nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2011‒03‒05
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. For whose sake do couples relocate? Gender, career opportunities and couples’ internal migration in Sweden By Brandén, Maria; Ström, Sara
  2. Critical periods during childhood and adolescence: a study of adult height among immigrant siblings By van den Berg, Gerard J.; Lundborg, Petter; Nystedt, Paul; Rooth, Dan-Olof
  3. The Relationship between Location Choice and Earnings Inequality By Peter McHenry
  4. Leaving home and housing prices. The experience of Italian youth emancipation By Francesca Modena; Concetta Rondinelli
  5. The threat effect of participation in active labor market programs on job search behavior of migrants in Germany By Bergemann, Annette; Caliendo, Marco; van den Berg, Gerard J.; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  6. Migration and Education By Christian Dustmann; Albrecht Glitz
  7. Migration, Skills and Productivity By Michael Landesmann; Robert Stehrer; Robert Hierländer; Peter Huber; Anna Iara; Klaus Nowotny; Mary O'Mahony; Fei Peng; Catherine Robinson
  8. Determinants of International Migration to the OECD in a Three-Way Dynamic Panel Framework By I. RUYSSEN; G. EVERAERT; G. RAYP
  9. New Zealand Research on the Economic Impacts of Immigration 2005-2010: Synthesis and Research Agenda By Rob Hodgson; Jacques Poot
  10. Do Worker Remittances Reduce Output Volatility in Developing Countries? By Ralph Chami; Dalia Hakura; Peter Montiel
  11. Remittances and Institutions: Are Remittances a Curse? By Yasser Abdih; Jihad Dagher; Peter Montiel
  12. Remittances: Dutch disease or export-led growth? By Ghada Fayad

  1. By: Brandén, Maria (Department of Sociology, Stockholm University); Ström, Sara (Department of Sociology, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: The aim with this study is to examine how career possibilities in the man’s and the woman’s occupations – in the country as a whole, as well as in the region where the couple resides – affect heterosexual couples’ regional mobility. The context is Sweden –a country with a strong dual earner norm combined with a very sex segregated labor market. In the analyses we perform logistic regressions on Swedish register data, 1998–2007. We study how four dimensions of career possibilities affect couples’ geographical mobility and are interested in if their effect varies by gender. The dimensions are geographical wage differences, current career, occupational level and wage compression in occupations. In summary, our findings indicate that male and female career opportunities affect the couple in different ways when one moves beyond focusing on the level of their occupations. In particular the effect from wage compression in occupations seems to be dependent on gender, with a clear effect for men and no effect for women. Even when including measures of career opportunities within professions, there exist some non-egalitarian patterns in whose career couples adjust to. It hence seems as if couples adapt somewhat more to the man's career possibilities than the woman’s, even when we adjust for the underlying gender differences in career possi-bilities.
    Keywords: Regional mobility; internal migration; sex segregation; career; gender
    JEL: J16 R23
    Date: 2011–02–07
  2. By: van den Berg, Gerard J. (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation); Lundborg, Petter (Lund University); Nystedt, Paul (Nyköping University); Rooth, Dan-Olof (Linnaeus University Kalmar)
    Abstract: We identify the ages that constitute critical periods in children’s development towards their adult health status. For this we use data on families migrating into Sweden from countries that are poorer, with less healthy conditions. Long-run health is proxied by adult height. The relation between siblings’ ages at migration and their heights after age 18 allows us to estimate the causal effect of conditions at certain ages on adult height. Moreover, we compare siblings born outside and within Sweden. We apply fixed-effect methods to a sample of about 9,000 brothers. We effectively exploit that for siblings the migration occurs simultaneously in calendar time but at different developmental stages (ages). We find some evidence for a critical period at age 9. The effects are stronger in families migrating from poorer countries but weaker if the mother is well-educated.
