nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2011‒03‒19
seventeen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Do Landlords Discriminate in the Rental Housing Market? Evidence from an Internet Field Experiment in U.S. Cities By Andrew Hanson; Zackary Hawley
  2. Crime as a Price of Inequality? The Delinquency Gap between Children of Immigrants and Children of Native Swedes By Hällsten, Martin; Sarnecki, Jerzy; Szulkin, Ryszard
  3. Coordination Failures in Immigration Policy By Paolo E. Giordani; Michele Ruta
  4. Network Formation through a Gender Lens. Insights from rural Nicaragua By Holvoet, Nathalie; D'Exelle, Ben
  5. The Impact of Amnesty on Labor Market Outcomes: A Panel Study Using the Legalized Population Survey By Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Cynthia Bansak
  6. Braving the waves: The economics of clandestine migration from Africa By Linguère Mously MBAYE; Jean-Louis ARCAND
  7. Bridging the gap between migrants and the banking system By Giorgio Albareto; Paolo Mistrulli
  8. Migration and capital accumulation: Evidence from rural Mexico By Vera Chiodi; Esteban Jaimovich; Gabriel Montes-Rojas
  9. 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
  10. Relative Concerns of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China By Alpaslan Akay; Olivier Bargain; Klaus F Zimmermann
  11. The Labor Market Integration of Migrants: Barcelona, 1930 By Javier Silvestre; Vicente Pinilla; Mª Isabel Ayuda
  12. Economic and Cultural Assimilation and Integration of Immigrants in Europe By Mariya Aleksynska; Yann Algan
  13. Convergence or divergence? Immigrant wage assimilation patterns in Germany By Zibrowius, Michael
  14. Remittances and Labor Supply in Post-Conflict Tajikistan By Patricia Justino; Olga Shemyakina
  15. Motivations for Remittances: Evidence from Moldova By Matloob Piracha; Amrita Saraogi;
  16. Remittances and household expenditure patterns in Tajikistan: A propensity score matching analysis By Matthieu CLEMENT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
  17. Remittances and Income Smoothing By Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Susan Pozo

  1. By: Andrew Hanson; Zackary Hawley
    Abstract: This paper tests for racial discrimination in the rental housing market using matched pair audits conducted via e-mail for rental units advertised on-line. We reveal home-seekers' race to landlords by sending e-mails from names with a high likelihood of association with either whites or African Americans. Generally, discrimination occurs against African American names; however, when the content of the e-mail messages insinuates home-seekers with high social class, discrimination is non-existent. Racial discrimination is more severe in neighborhoods that are near "tipping points" in racial composition, and for units that are part of a larger building.
    JEL: J15 C93
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Hällsten, Martin (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS); Sarnecki, Jerzy (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS); Szulkin, Ryszard (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)
    Abstract: We examine the gap in registered crime between the children of immigrants and the children of native Swedes. Our study is the first in Sweden to address the role of family and environmental background in creating the gap in recorded crimes. Lack of resources within the family and/or in the broader social environment, particularly in neighborhoods and schools, generates higher risks for criminal activity in children, and if the children of immigrants to a larger extent are underprivileged in those resources, a gap in crime may occur. In the empirical analyses we follow all individuals who completed compulsory schooling during the period 1990 to 1993 in the Stockholm Metropolitan area (N=66,330), and we analyze how background factors related to the family of origin and neighborhood segregation during adolescence influence the gap in recorded crimes, which are measured in 2005. For males, we are generally able to explain between half and three-quarters of this gap in crime by parental socioeconomic resources and neighborhood segregation. For females, we can explain even more, sometimes the entire gap. Resources in the family of origin appear to be the strongest mediator. In addition, the residual differences are virtually unrelated to immigrants’ country of origin, indicating that ‘culture’ or other shared context-of-exit factors matter very little in generating the gap.
