nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2010‒12‒18
eleven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The determinants of the migration decisions of immigrant and non-immigrant physicians in Canada By James Ted McDonald; Christopher Worswick
  2. International Migrants in Developed, Emerging and Developing Countries: An Extended Profile By Jean-Christophe Dumont; Gilles Spielvogel; Sarah Widmaier
  3. Immigrant Over- and Under-education: The Role of Home Country Labour Market Experience By matloob Piracha; Massimiliano Tani; Florin Vadean
  4. “Give me your Tired, your Poor,” so I can Prosper: Immigration in Search Equilibrium By Andri Chassamboulli; Theodore Palivos
  5. The impact of illegal immigration on U.S. economy By Maha, Sorin-Stefan; Maha, Liviu-George
  6. Optimal immigration policy when the public good is rival. By Stefano Bosi; Eleni Iliopulos; Hubert Jayet
  7. From immigrants to (non-)citizens: Political economy of naturalizations in Latvia By Artjoms Ivlevs; Roswitha M. King
  8. Myanmar migrant laborers in Ranong, Thailand By Fujita, Koichi; Endo, Tamaki; Okamoto, Ikuko; Nakanishi, Yoshihiro; Yamada, Miwa
  9. From Rags to Riches: How Robust is the Influence of Culture on Entrepreneurial Activity? By Christian Busch; Andrea Lassmann
  10. Sustainable Migration Policies By Pierre M. Picard,; Tim Worrall
  11. The Minimum Wage and Latino Workers By Orrenius, Pia M.; Zavodny, Madeline

  1. By: James Ted McDonald; Christopher Worswick
    Abstract: In this paper, we use data from the confidential master files of the Canadian Census over the years 1991-2006 to study the geographic mobility of immigrant and non-immigrant physicians who are already resident in Canada. We consider both inter- and intra- provincial migration, with a particular focus on migration to and from rural areas of Canada. We exploit the fact that it is possible to link individuals within families in the Census files in order to investigate the impact on the migration decision of the characteristics of a married physician’s spouse. Our results indicate that the magnitude of outflows is substantial and that the retention of immigrant physicians in rural areas and in some provinces will continue to be difficult. We find strong evidence that migration is a family decision, and spousal characteristics (education, age, years in Canada for immigrants) are important. As well, we find that large Canadian cities (mainly in Ontario) are the likely destination for the types of immigrant physicians typically able to be recruited to other areas, implying recruitment efforts of smaller provinces may have significant implications for the size of health care costs in larger provinces.
    Keywords: physicians, immigrants, internal migration, family migration
    JEL: I18 J12 J61
    Date: 2010–12
  2. By: Jean-Christophe Dumont; Gilles Spielvogel; Sarah Widmaier
    Abstract: Increasing international mobility makes international comparable data even more important, to depict global migration patterns and its characteristics, not only in receiving countries but also in origin countries. This paper provides a detailed picture of immigrant and emigrant populations around the year 2000 based on the new global bilateral migration database DIOC-E. DIOC-E gives the opportunity to investigate various aspects of South-South migration and to make reliable comparisons with South-North migration. In particular, emigration rates for different skill levels can be computed, including many key destination countries outside the OECD area, based on more accurate education data in origin countries. This refines and challenges previous conclusions regarding the relative importance of migration in different regions of the world, main characteristics of emigrants, and sheds light on such key issues as the gender dimension of international migration and the selectivity of migration flows. DIOC-E (release 2.0) covers 89 destination countries, of which 61 are outside the OECD area. It includes information on 110 million migrants aged 15 and over by skill level, age, gender and labour market outcomes, which represents around 72% of the estimated number of international migrants worldwide. In total there are 46.8 million low-skilled migrants (43.6%), 37.5 million migrants with intermediate skill level (35%) and 23 million highly skilled migrants (21.5%). Although low-skilled migration still dominates in absolute terms both to the OECD and to non-OECD countries, emigration rates for highly skilled persons exceed total emigration rates in all regions, which reflect the selective nature of migration. The econometric analyses of bilateral determinants of migration of the high-skilled distinguish South-North and South-South migration. Regarding migration to OECD countries, the relationship between the emigration rate of the highly skilled and the income level of origin countries follows an inverted U-shape relationship. But this is not the case for migration to non-OECD countries. Both total and high-skilled emigration rates to non-OECD countries steadily increase as the level of income of the origin countries decreases.