nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒01‒16
eighteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Essays on Regional Differences in Time Preferences and Attachment to Place By Yi, Dale
  2. Diasporas By Michel Beine; Frédéric Docquier; Çaglar Özden
  3. Remittances as a Social Status Signaling Device By Naiditch, Claire; Vranceanu, Radu
  4. Public Policy and the Economic Wellbeing of Elderly Immigrants By Baker, Michael; Benjamin, Dwayne; Fan, Elliot
  5. Are Foreign Migrants More Assimilated Than Native Ones? By Faini, Riccardo; Strom, Steinar; Venturini, Alessandra; Villosio, Claudia
  6. Modelling the Effects of Immigration on Regional Economic Performance and the Wage Distribution: A CGE Analysis of Three EU Regions By Pouliakas, Konstantinos; Roberts, Deborah; Balamou, Eudokia; Psaltopoulos, Demetrios
  7. Analysis of Labor Migration Decision: Its Determinants and Benefits The Case of Khmer Families in Tra Vinh Province of Viet Nam By Huynh Truong Huy
  8. The Economic Situation of First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in France, Germany and the United Kingdom By Yann Algan; Christian Dustmann; Albrecht Glitz; Alan Manning
  9. Welfare Usage in the U.S.: Does Immigrant Birthplace and Immigration Status Matter? By Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth; Oyolola, Maharouf
  10. Illegal Immigration and Media Exposure: Evidence on Individual Attitudes By Giovanni Facchini; Anna Maria Mayda; Riccardo Puglisi
  11. Skilled migration and education policies: Is there still scope for a Bhagwati tax? By Scalera, Domenico
  12. Dynamics of the Employment Assimilation of First-Generation Immigrant Men in Sweden: Comparing Dynamic and Static Assimilation Models with Longitudinal Data By Akay, Alpaslan
  13. Seeking Similarity: How Immigrants and Natives Manage at the Labor Market By Aslund, Olof; Hensvik, Lena; Nordström Skans, Oskar
  14. The Decision to Migrate and Social Capital: Evidence from Albania By Cristina Cattaneo
  15. Ethnicity, Job Search and Labor Market Reintegration of the Unemployed By Amelie Constant; Martin Kahanec; Ulf Rinne; Klaus F. Zimmermann
  16. Intra-Household Labor Supply, Migration, and Subsistence Constraints in a Risky Environment: Evidence from Rural El Salvador By Timothy J. Halliday
  17. Networks in the Premodern Economy: the Market for London Apprenticeships, 1600-1749 By Tim Leunig; Chris Minns; Patrick Wallis
  18. Endogenous Institutional Change and Economic Development: A Micro-Level Analysis of Transmission Channels By Michael Grimm; Stephan Klasen

  1. By: Yi, Dale
    Abstract: Data from a national telephone survey of working-aged adults in the continental US is combined with US Census 2000 data to explore the determinants of attachment to place and time preferences for jobs, natural amenities, and financial assets. Five regions in the US were delineated so that regional differences in the determinants of the dependent variables of interest could be parsed out. The regions are the Great Plains, Borderlands, Appalachia, the Plantation Belt, and the rest of the continental US. The first essay that explores time preferences for jobs, natural amenities, and money. Each was embedded with a ten percent rate of return. In aggregate, the nation as a whole demonstrated that the discount rate for jobs, natural amenities, and financial assets were each very different. The second essay explores the determinants of attachment to place by asking respondents how much money it would take to convince them to move to another community. Regional differences were detected both for time preferences and attachment to place. In addition to the independent variables classically used to explore our dependent variables of interest, these regional variables and their interactive expansions were observed to have a significant effect.
    Keywords: Great Plains, migration, time preference, survey, community attachment, social capital, natural amenity, economic development, community, census, zip code, policy, Native American, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, R11, R23, R53, R58, Q51, Q52, O13, O15,
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Michel Beine; Frédéric Docquier; Çaglar Özden (CREA, University of Luxembourg)
    Abstract: Migration flows are shaped by a complex combination of self-selection and out-selection mechanisms. In this paper, we analyze how existing diasporas (the stock of people born in a country and living in an another one) affect the size and human-capital structure of current migration flows. Our analysis exploits bilateral dataset on international migration by educational attainment from 195 countries to 30 OECD countries in 1990 and 2000. Based on simple micro-foundations and controlling for various determinants of migration, we ?nd diasporas increase migration flows, lower their average educational level and lead to higher concentration of low-skill migrants. Interestingly, diaspo- ras explain majority of the variability of migration ?ows and selection. This suggests that, without changing the generosity of family reunion programs, education-based selection rules are likely to have moderate impact. Our re- sults are highly robust to the econometric techniques, accounting for the large proportion of zeros and endogeneity problems.