    Keywords: Early-life conditions; migration; parental education; adult health; height retardation; age; fetal programming; developmental origins
    JEL: F22 I10 I12 I18 I20 I30 J10 N30
    Date: 2011–02–14
  3. By: Peter McHenry (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)
    Abstract: This paper provides new empirical evidence about how workers’ locations affect measurements of earnings inequality (and their changes over time) in the United States. Part of the inequality observed in any given U.S. sample is due to the fact that workers with different skills (and therefore earnings) are not distributed symmetrically across locations that are more and less productive (and therefore pay higher and lower wages). In particular, I estimate that a significant and rising proportion of the college wage premium is due to college graduates living in and moving toward higher-paying locations than high school graduates. Furthermore, I assess the impact of location on real wage inequality (adjusting for local costs of living). The higher wages that college graduates enjoy as a result of their location choices are mostly counterbalanced by higher costs of living. From this, I infer that college graduates choose to live in more economically productive labor markets than do workers with less education, but college graduates are not necessarily more capable of exploiting locational wage differences for their own advantage.
    Keywords: Earnings inequality, Migration, Regional labor markets
    JEL: J31 R23 J61
    Date: 2011–02–21
  4. By: Francesca Modena; Concetta Rondinelli
    Abstract: This paper provides an explanation for the postponement of the youth emancipa- tion in the Italian context mainly characterized by a sharp increase in both house and rent prices together with a stagnant disposable income over the last decade. We first assemble a unique database related to the housing and rental market value which is then matched with household characteristics. We find a significant effect of the real estate market: the probability of moving out decreases by about 0.45% and 1.18% for males and females respectively for a one-standard-deviation increase in house prices. Together with property prices, local labour markets play a prominent role in determin- ing unemployed youth decisions to postpone the transition. The youngest cohort was mainly affected by the real estate market evolution occurred in the last decade
    Keywords: coresidence, moving out, real estate market, discrete time duration model
    JEL: C41 D1 J12 R2
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Bergemann, Annette (Department of Economics, University of Mannheimn); Caliendo, Marco (DIW Berlin); van den Berg, Gerard J. (IFAU - Institute forLabour Market Policy Evaluation); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: Labor market programs may affect unemployed individuals’ behavior before they enroll. Such ex ante effects may differ according to ethnic origin. We apply a novel method that relates self-reported perceived treatment rates and job search behav­ioral outcomes, such as the reservation wage or search intensity, to each other. We compare German native workers with migrants with a Turkish origin or Central and Eastern European (including Russian) background. Job search theory is used to de­rive theoretical predictions. We examine the omnibus ex ante effect of the German ALMP system, using the novel IZA Evaluation Data Set, which includes self-reported assessments of the variables of interest as well as an unusually detailed amount of in­formation on behavior, attitudes and past outcomes. We find that the ex ante threat effect on the reservation wage and search effort varies considerably among the groups considered.
    Keywords: Immigrants; policy evaluation; reservation wage; search effort; expectations; unemploy­ment duration; program evaluation; active labor market policy.
    JEL: C21 D83 D84 J61 J64
    Date: 2011–02–07
  6. By: Christian Dustmann (CReAM, University College London); Albrecht Glitz (CReAM, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: Sjaastad (1962) viewed migration in the same way as education: as an investment in the human agent. Migration and education are decisions that are indeed intertwined in many dimensions. Education and skill acquisition play an important role at many stages of an individual’s migration. Differential returns to skills in origin- and destination country are a main driver of migration. The economic success of the immigrant in the destination country is to a large extent determined by her educational background, how transferable these skills are to the host country labour market, and how much she invests into further skills after arrival. The desire to acquire skills in the host country that have a high return in the country of origin may also be an important reason for a migration. From an intertemporal point of view, the possibility of a later migration may also affect educational decisions in the home country long before a migration is realised. In addition, the decisions of migrants regarding their own educational investment, and their expectations about future migration plans may also affect the educational attainment of their children. But migration and education are not only related for those who migrate or their descendants. Migrations of some individuals may have consequences for educational decisions of those who do not migrate, both in the home and in the host country. By easing credit constraints through remittances, migration of some may help others to go to school. By changing the skill base of the receiving country, migration may change incentives to invest in certain types of human capital. Migrants and their children may create externalities that influence educational outcomes of non-migrants in the destination country. This chapter will discuss some of the key areas that connect migration and education.
