nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2011‒11‒14
27 papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Migration and Regional Convergence in the European Union By Gabriele Tondl; Peter Huber
  2. Remittances and the Wage Impact of Immigration By William W. Olney
  3. Immigration and the School System By Facundo Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales; Esther Hauk
  4. Determinants of return migration in Spain in its new role as a receiving country By Gemma Larramona
  5. Graduate migration in Italy - Lifestyle or necessity? By Elisabetta Marinelli
  6. The Impact of Immigration on Native Poverty through Labor Market Competition By Giovanni Peri
  7. Age at Immigration and the Education Outcomes of Children By Corak, Miles
  8. The best and brightest. Selezione positiva e brain drain nelle migrazioni interne italiane By Nifo, Annamaria; Pagnotta, Stefano; Scalera, Domenico
  9. Internal Migration and Urban Wages in Brazil: 1980-2000 By Tiago Freire
  10. Export, Migration, and Costs of Market Entry: Evidence from Central European Firms By Dieter Pennerstorfer
  11. The effect of polytechnic reform on migration By Böckerman, Petri; Haapanen, Mika
  12. Envoi de fonds et allocation du temps des enfants au Niger : L'effet indirect des chocs négatifs By Delphine Boutin
  13. Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? What Drives the Self-Selection of Internal Migrants in Germany? By Terry Gregory; Melanie Arntz; Florian Lehmer
  14. Testing the 'Residential Rootedness'-Hypothesis of Self-Employment for Germany and the UK By Reuschke, Darja; van Ham, Maarten
  15. Migration and inter-industry mobility of UK graduates: Effect on earnings and career satisfaction By Maria Abreu; Alessandra Faggian; Philip McCann
  17. WAGE GAPS AND MIGRANTION COSTS: AN ANALYSIS FROM SIMULATION DATA By Melania Salazar-Ordóñez; Carlos García-Alonso; Gabriel Perez-Alcalá
  18. Your place or mine? On the residence choice of young couples in Norway By Løken, Katrine; Lommerud, Kjell Erik; Lundberg, Shelly
  19. Mind the Gap: A Detailed Picture of the Immigrant-Native Earnings Gap in the UK Using Longitudinal Data Between 1978 and 2006 By Lemos, Sara
  20. Immigrant population, public space and housing in Barcelona By Blanca Gutiérrez Valdivia; Pilar García Almirall
  21. Welfare Magnets, Taxation and the Location Decisions of Migrants to the EU By Klaus Nowotny
  22. L'âge au moment de l'immigration et les résultats scolaires des enfants By Corak, Miles
  23. Housing Prices and Inter-urban Migration By Cecile Detang-Dessendre; Gary Hunt; Virginie Piguet; Andrew Plantinga
  24. Migration as Driving Force for the Dynamics of Housing Rent By Yuri Yegorov
  25. Residential choice of knowledge-workers in a 'startup metropolis': the role of amenities, workplace and lifestyle By Amnon Frenkel; Edward Benedit; Sigal Kaplan
  27. Moving from the central city: features, destinations, causes and consequences of city dwellers' flight By Sabrina Iommi; Patrizia Lattarulo

  1. By: Gabriele Tondl; Peter Huber
    Abstract: Migration and Regional Convergence in the European Union European migration trends in the last decade have been marked by a number of spectacular changes. In the course of the recent enlargement immigration to some EU15 countries from the CEECs has become remarkable. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the EU27 countries are net immigration countries. In face of the important immigration and the cohesion problem, the question arises whether migration had any effect on unemployment and GDP per capita levels in the 2000s. In this paper we use data from the Eurostat Regio Database and estimate whether EU regions reveal a process of convergence in unemployment and income and whether migration plays a role in this process. We further examine whether migration has a different impact on emigration and immigration regions or in converging and diverging regions. While we cannot find a significant impact of migration on unemployment, migration clearly affects per capita income growth.
    Date: 2011–09
  2. By: William W. Olney (Williams College)
    Abstract: This paper is the first to examine the impact of immigrant remittances on the wages of native workers in the host country. The model shows that the effect of immigration on wages depends on the ratio of an immigration-induced change in the consumer base relative to an immigration-induced change in the workforce. Remittances provide a unique way of identifying changes in this ratio since they reduce the consumer base but not the workforce. The model is then tested using an unusual data set that follows the same individuals over time and has detailed information on remittances. Consistent with the prediction of the model, the results indicate that remittances depress the wages of native workers, especially those in non-traded industries.
