nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒06‒18
sixteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The Effects of Labor Supply Shocks on Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict By Hani Mansour
  2. Globalizing Households and Multi-ethnic Community Building in Japan By Ishii, Chihiro
  3. Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Booth, Alison L.; Leigh, Andrew; Varganova, Elena
  4. Sharing in Diaspora By Pilar Rojas Gaviria
  5. Changes in the Czech Wage Structure: Does Immigration Matter? By Kamil Dybczak; Kamil Galuscak
  6. Ethnic concentration and language fluency of immigrants : quasi-experimental evidence from the guest-worker placement in Germany By Danzer, Alexander M.; Yaman, Firat
  7. Immigrant Selection and Short-Term Labour Market Outcomes by Visa Category By Aydemir, Abdurrahman
  8. Drivers of change or cut-throat competitors? Challenging Cultures of Innovation of Chinese and Nigerian migrant entrepreneurs in West Africa By Kohnert, Dirk
  9. The Self-Employment of Immigrants and Natives in Sweden By Ohlsson, Henrik; Broomé, Per; Bevelander, Pieter
  10. Did Employer Sanctions Lose Their Bite? Labor Market Effects of Immigrant Legalization By Lofstrom, Magnus; Hill, Laura E.; Hayes, Joseph
  11. Quotas and Quality: The Effect of H-1B Visa Restrictions on the Pool of Prospective Undergraduate Students from Abroad By Kato, Takao; Sparber, Chad
  12. Return Migration, Human Capital Accumulation and the Brain Drain By Christian Dustmann; Itzhak Fadlon; Yoram Weiss
  13. Should I stay or should I go? An institutional approach to brain drain By Lea Cassar; Bruno S. Frey
  14. Migration, Self-Selection, and Income Distributions: Evidence from Rural and Urban China By Xing, Chunbing
  15. Do international remittances cause Dutch disease? By Edsel, Beja Jr
  16. Italian immigration in France (1870-1913) (In French) By Bertrand BLANCHETON (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113); Jérome SCARABELLO

  1. By: Hani Mansour
    Abstract: Since September 2000, as a result of mobility restrictions, the supply of Palestinian workers competing for local jobs in the West Bank has increased by about fifty percent. This paper takes advantage of this unique natural experiment to study the effects of labor supply shocks on labor market outcomes. Using quarterly information on wages and employment in each city in the West Bank, the paper analyzes the short-run adjustment of labor markets to a large inflow of workers separately from the effects of political instability. The results suggest that low-skilled wages are adversely affected by an increase in the supply of low- and high-skilled workers, while high- skilled wages are only weakly negatively related to an increase in their own supply. This is consistent with a scenario in which high skilled workers compete for low skilled jobs, pushing the low skilled into unemployment. This latter hypothesis is confirmed by analyzing the effects of changes in labor supply on unemployment.
    Keywords: Immigration, Labor Supply Shocks, Border Controls
    JEL: J61 J21 D74 C21
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Ishii, Chihiro
    Abstract: The East Asian countries are currently experiencing declining fertility rates and aging of their populations. The demographic transition is beginning to affect various societal functions, and increasing international migrants are becoming one of the responses to the transition, despite the historical reliance of these countries on their own domestic populations for economic growth through strict immigration regulations. The workingaged population in Tokyo is on the decline and companies are increasingly recruiting workers from abroad. Depopulating prefectures are welcoming more international brides into their communities. Thus, domestic demographic transition and international migration are no longer unrelated issues that can be considered independently, even in countries like Japan where the sense of ethnic homogeneity is deeply rooted. This paper uses the limited data available to illustrate some of Japan’s current trends in international migration resulting from globalization and structural changes of the population. The paper then takes a more in-depth examination of Tokyo as a study case to illustrate the impacts of international migration and adaptation of communities towards a multi-ethnic society. Globalization of households is expanding the dimension of social interaction both of the Japanese and foreign residents in ways rarely seen in the past when foreign residents were largely temporary workers.
    Keywords: international migration, demography, global householding, Tokyo, Japan
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Booth, Alison L. (University of Essex); Leigh, Andrew (Australian National University); Varganova, Elena (Australian National University)
    Abstract: We conduct a large-scale audit discrimination study to measure labor market discrimination across different minority groups in Australia – a country where one quarter of the population was born overseas. To denote ethnicity, we use distinctively Anglo-Saxon, Indigenous, Italian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern names, and our goal is a comparison across multiple ethnic groups rather than focusing on a single minority as in most other studies. In all cases, we applied for entry-level jobs and submitted a CV showing that the candidate had attended high school in Australia. We find economically and statistically significant differences in callback rates, suggesting that ethnic minority candidates would need to apply for more jobs in order to receive the same number of interviews. These differences vary systematically across groups, with Italians (a more established migrant group) suffering less discrimination than Chinese and Middle Easterners (who have typically arrived more recently). We also explore various explanations for our empirical findings.
