nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2011‒01‒16
sixteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Does age-at-migration in childhood affect migrant socioeconomic achievements in adulthood? By Yaqub, Shahin
  2. Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution By Dahlberg, Matz; Edmark, Karin; Lundqvist, Heléne
  3. Tax Competition and Migration: The Race-to-the-Bottom Hypothesis Revisited By Assaf Razin; Efraim Sadka
  4. Negative equity does not reduce homeowners' mobility By Sam Schulhofer-Wohl
  5. Assessing the evidence on neighborhood effects from moving to opportunity By Dionissi Aliprantis
  6. Immigrant Earnings Growth: Selection Bias or Real Progress? By Picot, Garnett; Piraino, Patrizio
  7. Emigration and democracy By Frédéric Docquier; Elisabetta Lodigiani; Hillel Rapoport; Maurice Schiff
  8. The Wage Effects of Immigration and Emigration By Frédéric Docquier; Çaǧlar Özden; Giovanni Peri
  9. Labour market performance of immigrants in smaller regions of western countries: some evidence from Atlantic Canada By Akbari, Ather H.
  10. The Effects of Taxation on Migration: Some Evidence for the ASEAN and APEC Economies By Edda Claus; Iris Claus; Michael Dörsam
  11. Interstate migration has fallen less than you think: consequences of hot deck imputation in the Current Population Survey By Greg Kaplan; Sam Schulhofer-Wohl
  12. Can China's rural elderly count on support from adult children ? implications of rural-to-urban migration By Giles, John; Wang, Dewen; Zhao, Changbao
  13. European Integration and Labour Migration By d'Artis Kancs; Julia Kielyte
  14. Employment and wages of immigrants in Portugal By Sónia Cabral; Cláudia Duarte
  15. Forecasting migrant remittances during the global financial crisis By Mohapatra, Sanket; Ratha, Dilip
  16. Contribución de las remesas a los ingresos públicos en México By Lozano-Ascencio, Fernando; Huesca, Luis; Valdivia, Marcos

  1. By: Yaqub, Shahin
    Abstract: Migrant populations consist of individuals who migrated at different stages in the development of their human capabilities. Age-at-migration refers to the age at which an individual migrates. This paper reviews some theoretical arguments and empirical evidence on whether a child’s age-at-migration alters the impact of migration on income, employment and other socioeconomic indicators in the adult phase of the child’s life. Most research looks at the contemporaneous impact of migration on children, whereas this paper considers the longitudinal impact of childhood migration on well-being throughout life. Age-at-migration might affect human capital and economic productivity, integration at destinations, and attachments to origins. Studies show that children migrating at older ages ultimately achieve less total education (origin education plus destination education), weaker destination-language acquisition and lower earnings than those arriving as younger children; but they have higher adult earnings compared to those arriving as adults. There appears to be little difference between those arriving before age 5 years and those born at destination, which is surprising given considerable literature on the human development significance of early child ages (although this could be due to the limited availability of relevant empirical literature). Variations in the effects of age-at-migration are noted across migrant populations in different destination societies, which underline the possibility of public policy to influence such human development mechanisms.
    Keywords: International migration; Migrant earnings and their distributions; Child migration; Human development; Lifecourse methods
    JEL: F22 J13 D31 J61
    Date: 2010–12
  2. By: Dahlberg, Matz (Department of Economics); Edmark, Karin (IFN); Lundqvist, Heléne (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In recent decades, the immigration of workers and refugees to Europe has increased substantially, and the composition of the population in many countries has consequently become much more heterogeneous in terms of ethnic background. If people exhibit in-group bias in the sense of being more altruistic to one's own kind, such increased heterogeneity will lead to reduced support for redistribution among natives. This paper exploits a nationwide program placing refugees in municipalities throughout Sweden during the period 1985-94 to isolate exogenous variation in immigrant shares. We match data on refugee placement to panel survey data on inhabitants of the receiving municipalities to estimate the causal effects of increased immigrant shares on preferences for redistribution. The results show that a larger immigrant population leads to less support for redistribution in the form of preferred social benefit levels. This reduction in support is especially pronounced for respondents with high income and wealth. We also establish that OLS estimators that do not properly deal with endogeneity problems - as in earlier studies - are likely to yield positively biased (i.e., less negative) effects of ethnic heterogeneity on preferences for redistribution.
