nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒05‒15
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Peer Group Effects, Sorting, and Fiscal Federalism By Sam Bucovetsky; Amihai Glazer
  2. Gender and Intra-Regional Migration in South America By Marcela Cerrutti
  3. The impact of mega-events on tourist arrivals By Johan Fourie; Maria Santana-Gallego
  4. Competition for the International Pool of Talents : Education Policy with Student Mobility By Haupt, Alexander; Krieger, Tim; Lange, Thomas
  5. Skilled Migration and Economic Performances: evidence from OECD countries By Gianluca OREFICE
  6. Village level inequality, migration and remittances in rural Mexico: How do they change over time? By Aslihan Arslan; J. Edward Taylor
  8. Aging and Immigration Policy in a Representative Democracy By Lena Calahorrano
  9. The Effects of English Proficiency among Childhood Immigrants: Are Hispanics Different? By Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel; Hoyt Bleakley; Aimee Chin
  10. Public Education for the Children Left Behind By Carmen CAMACHO; I-Ling SHEN
  11. Do Brain Drain and Poverty Result from Coordination Failures? By David DE LA CROIX; Frederic DOCQUIER
  12. Peers, neighborhoods and immigrant student achievement - evidence from a placement policy By Olof Åslund; Per-Anders Edin; Peter Fredriksson; Hans Grönqvist
  13. Return migrants: The rise of new entrepreneurs in rural China By Sylvie Démurger; Hui Xu
  14. Kidnaps and Migration: Evidence from Colombia By Catherine Rodríguez; Edgar Villa

  1. By: Sam Bucovetsky (Department of Economics, York University); Amihai Glazer (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: Suppose that, other things equal, an individual's utility increases with the fraction of residents in his community who are rich. Suppose further that the rich are more willing to pay for a local public than are the poor Then the rich may over-provide a local public good, with the aim of dissuading the poor from moving into a community inhabited by the rich. We describe conditions under which the equilibrium will have mixed or homogeneous communities, and conditions under which the rich or the poor benefit from central government rules which constrain local decision making.
    Keywords: Status; Migration
    JEL: H73 R13
    Date: 2010–05
  2. By: Marcela Cerrutti (Center for Population Studies (CENEP), Buenos Aires Argentina)
    Abstract: This paper examines the process of feminization of South American intra-regional migration, with emphasis in the Southern Cone. It describes recent changes and trends, and addresses some of the most salient issues on the participation and experiences of female migrants. It deals with the social and economic reasons underlying the increasing autonomous migration of women, particularly on the interconnections between the South-American economic restructuring and the increasing demand of female migrants by the service and care sectors. Further issues are examined, such as the potential effects of the migration process on women’s empowerment; the emergence of global chains of care and its relation with long-distance motherhood; and the labor market experiences of female migrant. Finally, the report also deals with the dark side of the women’s migration: female trafficking.
    Keywords: gender, female migration, South American intra-regional migration
    JEL: Z1 O1 O15 F22
    Date: 2009–04
  3. By: Johan Fourie; Maria Santana-Gallego
    Abstract: While a mega-event is scheduled at least once every year somewhere in the world, these events are rare occurrences for the host cities and countries. The benefits of such events seem lucrative; the very fact that many countries bid to host these events suggests that the benefits - be they tangible or intangible - more often than not outweigh the costs. Using a standard gravity model of bilateral tourism flows between 200 countries from 1995 to 2006, this paper measures a very direct benefit of such mega-events: the increase in tourist arrivals to the host country. Although ex ante expectations are that tourism numbers would increase significantly during such an event, a growing literature points to the careful appraisal of possible tourist displacement, i.e. 'regular' tourists that change their behaviour when a mega-event is held, either shifting their trip to a different time or different location. This may result in reduced tourism gain, or even loss. In general, results suggest that mega-events promote tourism but the gain is dependent on the type of mega-event, the participating countries, the host country’s level of development, and whether the event is held during the peak- or off-season.
    Keywords: Mega-events, panel data, development, international tourism
    JEL: L83 F19
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Haupt, Alexander; Krieger, Tim; Lange, Thomas
    Abstract: The paper presents a model of two countries competing for the international pool of talented students from the rest of the world. To relax tuition-fee competition, countries differentiate their education systems in equilibrium. While one country offers high education quality at high charges for students - the most talented ones study in this country - the other one provides lower quality and charges lower tuition fees. The regional quality-differentiation increases with the size of the international pool of talents, with the stay rate of foreign students in the host countries upon graduation and with the degree of development of the sending countries of foreign students. Compared to the welfare-maximizing education-policy, the decentralized solution is likely to imply an inefficient allocation of foreign students to the two host countries, as well as an inefficient quality differentiation.
