nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒11‒27
seventeen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Local Exposure to Toxic Releases: Does Ethnic Diversity Matter? By Matthew A Cole; Robert J R Elliott; Khemrutai Khemmarat
  2. Inter- and Intra-Marriage Premiums Revisited: It’s probably who you are, not who you marry! By Nekby, Lena
  3. Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants By Deepti Goel; Kevin Lang
  4. The Development Impact of a Best Practice Seasonal Worker Policy By John Gibson; David McKenzie
  5. Nature and Characteristics of Seasonal Labour Migration : A Case Study in Mahabubnagar District of Andhra Pradesh By Vijay Korra
  6. Search, Migration, and Urban Land Use: The Case of Transportation Policies By Zenou, Yves
  7. Immigrant Over- and Under-education: The Role of Home Country Labour Market Experience By Piracha, Matloob; Tani, Massimiliano; Vadean, Florin
  8. Immigration Wage Impacts by Origin By Bernt Bratsberg; Oddbjørn Raaum; Marianne Røed; Pål Schøne
  9. Why Are East Germans Not More Mobile?: Analyzing the Impact of Local Networks on Migration Intentions By Peter Boenisch; Lutz Schneider
  10. Crime, Immigration and the Labor Market: A General Equilibrium Model By Thomas Bassetti, Luca Corazzini, Darwin Cortes
  11. Internal Migration and Wage Differentials among Italian University Graduates By Di Cintio, Marco; Grassi, Emanuele
  12. The Influence of Role Models on Immigrant Self-Employment: A Spatial Analysis for Switzerland By Giuliano Guerra; Roberto Patuelli
  13. Gulf Migration Study: Employment, Wages and Working Conditions of Kerala Emigrants in the United Arab Emirates By K. C. Zachariah; B.A. Prakash; S. Irudaya Rajan
  14. Reforming Policies on Foreign Workers in Israel By Adriana Kemp
  15. Social Identity and Inequality--The Impact of China’s Hukou System By Farzana Afridi; Sherry Xin Li; Yufei Ren
  16. Chinese networks and tariff evasion By Pierre-Louis Vézina; Lorenzo Rotunno
  17. Profilo dell'immigrazione egiziana in Italia By Antonio Cortese

  1. By: Matthew A Cole; Robert J R Elliott; Khemrutai Khemmarat
    Abstract: This paper examines the role played by community characteristics in influencing local environmental quality, focusing specifically on ethnic diversity. In contrast to the previous literature, this study argues that it is the fractionalization and/or polarization of ethnic groups that is the relevant consideration, rather than the population share of ethnic minorities, since such diversity may significantly increase the difficulty of co-ordinating community action. Using toxic release data for the period 1990-1995 and, for the first time, 2000-2005, we find that measures of ethnic diversity do indeed influence local toxic release emissions. This finding persists across a range of robustness exercises.
    Keywords: pollution, ethnic diversity, fractionalization, polarization, community characteristics, environmental justice
    JEL: Q53 Q56 D70
    Date: 2010–11
  2. By: Nekby, Lena (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)
    Abstract: For immigrants, intermarriage with natives is assumed to have an assimilating role due to the enhancement of local human capital such a union creates in the form of improved knowledge about host country institutions, language and customs as well as access to native spouses’ networks and contacts. However, marriage choice is endogenous, unobserved factors influence who we marry and our labor market outcomes. This study uses panel data on immigrants and their spouses in Sweden to estimate marriage premiums taking into account individual heterogeneity. This is done for three types of marriages; intermarriage to natives and intra-marriage with immigrants from home countries as well as or other (non-Swedish) countries. A staggered fixed effects model is estimated separately for each marriage type to further disentangle a causal effect of intermarriage (intra-marriage) on annual income from any remaining positive selection effects into respective marriage type. Results from fixed effects estimation indicate that all types of marriage (with one exception) yield positive marriage premiums of similar magnitude. Significant pre-marriage income growth and a lack of post-marriage income growth for those that marry natives suggest that intermarriage premiums are largely due to selection.
    Keywords: Intermarriage; Intra-marriage; Income; Immigration; Assimilation; Gender
    JEL: F22 J12 J61
    Date: 2010–11–16
  3. By: Deepti Goel (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India); Kevin Lang (Boston University and NBER, IZA)
    Abstract: We show that increasing the probability of obtaining a job offer through the network should raise the observed mean wage in jobs found through formal (non-network) channels relative to that in jobs found through the network. This prediction also holds at all percentiles of the observed wage distribution, except the highest and lowest. The largest changes are likely to occur below the median. We test and conrm these implications using a survey of recent immigrants to Canada. We also develop a simple structural model, consistent with the theoretical model, and show that it can replicate the broad patterns in the data. For recent immigrants, our results are consistent with the primary effect of strong networks being to increase the arrival rate of offers rather than to alter the distribution from which offers are drawn.
