nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2011‒04‒02
twenty-one papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The Influence of Role Models on Immigrant Self-Employment: A Spatial Analysis for Switzerland By G. Guerra; R. Patuelli
  2. Egyptian Men Working Abroad: Labor Supply Responses by the Women Left Behind By Binzel, Christine; Assaad, Ragui
  3. Citizenship and Employment – comparing two cool countries By Bevelander, Pieter; Pendakur, Ravi
  4. Interactions Between Local and Migrant Workers at the Workplace By Gil S. Epstein; Yosef Mealem
  5. Why would some migrants choose to engage in degrading work? By Stark, Oded; Fan, C. Simon
  6. A Political Economy of the Immigrant Assimilation: Internal Dynamics By Gil S. Epstein; Ira N. Gang
  7. Migration and Culture By Gil S. Epstein; Ira N. Gang
  8. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Regional Labor Mobility of German University Graduates By Stefan Krabel; Choni Flöther
  9. Agglomeration, Congestion, and Regional Unemployment Disparities By Ulrich Zierahn;
  10. Population Aging and Individual Attitudes toward Immigration: Disentangling Age, Cohort and Time Effects By Lena Calahorrano
  11. Occupational Mobility of Immigrants in a Low Skilled Economy: The Spanish Case By Simón, Hipólito; Ramos, Raul; Sanromá, Esteban
  12. Crime, Immigration and the Labor Market: A General Equilibrium Model By Thomas Bassetti; Luca Corazzini; Darwin Cortes
  13. Migration Paradigm Shifts and Transformation of Migrant Communities: The Case of Dutch Kiwis By Suzan van der Pas; Jacques Poot
  14. The impact of liquidity constraints and imperfect commitment on migration decisions of o¤spring of rural households By Matthieu Delpierre
  15. The Impact of Foreign Labour on Host Country Wages: The Experience of a Southern Host, Malaysia By Prema-chandra Athukorala; Evelyn S Devadason
  16. Rental Housing Discrimination and the Persistence of Ethnic Enclaves By Bosch, Mariano; Carnero, M. Angeles; Farré, Lídia
  17. What Drives U.S. Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call Votes By Facchini, Giovanni; Steinhardt, Max
  18. Canadian Immigration Policy and Immigrant Economic Outcomes: Why the Differences in Outcomes between Sweden and Canada? By Picot, Garnett; Sweetman, Arthur
  19. Emigration and democracy By Frédéric Docquier; Elisabetta Lodigiani; Hillel Rapoport; Maurice Schiff
  20. Globalization, Brain Drain and Development By Docquier, Frédéric; Rapoport, Hillel
  21. Remittances and the Prevalence of Working Poor By Christian EBEKE; Jean-Louis COMBES; Mathilde MAUREL; Thierry YOGO

  1. By: G. Guerra; R. Patuelli
    Abstract: Theoretical and empirical research suggests a connection between the presence of role models and the emergence of entrepreneurs. Existing entrepreneurs may act as role models for self-employment candidates by providing successful examples. By explicitly considering the self-employment rates of the natives, which may influence locally the decisions of immigrants towards entrepreneurship, we develop a simple model that explains immigrant self-employment rates for a sample of 2,490 Swiss municipalities. In addition, we accommodate for the presence of spatial spillovers in the distribution of rates, and test a spatial autoregressive model which takes into account the average self-employment rates of immigrants living in nearby municipalities. Our evidence shows a significant (positive) effect of such spatial network effects, which are characterized by a quick distance decay, suggesting spatial spillovers at the household and social network level. Additionally, we show that local conditions and immigrant pool characteristics differ, with respect to self-employment choices, when examining separately urban and rural contexts.
    JEL: C21 J24 J61 O15 R13
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Binzel, Christine (Dartmouth College); Assaad, Ragui (University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: Female labor force participation has remained low in Egypt. This paper examines whether male international migration provides a leeway for women to enter the labor market and/or to increase their labor supply. In line with previous studies, we find a decrease in wage work in both rural and urban areas. However, women living in rural areas and affected by migration are much more likely to be employed in non-wage activities (i.e. unpaid family work) and subsistence work compared to women in non-migrant households. Furthermore, we find evidence that this labor supply response is driven by the household’s need to replace the migrant's labor rather than by a loosening of a financing constraint on family enterprises made possible by the flow of remittances.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, labor supply, gender
    JEL: O15 J22 F22 R23
    Date: 2011–03
  3. By: Bevelander, Pieter; Pendakur, Ravi
    Abstract: Over the last decades, both Canada and Sweden have liberalized citizenship regulations for permanent residents. During the same period, immigration patterns by country of birth have changed substantially, with an increasing number of immigrants arriving from non-western countries. The aim of this paper is to explore the link between citizenship and employment probabilities for immigrants in both countries, controlling for a range of demographic, human capital, and municipal characteristics such as city and co-ethnic population size. We use data from the 2006 Canadian census and Swedish register data (STATIV) for the year 2006. Both STATIV and the Census, include similar sets of demographic, socio-economic and immigrant specific. We use instrumental variable regression to examine the 'clean' impact of citizenship acquisition and the size of the co-immigrant population on the probability of being employed in both countries. We find that citizenship acquisition has a positive influence on employment probabilities in both Canada and Sweden. The size of the co-ethnic population has a positive impact for many immigrant groups--as the co-ethnic population increases, the probability of being employed also increases.
