nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒07‒31
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Migration and Loving By Gevrek, Deniz
  2. Why Does Intermarriage Increase Immigrant Employment? The Role of Networks By Furtado, Delia; Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos
  3. Immigrant Assimilation, Trust and Social Capital By Cox, James C.; Orman, Wafa Hakim
  4. How Economics Helped Shape American Judaism By Chiswick, Carmel U.
  5. Interactions between local and migrant workers at the workplace By Gil S. Epstein; Yosef Mealem
  6. A Political Economy of the Immigrant Assimilation: Internal Dynamics By Epstein, Gil S.; Gang, Ira N.
  7. The Effects of School Quality in the Origin on the Payoff to Schooling for Immigrants By Chiswick, Barry R.; Miller, Paul W.
  8. School insertion of foreign students of first and second generation in Italy By Paola Bertolini; Michele Lalla; Valentina Toscano
  9. Black-White Gap in Self-Employment in the U.S.: Do Cohort and Within Race Differences Exist? By Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth; Belton, Willie
  10. Nationality Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Test By Bodvarsson, O B; Sessions, J
  11. Migratory responses to agricultural risk in Northern Nigeria By Dillon, Andrew; Mueller, Valerie; Salau, Sheu
  12. The Effects of Aging on Migration in a Transition Economy: The Case of China By Bodvarsson, Örn B.; Hou, Jack W.

  1. By: Gevrek, Deniz (Texas A&M University Corpus Christi)
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between anti-miscegenation laws, interracial marriage and black males' geographical distribution in the U.S. during and after the Great Migration. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Loving v. Virginia in 1967, which forced the last 16 Southern states to strike down their anti-miscegenation laws, creates a unique opportunity to explore the impact of an exogenous change in a state's laws regulating interracial marriages. Analyzing the U.S. Census data, I find that anti-miscegenation laws in an individual's state of birth affect the sorting of inter- and intraracially married black males into destination states differentially.
    Keywords: interracial marriage, migration, anti-miscegenation laws
    JEL: J12 J15
    Date: 2010–07
  2. By: Furtado, Delia (University of Connecticut); Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos (University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: Social networks are commonly understood to play a large role in the labor market success of immigrants. Using 2000 U.S. Census data, this paper examines whether access to native networks, as measured by marriage to a native, increases the probability of immigrant employment. We start by confirming in both least squares and instrumental variables frameworks that marriage to a native indeed increases immigrant employment rates. Next, we show that the returns to marrying a native are not likely to arise solely from legal status acquired through marriage or characteristics of native spouses. We then present several pieces of evidence suggesting that networks obtained through marriage play an important part in explaining the relationship between marriage decisions and employment.
    Keywords: immigration, marriage, employment, networks
    JEL: J61 J12 J21
    Date: 2010–07
  3. By: Cox, James C. (Georgia State University); Orman, Wafa Hakim (University of Alabama in Huntsville)
    Abstract: Trust is a crucial component of social capital. We use an experimental moonlighting game with a representative sample of the U.S. population, oversampling immigrants, to study trust, positive, and negative reciprocity between first-generation immigrants and native-born Americans as a measure of immigrant assimilation. We also survey subjects in order to relate trusting and trustworthy behavior with demographic characteristics and traditional, survey-based measures of social capital. We find that immigrants are as trusting as native-born U.S. citizens when faced with another native-born citizen, but do not trust other immigrants. Immigrants appear to be less trustworthy overall but this finding disappears when we control for demographic variables and the amount sent by the first mover. The length of time an immigrant has been a naturalized U.S. citizen appears to increase trustworthiness but does not affect trusting behavior. Women and older people are less likely to trust, but no more or less trustworthy.
    Keywords: moonlighting game, trust, reciprocity, immigration, experiment
    JEL: C93 J61
    Date: 2010–07
  4. By: Chiswick, Carmel U. (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    Abstract: This chapter discusses the strong impact of economic forces, and changes in the economic environment, on American Jewish observance and American Jewish religious institutions in the 20th century. Beginning with the immigrants' experience of dramatic economic change between the old country and the new, it focuses on how this affected differences between European and American Jewish practices during the first half of the twentieth century. Equally dramatic upward economic mobility had implications for additional changes during the second half of the century. These were manifested by the development of distinctively American patterns of Jewish education. The relationship between Jewish education in the United States and the other major branches of World Jewry is discussed from an economic perspective. The economic underpinnings of religious intermarriage and assimilation are reviewed. A concluding section forecasts the future of American Judaism and Jewish observance in the coming decades.