    Keywords: Income redistribution; ethnic heterogeneity; immigration
    JEL: D31 D64 Z13
    Date: 2011–01–03
  3. By: Assaf Razin; Efraim Sadka
    Abstract: The literature on tax competition with free capital mobility cites several reasons for the race-to-the-bottom hypothesis in the sense that tax competition may yield significantly lower tax rates than tax coordination. With a fixed (exogenously given) population that can move from one fiscal jurisdiction to another, the Tiebout paradigm suggests that tax competition among these jurisdictions yields an efficient outcome, so that there are no gains from tax coordination. The Tiebout paradigm considers the allocation of a given population among competing localities. Our model of international tax-transfer and migration competition among host countries deviates from the Tiebout paradigm in that the total population in the host countries and its skill distribution are endogenously determined through migration of various skills. As a result, competition needs not be efficient. This paper suggests that when a group of host countries faces an upward supply of immigrants, tax competition does not indeed lead to a race to the bottom; competition may lead to higher taxes than coordination.
    JEL: F2 H2
    Date: 2011–01
  4. By: Sam Schulhofer-Wohl
    Abstract: Some commentators have argued that the housing crisis may harm labor markets because homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth are less likely to move to places that have productive job opportunities. I show that, in the available data, negative equity does not make homeowners less mobile. In fact, homeowners who have negative equity are slightly more likely to move than homeowners who have positive equity. Ferreira, Gyourko, and Tracy's (2010) contrasting result that negative equity reduces mobility arises because they systematically drop some negative-equity homeowners' moves from the data.> some negative-equity homeowners' moves from the data.
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Dionissi Aliprantis
    Abstract: The interpretation of estimates from Moving to Opportunity (MTO) as neighborhood effects has created significant controversy among social scientists. This paper presents a framework that clarifies the interpretation of results from the MTO housing mobility experiment. The paper defines several neighborhood treatments and estimates their Local Average Treatment Effects (LATEs) using assigned treatment in MTO as an instrumental variable. This framework clarifies that while parameters estimated in the literature do not suffer from selection bias, selection into treatment is an inescapable issue if one seeks to learn about neighborhood effects from MTO. The LATE parameters estimated in this paper are neighborhood effects for the subgroup of MTO families who are compliers with respect to the defined treatment. In contrast, the Treatment-on-the-Treated (TOT) parameters reported in the literature are program effects. Since the subgroup of compliers for various neighborhood treatments can be considerably smaller than the subgroup induced to move by MTO, preliminary estimates indicate that LATE neighborhood effects tend to be much larger than the TOT program effects from MTO. This re-interpretation of the MTO data suggests two important conclusions related to the current understanding of neighborhood effects and programs. First, if alternative housing mobility programs were designed to induce moves to neighborhoods with characteristics other than low poverty, it is entirely feasible that such programs might induce larger effects than MTO. Second, initial LATE estimates appear to reconcile the evidence from MTO with prevailing theories of neighborhood effects.
    Keywords: Poverty ; Housing policy
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Picot, Garnett; Piraino, Patrizio
    Abstract: We use longitudinal tax data linked to immigrant landing records to estimate the earnings growth of immigrants from three entering cohorts since the early 1980s. Selective attrition by low-earning immigrants might result in lower earnings growth with years since migration in longitudinal data compared to repeated cross-sections. Existing studies on U.S. data have found exactly this result (Lubotsky 2007, JPE). We ask whether a similar bias is observed in the Canadian data and find that it is not. We show that while low-earnings immigrants are more likely to leave the cross-sectional samples over time, the same is true for the Canadian born population. We conclude that there is no evidence of selective labour force participation patterns among immigrants in Canada compared to the native born population.
    Keywords: Immigration, assimilation, longitudinal data, selection bias
    JEL: J31 J61
    Date: 2010–12–28
  7. By: Frédéric Docquier (FNRS and IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain); Elisabetta Lodigiani (CREA, Université du Luxembourg; and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano); Hillel Rapoport (CID, Harvard University; Bar-Ilan University; and EQUIPPE); Maurice Schiff (World Bank, Development Economics Research Group)
    Abstract: Migration is an important and yet neglected determinant of institutions. The paper documents the channels through which emigration affects home country institutions and considers dynamic-panel regressions for a large sample of developing countries. We find tat emigration and human capital both increase democracy and economic freedom. This implies that unskilled (skilled) emigration has a positive (ambiguous) impact on institutional quality. Simulations show an impact of skilled emigration that is generally positive, significant for a few countries in the short run and for many countries in the long run once incentive effects of emigration on human capital formation are accounted for.
