nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒04‒04
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The informational structure of migration decision and migrants’ self-selection By Simone Bertoli
  2. Transferability of Human Capital and Immigrant Assimilation – An Analysis for Germany By Leilanie Basilio; Thomas K. Bauer
  3. The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention By William Kerr; William Lincoln
  4. Wages and Immigrant Occupational Composition in Sweden By Hansen, Jörgen; Wahlberg, Roger; Faisal, Sharif
  5. Unions and Upward Mobility for Immigrant Workers By John Schmitt
  6. The differences in attitudes about their society between 14 year old pupils with and without an immigration background; a cross-national comparison By Prokic, Tijana; Dronkers, Jaap
  7. Returns to Migration, Education, and Externalities in the European Union By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Vassilis Tselios
  8. Determinants of different internal migration trends: the Italian experience By Napolitano, Oreste; Bonasia, Mariangela
  9. Promoting the Well-Being of Immigrant Youth By Brian Nolan
  10. Emigration of Highly Skilled Labor: Determinants & Impacts By Driouchi, Ahmed; Boboc, Cristina; Zouag, Nada
  11. Public Education for the Children Left Behind By Camacho, Carmen; Shen, I-Ling
  12. Communities, Knowledge, and Innovation: Indian Immigrants in the US Semiconductor Industry By Paul Almeida; Anupama Phene; Sali Li
  13. Regional integration and economic convergence in the post-Soviet space: Experience of the decade of growth By Libman, Alexander; Vinokurov, Evgeny

  1. By: Simone Bertoli
    Abstract: This paper derives the implications for migrants’ self-selection in unobservables that arise from the introduction of uncertainty in the decision problem that would-be migrants face. We show that if one lifts the assumption introduced in Borjas (1987) that foreign wages are known before the migration decision is taken, then the case for the so-called refugee sorting narrows down considerably, while negative selection becomes a more likely outcome. A greater dispersion of income at destination no longer suffices to predict that immigrants will obtain a higher average income than natives.
    Keywords: migration; uncertainty; information; self-selection
    JEL: D84 F22 O15
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Leilanie Basilio; Thomas K. Bauer
    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 signicantly lower returns than human capital obtained in Germany. We further fi nd 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 diff erential between natives and immigrants.
    Keywords: Human capital; rate of return; immigration; assimilation
    JEL: J61 J31 J24
    Date: 2010–01
  3. By: William Kerr; William Lincoln
    Abstract: This study evaluates the impact of high-skilled immigrants on US technology formation. We use reduced-form specifications that exploit large changes in the H-1B visa program. Higher H-1B admissions increase immigrant science and engineering (SE) employment and patenting by inventors with Indian and Chinese names in cities and firms dependent upon the program relative to their peers. Most specifications find limited effects for native SE employment or patenting. We are able to rule out displacement effects, and small crowding-in effects may exist. Total SE employment and invention increases with higher admissions primarily through direct contributions of immigrants.
    Keywords: Innovation, Research and Development, Patents, Scientists, Engineers, Inventors, H-1B, Immigration, Ethnicity, India, China, Endogenous Growth
    JEL: F15 F22 J44 J61 O31
    Date: 2010–02–01
  4. By: Hansen, Jörgen (Concordia University); Wahlberg, Roger (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.
    Keywords: immigrants, refugees, occupational composition, quality sorting, wages
    JEL: J31 J71
    Date: 2010–03
  5. By: John Schmitt
    Abstract: This report reviews the characteristics of the immigrant workforce and analyzes the impact of unionization on the pay and benefits of immigrant workers. According to the most recent available data, immigrant workers are now over 15 percent of the workforce and almost 13 percent of unionized workers. Even after controlling for systematic differences between union and non-union workers, union representation substantially improves the pay and benefits received by immigrants.