    Keywords: discrimination, field experiments, employment
    JEL: J71 C93
    Date: 2010–05
  4. By: Pilar Rojas Gaviria
    Abstract: The variety of experiences lived by diasporas far from their home countries serves as an important source of wealth - be it financial, cultural or educational - that diasporas will potentially put at the disposal of their mother country. These sharing in experiences, between nations and their diasporas, can act as a compensation for brain drain, often seen as a problem particularly acute in poor and developing countries. Despite the global effort to design public incentives for diasporas to engage with sending countries, there is still room for marketing researchers to empower those public initiatives, by deepening the understanding of migrants’ motivations for home engagement. This article puts forward a theoretical perspective to approach this opportunity: the autobiographical perspective. Some of migrants’ motivations can indeed be rooted in the need to maintain connections with past selves.
    Keywords: Diaspora engagement; macromarketing; autobiographical perspective; narrative identity
    Date: 2010–03–25
  5. By: Kamil Dybczak; Kamil Galuscak
    Abstract: Using the Albrecht et al. (2003) version of the Machado and Mata (2005) decomposition technique along the wage distribution, we find that immigrant workers do not affect changes in the Czech wage structure between 2002 and 2006 despite their substantial inflows. Instead, changes in the wage structure are explained solely by increasing returns of native workers, while changes in the observed characteristics of native workers, particularly a rising level of education, are responsible for increasing wage dispersion. The sizeable inflows of foreign workers in the sample years are concentrated among young workers with primary and tertiary education and are primarily due to rising labour demand. The negative immigrant-native wage gaps are persistent along the wage distribution and are explained mainly by differences in observed characteristics. We provide evidence on increasing returns to education of native workers along the wage distribution. The returns are higher in 2006 than in 2002, in line with the evidence in the previous literature.
    Keywords: Immigration, matched employer-employee data, quantile regression, wage gap decomposition, wage structure.
    JEL: J31 C21
    Date: 2009–12
  6. By: Danzer, Alexander M.; Yaman, Firat (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "The paper analyses the impact of regional own-ethnic concentration on the language proficiency of immigrants. It solves the endogeneity of immigrants' location choices by exploiting the fact that guest-workers in Germany after WWII were initially placed by firms and labor agencies. We find a robust negative effect of ethnic concentration on immigrants' language ability. Simulation results of a simultaneous location and learning choice model confirm the presence of the effect and show how immigrants with high learning cost select into ethnic enclaves. Under the counterfactual scenario of a regionally equal distribution of immigrants the share of German-speakers increases only modestly." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: ausländische Arbeitnehmer, Beschäftigungspolitik, Arbeitskräftemangel, Wohnort, Einwanderungsland, Sprachkenntnisse, deutsche Sprache, ethnische Gruppe, Ballungsraum
    JEL: J61 R23 F22
    Date: 2010–06–09
  7. By: Aydemir, Abdurrahman (Sabanci University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the efficacy of immigrant selection based on skill requirements in the Canadian context. The point system results in a much higher skill level than would otherwise be achieved by family preferences. This positive selection is achieved by directly selecting higher skilled principal applicants who are assessed by the point system and also indirectly through higher skilled spouses. However, due to difficulties in transfer of foreign human capital immigrants admitted for their skills do not necessarily perform better in the labour market and important factors used to assess admissibility have very limited power to predict short-term labour market success.
    Keywords: immigration, point system, visa category
    JEL: J61 J68
    Date: 2010–05
  8. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: The remarkable influx of Chinese migrant entrepreneurs in different West African countries in recent years has been met with growing resistance by established local entrepreneurs. Whether the former have a competitive edge over the latter because of distinctive socio-cultural traits, or whether the Chinese supposed effectiveness is just a characteristic feature of any trading Diaspora, is open to question. This exploratory study of Chinese and Nigerian entrepreneurial migrants in Ghana and Benin tries to answer this question. Apparently, the cultural motive powers of migrant drivers of change are not restricted to inherited value systems or religions like a protestant ethic or Confucianism, but they are permanently adapted and invented anew by transnational networks of migration in a globalized world. There is no evidence for a supposed superiority of Chinese versus African innovative cultures of entrepreneurial migrants. Rather there exists an enhanced innovative capacity of a trading Diaspora in general vis-à-vis local entrepreneurs, regardless of the background national culture in which it is embedded. In addition, the rivalry of Chinese and Nigerian migrant entrepreneurs in African markets does not necessarily lead to the often suspected cut-throat competition under the impact of globalization. Often both groups act rather complementary. This contributes under certain conditions even to poverty alleviation in the host country.