    Keywords: Migration, institutions, democracy, diaspora effects, brain drain.
    JEL: O1 F22
    Date: 2011–01
  8. By: Frédéric Docquier; Çaǧlar Özden; Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: In this paper, we simulate the long-run effects of migrant flows on wages of high-skilled and low-skilled non-migrants in a set of countries using an aggregate model of national economies. New in this literature we calculate the wage effect of emigration as well as immigration. We focus on Europe and compare the outcomes for large Western European countries with those of other key destination countries both in the OECD and outside the OECD. Our analysis builds on an improved database of bilateral stocks and net migration flows of immigrants and emigrants by education level for the years 1990 through 2000. We find that all European countries experienced a decrease in their average wages and a worsening of their wage inequality because of emigration. Whereas, contrary to the popular belief, immigration had nearly equal but opposite effects: positive on average wages and reducing wage inequality of non-movers. These patterns hold true using a range of parameters for our simulations, accounting for the estimates of undocumented immigrants, and correcting for the quality of schooling and/or labor-market downgrading of skills. In terms of wage outcomes, it follows that prevalent public fears in European countries are misplaced; immigration has had a positive average wage effect on native workers. Some concerns should be focused on the wage effect of emigration, instead.
    JEL: F22 J31 J61
    Date: 2010–12
  9. By: Akbari, Ather H.
    Abstract: Despite recent interest in regionalization of immigration in host nations, most studies have analyzed immigrants’ economic performance by largely focusing on their overall national performance. A regional analysis is necessary because changing geographic distribution of immigrants can affect their economic performance positively or negatively. Present paper focuses on Atlantic Canada whose share in annual Canadian immigrant inflows has been traditionally low, but where recent policy initiatives have resulted in greater attraction and retention of immigrants. Immigrants are found performing better than non-immigrants in regional labour market. The importance of regional analysis of immigrants’ economic performance and contribution in host nations is highlighted.
    Keywords: Immigrant attraction and retention; regionalization of immigration; immigration policy
    JEL: R1 J61 J18 J11
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Edda Claus (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, and IIIS); Iris Claus (Inland Revenue and Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis); Michael Dörsam (Universität Mainz)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of taxation on migration. It develops a stylized, two country model to examine the impact of taxation on labor mobility. The theoretical prediction that taxation affects migration decisions is supported by some empirical evidence for the ASEAN and APEC economies. Average tax rates are found to have a larger impact on migration choices than marginal rates. Moreover, the results suggest that educated migrants are more responsive to taxation than migrants with no education. Average tax rates are most important for migrants with secondary education, while marginal rates have a greater influence on the decisions of migrants with tertiary education than secondary educated migrants. The finding that taxation affects migration decisions, in particular of educated migrants, has important policy implications.
    Keywords: International migration, taxation
    JEL: F22 H24 H31
    Date: 2010–12
  11. By: Greg Kaplan; Sam Schulhofer-Wohl
    Abstract: We show that the significant drop in the annual interstate migration rate between the 2005 and 2006 Current Population Surveys is a statistical artifact. The Census Bureau’s imputation procedure for dealing with missing data before the 2006 survey year inflated the estimated interstate migration rate. An undocumented change in the procedure corrected the problem for the 2006 and later surveys, thus reducing the estimated migration rate. The change in imputation procedures explains 90 percent of the reported decrease in interstate migration between 2005 and 2006, and 42 percent of the decrease between 2000 (the recent high-water mark) and 2010. After we remove the effect of the change in procedures, we find that the annual interstate migration rate follows a smooth downward trend from 1996 to 2010. The 2007–2009 recession is not associated with any additional decrease in interstate migration relative to trend.
