nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒08‒28
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Does Culture Matter? By Fernández, Raquel
  2. Migration and Culture By Epstein, Gil S.; Gang, Ira N.
  3. The Roots of Global Wage Gaps: Evidence from Randomized Processing of U.S. Visas By Michael Clemens
  4. Right to Buy… Time to Move? Investigating the Effect of the Right to Buy on Moving Behaviour in the UK By van Ham, Maarten; Williamson, Lee; Feijten, Peteke; Boyle, Paul
  5. A Note on Brain Gain and Brain Drain: Permanent Migration and Education Policy By Alexander Haupt; Tim Krieger; Thomas Lange
  6. The Economic Consequences of "Brain Drain" of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries By Gibson, John; McKenzie, David
  7. The Impact of Immigration on the Labour Market Outcomes of Native-Born Canadians By Tu, Jiong
  8. Explaining the Labour Market Outcomes of First, Second and Third Generation Immigrants in Canada By Tu, Jiong
  9. Foreign Labour Migration and the Economic Crisis in the EU: Ongoing and Remaining Issues of the Migrant Workforce in Germany By Kim, Anna Myunghee
  10. Do remittances affect poverty and inequality? Evidence from Mali By Flore Gubert; Thomas Lassourd; Sandrine Mesplé-Somps
  11. Les attitudes et les pratiques de solidarité intergénérationnelle des immigrants portugais du Luxembourg : une étude comparative By FLEURY Charles
  12. Transfers financiers intergénérationnels et familles transnationales By FLEURY Charles

  1. By: Fernández, Raquel (New York University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on culture and economics, focusing primarily on the epidemiological approach. The epidemiological approach studies the variation in outcomes across different immigrant groups residing in the same country. Immigrants presumably differ in their cultures but share a common institutional and economic environment. This allows one to separate the effect of culture from the original economic and institutional environment. This approach has been used to study a variety of issues, including female labor force participation, fertility, labor market regulation, redistribution, growth, and financial development among others.
    Keywords: culture, beliefs, preferences, norms
    JEL: O10 Z1 D01 D1
    Date: 2010–08
  2. By: Epstein, Gil S. (Bar-Ilan University); Gang, Ira N. (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: Culture is not new to the study of migration. It has lurked beneath the surface for some time, occasionally protruding openly into the discussion, usually under some pseudonym. The authors bring culture into the open. They are concerned with how culture manifests itself in the migration process for three groups of actors: the migrants, those remaining in the sending areas, and people already living in the recipient locations. The topics vary widely. What unites the authors is an understanding that though actors behave differently, within a group there are economically important shared beliefs (customs, values, attitudes, etc.), which we commonly refer to as culture. Culture and identify play a central role in our understanding of migration as an economic phenomenon; but what about them matters? Properly, we should be looking at the determinants of identity and the determinants of culture (prices and incomes, broadly defined). But this is not what is done. Usually identity and culture appear in economics articles as a black box. Here we try to begin to break open the black box.
    Keywords: migration, culture
    JEL: R23 O15 F22
    Date: 2010–08
  3. By: Michael Clemens
    Abstract: This study uses a unique natural experiment to test a simple model of international differences in workers’ wages and productivity. Large differences in wages across countries could arise from several sources. These include barriers to trade in outputs, differences in technology, differences in workers, or differences in the other factors of production accessible in different countries. To measure the relative importance of these sources in one setting, this study exploits the randomized processing of U.S. visas for a group of Indian workers who produce software within a single multinational firm. In this setting, international barriers to trade in outputs, barriers to technology transfer, and all observable or unobservable differences between workers are extremely low. The results indicate that location outside of India causes a sixfold increase in the wages of the same worker using the same technology to produce a highly tradable good. Under plausible assumptions about competition in the industry, this suggests that country-of-work by itself is responsible—in this industry—for roughly three-quarters of the gap in productivity between workers in India and workers in the richest countries. These findings have implications for open questions in labor, growth, international, and development economics.
    Keywords: growth, economic development, wealth of nations, productivity, migration, lottery, information technology, wage differences, poverty, income distribution, human capital, spatial differences, agglomeration, price equivalent, tariff equivalent, labor mobility, location, high tech, software, technology
    JEL: O15 F22 J61
    Date: 2010–06
  4. By: van Ham, Maarten (University of St. Andrews); Williamson, Lee (University of St. Andrews); Feijten, Peteke (University of St. Andrews); Boyle, Paul (University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: One of the goals of the Right to Buy (RTB) was to stimulate labour migration by removing the debilitating effect of social housing on geographical mobility. This is the first study to examine rigorously whether the Right to Buy legislation did indeed 'free-up' those in social housing who bought their homes. Using longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and panel regression models we show that the probability of a RTB-owner making a long distance move falls between that of social renters and owner occupiers. However, the difference between RTB-owners and neither homeowners nor social renters is significant. Social renters are significantly less likely to move over long distances than traditional owners. The results also suggest that RTB-owners are less likely than traditional owners to move for job related reasons, but more likely than social renters.