    Keywords: economics, religion, Judaism, economic history, immigrant adjustment, education, intermarriage
    JEL: Z12 N32 J12
    Date: 2010–07
  5. By: Gil S. Epstein (Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University, IZA and CReAM); Yosef Mealem (Netanya Academic College, Netanya, Israel)
    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 so by increase their interaction and production activities. We consider the effect, the relative size (in the firm) of each group and the cost of activities, has on the assimilation process of the migrants.
    Keywords: Assimilation; Contracts; Ethnicity; Market Structure; Networks; harassment.
    JEL: D74 F23 I20 J61 L14
    Date: 2010–07
  6. By: Epstein, Gil S. (Bar-Ilan University); Gang, Ira N. (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: Within immigrant society different groups wish to help the migrants in different ways – immigrant societies are multi-layered and multi-dimensional. We examine the situation where there exists a foundation that has resources and that wishes to help the migrants. To do so they need migrant groups to invest effort in helping their country-folk. Migrant groups compete against one another by helping their country-folk and to win grants from the foundation. We develop a model that considers how such a competition affects the resources invested by the groups’ supporters and how beneficial it is to immigrants. We consider two alternative rewards systems for supporters – absolute and relative ranking – in achieving their goals.
    Keywords: migration, assimilation, political economy
    JEL: F22 J0
    Date: 2010–07
  7. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Miller, Paul W. (Curtin University of Technology)
    Abstract: The payoff to schooling among the foreign born in the US is only around one-half of the payoff for the native born. This paper examines whether this differential is related to the quality of the schooling immigrants acquired abroad. The paper uses the Over-education/ Required education/Under-education specification of the earnings equation to explore the transmission mechanism for the origin-country school quality effects. It also assesses the empirical merits of two alternative measures of the quality of schooling undertaken abroad. The results suggest that a higher quality of schooling acquired abroad is associated with a higher payoff to schooling among immigrants in the US labor market. This higher payoff is associated with a higher payoff to correctly matched schooling in the US, and a greater (in absolute value) penalty associated with years of under-education. A set of predictions is presented to assess the relative importance of these channels, and the over-education channel is shown to be the more influential factor. This channel is linked to greater positive selection in migration among those from countries with better quality school. In other words, it is the impact of origin country school quality on the immigrant selection process, rather than the quality of immigrants’ schooling per se, that is the major driver of the lower payoff to schooling among immigrants in the US.
    Keywords: selectivity, earnings, school quality, schooling, immigrants
    JEL: I21 J24 J31 J61 F22
    Date: 2010–07
  8. By: Paola Bertolini; Michele Lalla; Valentina Toscano
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is the analysis of the immigrants' school insertion paths in Italy. The analysis focuses on the immigrants' school participation in the secondary school, considering also the first and the second generation. The data has been extracted from official statistical databases, mainly of the Ministry of Education and Istat (Italian National Statistics Institute). The analysis points out that the participation rates of foreign students in the secondary school are lower than those of the Italian students and both of them are different among regions and provinces. Five territorial areas are distinguished through some social and economic indicators (sectoral added value and number of industrial districts) in order to show the determinants of different participation rates between foreign and Italian students. A multivariate analysis by territorial areas reveals that the main factors affecting the education choices are related to the local characteristics and the economic variables, such as total families' income and gross national product (GNP) per capita. These results suggest that the immigrant students face with many difficulties in educational attainment preferring a fast entrance in the labour market.
