nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒03‒28
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Social Mobility: Is There an Advantage in Being English in Scotland? By van Ham, Maarten; Findlay, Allan; Manley, David; Feijten, Peteke
  2. How Much Do We Know about the Impact of the Economic Downturn on the Employment of Migrants? By Dandan Zhang
  3. Housing Policies in China: Issues and Options By Zenou, Yves
  4. Services Provision and Temporary Mobility: Freedoms and Regulation in the EU. By Guiseppe Bertola; Lorenza Mola
  5. Winners and losers among a refugee-hosting population By MAYSTADT, Jean-Franois; WERWIMP, Philip
  6. The Global Financial Crisis and Workers' Remittances to Africa: What's the Damage? By Anjali Garg; Adolfo Barajas; Ralph Chami; Connel Fullenkamp
  7. Labor Migration and Social Networks Participation: Evidence from Southern Mozambique By Juan M. Gallegoy; Mariapia Mendola
  8. Determinants of the Choice of Migration Destination By Marcel Fafchamps; Forhad Shilpi
  9. Immigration to the Land of Redistribution. By Tito Boeri
  10. Assimilation and discrimination effects among the UK migrant labour force By Sara Flisi
  11. Wages and Immigrant Occupational Composition in Sweden By Hansen, Jorgen; Wahlberg, Roger; Faisal, Sharif
  12. Ethnic Concentration and Language Fluency of Immigrants in Germany By Alexander M. Danzer; Firat Yaman
  13. An incentive mechanism to break the low-skill immigration deadlock By DE LA CROIX, David; DOCQUIER, FrŽdŽric

  1. By: van Ham, Maarten (University of St. Andrews); Findlay, Allan (University of Dundee); Manley, David (University of St. Andrews); Feijten, Peteke (University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to unpick the complex effects of migration, country of birth, and place of residence in Scotland on individual success in the labour market. We pay specific attention to the labour force experience of English-born residents in Scotland, whom the cross sectional literature suggests are more likely to achieve high occupational status than the Scottish born residents. Using data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study – linking individual records from the 1991 and 2001 Censuses – and logistic regressions we show that those living in, or moving to Edinburgh, and those born in England and Wales are the most likely to experience upward occupational mobility.
    Keywords: escalator region, social class, social mobility, longitudinal data, Scotland
    JEL: J24 J61 J62 R23
    Date: 2010–03
  2. By: Dandan Zhang (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The employment shock of late 2008 in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) may have been a product of three different events: (i) the contractionary macroeconomic policies introduced by the government and the central bank in 2007 to slow growth, (ii) the introduction of the new Labor Contract Law at the start of 2008, and (iii) the reduction in export orders due to the global financial crisis from the second half of 2008. These three events occurred sequentially, and their impact on employment has been borne most heavily by rural–urban migrants. Using unique data that track 5,000 migrant households in 15 cities from 2008 to 2009, this paper documents the size of the employment impact of the economic downturn, investigates the geographic location and industry distribution of the effect, and examines the types of migrant workers who lost their jobs in 2008 because of the economic downturn. We find that job loss is not confined to export manufacturing industries, nor is it restricted to coastal cities where export industries are located. We interpret this widespread job loss to indicate that the employment shock that took place in the PRC at the end of 2008 and early 2009 was a response to both the global financial crisis and domestic economic policies.
