nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒07‒24
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The Neighbor is King: Customer Discrimination in the Housing Market By Pierre-Philippe Combes; Bruno Decreuse; Benoît Schmutz; Alain Trannoy
  2. Family Values and the Regulation of Labor By Alberto Alesina; Yann Algan; Pierre Cahuc; Paola Giuliano, UCLA
  3. Do welfare and labour market institutions influence unemployment duration of immigrants? Evidence from 11 European countries By MEYER CHRISTENSEN Anna; PAVLOPOULOS Dimitris
  4. Ethnic Intermarriage among Immigrants: Human Capital and Assortative Mating By Chiswick, Barry R.; Houseworth, Christina A.
  5. Testing the 'Brain Gain' Hypothesis: Micro Evidence from Cape Verde By Batista, Catia; Lacuesta, Aitor; Vicente, Pedro C.
  6. The "Negative" Assimilation of Immigrants: A Special Case By Chiswick, Barry R.; Miller, Paul W.
  7. Immigrant Assimilation and Welfare Participation: Do Immigrants Assimilate Into or Out-of Welfare By Jörgen Hansen; Magnus Lofstrom
  8. Eligibility and take up of social assistance for immigrants and nationals: the case of Luxembourg? By AMETEPE Kossi; HARTMANN HIRSCH Claudia
  9. Interactions between Local and Migrant Workers at the Workplace By Epstein, Gil S.; Mealem, Yosef
  10. Immigration, remittances and business cycles By Federico Mandelman; Andrei Zlate

  1. By: Pierre-Philippe Combes (Greqam-Aix-Marseille Université); Bruno Decreuse (Greqam-Aix-Marseille Université); Benoît Schmutz (Greqam-Aix-Marseille Université); Alain Trannoy (Greqam-Aix-Marseille Université)
    Abstract: This paper provides a way to detect customer-based discrimination in the housing market using survey data. We build a matching model with ethnic externalities where landlords differ in the number of housing units they own within the same neighborhood. In the event of customers’ prejudice against the minority group, landlords who own several apartments discriminate more often than single-dwelling landlords because they internalize a higher negative externality on their probability to fill their other vacancies. Using the French National Housing Survey, we show that tenants with non-European origin are less likely to rent from a multiple-dwelling landlord than other tenants. We then show that the proportion of multiple-dwelling landlords at the local level is positively correlated with the probability of non-Europeans to be living in public housing while this is not the case of other ethnic groups.
    Keywords: Customer Discrimination, Neighborhood Externalities, Housing Market.
    JEL: R21 J71
    Date: 2010–06
  2. By: Alberto Alesina (Harvard and Igier); Yann Algan (Sciences Po, Ofce); Pierre Cahuc (Ecole Polytechnique, Crest); Paola Giuliano, UCLA (UCLA)
    Abstract: Flexible labor markets requires geographically mobile workers to be efficient. Otherwise, firms can take advantage of the immobility of workers and extract monopsony rents. In cultures with strong family ties, moving away from home is costly. Thus, individuals with strong family ties rationally choose regulated labor markets to avoid moving and limiting the monopsony power of firms, even though regulation generates lower employment and income. Empirically, we do find that individuals who inherit stronger family ties are less mobile, have lower wages, are less often employed and support more stringent labor market regulations. There are also positive cross-country correlations between the strength of family ties and labor market rigidities. Finally, we find positive correlations between labor market rigidities at the beginning of the twenty first century and family values prevailing before World War II, which suggests that labor market regulations have deep cultural roots.
    Keywords: Family Values, Regulation of Labor, Labor Markets
    JEL: J J2 J4
    Date: 2010–05
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of institutions on the unemployment gap between immigrants and natives in 11 EU-countries. We study whether benefits provide disincentive effects as the job-search theory suggests or rather efficiency gains as alternative theories propose. Further than the existing literature, we study unemployment duration instead of unemployment incidence, we distinguish between exits to inactivity, primary and secondary employment and we use individual-level measures for unemployment benefits. We apply a competing-risk event-history model using the ECHP. Our results favour the efficiency-gains argument for granting immigrants benefits as we find that benefits reduce unemployment duration and prevent transitions into inactivity. Employment perspectives of immigrants are better when demand for low-skilled labour is high, employment protection is low and immigration policy is labour-market oriented.