    JEL: F22 O15
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Naiditch, Claire (CES-Matisse University Paris 1); Vranceanu, Radu (ESSEC Business School)
    Abstract: Like all human beings, migrants may have a concern about their prestige or social status in the eyes of left home family and friends. They can remit money in order to signal their economic success and increase their status. We show that, if migrants' income is private information, unsuccessful migrants might accept a worsening of their living conditions and send back home large amounts of remittances only in order to make residents believe that they are successful. In some cases, successful migrants can signal their true favorable economic situation by remitting an even larger amount.
    Keywords: Imperfect Information; Poverty; Remittances; Signaling
    JEL: D82 F24 O15 Z13
    Date: 2010–01–11
  4. By: Baker, Michael; Benjamin, Dwayne; Fan, Elliot
    Abstract: In this paper we document the economic outcomes of elderly immigrants to Canada. Our objective is to describe the extent to which elderly immigrants may have low income (are “in povertyâ€) and their interactions with the Canadian income transfer system. The study has two main parts. First, using a combination of administrative and survey data, we describe the age dimensions of immigration to Canada since 1980, and the evolution of policies directed towards older immigrants (i.e., immigration selection, and eligibility for age-related social security programs). Second, using the SCF and SLID surveys spanning 1981 through 2006, we document the composition and levels of income for immigrants to Canada. We estimate the degree to which older immigrants support themselves, either through working, or living with relatives, as well as the degree that they rely on various income transfer programs, especially OAS, GIS, and Social Assistance (SA). We also summarize their overall living standards, and the extent to which they live in poverty (have “low incomes.â€) Throughout the paper, we also explore the family dimensions to the outcomes of older immigrants: distinguishing between individual and family sources of income, as well as outlining differences in the living arrangements (family structure) of older immigrants, and the implications for measures of their well-being
    Keywords: Immigration; Retirement; Public Pensions; Living arrangements and family structure
    JEL: J61 J26
    Date: 2009–12–28
  5. By: Faini, Riccardo (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Strom, Steinar (University of Oslo); Venturini, Alessandra (University of Turin); Villosio, Claudia (Collegio Carlo Alberto)
    Abstract: The paper compares the pattern of wage assimilation of foreigners with both native immigrants and local natives in Italy, a country with large internal and international migration. This comparison, not yet exploited, yields understanding of the role played by language and knowledge of social capital. We use the administrative dataset on dependent employment (WHIP), to estimate a fixed effect model of the weekly wages of males aged 18-45 with controls for selection in return migration and unobserved heterogeneity. The three groups of workers start their careers at the same wage level but, as experience increases, the wage profiles of foreigners and natives, both immigrants and locals, diverge. A positive selection in the returns prevails, so that the foreign workers with lower wages are the most likely to stay in Italy. Also an "ethnic" skill differential emerges and a negative status dependence for those entering at low wage level.
    Keywords: migration, assimilation, wage differential
    JEL: J31 J61 C23
    Date: 2009–12
  6. By: Pouliakas, Konstantinos (University of Aberdeen); Roberts, Deborah (University of Aberdeen); Balamou, Eudokia (University of Patras); Psaltopoulos, Demetrios (University of Patras)
    Abstract: The paper uses a regional Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to analyse the effects of immigration on three small remote EU regions located within Scotland, Greece and Latvia. Two migration scenarios are assessed. In the first, total labour supply is affected. In the second, the importance of migratory flows by differential labour skill types is investigated. The results indicate significant differences in the extent to which regional economies are affected by immigration. They also suggest that remote regions are highly vulnerable to the out-migration of skilled workers ('brain-drain') while the in-migration of unskilled workers leads to widening wage inequality.
    Keywords: immigration, CGE, skills, wage inequality, brain-drain, regional economies
    JEL: D33 D58 R13 R23
    Date: 2009–12
  7. By: Huynh Truong Huy (Center for Migration and Intercultural Studies, Antwerpen University)
    Abstract: Since the mid 1990s, miracle development of the private and foreign sectors in the Southern economic region of Viet Nam has attracted a large number of migrant flows from the Mekong Delta region and the Khmer migrants have a recognized contribution to those migration flows. Based on the survey of 76 Khmer families in Tra Vinh province where the Khmer is dominant in its total population, this paper examines demographic and socio characteristics of the Khmer families affecting the determinants of migration decision by using of the logistic regression model. This result indicates that migration decision is importantly depended on number of members, plot size, poverty and so on. In addition, this result also points that migration not only brings migrants an increased income, but also contributes positively to their family's income in rural origin.
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Yann Algan; Christian Dustmann; Albrecht Glitz; Alan Manning
    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 United Kingdom 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.