    Keywords: crime; inequality; children of immigrants
    JEL: I30 J10 K14
    Date: 2011–03–09
  3. By: Paolo E. Giordani (Department of Economics and Business, LUISS Guido Carli University); Michele Ruta (World Trade Organization, Economics Research Division)
    Abstract: We propose a theoretical framework for analyzing the problems associated to unilateral immigration policy in receiving countries and for evaluating the grounds for reform of international institutions governing immigration. We build a model with multiple destination countries and show that immigration policy in one country is influenced by measures adopted abroad as migrants choose where to locate (in part) in response to differences in immigration policy. This interdependence gives rise to a leakage effect of immigration policy, an international externality well documented in the empirical literature. In this environment, immigration policy becomes strategic and unilateral behavior may lead to coordination failures, where receiving countries are stuck in welfare inferior equilibria. We then study the conditions under which a coordination failure is more likely to emerge and argue that multilateral institutions that help receiving countries make immigration policy commitments would address this inefficiency.
    Keywords: Immigration policy, cross-border externalities, coordination failures, multilateral institutions.
    JEL: F02 F22 J61
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Holvoet, Nathalie; D'Exelle, Ben
    Abstract: This paper examines the relation between gender and network formation in rural Nicaragua. Applying dyadic regression techniques and controlling for individual socio-economic characteristics, we obtain insights into the determinants of the size and density as well as the socio-economic heterogeneity of individual networks. Assuming these network characteristics correlate with one's agency and benefits from network participation, we look for differences between men's and women's networks and its relation with gender. In general, the gendered private/public dichotomy and labor division is replicated in men's and women's networks. Furthermore, consistent with the restricted mobility of poor rural women, we observe that geographic distance limits the networks of women but not men. Next, female education and mobility, and newly-residing men, have a positive influence on the integration between men and women. Finally, clique formation is stronger around women than men.
    Keywords: Social network analysis; dyadic regression; gender sorting; social integration
    Date: 2011–01
  5. By: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (San Diego State University); Cynthia Bansak (St. Lawrence University)
    Abstract: This paper tests whether amnesty, a provision of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), affected the labor market outcomes of the legalized population. Using the Legalized Population Survey (LPS) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) from 1987-1992, a quasi-experimental framework is developed to assess the differential impact of amnesty on the legalized population relative to a comparison group. After the implementation of the amnesty program, employment fell and unemployment rose for newly legalized men relative to the comparison group of already legal U.S. residents. For women, employment also fell and transitions out of the workforce increased among the newly legalized population. Increasing returns to skill, as captured by English proficiency, only played an important role in explaining the employment of newly legalized women. Finally, newly legalized men and women enjoyed higher wage growth rates than their working native counterparts, perhaps owing to their comparatively growing returns to U.S. educational attainment over this period.
    JEL: J6
    Date: 2011–03
  6. By: Linguère Mously MBAYE; Jean-Louis ARCAND
    Abstract: Illegal immigration from the developing world to rich countries is one of the most controversial topics today. Using a unique data set on potential illegal migrants collected in Dakar, Senegal, we characterize the preferences and characteristics of illegal migrants, and the manner in which these factors interact so as to yield observed behavior. On the basis of our theoretical model, we evaluate a measure of the time and risk preferences through the individual discount rates and the individual coefficients of absolute risk aversion. Then, we test empirically our theoretical propositions and we show that these variables play a role, in the illegal migration decision, in the willingness to pay a smuggler and in the choice of the method of migration, at least as important as "classical" migration determinants such as the expected wage in the host country.
    Keywords: Illegal Migration; Preferences; Expectations
    JEL: R23 O16 O15 F22
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Giorgio Albareto (Bank of Italy); Paolo Mistrulli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper, we test whether micro firms run by migrants pay more for credit than firms run by natives and whether the differences in the cost of credit for these two groups of entrepreneurs decrease as the informational and cultural gaps narrow. We employ a large and unique data set providing us with detailed information on each overdraft loan granted by banks to sole proprietorships based in Italy. We find that migrants pay, on average, almost 70 basis points more for credit than natives. The interest rate differential is lower for entrepreneurs born in Italy whose parents were natives of other countries (“second generation” migrants) and for migrants whose parents were natives of Italy (“Italian migrants”). These results suggest that cultural differences may matter for the functioning of the credit market. A lengthening of credit history reduces the interest rate differential between the two types of entrepreneurs. Finally, we find that both increases in the size of the migrant community and improvements in banks’ ability to deal with cultural diversity help narrow the interest rate differential between migrant and Italian entrepreneurs.
