nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2009‒11‒07
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Citizenship, Co-ethnic Populations and Employment Probabilities of Immigrants in Sweden By Bevelander, Pieter; Pendakur, Ravi
  2. Migration and capital accumulation: Evidence from rural Mexico By Vera Chiodi; Esteban Jaimovich; Gabriel Montes-Rojas
  3. Working In a Regulated Occupation in Canada: An Immigrant - Native-Born Comparison By Girard, Magali; Smith, Michael
  4. The Regulation of Migration in a Transition Economy: China’s Hukou System By Bao, Shuming; Bodvarsson, Örn B.; Hou, Jack W.; Zhao, Yaohui
  5. Estimating the Impact of Immigration on Wages in Ireland By Barrett, Alan; Bergin, Adele; Kelly, Elish
  6. Why Don’t Labor and Capital Flow Between Young and Old Countries? By Lena Calahorrano; Philipp an de Meulen
  7. Do as the Neighbors Do: The Impact of Social Networks on Immigrant Employees By Fredrik Anderson; Simon Burgess; Julia Lane
  8. Expatriates and Trade By Tomas Konecny
  9. Enhancing Trade Through Migration. A Gravity Model of the Network Effect. By Laura Casi.
  10. Land rights insecurity and temporary migration in rural China By Maëlys de la Rupelle; Quheng Deng; Shi Li; Thomas Vendryes
  11. Glass Ceilings or Glass Doors? Wage Disparity Within and Between Firms By Pendakur, Krishna; Woodcock, Simon
  12. Trade, Firm Structure, and Migration of Talent By Maroula Khraiche
  13. Urbanization and Labor Market Informality in Developing Countries By Gundogan , Naci; Bicerli, Mustafa Kemal
  14. Left behind to farm ? women's labor re-allocation in rural China By Mu, Ren; van de Walle, Dominique

  1. By: Bevelander, Pieter (Malmö University); Pendakur, Ravi (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: Over the last decades, Sweden has liberalized its citizenship policy by reducing the required number of years of residency to five for foreign citizens and only two for Nordic citizens. Dual citizenship has been allowed since 2001. During the same period, immigration patterns by country of birth changed substantially, with an increasing number of immigrants arriving from non-western countries. Furthermore, immigrants were settling in larger cities as opposed to smaller towns as was the case before. Interestingly, the employment integration of immigrants has declined gradually, and in 2006 the employment rate for foreign-born individuals is substantially lower compared to the native-born. The aim of this paper is to explore the link between citizenship and employment probabilities for immigrants in Sweden, controlling for a range of demographic, human capital, and municipal characteristics such as city and co-ethnic population size. The information we employ for this analysis consists of register data on the whole population of Sweden held by Statistics Sweden for the year 2006. The basic register, STATIV, includes demographic, socio-economic and immigrant specific information. In this paper we used instrumental variable regression to examine the "clean" impact of citizenship acquisition and the size of the co-immigrant population on the probability of being employed. In contrast to Scott (2008), we find that citizenship acquisition has a positive impact for a number of immigrant groups. This is particularly the case for non- EU/non-North American immigrants. In terms of intake class, refugees appear to experience substantial gains from citizenship acquisition (this is not, however, the case for immigrants entering as family class). We find that the impact of the co-immigrant population is particularly important for immigrants from Asia and Africa. These are also the countries that have the lowest employment rate.
    Keywords: citizenship, naturalization, immigration, ethnicity
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2009–10
  2. By: Vera Chiodi; Esteban Jaimovich; Gabriel Montes-Rojas
    Abstract: This paper studies the link between migration, remittances and productive assets accumulation for a panel of poor rural households in Mexico over the period 1997- 2006. In a context of financial markets imperfections, migration may act as a substitute for imperfect credit and insurance provision (through remittances from migrants) and, thus, exert a positive effect on investment. However, it may well be the case that remittances are channelled towards increasing consumption and leisure goods. Exploiting within family variation and an instrumental variable strategy, we show that migration indeed accelerates productive assets accumulation. Moreover, when we look at the effect of migration on consumption of non-productive assets (durable goods), we find instead a negative effect. Our results then suggest that poor rural families resort to migration as a way to mitigate constraints that prevent them from investing in productive assets.
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Girard, Magali; Smith, Michael
    Abstract: The number of immigrants working in regulated and unregulated occupations is unknown. A major contribution of this study is that we use Statistics Canada data to classify occupations, across provinces, into regulated and unregulated categories and then to examine the covariates of membership in a regulated occupation. In aggregate, immigrants are not less likely to work in a regulated occupation. Immigrants educated in Asia prove to be much less likely to secure access to a regulated occupation than either the native-born or other immigrants.
