nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2011‒05‒30
seventeen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Portability of Pension, Health, and Other Social Benefits: Facts, Concepts, Issues By Holzmann, Robert; Koettl, Johannes
  2. Religiosity and Migration: Travel into One's Self versus Travel across Cultures By Aleksynska, Mariya; Chiswick, Barry R.
  3. Immigration policy and counterterrorism By Subhayu Bandyopadhyay; Todd Sandler
  4. Too Far to Go? Does Distance Determine Study Choices? By Denzler, Stefan; Wolter, Stefan
  5. Migration Restrictions and Criminal Behavior: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Giovanni Mastrobuoni; Paolo Pinotti
  6. Labor Market Effects of Immigration: Evidence from Neighborhood Data By Bauer, Thomas; Flake, Regina; Sinning, Mathias
  7. The Impact of Labour Market Dynamics on the Return-Migration of Immigrants By Bijwaard, Govert; Schluter, Christian; Wahba, Jackline
  8. The Impact of Migration Policies on Rural Household Welfare in Mexico and Nicaragua By J.Edward Taylor; Mateusz Filipski
  9. Continental vs. Intercontinental Migration: An Empirical Analysis of the Impacts of Immigration Reforms on Burkina Faso By Fleur Wouterse
  10. Strangers on the move. Ethnic entrepreneurs as urban change actors By Kourtit, K.; Nijkamp, P.
  11. Lessons from migration impact analysis By Bakens, J.; Nijkamp, P.
  12. Eight questions about brain drain By Gibson, John; McKenzie, David
  13. On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough By Alesina, Alberto; Giuliano, Paola; Nunn, Nathan
  14. Channels of Interprovincial Risk Sharing in China By Julan Du; Qing He; Oliver M. Rui
  15. Transnational social capital and FDI.Evidence from Italian associations worldwide By Marina Murat; Barbara Pistoresi; Alberto Rinaldi
  16. L'edilizia sociale di fronte all'immigrazione a Modena: politiche abitative e domanda potenziale (o inevasa) By Marta Federici; Giuseppe Fiorani
  17. Le difficoltà d’accesso all’abitazione da parte degli immigrati Una indagine di campo By Paola Bertolini; Francesco Pagliacci; Serena Giannuzzi

  1. By: Holzmann, Robert (University of Vienna); Koettl, Johannes (World Bank)
    Abstract: Portability of social benefits across professions and countries is an increasing concern for individuals and policy makers. Lacking or incomplete transfers of acquired social rights are feared to negatively impact individual labor market decisions as well as capacity to address social risks with consequences for economic and social outcomes. The paper gives a fresh and provocative look on the international perspective of the topic that has so far been dominated by social policy lawyers working within the framework of bilateral agreements; the input by economists has been very limited. It offers an analytical framework for portability analysis that suggests separating the risk pooling, (implicit or actual) pre-funding and redistributive elements in the benefit design and explores the proposed alternative approach for pensions and health care benefits. This promising approach may serve both as a substitute and complement to bi- and multilateral agreements.
    Keywords: portability, acquired rights, migration, bilateral agreements, risk pooling
    JEL: D91 F22 F53 G23 J61
    Date: 2011–05
  2. By: Aleksynska, Mariya (CEPII, Paris); Chiswick, Barry R. (George Washington University)
    Abstract: This paper examines differences in religious behaviors of the native born and immigrants in Europe, measured as self-reported religiosity, frequency of praying, and frequency of church attendance. Using the European Social Survey, we first show that, on average, religiosity of immigrants is higher than that of the native born, even among those without a religious affiliation. We test hypotheses that can explain these observations. Differences in individual characteristics, such as age, education, income, marital status, and notably denominations, partly account for the overall differences. Religiosity of immigrants declines with duration in the destination. Both origin and destination country characteristics, such as economic development, religious pluralism, religious freedom, and societal attitudes towards religion are important predictors of religiosity. These external factors are able to fully explain the difference in church attendance between immigrants and the native born.