    Keywords: trading diasporas; international migration; entrepreneurs; culture; innovation; SME; Africa; China; Nigeria; Cotonou; Accra;
    JEL: F22 N85 N87 O15 J61 Z13 M13 R23
    Date: 2010–06–08
  9. By: Ohlsson, Henrik (Lund University); Broomé, Per (Malmö University); Bevelander, Pieter (Malmö University)
    Abstract: Earlier studies on entrepreneurship and self-employment among immigrants call attention to the fact that also the "market" for self-employment or entrepreneurs consists of a supply and demand side as well as the interaction between these two. More recent research suggests that a mix of personal resources, the surrounding structural context of markets, competition and the current political and economic environment, all acting together are seen as determining factors affecting self-employment by immigrants. However, few studies have been able to quantify the importance of these different aspects that determine ethnic self-employment. The central aim of this paper is therefore, by using multilevel regression, to quantify the role the country of birth respectively labour market area plays for understanding individual differences in self-employment. Using register data on individuals for the year of 2007 for the entire Swedish population we have in this study a unique opportunity to quantify the relative importance of the self-employers embeddedness in the social and ethnic networks (country of birth) and the regional business and public regulatory framework (labour market areas) measured. Our results suggest that of the total variation in individual differences in self-employment can 14 % (men) respectively 16 % (women) be attributed to the ethnic group and the labour market area. Furthermore, the ethnical groups accounted for 70 % (men) and 78 % (women) of this higher level variance. These results show that the social and ethnical context (measured by country of birth) and the economic environment (measured by local labour market areas) played a minor role for understanding individual differences in self-employment. These results can have important implications when planning interventions or other actions focusing on self-employment. Focusing only on ethnical groups/labour market areas might be inefficient as approximately 85 % of the variation is not explained by ethnical groups/labour market areas. Instead more general approaches or interventions focusing on other groups that capture a larger part of the variation might be more efficient.
    Keywords: immigrants, self-employment, integration, entrepreneurship, multilevel logistic regression
    JEL: J15 J21 L26
    Date: 2010–05
  10. By: Lofstrom, Magnus (Public Policy Institute of California); Hill, Laura E. (Public Policy Institute of California); Hayes, Joseph (Public Policy Institute of California)
    Abstract: Taking advantage of the ability to identify immigrants who were unauthorized to work prior to obtaining Legal Permanent Resident status, we use the New Immigrant Survey to examine whether lacking legal status to work in the U.S. constrains employment outcomes of illegal immigrants. With the exception of high-skilled unauthorized immigrants, the data fail to reveal evidence of improved employment outcomes attributable to legal status. In light of evidence that unauthorized immigrants experienced increased wages as a result of receiving amnesty through the 1986 Immigration and Reform Control Act during the 1990s, we interpret the results as evidence of ineffective employer sanctions.
    Keywords: unauthorized, illegal, undocumented, immigration, legalization, amnesty
    JEL: J8 J15 J18 J31 J61
    Date: 2010–05
  11. By: Kato, Takao (Colgate University); Sparber, Chad (Colgate University)
    Abstract: In deliberating whether to pursue an undergraduate education in the US, a foreign student takes into consideration the expected probability of securing US employment after graduation. The H-1B visa provides a primary means of legal employment for college-educated foreign-nationals. In October 2003, the government drastically reduced the number of available H-1B visas, hence lowering the probability of a college-educated foreign-national finding employment, and possibly discouraging highly qualified international students from attending US colleges and universities. However, citizens from five countries are de facto exempt from the 2003 H-1B visa restrictions. Using international students from these five exempt nations as the control and other international students as the treatment group, we study the effects of the 2003 H-1B policy change on the pool of international applicants to US schools. We use two datasets: (i) College Board SAT score data on prospective international applicants; and (ii) SAT and high-school GPA data on international applicants to a single highly selective university. Our fixed effect estimates show that the restrictive immigration policy has had an adverse impact on the quality of prospective international applicants, reducing their SAT scores by about 1.5%. This effect is driven mostly by a decline in the number of SAT score reports sent by international students at the top-quintile of the SAT score distribution, suggesting that the restrictive immigration policy disproportionately discourages high-ability international students from attending US schools. Our results are robust to alternative specifications, including the use of high-school GPA as a measure of applicant ability.