    Keywords: Benefits; Employment protection; Event-history model; Immigrants; Low-skilled labour; Unemployment duration
    Date: 2010–04
  4. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago); Houseworth, Christina A. (University of Illinois at Chicago and Litigation Analytics)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of interethnic marriages by immigrants in the United States. The dependent variable is intermarriage across ethnic groups (on the basis of ancestry and country of birth) and the inclusion of the explanatory variables is justified by a simple rational choice economic model. A binomial logistic regression is estimated using data from the 1980 US Census, the last Census where post-migration marriages can be identified. Results show that the probability of intermarriage increases the longer a migrant resides in the U.S. and the younger the age at arrival. Both relationships can be attributable to the accumulation of US-specific human capital and an erosion of ethnic-specific human capital. Inter-ethnic marriages are more likely between individuals with similar education levels, providing evidence of positive assortative mating by education for immigrants. The construction of the availability ratio for potential spouses from one’s own group and group size using data from several Censuses provides a more accurate measure of the marriage market. Intermarriage is lower the greater the availability ratio and the larger the size of one’s own group. Linguistic distance of the immigrant’s mother tongue from English indirectly measures the effect of English language ability at arrival and is found to be a significant negative predictor of intermarriage. Those who report multiple ancestries and who were previously married are more likely to intermarry.
    Keywords: Immigrants; Marriage; Ethnicity/Ancestry; Country of Birth
    JEL: F22 J12 J15 J61
    Date: 2010–07–12
  5. By: Batista, Catia (Trinity College Dublin); Lacuesta, Aitor (Bank of Spain); Vicente, Pedro C. (Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: Does emigration really drain human capital accumulation in origin countries? This paper explores a unique household survey purposely designed and conducted to answer this research question. We analyze the case of Cape Verde, a country with allegedly the highest 'brain drain' in Africa, despite a marked record of income and human capital growth in recent decades. Our micro data enables us to propose the first explicit test of 'brain gain' arguments according to which the prospects of own future migration can positively impact educational attainment. According to our results, a 10pp increase in the probability of own future migration may improve the average probability of completing intermediate secondary schooling by 8pp for individuals who do not migrate before age 16. Strikingly, this same 10pp increase may raise the probability of completing intermediate secondary schooling by 11pp for an individual whose parents were both non migrants when the educational decision was made. Our findings are robust to the choice of instruments and econometric model. Overall, we find that there may be substantial human capital gains from lowering migration barriers.
    Keywords: brain drain, brain gain, international migration, human capital, effects of emigration in origin countries, household survey, Cape Verde, sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F22 J24 O12 O15
    Date: 2010–07
  6. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago); Miller, Paul W. (Business School, University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: Research on the economic or labor market assimilation of immigrants has to date focused on the degree of improvement in their economic status with duration in the destination. The theoretical underpinning for this finding is the international transferability of skills. This paper addresses whether positive assimilation will be found if skills are very highly transferable internationally. It outlines the conditions for “negative” assimilation in the context of the traditional immigration assimilation model, and examines the empirical relevance of the hypothesis using data on immigrants from the English-speaking developed countries (i.e., the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia/New Zealand) to the United States. Comparisons with the native born are also presented to test whether the findings are sensitive to immigrant cohort quality effects. Even after controlling for cohort effects, “negative” assimilation (a decline in earnings with duration) is found for immigrants in the US from the English-speaking developed countries. Negative assimilation is also found for immigrants from the English-speaking developed countries in Australia and from Nordic countries in Sweden.