    Keywords: migration, bank lending, interest rates
    JEL: G21 J15 J71
    Date: 2011–02
  8. By: Vera Chiodi (J-PAL Europe - J-PAL Europe, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Esteban Jaimovich (Collegio Carlo Alberto - Collegio Carlo Alberto); Gabriel Montes-Rojas (Department of Economics - City University London - City University London)
    Abstract: This paper studies the link between migration, remittances and productive assets accumulation for a panel of poor rural households in Mexico over the period 1997- 2006. In a context of financial markets imperfections, migration may act as a substitute for imperfect credit and insurance provision (through remittances from migrants) and, thus, exert a positive effect on investment. However, it may well be the case that remittances are channelled towards increasing consumption and leisure goods. Exploiting within family variation and an instrumental variable strategy, we show that migration indeed accelerates productive assets accumulation. Moreover, when we look at the effect of migration on consumption of non-productive assets (durable goods), we find instead a negative effect. Our results then suggest that poor rural families resort to migration as a way to mitigate constraints that prevent them from investing in productive assets.
    Keywords: migration ; remittances ; capital accumulation ; rural poverty
    Date: 2011–03–09
  9. By: Bergemann, Annette; Caliendo, Marco; van den Berg, Gerard J; Zimmermann, Klaus F
    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: active labor market policy; expectations; immigrants; policy evaluation; program evaluation; reservation wage; search effort; unemployment duration
    JEL: C21 D83 D84 J61 J64
    Date: 2011–03
  10. By: Alpaslan Akay (IZA and University of Gothenburg); Olivier Bargain (University College Dublin and IZA); Klaus F Zimmermann (IZA and Bonn University)
    Abstract: How the income of "relevant others" affects well-being has received renewed interest in the recent literature using subjective data. Migrants constitutes a par- ticularly interesting group to study this question: as they changed environment, they are likely to be concerned by several potential reference groups including the people "left behind", other migrants and "natives". We focus here on the huge population of rural-to-urban migrants in China. We exploit a novel dataset that comprises samples of migrants and urban people living in the same cities, as well as rural households mostly surveyed in the provinces where migrants are coming from. After establishing these links, we find that the well-being of migrants is largely af- fected by relative concerns: results point to negative relative concerns toward other migrants and workers of home regions - this status effect is particularly strong for migrants who wish to settle permanently in cities. We find in contrast a positive relative income effect vis-à-vis the urban reference group, interpreted as a signal effect - larger urban incomes indicate higher income prospects for the migrants. A richer pattern is obtained when sorting migrants according to the duration of stay, expectations to return to home countries and characteristics related to family cir- cumstances, work conditions and community ties.
    Keywords: china, relative concerns, well-being
    Date: 2011–01–01
  11. By: Javier Silvestre; Vicente Pinilla; Mª Isabel Ayuda
    Abstract: Very few empirical studies have analyzed the labor market performance of internal migrants in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Using a new dataset, this article examines the occupational attainment of migrants, mostly internal migrants, in the city of Barcelona. We find that, in comparison with natives, the occupational outcome of migrants is partly explained by differences in labor market experience and skills. Nevertheless, other factors also appear to play an important role. Estimates, moreover, do not suggest the existence of improved economic assimilation over time. The results indicate that at least some groups of migrants faced barriers to occupational mobility.
    Date: 2011–01
  12. By: Mariya Aleksynska; Yann Algan
    Abstract: This paper documents assimilation of immigrants in 16 European countries along cultural, civic, and economic dimensions, distinguishing by immigrants’ generation, duration of stay, and origin. It suggests that assimilation may have multiple facets, and take place at different speed depending on the outcome in question. While assimilation along some economic outcomes may be correlated with assimilation along some cultural outcomes, such correlations are not systematic, and imply that progress on some dimensions may compensate the lack of progress on other dimensions; and also that a big discrepancy in one dimension is not necessarily a handicap, or an impediment, for assimilation on other grounds. Correlation of immigrants’ outcomes and specific policies aimed at immigrants’ integration are rather disparate, raising further questions regarding both their effectiveness and differentiated effect on various aspects of life.