    Keywords: Immigration, regulated occupations, place of education, foreign credentials, Canada
    JEL: J24 J61 L50
    Date: 2009–10–24
  4. By: Bao, Shuming (University of Michigan); Bodvarsson, Örn B. (St. Cloud State University); Hou, Jack W. (California State University, Long Beach); Zhao, Yaohui (Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: Unlike most countries, China regulates internal migration. Public benefits, access to good quality housing, schools, health care, and attractive employment opportunities are available only to those who have local registration (Hukou). Coincident with the deepening of economic reforms, Hukou has gradually been relaxed since the 1980s, helping to explain an extraordinary surge of migration within China. In this study of interprovincial Chinese migration, we address two questions. First, what is a sensible way of incorporating Hukou into theoretical and empirical models of internal migration? Second, to what extent has Hukou influenced the scale and structure of migration? We incorporate two alternative measures of Hukou into a modified gravity model – the unregistered migrant's: (i) perceived probability of securing Hukou; and (ii) perceived probability of securing employment opportunities available only to those with Hukou. In contrast to previous studies, our model includes a much wider variety of control especially important for the Chinese case. Analyzing the relationship between Hukou and migration using census data for 1985-90, 1995-2000 and 2000-05, we find that migration is very sensitive to Hukou, with the greatest sensitivity occurring during the middle period.
    Keywords: internal migration, Hukou, migrant networks, reforms
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2009–10
  5. By: Barrett, Alan (ESRI, Dublin); Bergin, Adele (ESRI, Dublin); Kelly, Elish (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)
    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.
    Keywords: wages, immigration, Ireland
    JEL: J11 J21 J61
    Date: 2009–10
  6. By: Lena Calahorrano (RWTH Aachen University, Faculty of Business and Economics, Templergraben 64, 52062 Aachen, Germany); Philipp an de Meulen (RWTH Aachen University, Faculty of Business and Economics, Templergraben 64, 52062 Aachen, Germany)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the twofold effect of demographics on international factor flows in a model with endogenous policy constraints on both foreign direct investment and migration. Factor price differences between industrialized and developing countries create economic incentives for migration to developed countries and for capital flows to less developed countries. However, political barriers to immigration in developed countries and expropriation risks in developing countries impede labor and capital flows. Using a political economy approach that takes into account different generations’ conflicting attitudes towards immigration and expropriation, we explore how these policy restrictions interact. We find that, in the presence of mobility constraints, larger demographic differences between countries need not result in an increase of factor flows.
    Keywords: Demographic Change, Political Economy, Migration, Foreign Direct Investment
    JEL: D78 F21 F22 J10
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Fredrik Anderson; Simon Burgess; Julia Lane
    Abstract: Substantial immigrant segregation in the United States, combined with the increase in the share of the U.S. foreign-born population, have led to great interest in the causes and consequences of immigrant concentration, including those related to the functioning of labor markets. This paper provides robust evidence that both the size and the quality of an immigrant enclave affects the labor market outcomes of new immigrants. We develop new measures of the quality, or information value, of immigrant networks by exploiting data based on worker earnings records matched to firm and Census information. We demonstrate the importance of immigrant employment links: network members are much more likely than other immigrants to be employed in the same firm as their geographic neighbors. Immigrants living with large numbers of employed neighbors are more likely to have jobs than immigrants in areas with fewer employed neighbors. The effects are quantitatively important and robust under alternative specifications. For example, in a high value network – one with an average employment rate in the 90th percentile – a one standard deviation increase in the log of the number of contacts in the network is associated with almost a 5% increase in the employment rate. Earnings, conditional on employment, increase by about 0.7%.
    Keywords: Social networks, immigrant enclaves, labor market intermediaries
    JEL: J61 J20
    Date: 2009–09
  8. By: Tomas Konecny
    Abstract: The study quantifies the contribution to bilateral trade flows of expatriates from the OECD economies living in less developed countries. Similarly to the results of the existing research that focused on immigrants moving in the opposite direction, the expatriates promote trade between the country of origin and country of residence. The expatriates’ facilitation of trade is nonetheless relatively weaker and works likely through different channels. Using a unique dataset on bilateral migration stocks, a 10 percent increase in the size of an expatriate community leads to a 0.6 percent average increase in its OECD trade partner’s imports against a 2.5 percent impact of immigrants in OECD countries. The import facilitating role of expatriate networks is centered in host countries with low institutional quality. In economies lying within the lowest third of the institutional quality distribution, a 10 percent increase in expatriate stock would lead to a 1.7 percent increase in imports into their country of origin. The figures on expatriates’ role in exports are not statistically different from zero.
    Keywords: International trade, migration, informal trade barriers.
