much existing evidence and some new evidence suggests that regulating skilled-worker mobility itself does little to address the underlying causes of skilled migrants’ choices, generally brings few benefits to others, and often brings diverse unintended harm. The paper concludes with examples of effective ways that developing countries can build a skill base for development without regulating human movement. The mental shift required to take these policies seriously would be aided by dropping the sententious term “brain drain” in favor of the neutral, accurate, and concise term “skill flow.”
    Keywords: brain drain; migration; development; labor; education; developing; labor mobility; circular migration; higher education; university; training; skilled; high skill; talent; globalization; health workers; high tech; technology transfer
    JEL: F22 J24 O15
    Date: 2009–08
  8. By: Giulia Bettin (Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI), Germany); Alberto Zazzaro (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Department of Economics, MoFiR)
    Abstract: In a recent study, Chami et al. (2003) suggested that remittances can have a negative impact on;economic growth of the receiving country by diminishing the work effort of the migrants' relatives.;Subsequently, Giuliano and Ruiz-Arranz (2009) found that this moral hazard effect emerges only;when financial development is low. In this paper, we introduce a new indicator of financial;development measuring the efficiency domestic banking system and show that the impact of;remittances on economic growth is negative (positive) in countries where bank efficiency is low;(high). This complementarity result is robust to controls for other financial development and;institutional quality indicators.
    Keywords: bank efficiency, economic growth, financial development, migrants' remittances
    JEL: F22 F43 O16
    Date: 2009–09
  9. By: Lykke E. Andersen (Institute for Advanced Development Studies); Bent Jesper Christensen (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: This paper utilizes a unique three-wave panel of household data from Nicaragua, which allows a thorough exploration of the relationships between migration, remittances and household consumption. The paper distinguishes between the effects of emigration and the impacts of remittances received. There is a self-selection bias in the decision to send a migrant, as well as in the decision to receive remittances. To adequately correct for these selection biases, we develop a bivariate selection correction procedure. Perhaps surprisingly, the results show that households do not benefit (in terms of higher consumption growth) from receiving remittances, but rather from having migrants abroad. This suggests that not only money are remitted from abroad, but also something more subtle, which could be business ideas, belief systems, aspirations, patterns of social interaction, and other intangibles, which have been dubbed social remittances.
    Keywords: Migration, Remittances, Social Remittances, Nicaragua, Bivariate Selection Correction
    JEL: F35
    Date: 2009–08
  10. By: Yann Algan (Sciences Po, OFCE); Christian Dustmann (University College London, CReAM); Albrecht Glitz (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Alan Manning (Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics)
    Abstract: A central concern about immigration is the integration into the labour market, not only of the first generation, but also of subsequent generations. Little comparative work exists for Europe’s largest economies. France, Germany and the UK have all become, perhaps unwittingly, countries with large immigrant populations albeit with very different ethnic compositions. Today, the descendants of these immigrants live and work in their parents’ destination countries. This paper presents and discusses comparative evidence on the performance of first- and second-generation immigrants in these countries in terms of education, earnings, and employment.
    Date: 2009–09
  11. By: Byrne, Delma (ESRI); McGuinness, Seamus (ESRI)
    Abstract: This paper uses graduate survey data and econometric methods to estimate the incidence and wage effects of over-education and overskilling among immigrant and ethnic minority graduates from UK universities. The paper empirically demonstrates that immigrant and second-generation ethnic minority graduates were no more likely to experience education or skill mismatch relative to their native counterparts. Furthermore, graduates from immigrant and ethnic minority backgrounds incurred overeducation and overskilling wage penalties that lie well below the level incurred by native graduates. The research stresses the importance of controlling for the effects of location-specific human capital and sample selection when undertaking studies of this nature.
    Keywords: Overeducation, overskilling, ethnic minorities, immigrants
    Date: 2009–09
  12. By: Charles Beach (Queen's University); Alan Green (Queen's University); Christopher Worswick (Carleton University)
    Abstract: As labour markets change, the question arises whether Canada’s immigration policy – and our “point system” in particular – is doing a good job of identifying potential immigrants who will fare well on arrival in Canada.
    Keywords: economic growth and innovation, immigration point system, Canadian immigration policy
    JEL: J61 J68 J11
    Date: 2009–09
  13. By: Barrett, Alan (ESRI); Bergin, Adele (ESRI); Kelly, Elish (ESRI)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of immigration on the wages of natives in Ireland applying the technique proposed by Borjas (2003). Under this method, the labour market is divided into a number of skill cells, where the cells are defined by groups with similar levels of experience and education (or experience and occupation). Regression analysis is then employed to assess whether the average wages of natives across skill cells is affected by the share of immigrants across cells. When the cells are based on education/experience, our results suggest a negative relationship between native wages and immigrant shares. However, the opposite appears to hold when the cells are based on occupation/experience. These contradictory findings suggest that care should be exercised when applying this method as inaccurate impressions of the impact of immigration on wages may arise.
    Date: 2009–09
  14. By: Hoekman, Bernard; Ozden, Caglar
    Abstract: This paper discusses options to facilitate movement of workers between high-income and developing countries within the framework of trade agreements, focusing on the European Union’s partnership agreements with neighboring countries. Existing frameworks for cooperation offer the possibility of expanding temporary rather than longer-term or permanent movement of workers since extant trade agreements provide scope for negotiating specific market access commitments for services, including those delivered through the cross-border movement of natural persons. Even though the potential for such"embodied"trade in services will not be anywhere near what would be associated with substantial liberalization of migration regimes, furthering the services trade dimension in the European Union’s ¬trade agreements offers significant potential Pareto gains. For the partner countries these gains from temporary movement of service providers are both direct - through greater employment in/revenue from providing services in the European Union - and indirect - by helping to increase and sustain higher growth at home.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Labor Markets,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures,Labor Policies,Housing&Human Habitats
    Date: 2009–09–01
  15. By: Fan, Shenggen; Li, Lixing; Zhang, Xiaobo
    Abstract: "It has been argued in the literature that China is underurbanized in large part because of restrictions on migration. While the presence of migration barriers can help explain why existing cities fail to achieve their optimal size, it cannot explain the lack of cities. Although migration has become much easier over time, the number of cities in China has been rather stagnant. In this paper, we argue that lack of appropriate mechanisms for creating new cities is another reason for underurbanization. Under China's hierarchical governance structure, the only way to create new cities is through the centralized policy of upgrading existing counties or prefectures into cities. However, in practice the implementation of the county-to-city upgrading policy was more complicated than expected. Based on a county-level panel dataset, this paper shows that jurisdictions that were upgraded to cities prior to 1998 do not perform better relative to their counterparts that remain to be counties in terms of both economic growth and providing public services. The policy was retracted in 1997, freezing the number of county-level cities since then. This, in turn, contributes to the observed underurbanization." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Urbanization, City creation, Governance structure, Political centralization, Development strategies,
    Date: 2009

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