nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒12‒11
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Low expectations or different evaluations – What explains immigrants’ high levels of trust in host country institutions? By Antje Roeder; Peter Muehlau
  2. Immigration, Offshoring and American Jobs By Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano; Giovanni Peri; Greg. C. Wright
  3. Workplace Concentration of Immigrants By Fredrik Andersson; Monica Garcia-Perez; John Haltiwanger; Kristin McCue; Seth Sanders
  4. Migration and Culture By Gil S. Epstein; Ira N. Gang
  5. Immigration and Occupations in Europe By Francesco D’Amuri; Giovanni Peri
  6. Work, Risk and Health: Differences between Immigrants and Natives in Spain By Solé, Meritxell; Diaz-Serrano, Luis; Rodriguez Martinez, Marisol
  7. A Political Economy of the Immigrant Assimilation: Internal Dynamics By Gil S. Epstein; Ira N. Gang
  8. Interactions between Local and Migrant Workers at the Workplace By Gil S. Epstein; Yosef Mealem
  9. What drives US Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call Votes By Giovanni Facchini; Max Steinhardt
  10. The development impact of a best practice seasonal worker policy By Gibson, John; McKenzie, David
  11. Housing Mobility and Downsizing at Older Ages in Britain and the United States By James Banks; Richard Blundell; Zoe Oldfield; James P. Smith
  12. Remittances and Financial Openness By Michel Beine; Elisabetta Lodigiani; Robert Vermuelen
  13. Immigration and International Prices By Marios Zachariadis

  1. By: Antje Roeder (Department of Sociology Trinity College Dublin); Peter Muehlau (Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: Several recent studies show that immigrants exhibit higher levels of trust in public institutions than natives. This study uses pooled data from the European Social Survey to examine possible reasons for this ‘over-confidence’ of immigrants, arguing that it is largely the relatively lower expectations of immigrants from countries with poorer institutional performance that account for this difference. The eminent role of expectations is also underscored by the finding that low social standing matters less for the level of trust of immigrants than it does for natives. The ‘frame of reference effect’ weakens over time and with increased acculturation in the country of residence, suggesting that expectations are less strongly based on experiences in the country of origin the better integrated an immigrant is in the country of residence. A small part of immigrants’ higher trust levels and of the dual frames of reference effect are mediated by the more conservative value orientations of immigrants from countries with lower political stability, who appear to regard stability and conformity more highly. However, the overall pattern of effects indicates that lower rather than different expectations explain immigrants’ higher levels of institutional trust.
    Keywords: Migration; Confidence; Trust; Institutions; Expectations
    JEL: N A
    Date: 2010–11
  2. By: Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano (Bocconi University, CEPR, FEEM and Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano); Giovanni Peri (University of Caligornia, Davis, NBER and Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano); Greg. C. Wright (University of Caligornia, Davis)
    Abstract: How many \"American jobs\" have U.S.-born workers lost due to immigration and offshoring? Or, alternatively, is it possible that immigration and offshoring, by promoting cost-savings and enhanced efficiency in firms, have spurred the creation of jobs for U.S. natives? We consider a multi-sector version of the Grossman and Rossi-Hansberg (2008) model with a continuum of tasks in each sector and we augment it to include immigrants with heterogeneous productivity in tasks. We use this model to jointly analyze the impact of a reduction in the costs of offshoring and of the costs of immigrating to the U.S. The model predicts that while cheaper offshoring reduces the share of natives among less skilled workers, cheaper immigration does not, but rather reduces the share of offshored jobs instead. Moreover, since both phenomena have a positive \"cost-savings\" effect they may leave unaffected, or even increase, total native employment of less skilled workers. Our model also predicts that offshoring will push natives toward jobs that are more intensive in communication-interactive skills and away from those that are manual and routine intensive. We test the predictions of the model on data for 58 U.S. manufacturing industries over the period 2000-2007 and find evidence in favor of a positive productivity effect such that immigration has a positive net effect on native employment while offshoring has no effect on it. We also find some evidence that offshoring has pushed natives toward more communication-intensive tasks while it has pushed immigrants away from them.