    Keywords: economics of religion, religiosity, immigrants, secularization, culture, integration
    JEL: F22 J61 N3 Z12
    Date: 2011–05
  3. By: Subhayu Bandyopadhyay; Todd Sandler
    Abstract: A terrorist group, based in a developing (host) country, draws unskilled and skilled labor from the productive sector to conduct attacks at home and abroad. The host nation chooses proactive countermeasures, while accounting for the terrorist campaign. Moreover, a targeted developed nation decides its optimal mix of immigration quotas and defensive counterterrorism actions. Even though proactive measures in the host country may not curb terrorism at home, it may still be advantageous in terms of national income. Increases in the unskilled immigration quota augment terrorism against the developed country; increases in the skilled immigration quota may or may not raise terrorism against the developed country. When the developed country assumes a leadership role, it strategically augments its terrorism defenses and reduces its unskilled immigration quota to induce more proactive measures in the host country. The influence of leadership on the skilled immigration quota is more nuanced.
    Keywords: Emigration and immigration ; Terrorism
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Denzler, Stefan (Swiss Co-ordination Center for Research in Education); Wolter, Stefan (University of Bern)
    Abstract: A number of studies have long shown that the probability of studying at university is influenced by the distance to the next university. This study shows for the first time that distance to university also influences the choice of subject/faculty and institution. Moreover, these findings are important because the distance effect in terms of these decisions is associated with significantly less risk of endogeneity than the effect in the analysis of the willingness and ambition to attend university. The results also show that distance does not influence study choices among students from the highest socioeconomic group, a finding that further indicates that distance to university is an expression of differences in the cost of a university education.
    Keywords: distance-to-university, subject choice, university choice, Switzerland
    JEL: I21 I23 R10
    Date: 2011–05
  5. By: Giovanni Mastrobuoni; Paolo Pinotti
    Abstract: We estimate the causal effect of immigrants' legal status on criminal behavior exploiting exogenous variation in migration restrictions across nationalities driven by the last round of the European Union enlargement. Unique individual-level data on a collective clemency bill enacted in Italy five months before the enlargement allow us to compare the post-release criminal record of inmates from new EU member countries with a control group of pardoned inmates from candidate EU member countries. Difference-in-differences in the probability of re-arrest between the two groups before and after the enlargement show that obtaining legal status lowers the recidivism of economically motivated offenders, but only in areas that provide relatively better labor market opportunities to legal immigrants. We provide a search-theoretic model of criminal behavior that is consistent with these results.
    Keywords: immigration; crime; legal status
    JEL: F22 K42 C41
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Bauer, Thomas (RWI); Flake, Regina (Ruhr Graduate School in Economics); Sinning, Mathias (Australian National University)
    Abstract: This paper combines individual-level data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) with economic and demographic postcode-level data from administrative records to analyze the effects of immigration on wages and unemployment probabilities of high- and low-skilled natives. Employing an instrumental variable strategy and utilizing the variation in the population share of foreigners across regions and time, we find no support for the hypothesis of adverse labor market effects of immigration.
    Keywords: international migration, effects of immigration
    JEL: F22 J31 J64 R23
    Date: 2011–05
  7. By: Bijwaard, Govert (NIDI - Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute); Schluter, Christian (University of Southampton); Wahba, Jackline (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: Using administrative panel data on the entire population of new labour immigrants to The Netherlands, we estimate the causal effects of labour dynamics on their return decisions. Specifically, the roles of unemployment and re-employment spells on immigration durations are examined. The endogeneity of labour market outcomes and the return migration decision, if ignored, confounds the causal effect. This empirical challenge is addressed using the "timing-of-events" method. We estimate the model separately for distinct immigrant groups, and find that, overall, unemployment spells shorten immigration durations, while re-employment spells delay returns for all but one group. The magnitude of the causal effect differs across groups.
