nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒02‒13
seven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Research Networks and Inventors’ Mobility as Drivers of Innovation: Evidence from Europe By Ernest Miguelez; Rosina Moreno
  2. Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment By Batista, Catia; Vicente, Pedro C.
  3. Capital Constraints and European Migration to Canada: Evidence from the 1920s Passenger Lists By Alexander Armstrong; Frank Lewis
  4. Are Hispanic Immigrant Families Reviving the Economies of America's Small Towns? By Coates, Dennis; Gindling, T. H.
  5. Do Legal Immigrants and Natives Compete in the Labour Market? Evidence from Catalonia By Diaz-Serrano, Luis
  6. Immigration Policies and the Ecuadorian Exodus By Simone Bertoli; Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga; Francesc Ortega
  7. Transferability of Human Capital and Immigrant Assimilation: An Analysis for Germany By Basilio, Leilanie; Bauer, Thomas

  1. By: Ernest Miguelez (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Rosina Moreno (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: TWe investigate the importance of the labour mobility of inventors, as well as the scale, extent and density of their collaborative research networks, for regional innovation outcomes. To do so, we apply a knowledge production function framework at the regional level and include inventors’ networks and their labour mobility as regressors. Our empirical approach takes full account of spatial interactions by estimating a spatial lag model together, where necessary, with a spatial error model. In addition, standard errors are calculated using spatial heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation consistent estimators to ensure their robustness in the presence of spatial error autocorrelation and heteroskedasticity of unknown form. Our results point to the existence of a robust positive correlation between intra-regional labour mobility and regional innovation, whilst the relationship with networks is less clear. However, networking across regions positively correlates with a region’s innovation intensity.
    Keywords: Speed Limits; inventors’ mobility, networks of co-inventors, knowledge production function, spatial econometrics, European regions
    Date: 2009–11
  2. By: Batista, Catia (Trinity College Dublin); Vicente, Pedro C. (Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper tests the hypothesis that international migration experiences may promote better institutions at home by raising the demand for political accountability. In order to examine this question, we use a simple postcard voting experiment designed to capture the population’s desire for better governance. Using data from a tailored household survey, we examine the determinants of voting behavior in our experiment, and isolate the positive effect of international emigration on the demand for political accountability. We find that this effect can be mainly attributed to the presence of return migrants, particularly to those who emigrated to countries with better governance.
    Keywords: international migration, governance, political accountability, institutions, effects of emigration in origin countries, household survey, Cape Verde, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F22 O12 O15 O43 P16
    Date: 2010–01
  3. By: Alexander Armstrong (Queen's University); Frank Lewis (Queen's University)
    Abstract: The difficulty or inability to borrow made capital market constraints an important part of the decision of potential emigrants to move from Europe to North America. We formalize the constraint with a life-cycle model, where agents jointly choose the optimal period of saving to finance migration and whether to migrate. Simulations of the model point to the potential role of preferences, the period of adjustment after arrival, and the direct migration costs in determining who will migrate and at what age; and they help account for the large wage gaps between the Old and New World. Our analysis of data from the passenger manifests of Dutch arrivals at Canadian ports from 1925 to 1927, that importantly include the saving of these immigrants, points to the promise of this approach to international migration.
    Keywords: immigration, canada
    JEL: N32 J61
    Date: 2009–10
  4. By: Coates, Dennis (University of Maryland, Baltimore County); Gindling, T. H. (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
    Abstract: In the 1990s, rural areas and small towns in the United States, which had been losing population, became the destinations for an increasing number of Hispanic immigrants and their families, slowing and in some cases reversing population declines. In this paper, we examine whether faster growth in the Hispanic population is linked to faster growth in income per capita in rural areas and small towns. Our results indicate strong support for the hypothesis that Hispanic population growth has fueled increased economic growth in those small, rural communities whose populations had been in decline during the 1970s and 1980s.
    Keywords: regional economic growth, Hispanics, migration
    JEL: R11 R23 O4
    Date: 2010–01
  5. By: Diaz-Serrano, Luis (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
    Abstract: The precondition for labour-market competition between immigrants and natives is that both are willing to accept jobs that do not differ in quality. To test this hypothesis, in this paper we compare the working conditions between immigrants and natives in Catalonia. Comparing immigrants' working conditions in relation to their native counterparts is not only a useful analysis for studying the extent to which immigrants and low-skilled native workers are direct competitors in the labour market, but also allows us to contribute to the literature on this issue by moving away from the conventional approach used in previous studies. Our results indicate that: i) natives and immigrants display a different taste for job (dis)amenities; ii) Catalan-born workers might be in direct competition with EU15 immigrants, while non-Catalan Spanish workers might be competing with Latin American immigrants, and; iii) African-born immigrants are the group in the Catalan workforce that by far face the worst working conditions.
    Keywords: job quality, working conditions, immigration, job satisfaction
    JEL: J28 J61 J81
    Date: 2010–01
  6. By: Simone Bertoli (European University Institute); Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga (Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (Institute of Economics Analysis), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Higher Council of Scientific research)); Francesc Ortega (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: Ecuador experienced an unprecedented wave of international migration since the late 1990s, triggered by a severe economic and financial crisis. This paper gathers individual-level data from Ecuador and the two main destinations of Ecuadorian migrants: the US and Spain. First, we provide a careful description of the main characteristics of migration flows, both in terms of their scale and skill composition. Second, we estimate Mincer regressions for Ecuadorians in the three countries, and attempt to reconcile the features of migration flows with our predictions for earnings by destination. We find that earnings differences can account for the higher share of college graduates among migrants to the US, but fail to explain the larger scale of the flows to Spain. We argue that the puzzle is explained by taking into account that (i) the options to migrate legally to either destination were slim, and (ii) the cost of illegally migrating to Spain was lower than to the US.
    Keywords: Migration, Selection, Sorting and Immigration policies.
    JEL: O15 J61 D31
    Date: 2010–02
  7. By: Basilio, Leilanie (Ruhr Graduate School in Economics); Bauer, Thomas (RWI Essen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the transferability of human capital across countries and the contribution of imperfect human capital portability to the explanation of the immigrant-native wage gap. Using data for West Germany, our results reveal that, overall, education and labor market experience accumulated in the home countries of the immigrants receive significantly lower returns than human capital obtained in Germany. We further find evidence for heterogeneity in the returns to human capital of immigrants across origin countries. Finally, imperfect human capital transferability appears to be a major factor in explaining the wage differential between natives and immigrants.
    Keywords: assimilation, immigration, rate of return, human capital
    JEL: J61 J31 J24
    Date: 2010–01

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