    Keywords: higher education, student mobility, vertical quality differentiation, return migration
    JEL: H87 F22 I28
    Date: 2010–04
  5. By: Gianluca OREFICE (University of Milano and Centro Studi Luca D Agliano)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of immigration flows and their skill content on per capita GDP in 24 OECD host countries. Theoretical models concludes that the effect of immigrants in host country's income depends on the capital content of migrants (Benhabib 1996); empirically the question is still open and this paper contributes to make light on this. So we propose an empirical estimation on the effects of immigrants and their skill level on per capita GDP. Using a IV model to solve the endogeneity problem we found that high skilled migration has a positive effect on per capita GDP, but it is not enough to fully compensate the overall negative effects of migration on per capita GDP.
    Keywords: International migration, economic performances, factor mobility
    JEL: F22 F12
    Date: 2010–04–14
  6. By: Aslihan Arslan; J. Edward Taylor
    Abstract: We analyze how migration prevalence and remittances shape income distribution using novel panel data that is nationally and regionally representative of rural Mexico. Employing a Gini decomposition and controlling for whole household migration (attrition), we find that migration prevalence has increased between 2002 and 2007 reversing the unequalizing effects of international remittances at the national level. We also analyze regional differences in the effects of remittances on inequality, and find that the regions that had the highest increase in international migration are also the regions where the equalizing change in the marginal effects of remittances was the highest. This provides supporting evidence for the migration diffusion hypothesis. A fixed effects analysis of the effects of migration and remittances on in inequality at the village level, however, fails to support this hypothesis, indicating that most changes in inequality have occurred within rather than between villages. We show that income growth has been pro-poor in all villages, but this is offset by significant re-ranking of individuals in the village inequality measure, concealing the effects of migration and remittances on income distribution at the village level
    Keywords: Inequality, Migration, Network effects, Panel Data, Remittances, Mexico
    JEL: O15
    Date: 2010–05
  7. By: Miguel Angel Alcobendas; Núria Rodríquez-Planas
    Abstract: While much of the literature on immigrants' assimilation has focused on countries with a large tradition of receiving immigrants and with flexible labor markets, very little is known on how immigrants adjust to other types of host economies. With its severe dual labor market, and an unprecedented immigration boom, Spain presents a quite unique experience to analyze immigrations' assimilation process. Using data from the 2000 to 2008 Labor Force Survey, we find that immigrants are more occupationally mobile than natives, and that much of this greater flexibility is explained by immigrants' assimilation process soon after arrival. However, we find little evidence of convergence, especially among women and high skilled immigrants. This suggests that instead of integrating, immigrants occupationally segregate, providing evidence consistent with both imperfect substitutability and immigrants' human capital being under-valued. Additional evidence on the assimilation of earnings and the incidence of permanent employment by different skill levels also supports the hypothesis of segmented labor markets.
    Keywords: Key words: immigrants' assimilation effects, cohort effects, and occupational distributions and mobility, segmented labor markets.
    JEL: J15 J24 J61 J62
    Date: 2010–05–03
  8. By: Lena Calahorrano (RWTH Aachen University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how population aging affects immigration policy in rich industrialized countries. It sets up a two-period model of a representative democracy with two overlapping generations. The government’s preferred immigration rate increases with the share of retirees in the population. The paper differentiates between an economy without a pension system and one with pay-as-you-go pensions. As immigrants have more children than natives, the chosen immigration rate is contingent on the design of the pension system. If pension contributions and benefits are set freely by the government, equilibrium immigration is lower than it is in the absence of a pension system. On the contrary, it is higher if the pension level is fixed ex ante to a relatively generous level, since native workers then benefit from sharing the burden of pension contributions with the immigrants.
    Keywords: Demographic Change, Political Economy, Immigration Policy
    JEL: J1 D78 F22
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel (Dalhousie University); Hoyt Bleakley (University of Chicago Booth School of Business); Aimee Chin (University of Houston)
    Abstract: We test whether the effect of English proficiency differs between Hispanic and non-Hispanic immigrants. Using 2000 U.S. Census microdata on immigrants who arrived before age 15, we relate labor market, education, marriage, fertility and location of residence variables to their age at arrival in the U.S., and in particular whether that age fell within the “critical period” of language acquisition. We interpret the observed difference in outcomes between childhood immigrants who arrive during the critical period and those who arrive later (adjusted for non-language-related age-at-arrival effects using childhood immigrants from English-speaking countries) as an effect of English-language skills and construct an instrumental variable for English-language skills. We find that both Hispanics and non-Hispanics exhibit lower English proficiency if they arrive after the critical period, but this drop in English proficiency is larger for Hispanics. The effect of English proficiency on earnings and education is nevertheless quite similar across groups, while some differences are seen for marriage, fertility, and location of residence outcomes. In particular, although higher English proficiency reduces (for both groups) the number of children and the propensity to be married, marry someone with the same birthplace or origin, and live in an “ethnic enclave,” these effects are smaller for Hispanics.