    Keywords: Remittances; Immigration; Wages
    JEL: F24 J61 J31
    Date: 2011–07
  3. By: Facundo Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales; Esther Hauk
    Abstract: Immigration is an important problem in many societies, and it has wide-ranging effects on the educational systems of host countries. There is a now a large empirical literature, but very little theoretical work on this topic. We introduce a model of family immigration in a framework where school quality and student outcomes are determined endogenously. This allows us to explain the selection of immigrants in terms of parental motivation and the policies which favor a positive selection. Also, we can study the effect of immigration on the school system and how school quality may self-reinforce immigrants' and natives' choices.
    Keywords: education, immigration, school resources, parental involvement, immigrant sorting.
    JEL: I20 I21 I28 J24 J61
    Date: 2011–11–01
  4. By: Gemma Larramona
    Abstract: Around 5% of the foreign population residing in Spain took the decision to leave this country in 2009. Spain has recently become a receiving country for migrants and the phenomenon of temporary migration is on the rise. The aim of this paper is to provide some insights into the determinants that affect the decision of foreign immigrants to return to their country of birth, once the decision to leave Spain has been taken.
    Date: 2011–09
  5. By: Elisabetta Marinelli
    Abstract: This paper studies the locational choice of Italian mobile graduates, tackling simultaneously three aspects. First it analyses the structural drivers of migration (i.e. the key regional characteristics that attract high-skilled migrants) and the social structures that underpin it (i.e the role of migration networks). Secondly, it compares the preferences of migrants across Italy, to those who move from the least developed South to the Centre-North and those who move within the richer Centre-North. Thirdly, as graduate migration is a key mechanism to transfer knowledge from the university to the labour market, particular attention is given to migrants who are applying, in their jobs, exactly the skills gained through their degree. Results indicate that social networks are a much stronger determinant of the destination of graduates than regional characteristics, that to apply one’s knowledge it is necessary to move to highly innovative areas, and that graduates from different areas have different preferences and behaviour. In particular, whilst migration is a lifestyle choice for those who move within the Centre-North, it is driven by economic necessity for those who leave the South.
    Date: 2011–09
  6. By: Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: In this paper I first analyze the wage effects of immigrants on native workers in the US economy and its top immigrant-receiving states and metropolitan areas. Then I quantify the consequences of these wage effects on the poverty rates of native families. The goal is to establish whether the labor market effects of immigrants have significantly affected the percentage of "poor" families among U.S.-born individuals. I consider the decade 2000-2009 during which poverty rates increased significantly in the U.S. As a reference, I also analyze the decade 1990-2000. To calculate the wage impact of immigrants I adopt a simple general equilibrium model of productive interactions, regulated by the elasticity of substitution across schooling groups, age groups and between US and foreign-born workers. Considering the inflow of immigrants by age, schooling and location I evaluate their impact in local markets (cities and states) assuming no mobility of natives and on the US market as a whole allowing for native internal mobility. Our findings show that for all plausible parameter values there is essentially no effect of immigration on native poverty at the national level. At the local level, only considering the most extreme estimates and only in some localities, we find non-trivial effects of immigration on poverty. In general, however, even the local effects of immigration bear very little correlation with the observed changes in poverty rates and they explain a negligible fraction of them.
    JEL: J3 J61
    Date: 2011–11
  7. By: Corak, Miles
    Abstract: This paper examines the education outcomes (including the chances of being a high school drop-out) of a cohort of immigrants who arrived in Canada as children using the 2006 Census. The research documents the degree to which high school graduation for immigrant children may change discretely after a particular age at arrival in Canada.
    Keywords: Education, training and learning, Children and youth, Ethnic diversity and immigration, Educational attainment, Immigrant children and youth, Education, training and skills, Integration of newcomers, Outcomes of education
    Date: 2011–10–27
  8. By: Nifo, Annamaria; Pagnotta, Stefano; Scalera, Domenico
    Abstract: During the last decade, the internal migration flows from Southern Italy to the central and northern regions of the country have become more significant. Unlike the past, these flows are characterised by a strong incidence of qualified workers with secondary or tertiary education. Also, even in this restricted set of workers, the most talented (the best and brightest) individuals are the ones showing the highest propensity to migrate. This paper applies a binary segmentation technique to a database of 10701 individuals graduated at Palermo and Naples universities between 2004 and 2007 in order to get groups with mostly differentiated attitudes to migrate. The evidence shows that variables driving segmentation (i.e. the most relevant variables in explaining the propensity to migrate) are the subject of study (who graduates in engineering and scientific disciplines is more mobile), the graduation mark (who gets higher marks is more likely to migrate) and the family social and cultural background. This strong positive self selection of migrants enhances the ability of internal migration to trigger considerable harmful effects on origin regions and jeopardises Southern Italy to suffer from heavy losses of human capital.