    Date: 2010
  12. By: Giles, John; Wang, Dewen; Zhao, Changbao
    Abstract: This paper shows that support from the family continues to be an important source of support for the rural elderly, particularly the rural elderly over 70 years of age. Decline in likelihood of co-residence with, or in close proximity to, adult children raises the possibility that China's rural elderly will receive less support in the forms of both income and in-kind instrumental care. Although descriptive evidence on net financial transfers suggests that the elderly with migrant children will receive similar levels of financial transfers as those without migrant children, the predicted variance associated with these transfers implies a higher risk that elderly with migrant children may fall into poverty. Reducing the risk of low incomes among the elderly is one important motive for new rural pension initiatives supported by China's government, which are scheduled to be expanded to cover all rural counties by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan in 2016.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Population Policies,Services&Transfers to Poor,Regional Economic Development,Labor Policies
    Date: 2010–12–01
  13. By: d'Artis Kancs; Julia Kielyte
    Abstract: The present paper studies how European integration might affect the migration of workers in the enlarged EU. Unlike the reduced-form migration models, we base our empirical analysis on the theory of economic geography à la Krugman (1991), which provides an alternative modelling of migration pull and push factors. Parameters of the theoretical model are estimated econometrically using historical migration data. Our empirical findings suggest that European integration would trigger selective migration between the countries in the enlarged EU. In the Baltics, Lithuania would gain about 7.25% of the total work force. In the Visegrád Four, the share of the mobile labour force would increase the most in Hungary, 8.35%, compared to the pre-integration state. Our predictions for the East-West migration are moderate and lower than those of reduced-form models: between 5.44% (from the Baltics) and 3.61% (from the Visegrád Four) would emigrate to the EU North. Because migrants not only follow market potential, but also shape the region’s market potential, the long-run agglomeration forces are sufficiently weak to make a swift emergence of a core-periphery pattern in the enlarged EU very unlikely.
    Keywords: New economic geography; Market potential; Labour migration; Economic integration.
    JEL: F12 L11 R12 R23
    Date: 2010–07–27
  14. By: Sónia Cabral; Cláudia Duarte
    Abstract: Using matched employer-employee data, we examine the main characteristics of immigrants in the Portuguese labour market in the 2002-2008 period. We find substantial differences in labour market outcomes between native and immigrant workers and among different nationality groups, in terms of age, gender, tenure, worker flows, geographical and sectoral concentration, and education levels. As in other countries, the wages of immigrants in Portugal are lower than the wages of natives, though growing at a higher pace in the period analysed. Moreover, downward wage rigidity appears to be slightly higher for immigrants than for natives.
    JEL: F22 J31 J61
    Date: 2010
  15. By: Mohapatra, Sanket; Ratha, Dilip
    Abstract: The financial crisis has highlighted the need for forecasts of remittance flows in many developing countries where these flows have proved to be a lifeline to the poor people and the economy. This note describes a simple methodology for forecasting country-level remittance flows in a manner consistent with the medium-term outlook for the global economy. Remittances are assumed to depend on bilateral migration stocks and income levels in the host country and the origin country. Changes in remittance costs, shifts in remittance channels, global exchange rate movements, and unpredictable immigration controls in the migrant-destination countries pose risks to the forecasts. Much remains to be done to improve the forecast methodology, data on bilateral flows, and high-frequency monitoring of migration and remittance flows.
    Keywords: Remittances,Debt Markets,Currencies and Exchange Rates,Agriculture&Farming Systems,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2010–12–01
  16. By: Lozano-Ascencio, Fernando; Huesca, Luis; Valdivia, Marcos
    Abstract: it is understood that Mexican migrants working in the United States pay taxes in the local Mexican economy via the purchases made with family remittances, but specialized studies on migration and development have largely ignored the contribution of remittances to the country's public coffers. Based on the hypothesis that a significant part of the contribution to public revenues comes from indirect taxes, this section estimates remittances’ contribution to Mexican public income by quantifying how much VAT income was collected as a result of remittances that were sent from the United States. We aim to respond to the following questions: How much Value Added Tax was collected from purchases made with remittance money and how has this contribution changed between 2006 and 2008? How important is this contribution when compared with other sources of public revenue such as petroleum exports or income tax? What is fiscal charge of Mexican households that receive remittances when compared with those that do not? Do poor families that receive remittances pay more in taxes than poor families that do not receive remittances? Is public spending received by households with remittances socially fair?
    Keywords: migración internacional; remesas; política fiscal; desarrollo; México
    JEL: H22 D63 D12
    Date: 2010–03–01

This nep-mig issue is ©2011 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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