    Keywords: Employment, production tasks, immigrants, offshoring
    JEL: F22 F23 J24 J61
    Date: 2010–08–01
  3. By: Fredrik Andersson; Monica Garcia-Perez; John Haltiwanger; Kristin McCue; Seth Sanders
    Abstract: To what extent do immigrants and the native-born work in separate workplaces? Do worker and firm characteristics explain the degree of workplace concentration? We explore these questions using a matched employer-employee database that extensively covers employers in selected MSAs. We find that immigrants are much more likely to have immigrant coworkers than are natives, and are particularly likely to work with their compatriots. We find much higher levels of concentration for small businesses than for large ones, that concentration varies substantially across industries, and that concentration is particularly high among immigrants with limited English skills. We also find evidence that neighborhood job networks are strongly positively associated with concentration. The effects of networks and language remain strong when type is defined by country of origin rather than simply immigrant status. The importance of these factors varies by immigrant country of origin—for example, not speaking English well has a particularly strong association with concentration for immigrants from Asian countries. Controlling for differences across MSAs, we find that observable employer and employee characteristics account for almost half of the difference between immigrants and natives in the likelihood of having immigrant coworkers, with differences in industry, residential segregation and English speaking skills being the most important factors.
    Keywords: concentration, segregation, immigrant workers, social networks
    Date: 2010–11
  4. By: Gil S. Epstein (Bar Ilan University, IZA, CReAM and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano); Ira N. Gang (Rutgers University, IZA and CReAM)
    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.
    Date: 2010–11–30
  5. By: Francesco D’Amuri (Bank of Italy and ISER, University of Essex); Giovanni Peri (University of California, Davis, NBER and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the effect of immigrants on natives’ job specialization in Western Europe. We test whether the inflow of immigrants changes employment rates or the chosen occupation of natives with similar education and age. We find no evidence of the first and strong evidence of the second: immigrants take more manual-routine type of occupations and push natives towards more abstract complex jobs, for a given set of observable skills. We also find some evidence that this oc-cupation reallocation is larger in countries with more flexible labor laws. As abstract-complex tasks pay a premium over manual-routine ones, we can evaluate the positive effect of such reallocation on the wages of native workers. Accounting for the total change in Complex/Non Complex task supply from natives and immigrants we find that immigration does not change much the relative compen-sation of the two types of tasks but it promotes the specialization of natives into the first type.
    Keywords: immigration, task specialization, European labor markets
    JEL: J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2010–11–30
  6. By: Solé, Meritxell (CREB, Barcelona); Diaz-Serrano, Luis (Universitat Rovira i Virgili); Rodriguez Martinez, Marisol (University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of working and contractual conditions, particularly exposure to job risks, on the probability of acquiring a disability. We postulate a model in which this impact is mediated by the choice of occupation, with a level of risk associated to it. We assume this choice is endogenous, and that it depends on preferences and opportunities in the labour market, both of which may differ between immigrants and natives. To test this hypothesis we use data from the Continuous Sample of Working Lives of the Spanish SS system. It contains individual, job and firm information of over a million workers, including a representative sample of immigrants. We find that risk exposure increases the probability of permanent disability by 5.3%; temporary employment also influences health. Migrant status – with differences among regions of origin – significantly affects both disability and the probability of being employed in a risky occupation. Most groups of immigrants work in riskier jobs, but have lower probability of becoming disabled. Nevertheless, our theoretical hypothesis that disability and risk are jointly determined is not valid for immigrants: i.e. for them working conditions is not a matter of choice in terms of health.
    Keywords: disability, working conditions, immigration, Spain, MCVL
    JEL: J28 J61 J81
    Date: 2010–11
  7. By: Gil S. Epstein (Bar Ilan University, IZA and CReAM); Ira N. Gang (Rutgers University, IZA and CReAM)
    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 in-vested 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.