    Keywords: Immigrants; Earnings; Negative Assimilation; English-speaking countries; Sweden
    JEL: F22 J31 J61
    Date: 2010–07–12
  7. By: Jörgen Hansen; Magnus Lofstrom
    Abstract: This paper analyzes differences in welfare utilization between immigrants and natives in Sweden using a large panel data set, LINDA, for the years 1990 to 1996. Both welfare expenditures and immigration increased in Sweden in the 1990’s. We find that immigrants use welfare to a greater extent than natives and that non-refugee immigrants utilize social assistance less than refugee immigrants. Differences in welfare participation and number of months on welfare between immigrants and natives cannot be explained by observable socioeconomic characteristics. Using a random effects probit model, we find that immigrants lower their participation rates in welfare with time spent in Sweden. Refugees display substantially higher public assistance participation rates upon arrival in Sweden compared to non-refugee immigrants, but they assimilate out-of welfare at a faster rate than non-refugee immigrants. Neither immigrant group is predicted to reach the participation rates of native households within a 20 year period in Sweden. A fixed effects logit model supports these findings. The predicted differences in the length of social assistance spells follow a very similar pattern. Simulations of the move to a national uniform benefits structure in 1998 show a decrease in the participation rate and in expenditures. [IZA Discussion Paper No. 100]
    Keywords: Welfare, immigration, assimilation, panel data
    Date: 2010
    Abstract: Welfare states have developed within nation-states and were initially aimed at their own citizens. Migrants, however, are also included in Bismarckian insurances due to the link between work contract and insurances. With this in mind, then, what happens with non-contributory benefits such as social assistance? In this paper we tackle Luxembourg’s social assistance, the Revenu Minimum Garanti (RMG). The legal framework of this benefit contains a residence condition which excluded all migrants and still excludes non-EU migrants. By differentiating immigrants via their educational level and migration status (EU or non-EU) and nationals via their educational level (for both groups being more or less than a BA/BSc), we can demonstrate in a more contrastive way the “eligibility” and the “take-up” versus “non-take-up” of the RMG by the different groups. Given Luxembourg’s strong highly qualified immigration, comparing just “immigrants” with “nationals”, presupposing hence two homogeneous groups, would not have been appropriate. We used one wave of the PSELL 3/EU-SILC household panel and discovered a relationship between eligibility and migration status only for the less qualified immigrants and nationals with a very high eligibility for non-EU migrants, but an extremely small eligibility for highly qualified nationals and migrants. According to the regression analysis of take-up, there is no significant difference between nationals and immigrants for the less qualified. Hence we conclude that there is little consumption by the most vulnerable.
    Date: 2010–04
  9. By: Epstein, Gil S. (Bar-Ilan University); Mealem, Yosef (Netanya Academic College)
    Abstract: In this paper we consider the interaction between local workers and migrants in the production process of a firm. Both local workers and migrants can invest effort in assimilation activities in order to increase the assimilation of the migrants into the firm and thereby increase their interaction and production activities. We consider the effect of the relative size (in the firm) of each group and the cost of activities on the migrants’ assimilation process.
    Keywords: assimilation, contracts, ethnicity, market structure, networks, harassment
    JEL: D74 F23 I20 J61 L14
    Date: 2010–07
  10. By: Federico Mandelman; Andrei Zlate
    Abstract: We use data on border enforcement and macroeconomic indicators from the U.S. and Mexico to estimate a two-country business cycle model of labor migration and remittances. The model matches the cyclical dynamics of labor migration to the U.S. and documents how remittances to Mexico serve an insurance role to smooth consumption across the border. During expansions in the destination economy, immigration increases with the expected stream of future wage gains, but it is dampened by a sunk migration cost that reflects the intensity of border enforcement. During recessions, established migrants are deterred from returning to their country of origin, which places an additional downward pressure on the wage of native unskilled workers. Thus, migration barriers reduce the ability of the stock of immigrant labor to adjust during the cycle, enhancing the volatility of unskilled wages and remittances. We quantify the welfare implications of various immigration policies for the destination economy.
    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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