nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒07‒17
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The Place Premium: Wage Differences for Identical Workers across the US Border By Michael A. Clemens; Claudio E. Montenegro; Lant Pritchett
  2. Life on the Edge: Immigrants Confront the American Health System By Alejandro Portes; Patricia Fernández-Kelly; Donald W. Light
  3. The dynamic effects of changes to Japanese immigration policy By Phillips, Kerk L.
  4. America and its Immigrants: A Game of Mirrors By Alejandro Portes
  5. Language knowledge and earnings in Catalonia By Antonio Di Paolo; Josep Lluís Raymond
  6. Moving Ahead in Madrid: Aspirations and Expectations in the Spanish Second Generation By Alejandro Portes; Rosa Aparicio; William Haller; Erik Vickstrom
  7. When Drains and Gains Coincide: Migration and International Football Performance By Ruxanda Berlinschi; Jeroen Schokkaert; Johan F.M. Swinnen
  8. The Puzzle of Migrant Labour Shortage and Rural Labour Surplus in China By John Knight; Deng Quheng; Li Shi
  9. Essays on Household Mobility and the Quality of Life in Germany By Ebertz, Alexander
  10. Why is Immigrants’ Access to Employment lower in Montreal than in Toronto? By Gilles Grenier; Serge Nadeau
  11. Zu Migration und Strukturfonds im Binnenmarkt der EU By Schmidt, Peter
  12. Positieve maar ook negatieve effecten van etnische diversiteit in scholen op onderwijsprestaties? Een empirische toets met internationale PISA-data By Dronkers, Jaap

  1. By: Michael A. Clemens; Claudio E. Montenegro; Lant Pritchett
    Abstract: We estimate the “place premium”—the wage gain that accrues to foreign workers who arrive to work in the United States. First, we estimate the predicted, purchasing-power adjusted wages of people inside and outside the United States who are otherwise observably identical—with the same country of birth, country of education, years of education, work experience, sex, and rural or urban residence. We use new and uniquely rich micro-data on the wages and characteristics of over two million individual formal-sector wage-earners in 43 countries (including the US). Second, we examine the extent to which these wage ratios for observably equivalent workers may overstate the gains to a marginal mover because movers may be positively selected on unobservable productivity in their home country. New evidence for nine of the countries, combined with a range of existing evidence, suggests that this overstatement can be significant, but is typically modest in magnitude. Third, we estimate the degree to which policy barriers to labor movement in and of themselves sustain the place premium, by bounding the premia observed under self-selected migration alone. Finally, we show that the policy induced portion of the place premium in wages represents one of the largest remaining price distortions in any global market; is much larger than wage discrimination in spatially integrated markets; and makes labor mobility capable of reducing households’ poverty at the margin by much more than any known in situ intervention.
    Keywords: migration, wage discrimination, price distortions, policy barriers, place premium, poverty.
    JEL: F22 J61 J71 O15
    Date: 2010–07
  2. By: Alejandro Portes (Princeton University); Patricia Fernández-Kelly (Princeton University); Donald W. Light (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey)
    Abstract: We examine the interaction between the immigration and health systems of the United States on the basis of a study of forty health care delivery institutions in Florida, California, and New Jersey. We list and examine barriers to care encountered by the foreign-born, especially unauthorized immigrants, and the systemic contradictions of widespread demand for their labor with absence of legal channels to regulate the flow and provide it with a modicum of legal protection. The inaccessibility and high costs of the American health system have forced the uninsured poor into a series of coping strategies. Our study uncovered a set of coping mechanisms specific to the immigrant population. We describe them and examine their interaction with U.S. commercial medicine. The analysis concludes with a focus on regional differences that highlight the importance of local politics and history in ameliorating or hardening the precarious health situation confronted by the foreign-born and the ways in which this situation plays back on the communities where they settle.