    Keywords: unions, wages, benefits, pension, health insurance, immigrants
    JEL: J J1 J3 J31 J32 J41 J5 J58 J6 J68 J88
    Date: 2010–03
  6. By: Prokic, Tijana; Dronkers, Jaap
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the attitudes of 14 year old children of first and second generation immigrants and their civic attitudes about (aspects of) the society of destination. We use data from the Civic Education Study conducted by International Educational Association (IAE) in 1999. This Civic Education Study tests civic knowledge, civic attitudes and civic participation of 14 year old students. We have five dependent variables in 11 countries: trust in government related institution positive attitudes towards immigrants, positive attitudes towards one’s nation of residence positive attitudes towards women’s rights and civic participation. 14-year pupils with an immigrant background had stronger positive attitudes towards immigrants, stronger negative attitudes towards women’s political and economic rights, stronger negative attitudes towards the nation of residence and less outspoken lower trust in government related institutions. Second generation pupils do not deviate less than first generation, neither pupils in more inclusive societies differ less.
    Keywords: trust; immigrants; 14-year old pupils; cross-national analyses
    JEL: D64
    Date: 2010–03
  7. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (London School of Economics); Vassilis Tselios (University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC), London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Relatively little attention has been paid to the role that externalities play in determining the pecuniary returns to migration. This paper addresses this gap, using microeconomic data for more than 100,000 individuals living in the European Union (EU) for the period 1994-2001 in order to analyse whether the individual economic returns to education vary between migrants and nonmigrants and whether any observed differences in earnings between migrants and locals are affected by household and/or geographical (regional and interregional) externalities. The results point out that while education is a fundamental determinant of earnings., European labour markets – contrary to expectations – do not discriminate in the returns to education between migrants and non-migrants. The paper also finds that household, regional, and interregional externalities influence the economic returns to education, but that they do so in a similar way for local, intranational, and supra-national migrants. The results are robust to the introduction of a large number of individual, household, and regional controls.
    Keywords: Individual Earnings, Migration, Educational Attainment, Externalities, Household, Regions, Europe
    JEL: J
    Date: 2010–02
  8. By: Napolitano, Oreste; Bonasia, Mariangela
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of interregional migration in Italy for the period 1985-2006, during which different migration trends took place. In so doing, in addition to the traditional variables of Harris and Todaro model, the impact of housing prices and externalities variables were studied. Our results, using a dynamic panel GMM, show that the H-T model, due to the complexity of the internal migration process, omits some important economic and non-economic variables and may not be representative of migration flow in Italy. Furthermore, our analysis confirms our intuition that for different periods we have to take into account different determinants.
    Keywords: Interregional Migration; House prices; Income; Unemployment; Italy; Panel Data
    JEL: C23 J61 R21 R23
    Date: 2010–01
  9. By: Brian Nolan (School of Applied Social Sciences and Geary Institute, UCD)
    Abstract: The well-being of immigrant youth — of the first or second generation — is intimately tied up with their socio-economic status and success; in turn, their success and how immigrant youth relate to the society around them are important elements of social cohesion and well-being for those societies. Institutional settings, in relation to immigrants and to Welfare State structures more broadly, as well as the policies adopted within those settings, vary greatly from one developed country to the next. This opens up the potential for studying key outcomes for immigrant youth in a comparative perspective, and learning about which settings and policies appear to be more versus less effective in promoting their well-being and capitalizing on their potential. This paper sets out a framework for such an analytical exercise, drawing on recent research and monitoring efforts in the related areas of multidimensional well-being, social inclusion/exclusion, and child well-being. It then seeks to place some key findings from the disparate social science research literature on immigration and youth (principally drawing on economics and sociology) within that framework. This serves to bring out both the potential and the difficulties associated with this approach to teasing out “what works” for immigrant youth. In conclusion, the paper points to the major gaps in knowledge and what is required to make progress in learning from disparate country experiences about how best to promote the well-being on immigrant youth.