    Keywords: temporary migration, durations, timing of event method, labour market dynamics
    JEL: J61 J64 C41
    Date: 2011–05
  8. By: J.Edward Taylor; Mateusz Filipski
    Abstract: This working paper presents findings from an effort to evaluate the impacts of immigration policies on the welfare of migrants and their families in migrant-sending countries. It uses a disaggregated micro economy-wide modelling approach, designed to capture both the potentially positive and negative effects of migration and remittances in migrant-sending areas and the complex processes shaping these impacts. The model is used to explore the possible effects of destination-country immigration policies on rural welfare in Mexico and Nicaragua (US policies in the first case and US and Costa Rican policies in the second). The findings highlight the sensitivity of sending-country welfare to immigration policies, not only in the households that send migrants and receive remittances but other households with which they interact within the migrant-sending economy. Impacts vary between the two countries and across households, and they also depend upon the gender and skills of migrants. The paper concludes by discussing the importance of both destination and source country policies in shaping the impacts of international migration on rural welfare.<BR>Ce document de travail tente d’évaluer l’impact des politiques d’immigration sur le bien-être des migrants et de leurs familles dans les pays de départ. Il s’appuie sur un modèle micro-économique désagrégé, conçu pour rendre compte à la fois des effets négatifs et positifs de la migration et des transferts de fonds dans les régions de départ, et des procédés complexes qui déterminent ces effets. Ce modèle permet d’étudier les effets potentiels des politiques migratoires des pays de destination sur le bien-être en zone rurale au Mexique et au Nicaragua (les politiques américaines dans le premier cas, et les politiques américaines et costaricaines dans le second). Les conclusions soulignent la sensibilité du bien-être dans les pays d’origine aux politiques d’immigration, non seulement dans les ménages de migrants qui reçoivent des transferts mais aussi dans les autres ménages qui interagissent au sein de l’économie du pays d’origine. Les impacts diffèrent selon les pays et entre ménages. Ils dépendent aussi du sexe et du niveau de qualification des migrants. Ce document discute enfin le poids des politiques des pays de destination et d’origine en matière d’impact des migrations internationales sur le bien-être en zone rurale.
    Keywords: Mexico, labour supply, remittances, international migration, Nicaragua, Mexique, offre de travail, migration internationale, Nicaragua, transferts d’argent
    JEL: F22 J08 J61 O55
    Date: 2011–05
  9. By: Fleur Wouterse
    Abstract: This working paper uses an agricultural household model to explore the impact of potential immigration policy reforms on the welfare of rural households in Burkina Faso. Simulation results demonstrate that, in contrast to continental migration, increased intercontinental migration has strong positive household welfare effects. Similarly, an increase in the stay abroad of intercontinental migrants impacts positively on welfare. Findings lend support to the introduction of a Temporary Migration Programme (TMP) which, by lowering the cost involved, would enable poorer households to engage in intercontinental migration. The temporary nature of such a program ensures that ‚Dutch disease? effects are mitigated through eventual migrant return. Granting of legal status to migrants already abroad through a temporary work and residence permit is also recommended if the objective is to improve the welfare of migrant-sending households. Legalisation can be granted under the same TMP so that the eventual return of migrants would be encouraged.<BR>Ce document de travail repose sur un modèle décrivant des ménages agricoles pour étudier l’impact de réformes potentielles des politiques migratoires sur le bien-être en zone rurale au Burkina Faso. Les résultats des simulations démontrent qu’à la différence des migrations continentales, l’effet des migrations intercontinentales est plus important sur le bien-être du ménage. De même, une durée plus longue de séjour à l’étranger des migrants intercontinentaux a un impact positif sur le bien-être. Les résultats constituent un argument en faveur de la mise en place d’un programme de migrations temporaires (PMT) qui en abaissant le coût des migrations intercontinentales permettrait aux ménages les plus pauvres de recourir aux migrations intercontinentales. La nature temporaire d’un tel programme permet d’atténuer les effets liés au « syndrome hollandais » de par un retour éventuel des migrants. Accorder un statut légal aux migrants qui sont déjà à l’étranger avec un permis de travail temporaire et un permis de résidence est aussi recommandé si l’objectif est d’améliorer le bien-être des ménages de migrants. La légalisation peut être accordée selon le même PMT afin d’encourager le retour éventuel des migrants.
    Keywords: migration, labour supply, remittances, immigration policy, Burkina Faso, offre de travail, migration, transferts d’argent, politiques d’immigration, Burkina-Faso
    JEL: F22 J08 J61 O55
    Date: 2011–05
  10. By: Kourtit, K.; Nijkamp, P.
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Bakens, J.; Nijkamp, P.
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Gibson, John; McKenzie, David
    Abstract: High-skilled emigration is an emotive issue that in popular discourse is often referred to as brain drain, conjuring images of extremely negative impacts on developing countries. Recent discussions of brain gain, diaspora effects, and other advantages of migration have been used to argue against this, but much of the discussion has been absent of evidence. This paper builds upon a new wave of empirical research to answer eight key questions underlying much of the brain drain debate: 1) What is brain drain? 2) Why should economists care about it? 3) Is brain drain increasing? 4) Is there a positive relationship between skilled and unskilled migration? 5) What makes brain drain more likely? 6) Does brain gain exist? 7) Do high-skilled workers remit, invest, and share knowledge back home? and 8) What do we know about the fiscal and production externalities of brain drain?