    Keywords: unauthorized immigration, health insurance, language assimilation, transnationalism
    JEL: D10 D63 H31 J11 N32
    Date: 2010–05
  3. By: Phillips, Kerk L.
    Abstract: This paper constructs a multi-sector dynamic general equilibrium model for a trading economy. We incorporate three major factors of production: capital, skilled labor & unskilled labor. We solve and calibrate the model using data from Japan. We then consider changes to immigration policy. We are able to examine the effects on output, consumption, wages, and utility. We do this for both the new steady state and for the time-path leading to that steady state. In addition, we are able, if we so wish, to impose a series of unrelated macroeconomic shock to the model. This has the advantage of allowing us to calculate confidence bands around our policy impulse response functions. We find that allowing skilled labor to immigrate leads to greater welfare gains in the steady state. However, even with exclusively unskilled immigration, existing workers are made slightly better off on average when immigration restrictions are relaxed. We also show that there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the exact time path to a new steady state in the presence of the typical fluctuations associated with business cycles. We find a great deal of inertia in the transition to a new steady state.
    Keywords: labor migration, factor mobility, dynamic general equilibrium, Japan
    JEL: F22 F15 F42
    Date: 2010–07
  4. By: Alejandro Portes (Princeton University)
    Abstract: After a lapse of over half a century, the United States has again become a country of immigration. In 1990, the foreign-born population reached 19.8 million or 7.9 percent of the total. By 2008, the number had grown to 39.3 million or 13 percent of the total. Although not yet reaching the situation a century ago, when immigrants accounted for 15 percent of the American population, that figure is being approached fast while the impact of contemporary immigration is significant and growing.2 The public image of contemporary immigration has been colored to a large extent by the Third World origins of most recent arrivals. Because the sending countries are generally poor, many Americans believe that the immigrants themselves are uniformly poor and uneducated. Their move is commonly portrayed as a one-way escape from hunger, want, and persecution and their arrival on U.S. shores as not too different from that of the tired, "huddled masses" that Emma Lazarus immortalized at the base of the Statue of Liberty. A common exercise is to compare this "new" immigration with the "old" inflow of the beginnings of the twentieth century. Similarities include the predominantly urban destination of most newcomers, their concentration in a few port cities, and their willingness to accept the lowest paid jobs. Differences are more frequently stressed, however, for the "old" immigration was overwhelmingly European and white; while the present inflow is, to a large extent, nonwhite and comes from countries of the Third World.
    Keywords: aspirations, expectations, immigrants, adaptation, United States
    JEL: D10 D63 H31 J11 N32
    Date: 2010–04
  5. By: Antonio Di Paolo (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB); Campus de Bellaterra, Edifici B 08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola), Spain. Institut d’Economia de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona.); Josep Lluís Raymond (Departament de Fonaments de l’Anàlisi Econòmic, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). Institut d’Economia de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona.)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the economic value of Catalan knowledge for national and foreign first- and second-generation immigrants in Catalonia. Specifically, drawing on data from the “Survey on Living Conditions and Habits of the Catalan Population (2006)”, we want to quantify the expected earnings differential between individuals who are proficient in Catalan and those who are not, taking into account the potential endogeneity between knowledge of Catalan and earnings. The results indicate the existence of a positive return to knowledge of Catalan, with a 7.5% increase in earnings estimated by OLS; however, when we account for the presence of endogeneity, monthly earnings are around 18% higher for individuals who are able to speak and write Catalan. However, we also find that language and education are complementary inputs for generating earnings in Catalonia, given that knowledge of Catalan increases monthly earnings only for more educated individuals.
