nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒10‒16
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Migration pressures and immigration policies : new evidence on the selection of migrants By Avato, Johanna
  2. Emigration and the quality of home country institutions By Frederic DOCQUIER; Elisabetta LODIGIANI; Hillel RAPOPORT; Maurice SCHIFF
  3. Natural Experiment Evidence on the Effect of Migration on Blood Pressure and Hypertension By John Gibson; Steven Stillman; David McKenzie; Halahingano Rohorua
  4. Movements of the ‘we’: international and transnational migration and the capabilities approach By Gasper, D.R.; Truong, T-D.
  5. Remittances and competitiveness: the case of the Philippines By Bayangos, V.B.; Jansen, K.
  6. Managing migration in the IOM’s World migration report 2008 By Campillo Carrete, B.; Gasper, D.R.
  7. The Effects of Immigration on Wages: An Application of the Structural Skill-Cell Approach By Michael Gerfin; Boris Kaiser
  8. Limits to Growth: Tourism and Regional Labor Migration By Denise Konan
  9. The global forum on migration and development: “All talk and no action†or “A chance to frame the issues in a way that allows you to move forward together� By Roldan, B.; Gasper, D.R.
  10. The Geographic Distribution of Human Capital: Measurement of Contributing Mechanisms By Peter McHenry
  11. Identity, Community and Segregation By Bryony Reich
  12. The effect of preschool on the school performance of children from immigrant families. Results from an introduction of free preschool in two districts in Oslo By Nina Drange and Kjetil Telle
  13. Learning and Knowledge Diffusion in a Global Economy By Kunal Dasgupta

  1. By: Avato, Johanna
    Abstract: This paper aims to better understand emigration pressures in migrant sending countries by looking at the determinants of the propensity to migrate at the individual level. The analysis is based on survey data from Albania, Moldova, Egypt and Tunisia collected by the European Training Foundation (ETF) in 2006. Within this context the study focuses on: (i) the self-selection of migrants in terms of skills; and (ii) the impact of selective immigration policies on the migration process. The paper finds that migration pressures, or the intent to migrate, are not subject to any self-selection. However, immigration policies exert a strong out-selection that is likely part of the reasons why positive selection is found in many studies. Further, the study confirms that the European Union (EU) attracts comparatively lower skilled migrants than other destinations.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Voluntary and Involuntary Resettlement,Human Migrations&Resettlements,International Migration,Gender and Development
    Date: 2009–12–01
  2. By: Frederic DOCQUIER (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and FNRS); Elisabetta LODIGIANI (CREA, Université du Luxembourg and Centro Studi Luca dAgliano); Hillel RAPOPORT (CID, Harvard University, Bar-Ilan University and EQUIPPE); Maurice SCHIFF (World Bank, Development Economics Research Group)
    Abstract: Emigration affects institutions at home in a number of ways. While people may have fewer incentives to voice when they have exit options, emigrants can voice once abroad and contribute to the diffusion of democratic values and norms. We first document these channels and then consider dynamic-panel regressions to investigate the overall impact of emigration on institutions in the home country. We find that both openess to migration and human capital have a positive impact on institutions (as measured by standard democracy and economic freedom indices). This implies that unskilled migration has a positive effect on institutional quality while the effect of skilled migration (or brain drain) is ambiguous. Using the point estimates from our regressions, we simulate the marginal effect of skilled emigration on institutional quality. In general, the simulations confirm that the brain drain has an ambiguous impact on institutions, though a significant institutional gain obtains for a limited set of countries when incentive effects of the brain drain on human capital formation are taken into account.
    Keywords: Migration, brain drain, institutions, diaspora effects, democracy
    JEL: O1 F22
    Date: 2010–09–20
  3. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato and Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Steven Stillman (Motu, University of Waikato, IZA and CReAM); David McKenzie (Development Research Group, World Bank, IZA and CReAM); Halahingano Rohorua (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Over 200 million people live outside their country of birth and experience large gains in material well-being by moving to where wages are higher. But the effect of this migration on health is less clear and existing evidence is ambiguous because of the potential for selfselection bias. In this paper, we use a natural experiment, comparing successful and unsuccessful applicants to a migration lottery to experimentally estimate the impact of migration on measured blood pressure and hypertension. Hypertension is a leading global health problem, as well as being an important health measure that responds quickly to migration. We use various econometric estimators to form bounds on the treatment effects since there appears to be selective non-compliance in the natural experiment. Even with these bounds the results suggest significant and persistent increases in blood pressure and hypertension, which have implications for future health budgets given the recent worldwide increases in immigration.