    Date: 2010–05
  10. By: Carmen CAMACHO (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); I-Ling SHEN (UniversitŽ de Genve, Department of Econometrics, Institute for the Sudy of Labor (IZA) and Institut de Recherches Žconomiques et sociales de lÕUCL)
    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 inequality.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Income Inequality; Parental Migration; Public Education Expenditure; Tax Base Erosion
    JEL: H20 H52 O15 O40
    Date: 2010–03–16
  11. By: David DE LA CROIX (1IRES and CORE, UCLouvain); Frederic DOCQUIER (National Fund for Scientific Research (Belgium) and IRES, UCLouvain)
    Abstract: We explore the complementarities between high-skill emigration and poverty in developing countries. We build a model endogenizing human-capital accumulation, high-skill migration and productivity. Two countries sharing the same characteristics may end up either in a Òlow poverty/low brain drainÓ path or in a Òhigh poverty/high brain drainÓ path. After identifying country-specific parameters, we find that, for a majority of countries, the observed equilibrium has higher income than the other possible one. In 22 developing countries (including 20 small states with less than 2 million inhabitants), poverty and high brain drain are worsened by a coordination failure. For 25 other countries, a radical worsening of economic performances is feasible. These results are fairly robust to identification assumptions and the inclusion of a brain-gain mechanism.
    Keywords: Brain drain, Development, Multiple equilibria, Coordination failure
    JEL: F22 O11 O15 C62
    Date: 2010–05–04
  12. By: Olof Åslund (IFAU & Uppsala University); Per-Anders Edin (IFAU & Uppsala University); Peter Fredriksson (Stockholm University); Hans Grönqvist (SOFI, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We examine to what extent immigrant school performance is affected by the characteristics of the neighborhoods that they grow up in. We address this issue using a refugee placement policy which provides exogenous variation in the initial place of residence in Sweden. The main result is that school performance is increasing in the number of highly educated adults sharing the subject’s ethnicity. A standard deviation increase in the fraction of high-educated in the assigned neighborhood raises compulsory school GPA by 0.9 percentile ranks. This magnitude corresponds to a tenth of the performance gap between refugee immigrant and native-born children.
    Keywords: Peer effects, ethnic enclaves, immigration, school performance
    JEL: J15 I20 Z13
    Date: 2010
  13. By: Sylvie Démurger (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69003, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, UMR 5824, 93, chemin des Mouilles, Ecully, F-69130, France; ENS-LSH, Lyon, France ; CNRS, CEFC, USR 3331 Asie Orientale, Hong Kong); Hui Xu (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69003, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, UMR 5824, 93, chemin des Mouilles, Ecully, F-69130, France; ENS-LSH, Lyon, France ; Center for Modern Chinese City Studies (CCMC), East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes return migrants' occupational choice upon their return to their home village, by using an original rural household survey conducted in Wuwei county (Anhui province, China) in 2008. We apply two complementary approaches : a horizontal comparative analysis of occupational choice between non-migrants and return migrants, and a vertical investigation of the impact of migration experience on returnees only. Two main findings are drawn up from the estimation of probit models which account for potential selection bias and endogeneity. First, return migrants are more likely to be self-employed and to opt for higher ability jobs than non-migrants. Second, both return savings and the frequency of job changes during migration increase the likelihood for return migrants to become self-employed. These findings suggest that (a) working experience during migration enhances individual's human capital and entrepreneurial ability, and (b) repatriated migration experience is a key stimulating factor in promoting rural entrepreneur activity.
    Keywords: Return migrants, occupational change, entrepreneurship, Asia, China
    JEL: O15 J62 L26 O53
    Date: 2010
  14. By: Catherine Rodríguez; Edgar Villa
    Abstract: Using a unique data set from the major Colombian cities collected between 2000-2003 and with information on more than 16,000 households, this paper studies the relationship between the kidnap risk a household faces with its migration decisions. We find evidence that exposure to such risk induces households to react sending some of their members to an international destination but not necessarily to a domestic one. This finding is robust to the inclusion of several household characteristics usual in the migration literature and an alternative measure of kidnap risk. The implication of our findings suggest a possible “brain drain” from Colombia.
    Date: 2010–03–16

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