<BR>La croissance de la mobilité internationale souligne l’importance de données internationales comparables pour décrire la migration mondiale et ses caractéristiques, non seulement dans les pays de destination mais aussi dans les pays d’origine. Ce document donne une image détaillée des populations émigrée et immigrée dans les années 2000 à partir de la nouvelle base de données bilatérale mondiale DIOC-E. DIOC-E offre la possibilité d’étudier différents aspects de la migration sud-sud et de réaliser des comparaisons fiables avec la migration sud-nord. En particulier, des données fiables dans les pays d’origine permettent de calculer des taux d’expatriation par niveaux d’éducation en incluant les grands pays de destination hors de la zone OCDE. Cela remet en question des conclusions établies précédemment sur l’importance relative de la migration dans différentes régions du monde, affine les caractéristiques principales des émigrés et donne un éclairage sur des questions clés comme la dimension « genre » de la migration internationale et la sélectivité des mouvements migratoires. DIOC-E (release 2.0) contient des données pour 89 pays de destination, dont 61 sont en dehors de la zone OCDE. La base de données contient des informations par niveaux d’éducation, âge, genre et des résultats sur le marché du travail pour 110 millions de migrants âgés de 15 ans et plus, soit environ 72% de l’estimation mondiale des migrants internationaux. Au total, 46.8 millions de migrants (43.6%) sont faiblement qualifiés, 37.5 millions (35%) ont un niveau d’éducation intermédiaire et 23 millions (21.5%) sont hautement qualifiés. Bien que la migration faiblement qualifiée prédomine en termes absolus, tant vers les pays de l’OCDE que vers les pays non-OCDE, les taux d’expatriation des migrants hautement qualifiés dépassent les taux d’expatriation globaux dans toutes les régions, reflétant ainsi la sélectivité de la migration. Les analyses économétriques des déterminants bilatéraux de la migration des personnes hautement qualifiées distinguent la migration sud-nord des migrations sud-sud. En ce qui concerne la migration vers les pays de l’OCDE, la relation entre le taux d’expatriation des personnes hautement qualifiées et le niveau de revenus des pays d’origine suit une courbe en U inversée. Cela n’est pas le cas pour la migration vers les pays non-OCDE. Les taux d’expatriation globaux ainsi que ceux des personnes hautement qualifiées vers les pays non-OCDE augmentent lorsque le niveau de revenu des pays d’origine diminue.
    Keywords: education, development, skills, immigrants, international migration, database, DIOC-E, DIOC, migrant stocks, emigration rates, emigrants, développement, éducation, migration internationale, base de données, DIOC-E, DIOC, stock de migrants, taux d’expatriation, qualification, immigrés, émigrés
    JEL: F22 I23 J24 J61 O15
    Date: 2010–12–09
  3. By: matloob Piracha (University of Kent and IZA); Massimiliano Tani (Macquarie University and IZA); Florin Vadean (Faculty of Economics, University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    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: immigration, education-occupation mismatch, sample selection
    JEL: C34 J24 J61
    Date: 2010–12–09
  4. By: Andri Chassamboulli; Theodore Palivos
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of immigration on the host country within a search and matching model that allows for skill heterogeneity, endogenous skill acquisition, differential search cost between immigrants and natives, capital-skill complementarity and different degree of substitutability between unskilled natives and immigrants. Within such a framework, we find that although immigration raises the overall welfare, it may have distributional effects. Specifically, skilled workers gain in terms of both employment and wages. Unskilled workers, on the other hand, gain in terms of employment but may lose in terms of wages. Nevertheless, in one version of the model, where unskilled workers and immigrants are imperfect substitutes, we find that even the unskilled wage may rise. These results accommodate conflicting empirical findings.
    Keywords: Search, Unemployment, Immigration, Skill-heterogeneity
    Date: 2010–12
  5. By: Maha, Sorin-Stefan; Maha, Liviu-George
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of the illegal immigration on the U.S. economy in a context where the immigration phenomenon in this country is one of scale, taking into account its effects on the labor market, on consumption, budget equilibrium and American business. Nation founded by immigrants, the U.S. is facing the problem of immigrants, who are spread throughout the country. There are different opinions about the high number of immigrants on U.S. soil, immigration being considered beneficial to the economy by some and as a disadvantage by others. The paper tries to see how the American society, with a mentality characterized by private initiative law, free markets, entrepreneurship, nondiscrimination and especially freedom of expression of each individual, is facing the waves of immigrants that arrived over time on the “Promised land”.
    Keywords: immigration, globalization, economic integration, fiscal policy, social security, education, health system, labour market
    JEL: F22 E21 F24
    Date: 2010–12–03
  6. By: Stefano Bosi (THEMA - Université de Cergy); Eleni Iliopulos (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics); Hubert Jayet (EQUIPPE - Université de Lille 1)
    Abstract: In this model, we characterize optimal immigration and fiscal policies in presence of a rival public good and heterogeneous discounting. Surprisingly, even if the government is benevolent towards natives only, it is optimal to keep borders open. Indeed, in the long run, patient natives hold the whole stock of capital, while impatient immigrants work. Moreover, since capital intensity is stationary, capital per native, consumption and the public good increase with the number of (immigrant) workers. This positive effect offsets the disutility deriving from the congestion of the public good. Howevern when we account for the costs associated to cultural heterogeneity, we find that it is optimal to regulate immigration inflows. We also interpret the long-run sensitivity of the optimal policy mix with respect to the fundamentals.
    Keywords: Heterogenous discounting, public good, immigration policy, cycles.