    Keywords: Blood pressure, Hypertension, Lottery, Migration, Natural experiment.
    JEL: C21 I12 J61
    Date: 2010–10
  4. By: Gasper, D.R.; Truong, T-D.
    Abstract: We consider cross-border migration through the lens of the capabilities approach, with special reference to transnational migration and to implications for the approach itself. Cross-border migration has profound and diverse effects, not least because it accelerates change in the nature of political community. A capabilities approach can be helpful through its insistence on multi-dimensional, inter-personally disaggregated, reflective evaluation. At the same time, the realities of migration exercise pressure on capabilities thinking, to deepen its underlying social and political theory and nuance its efforts to counter communitarian tendencies. By extending its attention to migrants and the locality-spanning social and political spaces in which they live, the capabilities approach will be able to better concretize and situate the picture of the ‘we’ who ‘have (or seek) reason to value’ purported goods and rights.
    Keywords: international migration;transnationalism;capabilities approach;identity;human security
    Date: 2010–02–01
  5. By: Bayangos, V.B.; Jansen, K.
    Abstract: The paper looks at the impact of workersÂ’ remittances on the competitiveness of the receiving economy. It extends existing research that concentrated on the exchange rate effects of remittances, the so-called Dutch disease effect, by adding labour market effects. The results show that the labour market effects of emigration and remittances have a significant impact on competitiveness that goes beyond the traditional exchange rate effect.
    Keywords: remittances;Dutch disease;competitiveness;exchange rate;monetary policy;Philippines
    Date: 2010–02–01
  6. By: Campillo Carrete, B.; Gasper, D.R.
    Abstract: The 2008 World Migration Report from the International Organization for Migration is an enormous document that reflects efforts led by business sectors and some sections of governments in rich countries to move away from policy agendas overwhelmingly focused on restriction of international migration, towards a somewhat more open global economic order, and to build acceptance of substantial in-migration to match market demand. This paper illustrates use of methods of discourse analysis to identify the principles of selection, interpretation, prioritisation and argumentation that structure such a report. It gives particular attention to the Report’s choices and use of key terms, like ‘mobility’, ‘needs’ and ‘globalization’, and of key metaphors which guide the discussion, notably the metaphor of ‘flows’. Dominated by the mental models of neoclassical and neoliberal economics and the policy preoccupations of rich countries, the Report’s central claim is the “need†for international cooperation to match labour demand and supply within a global framework, as a concomitant of economic globalisation in other respects; and that this will support economic development worldwide. A human rights stance makes occasional appearances, represented by the term ‘human mobility’ rather than ‘labour mobility’ or ‘mobility for economic purposes’, but remains firmly subordinated. Migrants’ opinions and agency receive little attention; economic priorities based on market power dominate.
    Keywords: international migration;economic development;International Organization for Migration;world migration report 2008;globalization;critical discourse analysis;metaphor analysis
    Date: 2010–03–01
  7. By: Michael Gerfin; Boris Kaiser
    Abstract: This paper investigates how recent immigration inflows from 2002 to 2008 have affected wages in Switzerland. This period is of particular interest as it marks the time during which the bilateral agreement with the EU on the free cross-border movement of workers has been effective. Since different types of workers are likely to be unevenly affected by recent immigration inflows, we follow the "structural skill-cell approach". This paper provides two main contributions. First, we estimate empirically the elasticities of substitution between different types of workers in Switzerland. Our results suggest that natives and immigrants are imperfect substitutes. Regarding different skill levels, the estimates indicate that workers are imperfect substitutes across broad education groups and across different experience groups. Second, the estimated elasticities of substitution are used to simulate the impact on domestic wages using the actual immigration inflows from 2002 to 2008. For the long run, the simulations produce some notable distributional consequences across different types of workers: While previous immigrants incur wage losses (-1.6%), native workers are not negatively affected on average (+0.4%). In the short run, immigration has a negative macroeconomic effect on the average wage, which, however, gradually dies out in the process of capital adjustment.
    Keywords: Immigration; Wages; Labour Demand; Labour Supply; Skill Groups
    JEL: E24 F22 J61 J31
    Date: 2010–09
  8. By: Denise Konan (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Economics Department; Center for Sustainable Coastal Tourism; University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO))
    Abstract: The paper provides a methodology for considering the carrying capacity and limits to growth of a labor-constrained mature tourism destination. A computable general equilibrium model is used to examine the impacts of visitor expenditure growth and labor migration on Hawai‘i’s economy. Impacts on regional income, welfare, prices, sector-level output, and gross state product are considered under alternative migration scenarios. Labor market constraints impose limits to growth in real visitor expenditures. Labor market growth with constrained visitor demand generates falling per capita household welfare.