    Keywords: Population Policies,Tertiary Education,International Migration,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Remittances
    Date: 2011–05–01
  13. By: Alesina, Alberto (Harvard University); Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Nunn, Nathan (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to better understand the historical origins of current differences in norms and beliefs about the appropriate role of women in society. We test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural practices influenced the historical gender division of labor and the evolution and persistence of gender norms. We find that, consistent with existing hypotheses, the descendants of societies that traditionally practiced plough agriculture, today have lower rates of female participation in the workplace, in politics, and in entrepreneurial activities, as well as a greater prevalence of attitudes favoring gender inequality. We identify the causal impact of traditional plough use by exploiting variation in the historical geo-climatic suitability of the environment for growing crops that differentially benefited from the adoption of the plough. Our IV estimates, based on this variation, support the findings from OLS. To isolate the importance of cultural transmission as a mechanism, we examine female labor force participation of second-generation immigrants living within the US.
    Keywords: culture, beliefs, values, gender roles
    JEL: J16 N30
    Date: 2011–05
  14. By: Julan Du (The Chinese University of Hong Kong); Qing He (Renmin University of China and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research); Oliver M. Rui (The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)
    Abstract: This paper decomposes consumption risk sharing among provinces in China over the 1980-2007 period. We find that 9.4 percent of the shocks to gross provincial product are smoothed by the interprovincial fiscal transfer system. This system also cushions a relatively large fraction of the province-specific shocks in the coastal provinces of China. Using a variety of indicators, we explore non-fiscal channels of consumption risk sharing. We find that the migration of rural labor to urban areas and the remittance of migrant wages play important roles in promoting interprovincial consumption risk sharing in the inland provinces of China. In contrast, the extent of risk sharing through financial intermediaries and the capital markets is very limited. These factors have resulted in a low degree of risk sharing among Chinese provinces, especially over the last decade.
    Keywords: Consumption Risk Sharing, Chinese Economy, Fiscal System, Credit Markets, Remittance
    JEL: O16 O53 R11
    Date: 2011–04
  15. By: Marina Murat; Barbara Pistoresi; Alberto Rinaldi
    Abstract: Emigrant associations abroad are structured nodes of social networks; they are manifestations of a transnational social capital. Italian associations are numerous, spread across several countries, in some cases they exist since the end of the nineteenth century, and may count on high numbers of members. Also, they are robustly tied to the home country. This paper assesses the effects of Italian associations abroad on the bilateral FDI between Italy and the countries of settlement of Italian diaspora. The main results are that these effects are positive and strongly significant, especially for the inward FDI and relatively to the countries with the oldest associations
    Keywords: international migration, FDI, Italy
    JEL: F21 F23
    Date: 2011–05
  16. By: Marta Federici; Giuseppe Fiorani
    Abstract: This paper provide a review of housing policies implemented in the Municipality of Modena for those tenants living in unaffordable housing. In the first part of the paper we analyze demand and supply for each of these policies, our sources being microdata from the Municipality: we find that immigrants represent about half of the demand, but that a relevant part of this demand remains unanswered. Then, in the second part we use survey data ICESmo2 in order to detect potential demand for a new housing policy, offering housing at affordable rents – higher than in the public sector but lower than in the private controlled sector. Our results show that this potential demand counts about 2,000 families: in particular, these are one-earner families, under 40, small and foreign families
    Keywords: rental housing market; immigration; Modena
    JEL: I38 J15 R21 R31
    Date: 2011–04
  17. By: Paola Bertolini; Francesco Pagliacci; Serena Giannuzzi
    Abstract: Foreign people face increasing housing problems in Italy. The goal of the paper is the analysis of these difficulties through an empirical investigation, based on data of a direct survey on estate agencies, which in Italy represent the main brokers in the housing market. The results highlight the relevance of discrimination against foreign people both in leasing and in buying an house. Those difficulties are observed even if the typologies of dwellings required by foreigners are usually different from those demanded by the local population. In particular foreigners require dwellings of lower quality (e.g., smaller or older flats in low value neighbourhoods)
    Keywords: foreign migration, housing, discrimination
    JEL: R21 R23 R31
    Date: 2011–04

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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.