    Keywords: Citizenship; Employment; Integration
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2011–01
  4. By: Gil S. Epstein (Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University); Yosef Mealem (Netanya Academic College)
    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 order 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: 2010–08
  5. By: Stark, Oded; Fan, C. Simon
    Abstract: This paper develops a model of voluntary migration into degrading work. The essence of the model is a tension between two âbads:â that which arises from being relatively deprived at home, and that which arises from engaging in humiliating work away from home. Balancing between these two âbadsâ can give rise to an explicit, voluntary choice to engage in humiliating work. The paper identifies conditions under which a migrant will choose to engage in degrading work rather than being forced into it, to work abroad as a prostitute, say, rather than on a farm. The paper delineates the possible equilibria and finds that greater relative deprivation will make it more likely that the equilibrium outcome will be âengagement in prostitution.â It is shown that under well specified conditions, every individual will work as a prostitute, yet every individual would be better off working on a farm. Put differently, when specific conditions are satisfied, there is a possibility of a âcoordination failure:â if individuals believe that everyone else will choose to be a prostitute, this belief will be self-fulfilling. In this case, all the individuals choose to engage in prostitution, which renders each of them worse off. The paper discusses various policy implications. It is shown that a policy intervention (a crackdown on migrantsâ engagement in prostitution), if implemented strictly, can increase everyoneâs welfare, but when the policy is implemented loosely, cracking down on prostitution will only reduce individualsâ welfare without reducing their engagement in prostitution.
    Keywords: Migrants, Relative deprivation, Degrading work, Humiliation, Multiple equilibria, Welfare assessment, Policy implications, Labor and Human Capital, Political Economy, F22, J24, J81,
    Date: 2011–03
  6. By: Gil S. Epstein (Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University); Ira N. Gang (Rutgers University)
    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 invested 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: 2010–08
  7. By: Gil S. Epstein (Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University); Ira N. Gang (Rutgers University)
    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: 2010–08
  8. By: Stefan Krabel (Internationales Zentrum für Hochschulforschung (INCHER)); Choni Flöther (Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre: Fachgebiet Allg. Wirtschaftspolitik)
    Abstract: In this study we trace university graduates’ labor mobility when entering the labor market after graduation. We examine to what extent such mobility is determined by regional factors of the university region, personal characteristics of graduates as well as their field of study. Our analysis is based on a large-scale dataset of labor market mobility of individuals who graduated from 36 German universities in 2007. Our results suggest that graduates are less likely to leave metropolises and that regional labor markets influence mobility. Further, field of study and individual willingness to be mobile, as indicated by prior mobility from school to university and mobility during the studies, impact mobility when entering the labor market. These results indicate that both regional and individual factors influence graduate mobility. Moreover, by applying a two-stage model approach we find that mobility is mediated by the probability to find regular employment.
    Keywords: Regional Mobility, Regional Characteristics, University, Graduates, Employment, Labor Markets
    JEL: J62 J64 R11 I21
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Ulrich Zierahn (University of Kassel);
    Abstract: Regional labor markets are characterized by huge disparities of unemployment rates. Models of the New Economic Geography explain how disparities of regional goods markets endogenously arise but usually assume full employment. This paper discusses regional unemployment disparities by introducing a wage curve based on efficiency wages into the New Economic Geography. The model shows how disparities of regional goods and labor markets endogenously arise through the interplay of increasing returns to scale, transport costs, congestion costs, and migration. In result, the agglomeration pattern might be catastrophic or smooth depending on congestion costs. The transition between both patterns is smooth.