    Keywords: internal migration; positive self selection of migrants
    JEL: O15 J24 R23
    Date: 2011–10–03
  9. By: Tiago Freire
    Abstract: It is generally accepted that migration will lead to an increase in income. However the question is how will income be distributed across individuals in society? If migrants have lower education levels, when compared to current urban workers, then the in ow of migrants will increase the skill wage gap in urban areas. Previous work on this topic has focused on international migration in developed countries. To the best of our knowledge this is the rst study to look at the impact of rural-urban migration on city wages. Our results contribute to the evaluation of regional policies, as recent research has found that regional policies can lead to an increase (or decrease) in the number of rural to urban migrants. We use data the Brazilian Census for 1980 to 2000 to estimate the elasticity of substitution between high and low skill workers. We instrument for the change in the ratio of high to low skill workers, with rural-urban migrants (driven by rainfall shocks in rural areas). Finally, in our simulations we show that migration can only explain 3% of the decrease in the wage gap between high and low skill workers, in Brazil, between 1991 and 2000.
    Date: 2011–09
  10. By: Dieter Pennerstorfer (WIFO)
    Abstract: In this paper I analyse the export behaviour of firms located in different Central European countries (Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) with respect to migration. Ever since the seminal article by Gould (1994) on immigrant links to their home country and due to empirical research following his contribution, it is a well established result that immigrants from a particular country spur exports to and imports from that destination. Chaney (2008) shows that a decrease in fixed costs of exporting increases the number of exporters (extensive margin), whereas a reduction in variable costs also increases the volume exported by each exporting firm (intensive margin). Empirical contributions using firm-level data focus on various aspects influencing costs of exporting (like spillover effects of nearby firms or financial factors), but leave out the issue of migration. I combine detailed information coming from a questionnaire conducted among 8,300 firms on the export behaviour to different countries with regional data on migration from the European Labour Force Survey (LFS). I find evidence that both the propensity to export and – to a much smaller extent – the volume of sales of exporting firms to a particular destination is higher for firms located in regions with a larger number of immigrants from that country. I conclude that migrants mainly reduce fixed costs of exporting.
    Keywords: Firm-level data, Export destinations, Immigrants, Margins of trade
    Date: 2011–11–04
  11. By: Böckerman, Petri; Haapanen, Mika
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of polytechnic reform on geographical mobility. A polytechnic, higher education reform took place in Finland in the 1990s. It gradually transformed former vocational colleges into polytechnics and also brought higher education to regions that did not have a university before. This expansion of higher education provides exogenous variation in the regional supply of higher education. We find that the reform increased the migration of high school graduates. The migration propensities increased particularly close to graduation from high school, but some results also suggest a smaller positive effect over a longer period.
    Keywords: Migration; higher education; school reform; polytechnics; high school graduates
    JEL: I20 J10 J61 R23
    Date: 2011–11–09
  12. By: Delphine Boutin (Larefi - Laboratoire d'analyse et de recherche en économie et finance internationales - Université Montesquieu - Bordeaux IV : EA2954)
    Abstract: By reducing financial constraints and income variability, remittances can increase educational attainment and thereby reduce child labor supply, in the context of imperfect financial markets. This paper aims to analyze the impact of remittances on child labor and educational outcomes in Niger. More specifically, we investigate how recipient households in Niger decide to spend this extra income with regard to the decision on sending their children to school or to work. Our methodology differs from previous ones in important respects. First, we estimate whether there are significant differences according the negative shocks occurrence. Second, the endogeneity of migration decisions complicates the analysis as it requires the identification of two separate events that are often driven by similar factors. In order to delineate the effect of remittances from migration, we focus on children residing in non-migrant households. Third, we use a Propensity Score Matching method to calculate the average treatment effects of remittances on children labor force or schooling participation decisions. We use this approach to avoid the identification problem generated by a simple comparison of households that receive remittances and households that do not. This approach requires a rich database, which is provided by the Troisième enquête nationale sur le budget et la Consommation des ménages (Niger, 2007). Indeed, with a sample size close to 4 thousand households, this survey contains information on the size of remittances received, the nature of remittances, the country where the cash transfers come from and the frequency with respect to previous year. Our findings show the positive role of remittances on schooling in every scenario selected (with or without shocks experienced). The remittances' effects on children's participation in economic activities are however much more complex and depend if the household has recently experienced a negative shock. Thus, while one of the main advantages of remittances is to diversify income sources and protect families in downturns, the use of children to work as a coping strategy is still frequent in Niger. These two mechanisms (remittance and child work) appear to be complementary.