    Keywords: immigrant students, educational territorial pattern, professional path, schooling determinants, seemingly unrelated regressions
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2010–06
  9. By: Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth (Georgia Tech); Belton, Willie (Georgia Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: In this paper we ask three questions: First, is there evidence of a Black-White gap in self-employment between 1994-2002 and could the inclusion of the White immigrant population be driving this result? Second, do within race differences in self-employment exist among the U.S. born? Finally, do cohort differences in the Black-White self-employment gap exist among the U.S. born? These questions are based on some of the regression findings in our earlier paper focused on the role of information and institutions in understanding the Black-White gap in self-employment. We find that the Black-White self-employment gap is not driven by the existence of White immigrants in the data set. In addition, we find that within race and cohort differences exist in the Black-White self-employment gap. A subgroup of U.S. born African-Americans have a self-employment probability that is identical to that of U.S. born White-Americans. In addition, younger cohorts of African-Americans have a much smaller self-employment gap than do older African-Americans.
    Keywords: self-employment, disparities, black-white gap
    JEL: J10 J11 J15 L26
    Date: 2010–07
  10. By: Bodvarsson, O B; Sessions, J
    Abstract: When immigrants experience “nationality discrimination” in the labor market, ceteris paribus their earnings are lower than native-born workers because they were born abroad. The challenge to testing for nationality discrimination is that the native/immigrant earnings gap will very likely also be influenced by productivity differences driven by incomplete assimilation of immigrants, as well as the possibility of racial or gender discrimination. There is relatively little empirical literature, and virtually no theoretical literature, on this type of discrimination. In this study, a model of nationality discrimination where customer prejudice and native/immigrant productivity differences jointly influence the earnings gap is presented. We derive an extension of Becker’s Market Discrimination Coefficient (MDC), applied to the case of nationality discrimination when there are productivity differences. A number of novel implications are obtained. We find, for example, that the MDC depends upon relative immigrant productivity and relative immigrant labor supply. We test the model on data for hitters and pitchers in Major League Baseball, an industry with a history of immigration, potential for customer discrimination, and clean, detailed micro-data on worker productivities and race. OLS and decomposition methods are used to estimate the extent of discrimination. We find no compelling evidence of discrimination in the hitter group, but evidence of ceteris paribus underpayment of immigrant pitchers. While our test case is for a particular industry, our theoretical model, empirical specifications, and general research design, are quite generalizable to many other labor markets.
    Date: 2010–07
  11. By: Dillon, Andrew; Mueller, Valerie; Salau, Sheu
    Abstract: We investigate the extent in which northern Nigerian households engage in internal migration to insure against ex ante and ex post agricultural risk due to weather-related variability and shocks. We use data on the migration patterns of individuals over a 20-year period and temperature degree-days to identify agricultural risk. Controlling for ex ante and ex post risk, we find that households with higher ex ante risk are more likely to send migrants. Households facing hot shocks before the migrant’s move tend to keep their male migrants in closer proximity. These findings suggest that households use migration as a risk management strategy in response to both ex ante and ex post risk, but that migration responses are gender-specific. These findings have implications not only for understanding the insurance motives of households, but also potential policy responses tied to climatic warming.
    Keywords: Migration, Risk, temperature degree days,
    Date: 2010
  12. By: Bodvarsson, Örn B. (St. Cloud State University); Hou, Jack W. (California State University, Long Beach)
    Abstract: China has been experiencing two major demographic sea changes since the late 1970s: (i) Internal migration, primarily rural-to-urban, on a scale that dwarfs all other countries at any time in history; and (ii) a shift in its age distribution. The basic question posed in this paper is: How are aging and migration related in post-reform China? We argue that there is probably two-way causality: Shifts in the origin region's age distribution induce changes in the scale and structure of migration, but out- (in-) migration shifts the origin's (destination's) age distribution. We examine theoretically and empirically the relationship between origin age distribution and interprovincial migration in China using province-level census data for 1985-2005. The goal of the paper is two-fold: (i) To develop a more refined theoretical model that explains how a migrant's age affects his/her likelihood of migration; and (ii) to obtain unbiased estimates of the effect of age on the interprovincial migration rate. Our theory section is motivated by the observation that, while most researchers recognize the importance of including age in theoretical and empirical models of migration, the exact reasons for why age affects migration have not been analyzed very thoroughly. We model the migration decision and demonstrate that there is an ambiguous relationship between age and the likelihood of migration. Implications of the theory are tested with an extended modified gravity model using OLS and 2SLS.
    Keywords: internal migration, age distribution, reforms
    JEL: J61 J11
    Date: 2010–07

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