    Keywords: Migration, Education, Human Capital, Return Migration, Immigrant Selection, Second-generation Immigrants.
    Date: 2011–02
  7. By: Michael Landesmann (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Robert Stehrer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Robert Hierländer; Peter Huber; Anna Iara; Klaus Nowotny; Mary O'Mahony; Fei Peng; Catherine Robinson
    Abstract: The literature on international migration has repeatedly emphasized that the extent and structure of migration has an important impact on the competitiveness of regions and countries. This report provides an overview of the extent and the potential effects of high-skill migration to the EU27. It shows how many high-skilled migrants live in the EU, where these migrants come from, and how the European Union is positioned in the international competition for talent. Second, we examine how high-skilled migrants fare in European labour markets. Finally we address the issue of the effects of high-skill migration on multifactor productivity, gross value added and GDP per capita growth as well as patenting activities at the sectoral and regional levels. We find that - despite substantial heterogeneity among individual EU countries - high-skilled foreign-born are an important source for high-skilled labour in the EU27. There was some evidence that - on average - EU OECD economies (EU) had a lower share of highly qualified migrants than the (arithmetic) average of the (high migration) non-EU OECD economies. However, our results also suggest that this increasing selectivity of immigration regimes is countered by a relatively low qualification structure of short-term migrants in the EU. A second important policy relevant finding of this study is that high-skilled migrants in the EU face a number of challenges when entering the European labour market, that make them distinct from other migrant groups such as less skilled migrants. In particular the high-skilled migrants - in contrast to less skilled migrants - have lower labour market participation rates, higher unemployment rates and lower employment rates than comparable natives and face substantially higher risks of being employed in jobs that do not fit their skill structure. Our analysis regarding the impact of migration and of high-skilled migration in particular on sectoral productivity and gross value added (levels and growth) yielded a number of interesting results though still being preliminary. Particularly interesting was the difference of the impact of the share of migrants in levels and growth specifications, as well as the importance of a break-down by different groups of migrants (from EU and RoW). There was also a relatively robust result of a positive impact of the share of high-skill migrants and of an interactive effect of high-skill migrant share and ICT technology. As regards the analysis of migrants and regional growth and regional technological development (proxied by patents per capita) we found a positive relationship between the share of high-skilled employed persons and of high-skilled migrants and the growth rate of regional GDP per capita.
    Keywords: migration patterns, high-skill migration, job mismatch, productivity effects
    JEL: J61 I21 J11
    Date: 2010–11
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of bilateral immigrant ows to 19 OECD countries between 1998 and 2007 from both advanced and developing origin countries. We pay particular attention to dynamics by including both the lagged migrant ow and the migrant stock to capture partial adjustment and network effects. To correct for the dynamic panel data bias of the fixed effects estimator we use a bootstrap algorithm. Our results indicate that immigrants are primarily attracted by better income opportunities abroad. We nd evidence for both partial adjustment and the presence of strong network effects.