    Keywords: Immigration, Earnings, Employment, education, France, Germany, UK
    JEL: J30 J61 J64
    Date: 2009–10
  9. By: Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth (Georgia Tech); Oyolola, Maharouf (University of Vermont)
    Abstract: The study of welfare participation in the U.S. prior to the 1996 welfare reform act and even afterward has focused on comparisons between native born and immigrant households. Analyses that have gone beyond this broad classification have focused on comparisons across race or with particular focus on particular groups like Hispanic immigrants. To the best of our knowledge, there is no study yet that tests for difference in welfare usage among immigrant groups and immigrant status. We do not expect welfare usage to differ among immigrant groups if we control for the factors that should predict welfare usage. Similarly, if immigration status does not prevent welfare usage for certain immigrants, then ceteris paribus, we do not expect welfare usage to differ among immigrant based on status. We investigate these possibilities by testing three related hypothesis using probability models. Our results suggest that birth place matters and the probability of welfare usage is not the same for all groups. We also find that for some birthplace groups, citizen and non-citizens differ with respect to welfare usage. Finally, we find that post welfare reform, the probability of being on welfare in comparison to U.S. born increased for all immigrant groups and these increases differed across groups. We provide possible explanations for our unexpected results.
    Keywords: immigrants, welfare, welfare reform, immigrant status
    JEL: J2 J24 J38 I21 O12 O15
    Date: 2009–12
  10. By: Giovanni Facchini (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Università degli Studi di Milano, CEPR, LdA and CES-Ifo); Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University, CEPR, IZA, CReAM and LdA); Riccardo Puglisi (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Università degli Studi di Pavia and LdA)
    Abstract: Illegal immigration has been the focus of much debate in receiving countries, but little is known about what drives individual attitudes towards illegal immigrants. To study this question, we use the CCES survey, which was carried out in 2006 in the United States. We find evidence that - in addition to standard labor market and welfare state considerations - media exposure is significantly correlated with public opinion on illegal immigration. Controlling for education, income and ideology, individuals watching Fox News are 9 percentage points more likely than CBS viewers to oppose the legalization of undocumented immigrants. We find an effect of the same size and direction for CNN viewers, whereas individuals watching PBS are instead more likely to support legalization. Ideological self-selection into different news programs plays an important role, but cannot entirely explain the correlation between media exposure and attitudes about illegal immigration.
    Keywords: Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Attitudes, Preferences, Media
    JEL: F22 F1 J61
    Date: 2009–11–30
  11. By: Scalera, Domenico
    Abstract: The Bhagwati brain drain tax proposal dating back to more than thirty years ago has been criticized from different viewpoints. In particular, recent literature has pointed out that this tax would hamper accumulation of human capital by reducing gains from skilled migration. In this paper, it is argued that when taking into account social externalities of human capital, and optimal policies implemented by a government caring only for left behind residents, a brain drain tax tends rather to foster the investment in human capital and increase residents’ income and welfare. The Bhagwati tax could even be universally welfare improving. In fact, if the tax is paid by migrants in addition to the ordinary income taxation, their larger fiscal burden might be outweighed by a higher human capital and gross income. Alternatively, if the transfer is financed by the destination country, its fiscal losses might be outweighed by the advantage of more skilled immigrants.
    Keywords: Skilled migration; education policies; Bhagwati tax
    JEL: O15 J24 H52
    Date: 2009–12–18
  12. By: Akay, Alpaslan (IZA)
    Abstract: We analyse the dynamics of employment assimilation of first-generation immigrant men in Sweden using a high-quality, register-based panel data set. It is discussed that when there are significant differences between employment status persistence of immigrants and natives, the standard static assimilation model produces biased predictions for the relative labour market outcomes for immigrants. We find significant persistence of employment status which differs between immigrants and natives, and also across immigrant groups. The static assimilation model overestimates (underestimates) the short-run (long-run) marginal assimilation rates. We find 10-15 percentage points lower initial employment probability disadvantage but the years to assimilation are 5-10 years longer compared to the standard static assimilation model.
    Keywords: dynamic random-effects probit model, employment assimilation, initial values problem
    JEL: C33 J15 J61
    Date: 2009–12
  13. By: Aslund, Olof (IFAU); Hensvik, Lena (IFAU); Nordström Skans, Oskar (IFAU)
    Abstract: We show that immigrant managers are substantially more likely to hire immigrants than are native managers. The finding holds when comparing establishments in the same 5-digit industry and location, when comparing different establishments within the same firm, when analyzing establishments that change management over time, and when accounting for within-establishment trends in recruitment patterns. The effects are largest for small and owner-managed establishments in the for-profit sector. Separations are more frequent when workers and managers have dissimilar origin, but only before workers become protected by EPL. We also find that native managers are unbiased in their recruitments of former co-workers, suggesting that information deficiencies are important. We find no effects on entry wages. Our findings suggest that a low frequency of immigrant managers may contribute to the observed disadvantages of immigrant workers.