    Date: 2010–03–15
  10. By: Driouchi, Ahmed; Boboc, Cristina; Zouag, Nada
    Abstract: This is an additional contribution to the large body of literature developed in the area of economics of skilled labor migration. It focuses on two major objectives that are the determinants of the migration and its likely impacts on developing economies. Within the framework of the new economics of skilled labor migration, this research has attempted to test empirically the relevance of some components of the most recent new economic models of skilled labor migration. Using available data from international organizations (World Bank, OECD, UNESCO…) and others, in both regressions analyzes and economic simulations, hypotheses have been tested and directions of empirical results identified for larger policy discussions. The theoretical models that have been given priority in these empirical investigations are mainly those of Beine & al, Stark (2005) & al, N. Duc Thanh (2004) and M. Schiff (2005). A major focus has been placed on the models suggested by Duc Thanh (2004) where useful specifications of the functional forms were made. This selected framework uses the similarities that have been observed between this model and that of Stark and Schiff. The empirical results that have been obtained confirm the role of relative wages, the availability of better opportunities such as jobs, the importance of the living conditions as well as the existence of more attractive working conditions in destination countries relative to source economies. Concerning the estimation of the impacts of skilled labor migrations for both developed and developing economies, the specifications have followed Beine, Stark and Duc Thanh models with special emphasis placed on this latter. Given the dynamic nature of Beine’s model and with the limits on the available time series, significant empirical results are obtained and tests of Beine’s propositions achieved. The regressions results using the subcomponent of the knowledge economic index have shown significantly the effects of both domestic education and the attractiveness of foreign relative wages as major determinants that support the explanation of the level of knowledge added by the tertiary sector in each economy. In the sense of these estimations, it appears clearly that any economy is under two major opposite effects. On one hand, there is the relative share of investment in education that affects positively the human capital formation in any country but with higher impact in developing economies. On the other hand, there is the magnitude of the relative wages that negatively affect the performance of developing economies as measured by the subcomponent of the knowledge economic index. These results have been first confirmed through regression analysis. These preliminary findings suggest that local, national, regional and international economic policies consider the new theoretical and empirical trends shown so far by these results.
    Keywords: Key words: Sklled labor; brain drain; development
    JEL: F22
    Date: 2009–09–16
  11. By: Camacho, Carmen (Université Catholique de Louvain); Shen, I-Ling (Université Catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of public education in the context of parental migration, and it studies the effects of an expansive income tax policy that is adopted to increase public education expenditure per pupil. It is shown that such a policy may exacerbate income inequality in the long run if for the less skilled dynasties, the benefits of more public spending on education does not make up for the negative effects of increased parental absences. However, if the migration-induced tax base erosion is not severe, an expansive income tax policy indeed enhances future human capital for all dynasties, and moreover, it may help the less skilled households escape from the poverty trap, thus reducing long-run income inequality.
    Keywords: human capital, income inequality, parental migration, public education expenditure, tax base erosion
    JEL: H20 H52 O15 O40
    Date: 2010–03
  12. By: Paul Almeida (Georgetown University); Anupama Phene (George Washington University); Sali Li (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the influence of technological, geographic, and ethnic communities on the innovativeness of Indian inventors. We study Indian inventors in the semiconductor industry in the US and examine their patenting profiles between 1975 and 1999 to identify the influences on the quantity and quality of their innovations. We find that inventors who rely on knowledge from technological and geographic communities enhance their innovativeness. Knowledge from the ethnic Indian community is related to inventor innovativeness in the form of an inverted U. The negative effect of knowledge gained from the ethnic community on innovativeness is pronounced for experienced inventors.
    Keywords: innovation, knowledge, semiconductor industry
    JEL: M0 M1
    Date: 2010–03–24
  13. By: Libman, Alexander; Vinokurov, Evgeny
    Abstract: This paper examines the dynamics of regional integration and economic convergence in the post-Soviet world during the period 1999-2008. This is the period, when FSU countries experienced rapid economic growth, following the “Big Bang” of the disintegration of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and the deep economic recession of the 1990s. It starts by discussing a set of indicators reflecting various aspects of interaction of post-Soviet countries (trade, labor migration, integration in key functional markets and economic convergence in different areas) and examines the dynamics of these indicators for the whole region and sub-groups of countries, as well as potential causes and conclusions to be drawn. In addition, it looks at the clusters of regional integration and economic convergence using the hierarchical cluster analysis and attempts to identify the reasons for their formation. We find that during the period studied the trade integration experienced a negative trend, but at the same time we observe an unprecedented expansion of labor migration – thus suggesting that integration of factor flows can outperform integration of markets for goods and services. Finally, clustering processes of the post-Soviet states for the economic convergence and for the economic integration seems to be unaffected by each other.
    Keywords: regional integration; economic convergence; post-Soviet space; integration clubs
    JEL: F15 P27
    Date: 2010

This nep-mig issue is ©2010 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.
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