    Keywords: Right to Buy, residential mobility, migration, moving reasons, longitudinal data, United Kingdom
    JEL: J60 J61 R23
    Date: 2010–08
  5. By: Alexander Haupt (University of Plymouth); Tim Krieger (University of Mainz); Thomas Lange (University of Konstanz)
    Abstract: In this note, we present a novel channel for a brain gain. Students from a developing country study in a developed host country. A higher permanent migration probability of these students appears to be a brain drain for the developing country in the first place. However, it induces the host country to improve its education quality, as a larger share of the generated bene…ts accrue in this host country. A higher education quality raises in turn the human capital of the returning students. As long as the permanent migration probability is not too large, this positive effect causes both aggregate and per-capita human capital to increase in the developing country. Thus, a brain gain occurs.
    Keywords: Brain gain, education policy, human capital, return migration
    JEL: F22 I28 J61 O15
    Date: 2010–07
  6. By: Gibson, John (University of Waikato); McKenzie, David (World Bank)
    Abstract: Brain drain has long been a common concern for migrant-sending countries, particularly for small countries where high-skilled emigration rates are highest. However, while economic theory suggests a number of possible benefits, in addition to costs, from skilled emigration, the evidence base on many of these is very limited. Moreover, the lessons from case studies of benefits to China and India from skilled emigration may not be relevant to much smaller countries. This paper presents the results of innovative surveys which tracked academic high-achievers from five countries to wherever they moved in the world in order to directly measure at the micro level the channels through which high-skilled emigration affects the sending country. The results show that there are very high levels of emigration and of return migration among the very highly skilled; the income gains to the best and brightest from migrating are very large, and an order of magnitude or more greater than any other effect; there are large benefits from migration in terms of postgraduate education; most high-skilled migrants from poorer countries send remittances; but that involvement in trade and foreign direct investment is a rare occurrence. There is considerable knowledge flow from both current and return migrants about job and study opportunities abroad, but little net knowledge sharing from current migrants to home country governments or businesses. Finally, the fiscal costs vary considerably across countries, and depend on the extent to which governments rely on progressive income taxation.
    Keywords: brain drain, brain gain, highly skilled migration
    JEL: O15 F22 J61
    Date: 2010–08
  7. By: Tu, Jiong (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada - Labour Program)
    Abstract: Although immigration has become a major growth factor for Canadian labour force, there is little economic research on the effect of immigration on native-born Canadians' labour market performance. This paper examines the relationship between changes in the share of immigrants by sub-labour markets (categorized by skill types and geographic areas) and changes in native wage growth by a two-stage regression analysis, using 1991, 1996 and 2001 Canadian Census data files. After accounting for biases due to native mobility, endogenous location of immigrants and labour demand shifts, the estimated effects of immigration are consistently insignificant or significantly positive. The results are robust to various specifications of sub-labour markets at city, provincial and national levels, suggesting that there is no evidence for a negative impact on native wage growth rate from the large immigrant influx during the 1990s.
    Keywords: immigrant, wages, labour market, Canada
    JEL: F22 J15 J31 J61
    Date: 2010–08
  8. By: Tu, Jiong (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada - Labour Program)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effectiveness of Canadian immigration policy by analyzing the differences in the returns to education between first, second and third generation immigrant men. Regression results indicate that the second generation with high school education and lower do not earn significantly less than the equally educated third generation. However, the second generation with at least postsecondary education experience a wage deficit to the third generation. I explain the well-educated second generation’s difficulty in translating their intellectual ability into productivity by their ethnic and linguistic distance from the Canadian mainstream, and by a negative city-specific effect. Regression results using sub-samples categorized by subsequently interacting educational attainments with ethnicity, mother tongue and city of residence support these explanations. I then suggest that assimilation policies targeting the well-educated first and second generation immigrants be designed to promote the acceptance of their human capital by the Canadian labour market.