    Keywords: Remittances, Children time allocation, Propensity Score matching
    Date: 2011–07–20
  13. By: Terry Gregory; Melanie Arntz; Florian Lehmer
    Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of internal migration in a context where wages tend to be rather inflexible at a regional scale so that regional labor demand shocks have a prolonged impact on employment rates. Regional income differentials, then, reflect both regional pay and employment differentials. In such a context, migrants tend to move to regions that best reward their skills in terms of both of these dimensions. As an extension to the Borjas framework, the paper thus hypothesizes that regions with a low employment inequality attract more unskilled workers compared to regions with unequal employment chances. By estimating a migration model for the average skill level of gross labor flows between 27 German regions, we find evidence in favor of this hypothesis. While rising employment inequality in a region raises the average skill level of an in-migrant, higher pay inequality in a region does not have a significant impact on the average skill level of its in-migrants. A higher employment inequality in Eastern as compared to Western Germany may, thus, be the missing link to explain the fact that East-West migrants tend to be rather unskilled.
    Date: 2011–09
  14. By: Reuschke, Darja (University of St. Andrews); van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology)
    Abstract: Based on the notion that entrepreneurship is a 'local event', the literature argues that self-employed workers and entrepreneurs are 'rooted' in place. This paper tests the 'residential rootedness'-hypothesis of self-employment by examining for Germany and the UK whether the self-employed are less likely to move or migrate than employees. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio-economic Panel Study (SOEP) and the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and accounting for transitions in employment status we found little evidence that the self-employed in Germany and the UK are more rooted in place than employees. Firstly, the self-employed are not less likely to move or migrate over the period 2001–08. Secondly, those who are currently self-employed are also not more likely to have remained in the same place over a period of three years (2008–06 and 2005–03) as compared to those who are currently employed. Thirdly, those who are continuously self-employed are not less likely to have moved or migrated over a 3-period than those in continuous paid employment. Fourthly, in contrast to the prevalent 'residential rootedness'-hypothesis in economic geography and regional studies, we found that the entry into and the exit from self-employment are associated with internal migration.
    Keywords: self-employment, migration, residential mobility, rootedness hypothesis, UK, Germany
    JEL: J61 J62 L26
    Date: 2011–10
  15. By: Maria Abreu; Alessandra Faggian; Philip McCann
    Abstract: Career progression is often associated with migration and/or industry change, but the relationship between the two, and their effect on the earnings and career satisfaction of recent graduates are not well understood. We analyse the relationship between migration and inter-industry mobility using longitudinal microdata on 5,000 recent UK graduates who finished their studies in 2002/03, and who were surveyed 6 months and 3 ½ years after graduation. We define migration as a move of more than 15 km from the location of employment, and analyse the effects of a locational move in conjuction, or in the absence of, a change in industry. We allow for the possibility of selection bias, whereby unobservable characteristics may lead graduates to both change their location and/or industry, and earn a higher or lower salary, by estimating a treatment effects model with multinomial choice. Our results indicate that the effect on both earnings and career satisfaction of a change in location is positive, and there is a strong negative effect associated with changing both location and industry. The results also show that the subject of study is an important determinant of both migration choice and career outcomes for UK graduates.
    Date: 2011–09
  16. By: Maria Hierro
    Abstract: This paper explores the Spain’s international migration distribution (SIMD) for the 1998-2009 period. Beyond a general depiction of the distribution, the study pays special attention to the role played by space and, particularly, to the possibility of geographical contagion effects. For this latter, and using a spatial Markov chain approach, two new measures of positive and negative contagion are proposed. The results do identify space as key determinant of the SIMD. Furthermore, results reveal that there are contagion effects, positive contagion among provinces surrounded by high-immigration provinces being the most significant.