    Date: 2010–09
  4. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato); David McKenzie (World Bank, BREAD, CReAM and IZA)
    Abstract: Seasonal migration programs are widely used around the world, and are increasingly seen as offering a potential “triple-win”- benefiting the migrant, sending country, and receiving country. Yet there is a dearth of rigorous evidence as to their development impact, and concerns about whether the time periods involved are too short to realize much in the way of benefits, and whether poorer, less skilled households actually get to participate in such programs. We study the development impacts of a recently introduced seasonal worker program which has been deemed to be “best practice”. New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program was launched in 2007 with an explicit focus on development in the Pacific alongside the aim of benefiting employers at home. A multi-year prospective evaluation allows us to measure the impact of participation in this program on households and communities in Tonga and Vanuatu. Using a matched difference-in-differences analysis based on detailed surveys fielded before, during, and after participation, we find that the RSE has indeed had largely positive development impacts. It has increased income and consumption of households, allowed households to purchase more durable goods, increased subjective standard of living, and had additional benefits at the community level. It also increased child schooling in Tonga. This should rank it among the most effective development policies evaluated to date. The policy was designed as a best practice example based on lessons elsewhere, and now should serve as a model for other countries to follow.
    Keywords: Seasonal migration; Matched Difference-in-Differences.
    JEL: O12 J61 F22
    Date: 2010–11
  5. By: Vijay Korra
    Abstract: In India, migration from rural areas is an important issue that is gaining more significance year after year. Moreover, the extent, nature, characteristics and pattern of migration have been evolving over time. In fact, the growing part of the migration taking place is seasonal and cyclical in nature. Seasonal or short duration migration is certainly not a new phenomenon in India. However, the magnitude of rural labour circulation is of recent origin, and a direct consequence of structural changes in the economy. [Working Paper No.433]
    Keywords: Migration, Seasonal migration, Circular/cyclical migration, Survival migration, Employment, Wage rate, Occupation, Destination, Migrants earnings, Distress
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We develop a search-matching model with rural-urban migration and an explicit land market. Wages, job creation, urban housing prices are endogenous and we characterize the steady-state equilibrium. We then consider three different policies: a transportation policy that improves the public transport system in the city, an entry-cost policy that encourages investment in the city and a restricting-migration policy that imposes some costs on migrants. We show that all these policies can increase urban employment but the transportation policy has much more drastic effects. This is because a decrease in commuting costs has both a direct positive effect on land rents, which discourages migrants to move to the city, and a direct negative effect on urban wages, which reduces job creation and thus migration. When these two effects are combined with search frictions, the interactions between the land and the labor markets have amplifying positive effects on urban employment. Thus, improving the transport infrastructure in cities can increase urban employment despite the induced migration from rural areas.
    Keywords: rural-urban migration, transportation policies, entry costs, restricting migration
    JEL: D83 J61 O18 R14
    Date: 2010–11
  7. By: Piracha, Matloob (University of Kent); Tani, Massimiliano (Macquarie University, Sydney); Vadean, Florin (University of Kent)
    Abstract: The cause of immigrant education mismatch in the host country labour market might not necessarily be discrimination or imperfect transferability of human capital, as argued in previous studies. Immigrants who have gained professional experience in the home country in jobs below their education level might be assessed by host country employers as having lower abilities and skills than those expected from their educational qualifications. Using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia we show that a significant part of the variation in the immigrants' probability to be over-/under-educated in the Australian labour market can be explained by having been over-/under-educated in the last job in the home country.
    Keywords: immigrants, education-occupation mismatch, sample selection
    JEL: C34 J24 J61
    Date: 2010–11
  8. By: Bernt Bratsberg (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Oddbjørn Raaum (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Marianne Røed (Institute for Social Research); Pål Schøne (Institute for Social Research)
    Abstract: We estimate the direct partial wage effect for native workers of an immigrant-induced increase in labor supply, using longitudinal records drawn from Norwegian registers and the national skill cell approach of Borjas (2003). Our results show overall negative wage impacts for both men and women. Focusing on differential wage impacts by immigrant origin, we find that immigrant inflows from the neighboring Nordic countries have more negative wage effects than inflows from developing countries. The pattern is consistent with factor demand theory if natives and other Nordic citizens are close substitutes. We also find that impact estimates, particularly for inflows from nearby countries, are sensitive to accounting for selective native attrtion and within-skill group variation in demand and supply conditions.