    Keywords: regional unemployment, New Economic Geography, core-periphery, wage curve, labor migration
    JEL: J64 R12 R23
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Lena Calahorrano (RWTH AAchen University)
    Abstract: 49 pages
    Keywords: Immigration, Demographic Change, Political Economy
    JEL: D78 F22 J10
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Simón, Hipólito (Universidad de Alicante); Ramos, Raul (University of Barcelona); Sanromá, Esteban (University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: We analyze the occupational mobility of immigrants between their origin countries and Spain and its determinants. We use microdata from the Encuesta Nacional de Inmigrantes to compute an internationally harmonized occupational status index (ISEI) that permits to quantify and properly analyze this kind of mobility. The obtained evidence shows that, in general, immigrants experience a strong occupational downgrading in Spain when compared to their origin countries. This fact is due to the strong downgrading they experience when entering the Spanish labour market and their low improvement in the following years.
    Keywords: immigration, occupational mobility, Spain
    JEL: J15 J24 J61 J62
    Date: 2011–03
  12. By: Thomas Bassetti (Università di Padova); Luca Corazzini (Università di Padova); Darwin Cortes (Universidad del Rosario)
    Abstract: Does immigration cause crime? To answer this question, we build a two-country general equilibrium model with search costs in which the migration (in/out-)flows, the crime rates and the equilibrium wages in the two countries are determined by the interaction between the labor market, the crime market and the decision to migrate. The main result of our model is that, in equilibrium, the relationship between immigration and crime depends on the conditions of both the labor and crime markets of the two countries. In particular, when the tightness of the labor market is sufficiently elastic relative to that of the crime market, immigration causes a reduction in the domestic crime rate of the host country. An implication of this result is that migration flows from countries with strong work rigidities to societies characterized by more elastic labor markets are mutually benefic in terms of reducing the corresponding crime rates.
    Keywords: Crime Rate, Labor Market, Immigration.
    JEL: J61 J64 K42
    Date: 2010–11
  13. By: Suzan van der Pas (VU University Medical Center, EMGO Institute – LASA); Jacques Poot (National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, University of Waikato)
    Abstract: This paper explores the dynamics of Dutch community change in New Zealand since 1950. We find that there are three distinct cohorts of migrants from the Netherlands to New Zealand, each covering roughly 20 years of arrivals: post-war migrants (those who arrived in the 1950s and 1960s), skilled migrants (those who arrived in the 1970s and 1980s), and transnational professionals (those who arrived in the 1990s or more recently). The data sources utilised include the New Zealand census of population and dwellings, administrative arrivals and departures data, an annual survey of incomes and employment, and a longitudinal survey of families. The data show that the first cohort (the post-war migrants) were mostly younger on arrival, more religious, less educated and had more children than the subsequent cohorts. The most recent migrants are the best qualified, with more than half with a post-school qualification. After controlling for age and education, self-reported happiness and health levels are similar to those of the New Zealand born, but there is some evidence that more recent migrants have lesser health outcomes than comparable New Zealanders. These results not only provide novel insights into the transformation of the Dutch community in New Zealand, but they also provide a case study of the extent to which global economic, social and political changes have conditioned the character and volume of the migrant flows and the dynamics of migrant community development.
    Keywords: globalisation, push and pull factors of migration, ageing of migrant communities, migrant integration, cohort analysis
    JEL: F22 J61 Z13
    Date: 2011–03
  14. By: Matthieu Delpierre (Earth and Life Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: This paper presents a non-cooperative model of intra-household decision-making regarding investment in migration. It is shown that the combination of liquidity constraints and imperfect commitment are a source of underinvestment in migration. More precisely, we highlight that, if remittances are unenforceable as a repayment for parent?s contribution in migration transaction costs, then both migrant and parent?s liquidity constraints, rather than households liquidity constraint as a whole, matter in determining the investment decision. Besides, the insurance motive for remittances is shown to generate divergence of interest over the characteristics of migration. This result calls for a theoretical approach that properly takes account of potential internalization problems, which the paper intends to o¤er. Plausibility checks of the model are provided by comparative statics whose outcomes are consistent with previous research on migration and remittances.
    Date: 2010–10
  15. By: Prema-chandra Athukorala; Evelyn S Devadason
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of foreign labour on domestic manufacturing wages through a case study of Malaysia, a country where foreign labour immigration has played a key role in manufacturing growth over the past two decades. The main focus of the paper is on an econometric analysis of the determinants of inter-industry variation in wage growth using a new panel dataset. The results suggest that wage growth is fundamentally embedded in the structure and performance of domestic manufacturing. There is evidence of a statistically significant negative impact of foreign labour on the growth of unskilled-worker wages, but the magnitude of the impact is rather small.