    Date: 2011–09
  17. By: Melania Salazar-Ordóñez; Carlos García-Alonso; Gabriel Perez-Alcalá
    Abstract: Borjas (1987, 1991 and 1994) developed the self-selection theory, applying Roy’s model (1951) to migration studies. He establishes that the characteristics of migrants in terms of skills and abilities are driven by wage distribution differences between the host country and home. In this regard, when the country of origin has higher relative returns for skills and more disperse income distribution, a negative selection of migrants is generated, and vice versa. A great deal of literature has studied Self-selection model to analyse how wage distribution influences migrants’ decisions, leading to consistent and inconsistent results. Given the conflicting results in the literature, this paper examines how migration costs and wage differences influence self-selection patterns –i.e. skills in terms of schooling levels. Taking into account that self-selection can not be studied systematically by means of standard data sources because of the lack of data, we propose an analytical model based on the individual investment decision theory (Human Capital theory), applying simulated data by Monte-Carlo method. The theory of individual investment decisions allows us to analyze self-selection patterns across differences in wages and economic conditions at home and in host countries and to introduce uncertainty using a stochastic framework. An empirical application for long-distant migrations –from Ecuador to Spain– is implemented. Our findings show that migrants are positively selected on observable skills between Spain and Ecuador, considering both constant direct migration costs and constant direct migration costs-plus-variable opportunity migration costs. Secondary data from official sources confirm this tendency.
    Date: 2011–09
  18. By: Løken, Katrine; Lommerud, Kjell Erik; Lundberg, Shelly
    Abstract: Norwegian registry data is used to investigate the location decisions of a full population cohort of young adults as they complete their education, establish separate households and form their own families. We find that the labor market opportunities and family ties of both partners affect these location choices. Surprisingly, married men live significantly closer to their own parents than do married women, even if they have children, and this difference cannot be explained by differences in observed characteristics. The principal source of excess female distance from parents in this population is the relatively low mobility of men without a college degree, particularly in rural areas. Despite evidence that intergenerational resource flows, such as childcare and eldercare, are particularly important between women and their parents, the family connections of husbands appear to dominate the location decisions of less-educated married couples.
    Keywords: Gender relations; Geographic mobility; Married couples; Residence choice
    JEL: J12 J16 J61
    Date: 2011–11
  19. By: Lemos, Sara (University of Leicester)
    Abstract: Using the underexplored, sizeable and long Lifetime Labour Market Database (LLMDB) we estimated the immigrant-native earnings gap across the entire earnings distribution, across continents of nationality and across cohorts of arrival in the UK between 1978 and 2006. We exploited the longitudinal nature of our data to separate the effect of observed and unobserved individual characteristics on earnings. This helped us to prevent selectivity biases such as cohort bias and survivor bias, which have been long standing unresolved identification issues in the literature. In keeping with the limited existing UK literature, we found a clear and wide dividing line between whites and non-whites in simple comparable models. However, in our more complete models we found a much narrower and subtler dividing line. This confirms the importance of accounting for unobservable individual characteristics, which is an important contribution of this paper. It also suggests that the labour market primarily rewards individual characteristics other than immigration status. We also found that the lowest paid immigrants, whom are disproportionately non-white, suffer an earnings penalty in the labour market, whereas higher paid immigrants, whom are disproportionately white, do not. Finally, we found less favourable earning gaps for cohorts that witnessed proportionately larger non-white and lower paid white immigration.
    Keywords: immigration, wages, earnings, earnings-gap, UK
    JEL: J24 J31 J61 J71 J82 F22
    Date: 2011–10
  20. By: Blanca Gutiérrez Valdivia; Pilar García Almirall
    Abstract: Demographic change occurred in the last decade by the arrival of immigrant population has produced significant social and physical transformations in the Spanish cities. This article is part of a research on the residential and urban conditions of immigrant population in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona. In this study we have analyzed through case studies the relation between immigration and city through the study of the use of public space and housing characteristics. The immigrant population is generally a very diverse collective. We propose that points in common can be drawn from analyses that take into account other major characteristics, beyond country of origin, such as gender, economic situation and education level. Through observation of groups in public spaces, especially squares, it is possible to identify aspects related both to social status and to gender roles assigned by their original and adopted cultures. This paper focuses on Metropolitan Region of Barcelona, and analyzes its reality based on concrete data and specific in case studies, to verify and compare the initial proposal. To be able to determine parameters for comparison, we have worked with a methodological strategy based of several quantitative and qualitative tools to get an insight on residential and urban conditions of the immigrant population. The main technique used was the participant observation, involving direct observation and presence in different interaction spaces: streets, squares and public facilities. The observations involve two dimensions to make the analysis and the comparison between different fields of study easier: Physical dimension and Social dimension. This made it possible for us to become aware of the different uses made by immigrants and by the Spanish population based on their activities, gender, age, and interaction with other persons.