    Keywords: immigrant, second generation, wages, education, ethnicity, Canada
    JEL: F22 J15 J31 J62
    Date: 2010–08
  9. By: Kim, Anna Myunghee (IZA)
    Abstract: This paper provides an evaluation of the status of migrant workers in Germany amidst the global financial crisis. Findings of the study are drawn from the latest available data on the labour market performance of native-German and non-German migrant workers as well as other socioeconomic integration measures of the receiving state. Compared to the experience of migrants in most of the major receiving states of the EU, the status of the predominantly low-skilled sector-employed migrant workers in Germany, where primarily the skilled-workforce concentrated industries of high-value products is affected, has remained unchanged during the crisis. On the other hand, marginalisation of the ethnic and national minority population appears to be a persistent phenomenon marked by long-standing labour market exclusion. This is manifested in over two decades of double-digit unemployment rates of the foreign migrant population in the former ‘guest-worker’ importing country. This implies for the economy the need to settle long-term problems and implement strategies towards a better labour market integration of the minority migrant population beyond the recent recession.
    Keywords: global financial crisis, low-skilled sector, migrant workers, guest-workers, labour market integration, minority migrant population
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2010–08
  10. By: Flore Gubert (IRD, UMR 225 DIAL, Université Paris Dauphine,Paris School of Economics); Thomas Lassourd (DIFID); Sandrine Mesplé-Somps (IRD, UMR 225 DIAL, Université Paris Dauphine)
    Abstract: Using a 2006 household survey in Mali, we compare current poverty rates and inequality levels with counterfactual ones in the absence of migration and remittances. With proper hypotheses on migrants and a selection model, we are able to impute a counterfactual income for households currently receiving remittances. We show that remittances reduce poverty rates by 5% to 11% and the Gini coefficient by about 5%. Households in the bottom quintiles are more dependent on remittances, which are less substitutable by additional workforce.________________________________ Cet article examine l’impact distributif des transferts des migrants au Mali, à partir de l’enquête sur les niveaux de vie ELIM 2006. Nous construisons différents scénarii contrefactuels qui corrigent du biais de sélection des ménages avec migrants. Nous montrons que les transferts des migrants internationaux réduisent la pauvreté de 5 à 11% au niveau national et l’indice de Gini d’environ 5%. Les niveaux de consommation des ménages appartenant aux quintiles les plus pauvres sont plus dépendants des transferts, ménages dont les revenus de substitution aux transferts restent faibles du fait de dotations en capital physique et humain insuffisants.
    Keywords: Remittances, Migration, Poverty, Inequality, Africa, Transferts, Migration, Pauvreté, Inégalité, Afrique.
    JEL: F24 O15 O55
    Date: 2010–07
  11. By: FLEURY Charles
    Abstract: Notre article examine les pratiques de solidarité intergénérationnelle au sein des familles transnationales. Prenant le cas des immigrants portugais du Luxembourg, nous cherchons à savoir comment les attentes normatives à l’égard de la famille se conjuguent à l’éloignement spatial engendré par la migration. Nous montrons que les immigrants portugais adhèrent fortement aux normes d’obligation filiale propres à leur pays d’origine et qu’ils viennent régulièrement en aide à leurs parents malgré l’éloignement géographique. Examinant ensuite la question des transferts financiers intergénérationnels, nous discutons du lien entre solidarité Intergénérationnelle et cohésion sociale et abordons la question de l’homogénéisation des systèmes de sécurité sociale européens. Cet article s’inscrit dans le cadre du projet Relations entre générations au Luxembourg : solidarité, ambivalence, conflit ?, financé par le Fonds national de la recherche dans le cadre se son programme Vivre demain au Luxembourg et mené conjointement par l’Université du Luxembourg et le CEPS/INSTEAD.
    Date: 2010–08
  12. By: FLEURY Charles
    Abstract: Cet article porte sur les relations intergénérationnelles des familles transnationales et examine plus spécifiquement les transferts financiers intergénérationnels versés ou reçus par les immigrants communautaires vivant au Luxembourg. Il met non seulement en relief les spécificités des différents systèmes de sécurité sociale européens en matière de relations intergénérationnelles, mais identifient également quelques-unes des conséquences que ces spécificités ont pour certaines catégories d’immigrants, notamment les immigrants portugais. Il montre comment, dans un contexte migratoire, la rencontre entre les exigences relatives à deux systèmes de sécurité sociale, conçus généralement dans une perspective où les générations cohabitent au sein d’un même pays, peut contribuer à accroître les inégalités sociales, et ce, même à l’intérieur d’une zone où plusieurs efforts d’harmonisation des systèmes nationaux de sécurité sociale ont été faits. Cet article s’inscrit dans le cadre du projet Relations entre générations au Luxembourg : solidarité, ambivalence, conflit ?, financé par le Fonds national de la recherche dans le cadre se son programme Vivre demain au Luxembourg et mené conjointement par l’Université du Luxembourg et le CEPS/INSTEAD
    Date: 2010–08

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