    JEL: F22 O24
    Date: 2009–08
  9. By: Laura Casi.
    Abstract: While trade liberalization has always been the core of common policies, only in very recent years Europe has started to address the challenge of migration in a comprehensive way. Conventional wisdom considers potential gains from liberalizing trade much higher for European countries than the benefits deriving from liberalization of migration. This paper gives evidence of the benefits European host countries had from immigration, identifying trade channel as the key driver of these benefits. It focuses on 17 European Union member states and 10 extra-European partners with the highest immigration flows towards the EU-27. The period considered is the decade 1997-2006. Controlling for endogeneity, the results I obtain suggest that migration have a statistically significant and robust enhancing effect on European countries exports, this effect being particularly important when considering differentiated commodities rather than homogeneous goods. This confirms the importance of the “network effect” of migration for European countries. Evidence on imports, instead, is puzzled. To my knowledge this is the first attempt in the literature to test the trade enhancing effect of migration using a panel, including a consistent number of European Countries and extra-European partner quite different in terms of geographical location, socio-economics and cultural characteristics and inspecting such recent years. This further extends existing evidence on the network effect and allows considering the results valid in a cross-country analysis over time.
    Keywords: International Migration, Economic Integration, Networks, Europe.
    JEL: F15 F22
    Date: 2009–10
  10. By: Maëlys de la Rupelle; Quheng Deng; Shi Li; Thomas Vendryes
    Abstract: Like most other developing countries, China experiences huge migration outflows from rural areas. Their most striking characteristic is a high geographical and temporal mobility. Rural migrants keep going back and forth between origin villages and destination areas. In this paper, we show that this temporary feature of migration can be linked to land rights insecurity. As village land ownership remains collective and as land use rights can be periodically reallocated, individual out-migration can result in deprivation of those rights. Moreover, the intensity of this insecurity varies according to the village-level management of land and the contractual status of land plots. We use these variations to identify the effect of land rights insecurity on migration behavior. Empirical results based on representative 2002 rural data demonstrate substantial impact.
    Date: 2009
  11. By: Pendakur, Krishna; Woodcock, Simon
    Abstract: We investigate whether immigrant and minority workers’ poor access to high-wage jobs— that is, glass ceilings— is attributable to poor access to jobs in high-wage …rms, a phenomenon we call glass doors. Our analysis uses linked employer-employee data to measure mean- and quantile-wage di¤erentials of immigrants and ethnic minorities, both within and across …rms. We …nd that glass ceilings exist for some immigrant groups, and that they are driven in large measure by glass doors. For some immigrant groups, the sorting of these workers across …rms accounts for as much as half of the economy-wide wage disparity they face.
    Keywords: glass ceilings, wage di¤erentials, immigration, visible minorities, quantile regression, linked employer-employee data
    JEL: J15 J71 J31
    Date: 2009–10–25
  12. By: Maroula Khraiche
    Abstract: Throughout economic history there have been episodes in which the liberalization of trade has been accompanied by a positive flow of migrants. Such phenomena are notable because they contradict the basic Heckscher-Ohlin conclusion that trade and labor mobility are substitutes. Also notable is the fact that migrants to the U.S. have been largely skilled rather than unskilled. This paper links these two phenomena by pointing out the simple fact that increased trade can involve different types of firm structures and different types of goods being traded, which in turn have different effects on skilled and unskilled labor. The interaction between different frictions that impact labor movements, specifically the interaction between capital adjustment costs and trade costs, has a significant effect on the gap between the returns to labor in the South and North. Although the decrease in trade costs and increase in trade dampens labor movements, the existence of asymmetric capital adjustment costs in the North and South increases it. To show these results formally, this paper calibrates and solves a two-country, two-sector model of trade and migration, in which countries differ in skill endowments and capital adjustment costs and sectors differ in structures and capital intensities. Empirical analysis is then provided, with results supporting the main qualitative implications of the model.
    Keywords: International migration, multinational firms, capital adjustment cost.
    JEL: F16 F22 F23 E2
    Date: 2009–10
  13. By: Gundogan , Naci; Bicerli, Mustafa Kemal
    Abstract: Rapid and uncontrolled migration created by the population moving from rural to urban areas causes serious problems from the viewpoint of labor markets. Increases in rural-urban migration flows is contributing to a larger urban labor supply. This increasing labor supply has produced an increasing urban unemployment rate and a deterioration in the quality of employment, as it is evident from the increased informal employment rates. One of the most distinctive features of the economies in developing countries is the fact that more than half of workers are employed in the urban informal sector. Urbanization and informal sector are joint and rising trends in these countries. The informal sector represents a significant part of the economy, and certainly of the labor market in developing economies, and plays a major role in employment creation, production and income generation.
    Keywords: urbanization; informal labor market; urban labor market; rural- urban migration; developing countries
    JEL: J01 E26
    Date: 2009
  14. By: Mu, Ren; van de Walle, Dominique
    Abstract: The transformation of work during China’s rapid economic development is associated with a substantial but little noticed re-allocation of traditional farm labor among women, with some doing much less and some much more. This paper studies how the work, time allocation, and health of non-migrant women are affected by the out-migration of others in their household. The analysis finds that the women left behind are doing more farm work than would have otherwise been the case. There is also evidence that this is a persistent effect, and not just temporary re-allocation. For some types of women (notably older women), the labor re-allocation response comes out of their leisure.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Gender and Development,Anthropology,Population&Development
    Date: 2009–10–01

This nep-mig issue is ©2009 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.