    Keywords: employment shocks, China, labour policy, global financial crisis
    JEL: J64
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Zenou, Yves (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: This article consists in three parts. The first part deals with theory. We evaluate the pros and cons of government involvement in urban housing and of renting versus ownership. In the second part, we summarize the different housing policies that have been implemented in the United States, Europe, and Asia. We draw some conclusions. In particular, we show that there is a tradeoff between encouraging home ownership and social housing since countries that have favor the former have neglected the latter (like Japan, Spain, etc.). In the third part, we use the theory and the international policy parts to address housing policy issues in China. One of the main concerns in Chinese cities is the raise of poverty mainly by “illegal” migrants (who are Chinese rural residents) living in “urban villages”. We propose two steps to fight against poverty in Chinese cities. The first one is to require that the Chinese government recognizes these “illegal” migrants by helping them becoming “legal”. The second step is to encourage social housing that directly or indirectly subsidizes housing for the poor. In that case, to fight against poverty, one can either implement place-targeted policies (like the enterprise zone programs in the US and Europe and/or housing projects in the US, UK, or France) or people-targeted policies (like the MTO programs in the US). We also discuss other issues related to poverty. In particular, we suggest that the government could also try to keep migrants in rural areas by attracting firms there and/or introduce a microfinance system that helps them become entrepreneur.
    Keywords: Urban villages; Social housing; Poverty; Place-targeted policies; People-targeted policies; China
    JEL: H50 O53
    Date: 2010–03–01
  4. By: Guiseppe Bertola; Lorenza Mola
    Abstract: International posting of workers and mobility of self-employed service suppliers lie between outright migration and trade in goods: their regulation, for both distributional and marketcorrecting purposes, is not as difficult to harmonize as that of labour markets, but personal mobility is more visible and socially intrusive than product market interactions. This paper analyzes economic and legal tensions between national regulatory frameworks and international competition in these areas, in both the intra-EU and global contexts, highlighting how interactions between the external and internal roles of the European Commission may foster efficient integration of markets and policies in this and other fields.
    Keywords: Economic integration, Trade in services, GATS, European Union, Labour regulation, Services regulation, Harmonization, Posted workers
    Date: 2010–01
  5. By: MAYSTADT, Jean-Franois (UniversitŽ catholique de Louvain (UCL). Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)); WERWIMP, Philip
    Keywords: refugees, Tanzania migration
    JEL: O12 O18 R12 R23
    Date: 2009–05–01
  6. By: Anjali Garg; Adolfo Barajas; Ralph Chami; Connel Fullenkamp
    Abstract: Using data on the distribution of migrants from Africa, GDP growth forecasts for host countries, and after estimating remittance multipliers in recipient countries, this paper estimates the impact of the global economic crisis on African GDP via the remittance channel during 2009-2010. It forecasts remittance declines into African countries of between 3 and 14 percentage points, with migrants to Europe hardest hit while migrants within Africa relatively unaffected by the crisis. The estimated impact on GDP for relatively remittance-dependent countries is 2 percent for 2009, but will likely be short-lived, as host country income is projected to rise in 2010.
    Keywords: Africa , Capital flows , Cross country analysis , Economic forecasting , Economic growth , Financial crisis , Global Financial Crisis 2008-2009 , Migration , Workers remittances ,
    Date: 2010–01–29
  7. By: Juan M. Gallegoy; Mariapia Mendola
    Abstract: This paper investigates how social networks in poor developing settings are af- fected if people migrate. By using an unique household survey from two southern regions in Mozambique, we test the role of labor mobility in shaping participation in groups and social networks by migrant sending households in village economies at origin. We find that households with successful migrants (i.e. those receiving either remittances or return migration) engage more in community based social networks. Our findings are robust to alternative definitions of social interaction and to endogeneity concerns suggesting that stable migration ties and higher income stability through remittances may decrease participation constraints and increase household commitment in cooperative arrangements in migrant-sending communities.
    Keywords: International Migration, Social Capital, Networks, Group Participation, Mozambique
    JEL: O17 O15 O12
    Date: 2010–02
  8. By: Marcel Fafchamps; Forhad Shilpi
    Abstract: This paper examines migrants choice of destination conditional on migration. To this end, an empirical strategy is designed which remedies both migration selection and unobserved heterogeneity problems. The study uses data from two rounds of Nepal Living Standard Surveys and a Population Census and examine how the choice of a migration destination is influenced by income differentials and other covariates.