    Keywords: Language, Earnings, Immigrants, Endogeneity, Complementarity
    JEL: J79 J24 J61 C31
    Date: 2010–07
  6. By: Alejandro Portes (Princeton University); Rosa Aparicio (Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gassett, Madrid); William Haller (Clemson University); Erik Vickstrom (Princeton University)
    Abstract: This paper examines determinants of aspirations and expectations among children of immigrants based on a statistically representative sample of 3,375 second generation youths interviewed in 101 public and private secondary schools in metropolitan Madrid. We review the past literature on status attainment in general and aspirations and expectations, in particular, and draw from it a set of six hypotheses to guide the analysis. Most theoretical statements in this field have been developed on the basis of U.S. data; studies in other immigrant-receiving countries, especially outside the Anglophone world, have been scarce. The study thus provides an opportunity to test and refine existing hypotheses in a different national context. We present breakdowns of educational and occupational aspirations and expectations by gender, parental education and type of school attended. This is followed by multivariate regressions of all four dependent variables on these three plus other predictors suggested by the research literature. This analysis ends with structural equation models recursive and non-recursive that provide an integrated theoretical statement of the causal structure of ambition in the Spanish context. Implications of our findings for theory and policy are examined. Suggestions for future research in this field are discussed.
    Keywords: aspirations, expectations, children of immigrants, adaptation, Spain
    JEL: D10 D63 H31 J11 N34
    Date: 2010–02
  7. By: Ruxanda Berlinschi; Jeroen Schokkaert; Johan F.M. Swinnen
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of football player migration to foreign leagues on the performance of their home country national teams. We provide a theoretical model predicting a positive effect of migration on international football performance due to superior skills acquired by players choosing to migrate to foreign leagues. We test this prediction using recent cross country data on international football performance. In order to accurately measure the effect of skill acquisitions by migrating players, we construct a weighted migration index that takes into account the quality of the foreign league and the division in which national team players are employed. We find strong and robust support for the prediction that migration of players to foreign leagues improves international football performance of their home countries.
    Keywords: Migration, Muscle Drain, International Football Performance
    JEL: J61 L83
    Date: 2010
  8. By: John Knight; Deng Quheng; Li Shi
    Abstract: The paper examines the contentious issue of the extent of surplus labour that remains in China. China was an extreme example of a surplus labour economy, but the rapid economic growth during the period of economic reform requires a reassessment of whether the second stage of the Lewis model has been reached or is imminent. The literature is inconclusive. On the one hand, there are reports of migrant labour scarcity and rising migrant wages; on the other hand, estimates suggest that a considerable pool of relatively unskilled labour is still available in the rural sector. Yet the answer has far-reaching developmental and distributional implications. After reviewing the literature, the paper uses the 2002 and 2007 national household surveys of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to analyse and explain migrant wage behaviour, to predict the determinants of migration, and to examine the size and nature of the pool of potential rural-urban migrants. An attempt is also made to project the rural and urban labour force and migration forward to 2020, on the basis of the 2005 one per cent Population Survey. The paper concludes that for institutional reasons both phenomena are likely to coexist at present and for some time in the future.
    Keywords: China, Demographic transition, Labour market, Lewis turning point, Migrant wages, Migrant workers, Surplus labour
    JEL: J11 J31 J61 O11 O17
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Ebertz, Alexander
    Keywords: Household Mobility; Migration; Quality of Life
    Date: 2010–05–05
  10. By: Gilles Grenier (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON); Serge Nadeau (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)
    Abstract: This paper explores reasons why the employment rate gap between immigrants and Canadian born individuals is larger in Montreal than in Toronto. A major reason is language: relative to Canadian born individuals, immigrants in Montreal are significantly less likely to know French than their Toronto counterparts to know English and their knowledge of French is less rewarded by employers than their Toronto counterparts’ knowledge of English. We also find that holding other factors constant, the performance of immigrants according to their countries of origin is remarkably similar in Montreal and Toronto: in both metropolitan areas, immigrants from Europe and India generally perform better than immigrants from China, Taiwan and Muslim countries. While we do not find any evidence that Quebec’s different immigration policy is causing the larger immigrant employment rate gap in Montreal, we cannot rule out the possibility that immigrants would be subject to more labour market discrimination in Montreal than in Toronto. However, this discrimination would be French language related as opposed to being ethnicity related. Results are generally similar for both male and female immigrants.