    Keywords: skilled immigration, H-1B visa, college education, SAT scores
    JEL: F22 I20 O15 I28 J61
    Date: 2010–05
  12. By: Christian Dustmann (Department of Economics and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, University College London); Itzhak Fadlon (Department of Economics, Harvard University); Yoram Weiss (The Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: In this paper we present a model that explains migrations as decisions that respond to where human capital can be acquired more efficiently, and where the return to human capital is highest. The basic framework is a dynamic Roy model in which a worker possesses two distinct skills that can be augmented by learning by doing. There are different implicit prices, in different countries and different rates of skill accumulation. Our analysis contributes to the literature on the selection of immigrants and return migrants by offering a richer framework that may help to accommodate selection of emigrants and return migrants that are not immediately compatible with the one-dimensional skill model. Our analysis also has implications for the debate on brain drain and brain gain. In the two skills model presented here, return migration can lead to a mitigation of the brain drain, or even the creation of a "brain gain", where those who return bring the home country augmented local skills.
    Keywords: Return migration, human capital accumulation, comparative advantage, brain drain.
    JEL: J3 J6 F2
    Date: 2010–06
  13. By: Lea Cassar; Bruno S. Frey
    Abstract: This paper suggests that institutional factors which reward social net- works at the expenses of productivity can play an important role in ex- plaining brain drain. The e¤ects of social networks on brain drain are analyzed in a decision theory framework with asymmetric information. We distinguish between the role of insidership and personal connections. The larger the cost of being an outsider, the smaller is the number and the average ability of researchers working in the domestic job market. Per- sonal connections partly compensate for this e¤ect by attracting highly connected researchers back. However, starting from a world with no dis- tortions, personal connections also increase brain drain.
    Keywords: Brain Drain; Social Networks; Institutions; Asymmetric In- formation; Italian Academia
    JEL: D82 F22 I20 J24 J44
    Date: 2010–06
  14. By: Xing, Chunbing (Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: As massive rural residents leave their home countryside for better employment, migration has profound effects on income distributions such as rural-urban income gap and inequalities within rural or urban areas. The nature of the effects depends crucially on who are migrating and their migrating patterns. In this paper, we emphasize two facts. First, rural residents are not homogeneous, they self-select to migrate or not. Second, there are significant differences between migrants who successfully transformed their hukou status (permanent migrants) and those did not (temporary migrants). Using three coordinated CHIP data sets in 2002, we find that permanent migrants are positively selected from rural population especially in terms of education. As permanent migration takes more mass from the upper half of rural income density, both rural income level and inequalities decrease, the urban-rural income ratio increases at the same time. On the contrary, the selection effect of temporary migrants is almost negligible. It does not have obvious effect on rural income level and inequalities.
    Keywords: migration, self-selection, income distribution, China
    JEL: O15
    Date: 2010–05
  15. By: Edsel, Beja Jr
    Abstract: The diagnosis: Dutch disease caused by international remittances afflicts the middle income countries but not the upper income and low income countries. The middle income countries can inoculate their economies from getting the disease with robust macro and sectoral economy conditions. But if they get infected, and their condition is not managed well or the illness is not treated, Dutch disease could cripple their economies.
    Keywords: Dutch disease; international remittances; tradable sector; non-tradable sector
    JEL: F22 O1 F00 O41 O5 O14 F24
    Date: 2010–06–01
  16. By: Bertrand BLANCHETON (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113); Jérome SCARABELLO
    Abstract: This contribution tries to consider italian migration in France in its wholeness under the historical, economic and social angles with to be thread idea that this immigration constituted between 1870s and the First World war a mailman of flexibilisation of the labour market in some french regions among the most active economically (Mediterranean midday, the region of Lyons, Parisian basin) and that it contributed significantly in the economic activity of period. Between 1876 and 1914, the flux of italian migrants towards France can be estimated between 1,6 and 1,7 millions in a country where complete labour crosses 17,8 millions in 1870 and 19,37 millions in 1913. Seasonal Italian give a hand of comparatively tame and cheap work in agriculture, and to the firms of the building and public works. Very present also in the areas of metallurgy, textile industry, chemistry or car’s sector, the italian migrants contribute in the industrial development of several French regions (Mediterranean midday, region of Lyons, Paris region, then Lorraine and North of France). Italians are in the majority men in full force of age, they are mobile and occupy the hardest jobs. Ready to accept lesser remunerations and harder conditions of job and life, they are perceptible as dangerous rivals by the French wage earners.
    Keywords: immigration ; labor market
    JEL: N34
    Date: 2010

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