    Keywords: Computable general equilibrium model, tourism, migration, Hawaii
    Date: 2010–06–01
  9. By: Roldan, B.; Gasper, D.R.
    Abstract: The paper explores the proposed rationale of the Global Forum on Migration and Development that was launched by Kofi Annan in 2006 as UN Secretary General, as an informal inter-governmental discussion space. First, it identifies the series of claims in Annan’s speech to the High-Level Dialogue that he convened in New York: that international migration must be managed; that to proceed from the present situation of entrenched disagreements and mistrust requires constructive structured communication; that the Global Forum can provide this and is a feasible way forward, unlike proposals for binding international conventions; and that through processes of growing mutual education and mutual acceptance the Forum can be fruitful. Implied are notions of building trust and community amongst the “migro-cratsâ€, the public policymakers in the global networks of migration. Second, the paper monitors how the hypotheses had fared by the time of the second Forum conference, in Manila in 2008, by discourse analysis of its concluding report. The Manila meeting’s declaration of a “focus on the person†appeared in reality to a large extent mean a focus on the “migro-crats†and their interactive processes of mutual education and team-building that are intended to produce practical cooperation. To clarify this strategy and draw out its mindset and assumptions, the paper presents a series of tools for discourse analysis that may be more widely useful in migration studies and for participation in migration policy debate.
    Keywords: international migration;Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD);Kofi Annan;2006 High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development;2008 Manila GFMD;GFMD;argument analysis;frame analysis;metaphor analysis
    Date: 2010–03–01
  10. By: Peter McHenry (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how the geographic distribution of human capital evolves over time. With U.S. data, I decompose generation-to-generation changes in local human capital into three factors: the previous generation’s human capital, intergenerational transmission of skills from parents to their children, and migration of the children. I find evidence of regression to the mean of local skills at the state level and divergence at the commuting zone level. Labor market size, climate, local colleges, and taxes affect local skill measures. Skills move from urban to rural labor markets through intergenerational transmission but from rural to urban labor markets through migration.
    Keywords: Migration, Intergenerational transmission, Regional labor markets
    JEL: R23 J61 J11
    Date: 2010–09–15
  11. By: Bryony Reich (Department of Economics, University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: I develop a framework to explain why identity divides some communities and not others. An identity group is defined as a group of individuals with the same `culture'. A community is divided when different identities are socially segregated; a community is integrated when there is no social segregation between different identities. I find three possible outcomes for a community: assimilation, where groups socially integrate and one group conforms to the culture of another; non-assimilative integration, where groups integrate but individuals retain their own identity; and segregation, where groups socially segregate and retain their own culture. I find that certain community environments encourage segregation: (i) communities with similar sized identity groups; (ii) larger communities; (iii) communities with greater cultural distance between identities. Further, when segregation occurs, the cultural divide between the two groups can increase endogenously beyond ex-ante differences.
    Keywords: identity, culture, segregation, immigration, immigrants, networks, network formation, coordination, stochastic stability.
    JEL: J15 D85 D74 A14 C73 H00
    Date: 2010–09
  12. By: Nina Drange and Kjetil Telle (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Two districts of Oslo started to offer five-year-old children free preschool four hours a day. We analyze the effect of this intervention on the school performance of the children from immigrant families 10 years later (age 16). Our difference-in-difference approach takes advantage of the variation caused by the intervention being implemented in two districts in Oslo, leaving other similar districts unaffected. The grade point average of girls increases substantially more in the intervention districts than in the comparison districts; resulting in an effect estimate of more than a quarter of a standard deviation. There is no significant change in boys’ performance, and no support for disadvantageous effects on non-cognitive outcomes.
    Keywords: preschool; immigrants; early intervention; school performance
    JEL: J13 J15 H52 I28
    Date: 2010–09
  13. By: Kunal Dasgupta
    Abstract: I develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to understand how multinationals affect host countries through knowledge diffusion. Workers in the model learn from their managers and knowledge diffusion takes place through worker mobility. Unlike in a model without learning, I present a novel mechanism through which an integrated equilibrium represents a Pareto improvement for the host country. I go on to explore other dynamic consequences of integration. The entry of multinationals makes the lifetime earning profiles of host country workers steeper. At the same time, if agents learn fast enough, integration creates unequal opportunities, thereby widening inequality. The ex-workers of foreign multinationals also found new firms which are, on average, larger than the largest firms under autarky.
    Keywords: Multinationals, knowledge diffusion, learning, worker mobility, Pareto improvement, spin-offs.
    JEL: F15 F23 F40
    Date: 2010–09–30

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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