    Date: 2010–11
  9. By: Peter Boenisch; Lutz Schneider
    Abstract: Despite poor regional labour market conditions East Germans exhibit a rather limited willing-ness of leaving their home region. Applying an IV ordered probit approach and using the German Socio Economic Panel (SOEP), we test a local network explanation of lower spatial mobility. Firstly, we find that membership in locally bounded social networks reduces regional mobility. Secondly, we show that native East Germans are more invested in this type of social networks than West Germans. Thirdly, after controlling for the social network effect the mobility gap between East and West substantially reduces. Thus, low regional labour mobility of East Germans is for a significant part attributable to local ties binding people to their home region.
    Keywords: Social networks, labour mobility
    JEL: Z13 R23 J61
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Thomas Bassetti, Luca Corazzini, Darwin Cortes
    Abstract: Does immigration cause crime? To answer this question, we build a two-country general equilibrium model with search costs in which the migration (in/out-)flows, the crime rates and the equilibrium wages in the two countries are determined by the interaction between the labor market, the crime market and the decision to migrate. The main result of our model is that, in equilibrium, the relationship between immigration and crime depends on the conditions of both the labor and crime markets of the two countries. In particular, when the tightness of the labor market is sufficiently elastic relative to that of the crime market, immigration causes a reduction in the domestic crime rate of the host country. An implication of this result is that migration flows from countries with strong work rigidities to societies characterized by more elastic labor markets are mutually benefic in terms of reducing the corresponding crime rates.
    Keywords: Crime Rate, Labor Market, Immigration.
    JEL: J61 J64 K42
    Date: 2010–11
  11. By: Di Cintio, Marco; Grassi, Emanuele
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate wage differentials among Italian university Graduates three years after graduation due to sequential geographic mobility. By means of a matching procedure we quantify wage premia associated with the choice of studying far from home, moving after graduation and moving back home after graduation. We find evidence of large gains for those who move after graduation, little benefits for those who choose to go back home after having studied in regions different from that of origin. We also assess a “transitivity” result for the estimated treatment effects.
    Keywords: Geographic mobility; wage differentials; kernel matching.
    JEL: J31 J61 J24
    Date: 2010–11–15
  12. By: Giuliano Guerra (Institute for Economic Research (IRE), University of Lugano, Switzerland); Roberto Patuelli (Institute for Economic Research (IRE), University of Lugano, Switzerland; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)
    Abstract: Theoretical and empirical research suggests a connection between the presence of role models and the emergence of entrepreneurs. Existing entrepreneurs may act as role models for self-employment candidates by providing successful examples. By explicitly considering the self-employment rates of the natives, which may influence locally the decisions of immigrants towards entrepreneurship, we develop a simple model that explains immigrant self-employment rates for a sample of 2,490 Swiss municipalities. In addition, we accommodate for the presence of spatial spillovers in the distribution of rates, and test a spatial autoregressive model which takes into account the average self-employment rates of immigrants living in nearby municipalities. Our evidence shows a significant (positive) effect of such spatial network effects, which are characterized by a quick distance decay, suggesting spatial spillovers at the household and social network level. Additionally, we show that local conditions and immigrant pool characteristics differ, with respect to self-employment choices, when examining separately urban and rural contexts.
    Keywords: immigrants, self-employment, role models, Switzerland, spatial lag
    JEL: C21 J24 J61 O15 R23
    Date: 2010–01
  13. By: K. C. Zachariah; B.A. Prakash; S. Irudaya Rajan
    Abstract: This is the fourth in a series of Working Papers published by the CDS on Kerala migration. Unlike the other three, this one is financed by the Kerala Government and the data were collected in UAE. The objectives of this Working Paper are to; document changes in the labour demand for different categories of emigrant workers, enumerate the emigration policies, examine employment and working conditions, wage levels and related problems of the Kerala emigrants, understand the education and training requirements of future emigrants to UAE. [Working Paper No. 326]
    Keywords: Kerala Government, UAE, workers, policies, education, training
    Date: 2010
  14. By: Adriana Kemp