    Keywords: Assimilation; integration; migration policies; Europe
    JEL: J1 F22 Z13
    Date: 2010–12
  13. By: Zibrowius, Michael
    Abstract: Using a rich German panel data set, I estimate wage assimilation patterns for immigrants in Germany. This study contributes to the literature by performing separate estimations by skill groups and controlling for a wide range of socio-economic background variables. It aims to answer the question whether Germany can be considered an attractive host country from an immigrant's perspective. Comparisons with similar natives reveal that immigrants' experience earnings profiles are flatter on average, although clear differences show up among skill groups. The effect of time spent in the host country is significantly positive for all skill groups and thus partly offsetting the diverging trend in the experience earnings profiles. Still, wage differences between natives and immigrants remain. They are particularly noticeable for highly skilled immigrants, the group needed most in Germany's skill intensive labor market. Separate estimations for immigrant subgroups confirm the general validity of the results. --
    Keywords: international migration,wage differentials,assimilation,longitudinal data
    JEL: F22 J31 J61
    Date: 2011
  14. By: Patricia Justino (Institute of Development Studies); Olga Shemyakina (Georgia Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of remittances on the labor supply of men and women in post-conflict Tajikistan. We find that on average men and women from remittance-receiving households are less likely to participate in the labor market and supply fewer hours when they do. The negative effect of remittances on labor supply is smaller for women, which is an intriguing result as other studies on remittances and labor supply (primarily focused on Latin America) have shown that female labor supply is more responsive to remittances. The results are robust to using different measures of remittances and inclusion of variables measuring migration of household members. We estimate a joint effect of remittances and an individual’s residence in a conflict-affected area during the Tajik civil war. Remittances had a larger impact on the labor supply of men living in conflict-affected areas compared to men in less conflictaffected areas. The impact of remittances on the labor supply of women does not differ by their residence in both the more or less conflict affected area.
    Date: 2010–10
  15. By: Matloob Piracha; Amrita Saraogi;
    Abstract: This paper explores the factors that account for the receipt of remittances across households in Moldova who have migrant family members abroad. Unlike most of the existing literature, we approach our research question from the perspective of the recipient household and use it to interpret the determinants/motivations of remittances. Our results show that a combination of household and migrant characteristics and some community level variables are the key elements in explaining the remittance behaviour in Moldova. Drawing from these estimates, we conclude that altruism and investment (proxied by the level of economic development at the regional level) are the two main motives behind remittance flows to Moldova.
    Keywords: remittances; migration; Moldova
    JEL: F22 F24
    Date: 2011–02
  16. By: Matthieu CLEMENT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
    Abstract: The object of this article is to assess the impact of remittances on household expenditure patterns in Tajikistan. More specifically, the paper applies propensity score matching methods to the 2003 Tajikistan Living Standards Measurement Survey. The results do not provide evidence of a productive use of remittances since neither internal nor external remittances have a positive effect on investment expenditures. Migration and remittances are therefore interpreted in terms of short-term coping strategies that help dependent households to achieve a basic level of consumption
    Keywords: remittances; expenditure patterns; propensity score matching; sensitivity analysis, Tajikistan.
    JEL: O12 O15
    Date: 2011
  17. By: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (San Diego State University); Susan Pozo (Western Michigan University)
    Abstract: Due to inadequate savings and binding borrowing constraints, income volatility can make households in developing countries particularly susceptible to economic hardship. We examine the role of remittances in either alleviating or increasing household income volatility using Mexican household level data over the 2000 through 2008 period. We correct for reverse causality and endogeneity and find that while income smoothing does not appear to be the main motive for sending remittances in a non-negligible share of households, remittances do indeed smooth household income on average. Other variables surrounding income volatility are also considered and evaluated.
    Keywords: remittances, income smoothing.
    JEL: F22 O
    Date: 2011–03

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