    Keywords: Différences de taux d'emploi, immigrants versus personnes nées au Canada, Montréal et Toronto, politiques d'immigration
    JEL: J20
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Schmidt, Peter
    Abstract: As stated in the preamble of the founding Treaty of the European Economic Community (EEC) of 1957, the essential goal of European integration, is to improve the living and employment situation (usually measured in terms of per-capita GDP and unemployment rate) of EU citizens. From an economic perspective, this depends on the optimal allocation of scarce resources and production factors, as well as the distribution of the income earned with and through them. According to the neoclassical economic theory, allocative efficiency and thus an achievement of a welfare maximum, and an income convergence can only succeed in a common European Single Market without barriers to production factors, goods and services. The European economic policy obviously does not belief that the European Single Market is able to achieve these goals alone. The existing economic gap between the 27 member states of the EU with its 271 regions should be actively shaped by a European regional policy (notably the Structural Funds). In comparison to other domestic markets, e.g. the U.S., where regional policy plays a subordinate role, the EU is going a different way. It is noticeable in this context, that the internal mobility of U.S. citizens, who simply leave economically weak or declining regions, is significantly higher. Therefore, this paper attempts from a purely economic point of view to answer the question in which way the allocative and distributive objectives of European integration can be better achieved by the current European regional policy or by (more) internal mobility of EU citizens like in the USA? That is why at the beginning of the paper, the effects of migration on allocation and distribution in an integrated market are studied within the context of various economic theories. At the same time these theories are the general theoretical basis for regional policy, so that we can elaborate their implications for the European Single market, too. Subsequently, the current situation concerning European internal migration and the EU Structural Funds is presented. By comparing theory, the present situation and empirical findings regarding internal migration and European regional policy, the last chapter is analyzing if there is an empirically sound connection between the European regional policies on the one hand and internal migration on the other hand in terms of achieving the allocative and distributive goals of European integration. In the end we try to answer the question whether intra-European migration is either a threat, as in the context of all previous enlargements of the EU it was often considered, or even a precondition for an improved living and employment situation of the EU-citizens facing the European integration process. The answers to this question can deliver important implications for necessary changes in the EU's regional policy and its structural funds.
    Keywords: Migration; Structural Funds; European Integration
    JEL: E62 F22 F15
    Date: 2010–01–06
  12. By: Dronkers, Jaap
    Abstract: The effect of two characteristics of school populations on reading skills will be estimated in this paper: share and diversity, both on the ethnic and the social-cultural dimension. We use the cross-national PISA-data 2006, both for the 15 years old native pupils and the pupils with a migrant background. A larger ethnic diversity of schools in secondary education hampers the educational achievement of both pupils with a migrant background and native pupils, but the negative effect is smaller in educational systems with little differentiation and strongest in highly differentiated educational systems. The social-cultural diversity of schools do not effect educational achievement, but these effects are positive in strongly differentiated educational systems and negative in hardly differentiated systems. However, the average parental educational level of schools is very important for the educational achievement of children, and this hardly differs between educational systems. A higher share of pupils with a migrant background at a school hampers educational achievement, but if these pupils have the same origin region (Islam countries; non-Islam Asian countries), a higher share of pupils with a migrant background at that school improves the educational achievement. Pupils originating from Islam countries have substantial lower reading scores in comparison with equivalent pupils with a migrant background from other origin regions, which can not be explained by the individual social-economic background, the school characteristics or the educational systems.
    Keywords: school achievement; social-economic composition of schools; ethnic composition of schools; ethnic diversity; country of destination; country of origin; differentiation of educational systems; pupils with an immigrant background; 15-year old pupils; PISA data
    JEL: O15 I21 J15
    Date: 2010–06–17

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