    Abstract: Since the early 1990s, Israel has enacted a managed migration scheme for low-skilled foreign workers. Originally designed to replace Palestinian cross-border workers from the Occupied Territories in the secondary labour market, in 2007 foreign workers comprised 8.7% of the private-sector labour force, 40% of them without permits. Foreign workers are employed in three major sectors: construction, agriculture and home-care for the elderly. The latter has become the largest and fastest-growing sector employing foreign workers, mainly women. The Israeli temporary labour migration scheme is characterised by a strong dependency of certain sectors on foreign workers; disengagement of governmental agencies from direct involvement in recruitment, inspection of work conditions, effective enforcement of labour laws, and provision of services for foreign workers; a strong emphasis on temporariness coupled with lengthy and sometimes indefinite extension of possible stay (up to 63 months and potentially more); and lastly, by an entrenched client politics that guides policies on quota setting, permit allocation and employer subsidies. Recent government decisions that seek to overcome the distorting effects of the scheme on the Israeli labour market, while tempering deep-rooted norms that violate workers' labour and human rights, are heading in the right direction. However, they are also destined to fail if the scheme is not substantially revised in all its parts rather than through a patchwork of focused and segmented measures.<BR>Depuis le début des années 1990, Israël a promulgué un système de gestion de l’immigration des travailleurs étrangers peu qualifiés, initialement conçu pour remplacer les travailleurs transfrontaliers des territoires palestiniens, occupés dans le marché secondaire du travail. En 2007, les travailleurs étrangers représentaient 8,7% de la force de travail du secteur privé, dont 40% étaient en situation irrégulière. Les travailleurs étrangers sont employés principalement dans trois secteurs : le BTP, l’agriculture et les soins à domicile pour les personnes âgées. Ce dernier secteur est devenu le plus important et a connu la plus forte croissance de l’emploi des travailleurs étrangers, principalement des femmes. Le régime temporaire des migration de travail en Israël se caractérise par une forte dépendance de certains secteurs envers les travailleurs étrangers; un désengagement des organismes gouvernementaux dans le processus de recrutement, la surveillance des conditions de travail, l’exécution effective des réglementations du travail, et les services de soutien aux travailleurs étrangers ; l’accent mis sur le caractère temporaire du séjour, malgré les possibilités d’extension parfois infinies (jusqu’à 63 mois et plus) et, enfin, par une politique clientéliste persistante guidée par la fixation de quotas, l’attribution des permis et des subventions à l’employeur. Quelques décisions récentes du gouvernement visant à neutraliser les effets néfastes de ce système de gestion du marché du travail israélien, tout en tempérant les normes profondément enracinées qui violent les droits du travail et de l’homme, vont dans la bonne direction. Cependant, elles seront aussi vouées à l’échec si l’ensemble du système n’est pas sensiblement revu, à la place d’un patchwork de mesures ciblées et segmentées.
    Keywords: foreign workers scheme, binding system, elderly home-care, closed skies, human trafficking, private brokers, Palestinian non-citizen workers, Israel
    JEL: F22 O15
    Date: 2010–03–19
  15. By: Farzana Afridi (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India); Sherry Xin Li (School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) University of Texas at Dallas, GR31); Yufei Ren (School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) University of Texas at Dallas, GR31)
    Abstract: We conduct an experimental study to investigate the causal impact of social identity on individuals? response to economic incentives. We focus on China?s decades old household registration system, or the hukou institution, which categorizes citizens into urban and rural residents, and favors the former over the latter in resource allocation. Our results indicate that making individuals? hukou status salient and public significantly reduces the performance of rural migrant students on an incentivized cognitive task by 10 percent. This leads to a leftward shift of their earnings distribution – the proportion of rural migrants below the 25th earnings percentile increases significantly by almost 19 percentage points. However, among non-migrants the proportion with earnings below the 25th percentile drops by 5 percentage points, and the proportion above the 75th percentile increases by almost 8 percentage points, albeit insignificantly. The results demonstrate the impact of institutionally imposed social identity on individuals? intrinsic response to incentives, and consequently on widening income inequality.
    Keywords: social identity, hukou, inequality, field experiment, China
    JEL: C93 O15 P36
    Date: 2010–10
  16. By: Pierre-Louis Vézina; Lorenzo Rotunno (IHEID, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: In this paper we combine the tariff evasion analysis of Fisman and Wei (2004) with Rauch and Trindade’s (2002) study of Chinese trade networks. Chinese networks are known to act as trade catalysts by enforcing contracts and providing market information. As tariff evasion occurs outside the law, market information is scant and formal institutions inexistent, rendering networks the more important. We find robust evidence that Chinese networks, proxied by ethnic Chinese migrant populations, increase tariff evasion, i.e. the tariff semi-elasticity of Chinese missing imports. We suggest the effects takes place through matching of illicit-minded traders, identification of corrupt customs agents and enforcement of informal contracts.
    Keywords: tariff evasion, China, illicit trade, migrant networks
    JEL: F1 K42
    Date: 2010–11
  17. By: Antonio Cortese
    Abstract: The paper examines the issue of Egyptian migration to Italy, a phenomenon that has undoubtedly increased in recent years. It describes the main socio-demographic characteristics of the group and analyze its distribution in the Italian territory; evaluates the degree of integration of Egyptian immigrants in the Italian society; finally; envisages some opportunities for further enlargement of the Egyptian presence in Italy.
    Keywords: International Migration, Immigrant workers, Foreign Immigration in
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2010–03

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