    JEL: D91 E32 H41 J61
    Date: 2010–11
  7. By: Artjoms Ivlevs (Department of Economics, University of the West of England); Roswitha M. King (Østfold University College and University of Latvia)
    Abstract: Latvia enjoys the dubious distinction of having the highest population share of ethnic minorities and foreign-born residents in the European Union. In addition there exists a peculiar Latvian “institution”, a category of resident known as “non-citizen”, originating from the Soviet era migration flows. This “non-citizen” status has a number of serious disadvantages relative to citizen status. It is, therefore, of interest why a significant number of “non-citizen” opt to keep this status, although they have the opportunity to obtain full citizenship, and why others choose to become citizen. Using data from a representative 2007 survey of 624 former and current non-citizens in a multinomial probit model reveals characteristics of those who want to remain non-citizen, and of those who have obtained citizen status, are in the process of obtaining it or plan to do so in the future. Proficiency level of the state language (Latvian) is the single most significant correlate of the willingness to obtain citizenship. Significant influence also accrues to age, gender, education, emigration intentions and municipality level factors – the unemployment rate and the share of non-citizens
    Keywords: Immigrants, non-citizens, naturalization, integration, Latvia, political economy.
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2010–12
  8. By: Fujita, Koichi; Endo, Tamaki; Okamoto, Ikuko; Nakanishi, Yoshihiro; Yamada, Miwa
    Abstract: Thailand is the major destination for migrants in mainland Southeast Asia, and Myanmar (Burmese) migrants account for the dominant share. This paper sheds light on the actual working conditions and the life of Myanmar migrants in Thailand, based on our intensive survey in Ranong in southern Thailand in 2009. We found a wide range of serious problems that Myanmar migrants face in everyday life: very harsh working conditions, low income, heavy indebtedness, risk of being human-trafficking victims, harassment by the police and military (especially of sex workers), high risk of illness including malaria and HIV/AIDS and limited access to affordable medical facilities, and a poor educational environment for their children.
    Keywords: Myanmar, Thailand, Migrant labor, Migration, Household
    JEL: E24 E26 J61 R23 E22
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Christian Busch (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Andrea Lassmann (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: Entrepreneurial activity differs substantially across countries. While cultural differences across countries have often been proposed as an explanation, measuring a country's cultural characteristics suffers from various problems. This paper offers new evidence on the relative importance of cultural and institutional determinants of economic activity. In order to test the hypothesis that cultural factors influence entrepreneurial behavior, we observe differences in self-employment rates between immigrant groups within the same market. This approach allows holding constant the institutional environment. Using U.S. Census data for the year 2000, we find significant differences in the propensity to become self-employed across immigrants from 148 countries which is in line with previous findings. However, previous studies could not relate self-employment rates in the U.S. to self-employment shares in the immigrants' home-countries, contradicting a cultural explanation. We improve over the existing literature by additionally accounting for determinants of self-employment in the immigrants' home countries. We find evidence of a significantly positive relationship between self-employment rates of U.S. immigrants and entrepreneurial activity in their respective countries of origin that is robust to the inclusion of further variables, including institutions. We also find, however, a significant influence of home-country institutions on differences in immigrant activities. Our findings suggest that cultural factors (measured as behavioral persistence) are to some degree an expression of the behavior acquired under different institutional environments.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, culture, immigrants
    JEL: J21 J61 L26
    Date: 2010–11
  10. By: Pierre M. Picard, (University of Luxembourg); Tim Worrall (University of Manchester)
    Abstract: This paper considers whether countries might mutually agree a policy of allowing free movement of workers. For the countries to agree, the short run costs must outweighed by the long term benefits that result from better labor market flexibility and income smoothing. We show that such policies are less likely to be adopted for less risk averse workers and for countries that trade more. More surprisingly we find that some congestion costs can help. This reverses the conventional wisdom that congestion costs tend to inhibit free migration policies.
    Keywords: Migration, Self-enforcing Mechanism, Repeated Games
    JEL: F22 J61 R23
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Orrenius, Pia M. (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas); Zavodny, Madeline (Agnes Scott College)
    Abstract: Latinos comprise a large and growing share of the low-skilled labor force in the U.S. and may be disproportionately affected by minimum wage laws as a result. We compare the effects of minimum wage laws on employment and earnings among Hispanic immigrants and natives compared with non-Hispanic whites and blacks. We focus on adults who have not finished high school and on teenagers, groups likely to earn low wages. Conventional economic theory predicts that higher minimum wages lead to higher hourly earnings among people who are employed but lower employment rates. Data from the Current Population Survey during the period 1994-2007 indicate that there is a significant disemployment effect of higher minimum wages on Latino teenagers, although it is smaller for foreign- than native-born Latinos. Adult Latino immigrants’ earnings are less affected by minimum wage laws than other low-education natives, and their employment rates appear to increase when the minimum wage rises. We investigate whether skill levels and undocumented status help explain these findings.
    Keywords: Latinos, Hispanics, minimum wage, low-skilled, immigrants
    JEL: J23 J38 J15
    Date: 2010–11

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