    Keywords: minority workers, labor mobility, workplace segregation
    JEL: J15 J21 J62 M51
    Date: 2009–12
  14. By: Cristina Cattaneo (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to determine whether the participation in social organizations, which are commonly defined as a form of social capital, represents a complement or a substitute with respect to emigration. The nature of the relationship depends on the motivations behind the two choices, which induce the households to join a group and to invest in migration. To address this research question a bivariate probit model is employed, in that the decision to migrate and to join a social organization are estimated simultaneously. Both temporary and permanent emigration of the household are addressed. The results of the empirical estimation reveal that families participating in social organizations are more likely to send siblings abroad permanently, as they may receive from the social network important information that is crucial for permanent emigration. Hence, social capital performs a role as complement to permanent emigration. On the other hand, social capital is associated with a lower probability of moving temporarily. This may indicate that families resort to social capital rather than to temporary circular migration to overcome contingent liquidity constraint and therefore social capital is a substitute for temporary emigration.
    Keywords: International Migration, Social Capital, Information Network
    JEL: O15
    Date: 2009–11
  15. By: Amelie Constant; Martin Kahanec; Ulf Rinne; Klaus F. Zimmermann
    Abstract: This paper is based on recently collected and rich survey data of a representative sample of entrants into unemployment in Germany. Our data include a large number of migration variables, allowing us to adapt a recently developed concept of ethnic identity: the ethnosizer. To shed further light on the native-migrant differences in economic outcomes, we investigate the labor market reintegration, patterns of job search, and reservation wages across unemployed migrants and natives in Germany. Our results indicate that separated migrants have a relatively slow reintegration into the labor market. We explain this finding by arguing that this group exerts a relatively low search effort and that it has reservation wages which are moderate, yet still above the level which would imply similar employment probabilities as other groups of migrants.
    JEL: F22 J15 J61 J64
    Date: 2009
  16. By: Timothy J. Halliday (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))
    Abstract: We use panel data from El Salvador to investigate migration and the intra-household allocation of labor as a strategy for coping with uninsured risk. Consistent with a model of a farm household with a binding subsistence constraint, we show that adverse agricultural productivity shocks increased both male migration to the US and the supply of male agricultural labor within the household in El Salvador. In contrast, after damage sustained from the 2001 earthquakes, female migration from El Salvador declined. This is consistent with the earthquakes increasing the demand for home production. Overall, household responses to uninsured risk appear to be consistent with a simple framework in which household members are allocated to sectors according to their comparative advantage. Finally, we show no evidence that the labor market in El Salvador is capable of helping rural Salvadoran households to buffer the effects of adverse shocks.
    Keywords: Migration, Labor Supply, Insurance, Intra-Household Allocation, Subsistence Constraints
    JEL: J22 J61
    Date: 2009–12–16
  17. By: Tim Leunig; Chris Minns; Patrick Wallis
    Abstract: This paper examines the importance of social and geographical networks in structuring entry intoskilled occupations in premodern London. Using newly digitised records of those beginning anapprenticeship in London between 1600 and 1749, we find little evidence that networks stronglyshaped apprentice recruitment. The typical London apprentice did not have an identifiable connectionto his master in the form of a kin link, shared name, or shared place or county of origin. The majorityof migrant apprentices' fathers came from outside of the craft sector. Our results suggest that themarket for apprenticeship was strikingly open: well-to-do families of all types were able to access awide range of craft and trade apprenticeships, and would-be apprentices had considerable scope tomatch their perceived ability and aptitude to opportunity.
    Keywords: Apprenticeship, human capital formation, training, migration, networks, UK, earlymodern
    JEL: N3 J2 J6
    Date: 2009–11
  18. By: Michael Grimm (International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam); Stephan Klasen
    Abstract: There is a well-known debate about the role of institutions in explaining the long-term development of countries. We believe there is value-added to consider the institutions hypothesis at the micro level within a country to analyze the exact transmission channels linking endogenous institutional change to development outcomes. Given the central importance of agricultural productivity improvements for initiating the process of economic development, we focus on the transmission mechanisms that lead to the emergence of institutions relevant for agricultural development, thereby incorporating insights from the literatures on demographic influences of institutional change, induced innovations, as well as the central role of land rights in our analysis. Our main argument is that in conditions of relative land abundance, geographic factors influence rural-rural migration flows to geographically well-endowed regions which in turn give rise to migration-induced land scarcity. Land scarcity in turn, provides incentives to formalize landownership. Eventually, formalized land rights increase investment in land and enhance the adoption of new and better technologies promoting agricultural growth and economic development. We provide empirical evidence for this hypothesis using longitudinal village and household survey data from Indonesia.
    Keywords: Geography; migration; land titles; institutions; agricultural development; Indonesia
    JEL: K11 O12 Q12
    Date: 2009–09–22

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