    Date: 2010–07–31
  8. By: Gil S. Epstein (Bar Ilan University, IZA and CReAM); Yosef Mealem (Netanya Academic College, 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 or-der 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: 2010–07–31
  9. By: Giovanni Facchini (Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Milan, Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano, CEPR and CES-Ifo); Max Steinhardt (Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI), Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano and ECARES)
    Abstract: Immigration is today one of the most hotly debated policy issues in the United States. Despite marked divergence of opinion even within political parties, several important reforms have been in-troduced in the post 1965 era. The purpose of this paper is to carry out a systematic analysis of the drivers of the voting behavior of US representatives on immigration policy in the period 1970-2006, and in particular to assess the role of economic factors at the district level. Our findings suggest that representatives from more skilled labor abundant districts are more likely to support an open immi-gration policy towards the unskilled, whereas the opposite is true for representatives from more un-skilled labor abundant districts. This evidence is robust to the introduction of an array of additional economic and non-economic characteristics of the districts, and suggests that a simple factor analy-sis model can go a long way in explaining the voting behavior on immigration policy.
    Keywords: Immigration policy, Voting, Political Economy
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2010–07–31
  10. By: Gibson, John; McKenzie, David
    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. This paper studies the development impacts of a recently introduced seasonal worker program that has been deemed to be"best practice."New Zealand's Recognized Seasonal Employer 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 measurement of 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, the authors find that the Recognized Seasonal Employer program has indeed had largely positive development impacts. It has increased income and consumption of households, allowed households to purchase more durable goods, increased the 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: Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Housing&Human Habitats,Population Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Anthropology
    Date: 2010–11–01
  11. By: James Banks; Richard Blundell; Zoe Oldfield; James P. Smith
    Abstract: This paper examines geographic mobility and housing downsizing at older ages in Britain and America. Americans downsize housing much more than the British largely because Americans are much more mobile. The principal reasons for greater mobility among older Americans are two fold: (1) greater spatial distribution of geographic distribution of amenities (such as warm weather) and housing costs and (2) greater institutional rigidities in subsidized British rental housing providing stronger incentives for British renters not to move. This relatively flat British housing consumption with age may have significant implications for the form and amount of consumption smoothing at older ages.
    Date: 2010–09
  12. By: Michel Beine (CREA, University of Luxembourg and CES-Ifo); Elisabetta Lodigiani (CREA, University of Luxembourg and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano); Robert Vermuelen (CREA, University of Luxembourg and Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Remittances have greatly increased during recent years, becoming an important and reliable source of funds for many developing countries. Therefore, there is a strong incentive for receiving countries to attract more remittances, especially through formal channels that turn to be either less expensive or less risky. One way of doing so is to increase their financial openness, but this policy option might generate additional costs in terms of macroeconomic volatility. In this paper we investigate the link between remittance receipts and financial openness. We develop a small model and statistically test for the existence of such a relationship with a sample of 66 mostly developing countries from 1980-2005. Empirically we use a dynamic generalized ordered logit model to deal with the categorical nature of the financial openness policy. We apply a two-step method akin to two stage least squares to deal with the endogeneity of remittances and potential measurement errors. We find a strong positive statistical and economic effect of remittances on financial openness.
    Keywords: remittances, nancial openness, government policy
    JEL: E60 F24 F41 O10
    Date: 2010–11–30
  13. By: Marios Zachariadis
    Abstract: This paper considers the relation between immigration and prices for a large number of cities across the world over the period from 1990 to 2006. Aggregate immigration ratios are shown to have a negative impact on international relative prices. The evidence is consistent with demand-side and supply-side considerations both being relevant for the price-reducing effect of immigration, with the latter offering a more likely explanation at annual frequencies during this period. Our findings regarding the inverse relation of immigration and prices and the channels via which this operates across international cities, are broadly consistent wih Lach (2007) and Cortes (2008) who investigate the same relation within Israel and for the US respectively.
    Keywords: Immigration, prices, inflation, international price differences
    Date: 2010–02

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