    Keywords: International labour migration, foreign workers, wages, Asia, Malaysia
    JEL: F22 J31 J61 O53
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Bosch, Mariano (Universidad de Alicante); Carnero, M. Angeles (Universidad de Alicante); Farré, Lídia (IAE Barcelona (CSIC))
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment to show that discrimination in the rental market represents a significant obstacle for the geographical assimilation process by immigrants. We employ the Internet platform to identify vacant rental apartments in different areas of the two largest Spanish cities, Madrid and Barcelona. We send emails showing interest in the apartments and signal the applicants' ethnicity by using native and foreign-sounding names. We find that, in line with previous studies, immigrants face a differential treatment when trying to rent an apartment. Our results also indicate that this negative treatment varies considerably with the concentration of immigrants in the area. In neighborhoods with a low presence of immigrants the response rate is 30 percentage points lower for immigrants than for natives, while this differential disappears when the immigration share reaches 50%. We conclude that discriminatory practices in the rental housing market contribute to perpetuate the ethnic spatial segregation observed in large cities.
    Keywords: immigration, discrimination, spatial segregation
    JEL: J15 J61
    Date: 2011–03
  17. By: Facchini, Giovanni; Steinhardt, Max
    Abstract: Immigration is one of the most hotly debated policy issues in the United States today. Despite marked divergence of opinions within political parties, several important immigration reforms were introduced in the post 1965 era. The purpose of this paper is to systematically analyze the drivers of congressional voting behavior on immigration policy during the period 1970-2006, and in particular, to assess the role of economic factors at the district level. Our findings provide robust evidence that representatives of more skilled labor abundant constituencies are more likely to support an open immigration policy concerning unskilled labor. Thus, a simple factor-proportions-analysis model provides useful insights regarding the policy making process on one of the most controversial facets of globalization.
    Keywords: Immigration policy; Political economy; Voting
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2011–03
  18. By: Picot, Garnett (Queen's University); Sweetman, Arthur (McMaster University)
    Abstract: Immigrants to Canada enjoy labour market outcomes that are more favourable than those for their counterparts in Sweden. In an effort to understand these gaps, Canada’s immigration policy and outcomes are contrasted to the Swedish immigration experience. The nature of immigration and structural differences involving the domestic labour markets are hypothesized to provide plausible explanations for at least some of the gap. Additionally, there are dynamic issues related to, for instance, the timing of immigrant entry with respect to the business cycle, and changes in the rates of immigration flows, that may have some impact on labour market outcomes and explain some short- to medium-term aspects of the gap in outcomes. On the other hand, common trends are also observed; both unemployment and earnings outcomes among entering immigrants have deteriorated significantly in Canada since the 1980s, as they have in many western countries including Sweden.
    Keywords: immigration, cross-country differences, Canada, Sweden
    JEL: J61 J68
    Date: 2011–03
  19. 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 fi…nd that 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, signi…cant 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: 2011–02
  20. By: Docquier, Frédéric (Université catholique de Louvain); Rapoport, Hillel (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews four decades of economics research on the brain drain, with a focus on recent contributions and on development issues. We first assess the magnitude, intensity and determinants of the brain drain, showing that brain drain (or high-skill) migration is becoming the dominant pattern of international migration and a major aspect of globalization. We then use a stylized growth model to analyze the various channels through which a brain drain affects the sending countries and review the evidence on these channels. The recent empirical literature shows that high-skill emigration need not deplete a country’s human capital stock and can generate positive network externalities. Three case studies are also considered: the African medical brain drain, the recent exodus of European scientists to the United States, and the role of the Indian diaspora in the development of India’s IT sector. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of the analysis for education, immigration, and international taxation policies in a global context.
    Keywords: brain drain, international migration, globalization
    JEL: F22 O15 J61
    Date: 2011–03
  21. By: Christian EBEKE; Jean-Louis COMBES (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International); Mathilde MAUREL; Thierry YOGO
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the relationships between remittances and the share of individuals working for less than 2$ US per day. It is based on an original panel dataset containing information related to remittances in about 80 developing countries and to the number of workers being paid less than 2 dollars per day as well. Even after factoring in the endogeneity of remittance inflows the results suggest that remittances lead to a decrease in the prevalence of working poor in receiving economies. This effect is stronger in a context of high macroeconomic volatility but is mitigated by the unpredictability of remittances: remittances are more effective to decreasing the share of working poor when they are easily predictable. Moreover, domestic finance and remittances appear as substitutes: remittances are less efficient in reducing the prevalence of working poor whenever finance is available.
    Keywords: Working poor, Remittances, shocks, Financial Development
    JEL: O16 F43 F22
    Date: 2011

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