    Keywords: migration, Nepal, living standards, empirical strategy, population census, income differentials, covariates, heterogeneity, language, ethnic, destination
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Tito Boeri
    Abstract: Negative perceptions about migrants in Europe, the Continent with the largest social policy rogrammes, are driven by concerns that foreigners are a net fiscal burden. Increasing concerns are pressing Governments, in the midst of the recession, to reduce welfare access by migrants or further tighten migration policies. Are there politically feasible alternatives to these two hardly enforceable (and procyclical) policy options? In this paper we look at economic and cultural determinants of negative perceptions about migrants in Europe. Based on a simple model of the perceived fiscal effects of migration and on a largely unexploited database (EU-Silc), we find no evidence that legal migrants, notably skilled migrants, are net recipients of transfers from the state. However, there is evidence of “residual dependency” on contributory transfers and self-selection migrants more likely to draw on welfare in the countries with the most generous welfare state. Moreover, those favouring redistribution to the poor do not overlap with those considering migrants as part of the same community. A way out of the migration dilemma facing Europe involves i. co-ordinating safety nets across the EU, and ii. adopting explicitly selective migration policies. Other options involve restricting welfare access by migrants and subsidising voluntary return migration of lowskilled migrants during the recession.
    Keywords: Migration policy, Welfare access, Fiscal externality
    JEL: J38 J5
    Date: 2010–01
  10. By: Sara Flisi
    Abstract: This paper analyses the performance of foreign born male individuals on the British labour market. Using data from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey over the period 1992-2009, we find consistent evidence of positive economic assimilation of immigrants, with their labour market outcomes improving with duration of stay in the country. We also find that the performance of individuals who came to the UK to complete their education is significantly higher than that experienced by labour market entrants.
    Keywords: Immigrants, Earnings, Employment
    Date: 2009–09
  11. By: Hansen, Jorgen (Concordia University, CIREQ, CIRANO and IZA); Wahlberg, Roger (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Faisal, Sharif (Concordia University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between immigrant occupational composition and wages in Sweden. Effects of changes in proportion of immigrant workers in different occupations on the wage levels of both natives and immigrants are estimated. Our results suggest that increases in immigrant density have only small effects on wages and that the negative relationship between wages and the proportion of immigrant workers in an occupation, observed in data, is almost entirely accounted for by measured and unmeasured worker skills. These results suggest that wage differences across occupations with different densities of immigrants are mainly due to quality sorting and to a lesser extent due to the existence of discrimination.<p>
    Keywords: Immigrants; Refugees; Occupational Segregation; Composition of Jobs; Quality Sorting; Wages
    JEL: J31 J71
    Date: 2010–03–17
  12. By: Alexander M. Danzer; Firat Yaman
    Abstract: Studies that investigate the effect of the regional ethnic composition on immigrant outcomes have been complicated by the self-selection of ethnic minorities into specific neighbourhoods. We analyse the impact of own-ethnic concentration on the language proficiency of immigrants by exploiting the fact that the initial placement of guest-workers after WWII was determined by labour demanding firms and the federal labour administration and hence exogenous to immigrant workers. Combining several data sets, we find a small but robust and significant negative effect of ethnic concentration on immigrants’ language ability. Simulation results of a choice model in which location and learning decisions are taken simultaneously confirm the presence of the effect. Immigrants with high learning costs are inclined to move to ethnic enclaves, so that the share of German-speakers would increase only modestly even under the counterfactual scenario of a regionally equal distribution of immigrants across Germany.
    Keywords: enclave, ethnic concentration, language proficiency, immigrants, Instrumental variable, random utility model
    JEL: J61 R23 F22
    Date: 2010
  13. By: DE LA CROIX, David (UniversitŽ catholique de Louvain (UCL). Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)); DOCQUIER, FrŽdŽric (UniversitŽ catholique de Louvain (UCL). Institut de recherches Žconomiques ( IRES))
    Keywords: public good, inequality aversion, immigration policy
    JEL: F22 D58 D6 D7
    Date: 2009–09–01

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