    Keywords: International migration, Network eects, Dynamic panel data model, Bias correction
    JEL: F22 J61 C33
    Date: 2011–01
  9. By: Rob Hodgson (Department of Labour); Jacques Poot (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: This paper brings together the key research findings of some 20 projects conducted in New Zealand on the economic impacts of immigration from 2005 to 2010. Besides providing a synthesis of this research, knowledge gaps that could be addressed in future research are also identified. The report concludes that immigration has made a positive contribution to economic outcomes in New Zealand and that fears for negative economic impacts such as net fiscal costs, lower wages, and increasing unemployment find very little support in the available empirical evidence. Moreover, the economic integration of immigrants is broadly successful. Once migrants are in New Zealand for more than 10–15 years, their labour market outcomes are predominantly determined by the same success factors as those for the New Zealand born. Migration increases trade and tourism, both inbound and outbound. The net fiscal impact of immigration is positive. Findings on impacts on housing and on technological change are less conclusive. Simulations over a 15-year period with a CGE model suggest that even without additional technological change, additional immigration raises gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, albeit only modestly. Conversely, without net immigration, GDP per capita would be less. The CGE model simulations also suggest that changes in immigration policy and changes in the New Zealand economy over the last quarter century now yield greater economic benefits from immigration than in the past. Future research should focus on: the path of adjustment of the economy over time, following a change in the level of immigration; physical and human capital investment in the economy triggered by immigration; the economic consequences of greater diversity; and differences in impacts between temporary and long-term migration.
    Keywords: Migration, institutions, democracy, diaspora effects, brain drain.
    JEL: O1 F22
    Date: 2011–01
  10. By: Ralph Chami (International Monetary Fund); Dalia Hakura (International Monetary Fund); Peter Montiel (Williams College)
    Abstract: Remittance inflows have increased considerably in recent years and are large relative to the size of many recipient economies. The theoretical and empirical effects of remittance inflows on output growth volatility are, however, ambiguous. On the one hand, remittances have been a remarkably stable source of income, relative to other private and public flows, and they seem to be compensatory in nature, rising when the home country’s economy suffers a downturn. On the other hand, the labor supply effects induced by altruistic remittances could cause the output effects associated with technology shocks to be magnified. This paper finds robust evidence for a sample of 70 remittance-recipient countries, including 16 advanced economies and 54 developing countries that remittances have a negative effect on output growth volatility, thereby supporting the notion that remittance flows are a stabilizing influence on output.
    Keywords: Remittances, output volatility, developing countries
    JEL: D02 D64 F02 F22 F24
    Date: 2010–10
  11. By: Yasser Abdih (International Monetary Fund; International Monetary Fund); Jihad Dagher (University of Southern California); Peter Montiel (Williams College)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the complex and overlooked relationship between the receipt of workers’ remittances and institutional quality in the recipient country. Using a simple model, we show how an increase in remittance inflows can lead to deterioration of institutional quality – specifically, to an increase in the share of funds diverted by the government for its own purposes. In a cross section of 111 countries we empirically verify this proposition and find that a higher ratio of remittances to GDP leads to lower indices of control of corruption, government effectiveness, and rule of law, even after controlling for potential reverse causality.
    Keywords: Remittances, Institutions, Corruption
    JEL: D02 D64 F02 F22 F24
    Date: 2010–07
  12. By: Ghada Fayad
    Abstract: The literature on remittances and growth has thus far established a positive link between remittances and overall economic growth in recipient countries using standard growth regressions.In this paper, we identify the main transmission channel through which remittance transfers seem to exert their growth-enhancing effects: the 'export-led growth' channel. We do so by using a methodology that exploits both cross-country and within-country cross-industry variation in data averaged over the 1980s and the 1990s decades and correcting for the endogeneity of remittances by reverting to a set of external instruments, most of which we construct for this purpose. For both decades, we find that remittances are conducive to the relative growth of exporting industries within the manufacturing sector in a large set of remittance recipient countries. We also identify an alternative channel through which remittances affect growth: the financial development channel, where remittances are found to favor growth in industries that are less in need of external financing. In this paper, we give special attention to the potential migrant network complementarity effect with international trade and show in a number of ways that such background e¤ect is not driving our results. Instead, our findings strongly suggest an investment channel through which remittances as financial transfers are, either directly as capital investment transfers or indirectly through their economy-wide investment-enhancing effects,boosting export sector growth in recipient economies.
    Keywords: Remittances, manufacturing, export-led growth, Dutch disease, migrant networks
    JEL: F2 F4 O1 Q3
    Date: 2011

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