    Date: 2011–09
  21. By: Klaus Nowotny
    Abstract: Migrants are among the groups most vulnerable to economic fluctuations. As predicted by the 'welfare magnet' hypothesis, migrants can therefore be expected to--ceteris paribus--prefer countries with more generous welfare provisions to insure themselves against labor market risks. This paper analyzes the role of the welfare magnet hypothesis for migrants to the EU-15 at the regional level. The empirical analysis based on a random parameters logit model shows that the regional location decisions of migrants are mostly governed by income opportunities, labor market conditions, ethnic networks and a common language. There is no strong evidence for the welfare magnet hypothesis in the EU, but the empirical model shows that the design of the (income) tax system has a large and consistent effect on locational choice.
    Date: 2011–09
  22. By: Corak, Miles
    Abstract: Le présent article évalue à partir des données du Recensement de 2006 les résultats scolaires (tel que la probabilité de décrochage scolaire au secondaire) d'une cohorte d'immigrants arrivés au Canada alors qu'ils étaient encore enfants. L'étude documente le fait que la vraisemblance que les enfants immigrants obtiennent leur diplôme d'études secondaires peut varier de façon distincte après un certain âge l'arrivée au Canada.
    Keywords: Éducation, formation et apprentissage, Enfants et jeunes, Diversité ethnique et immigration, Niveau de scolarité, Enfants et jeunes immigrants, Éducation, formation et compétences, Intégration des nouveaux venus, Résultats éducationnels
    Date: 2011–10–27
  23. By: Cecile Detang-Dessendre; Gary Hunt; Virginie Piguet; Andrew Plantinga
    Abstract: Understanding the causes and consequences of human migration has long been of interest to urban and regional economists. Empirical studies build on the theoretical results of Roback (1982) and Mueser and Graves (1995) by estimating the effects of wages, housing prices, and amenities on inter-area migration. Findings with respect to amenities are clear (e.g., Rappaport 2007), and household-level studies consistently find that relative wages or incomes increase the probability that a household will select a given location (e.g., Berger and Blomquist 1992). In contrast, the results for housing prices are inconclusive. Studies that include area-level measures (e.g., median housing price for a metropolitan area) find a mix of negative, positive, and insignificant effects on inter-area migration decisions (e.g., Hunt and Mueller 2004). Many migration studies exclude housing price measures. This paper investigates the role of housing prices in influencing inter-urban household migration decisions. An important contribution of the study is the development of a new method for representing housing prices in migration analyses. Following the approach commonly used to model wages in studies of household migration, we identify the form of the utility function for which individual-specific housing prices can be predicted for unselected areas as a function of individual characteristics. Our theoretical results guide the development of an empirical measure of housing costs that accounts for the decision to own or rent and the cost of holding housing capital. We test our housing cost measure using the 2000 PUMS to identify point-to-point migration decisions for a large sample of college-educated males residing in 291 U.S. metropolitan areas. We estimate conditional logit models of metropolitan area choice, controlling for wages, a large range of amenities, and expected housing costs. Our key finding is that our proposed housing cost measure yields the expected results (higher housing prices reduce the probability that an area is selected), which is robust to alternative specifications and samples. We re-estimate our model using three alternative metropolitan area measures of housing costs: median house price, average apartment rent, and average urban land rent. We find that these measures consistently yield counterintuitive results.
    Date: 2011–09
  24. By: Yuri Yegorov
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is to link models of urban formations (urban studies) with models of housing rent. While housing market models are essentially static, model of urban formation is presented in dynamic set up. The driving force for dynamics comes from migration theory and includes chain migration model. In economics and social studies, we often observe collective phenomena that produce externality effects and that cannot be described by classical market theory. On one hand, we observe mass migration to urban agglomerations despite congestion effect. On the other hand, we observe such phenomena as housing bubbles that can lead to huge macroeconomic consequences (like financial crisis of 2008 driven by explosion of the US bubble, or contemporary recession of Spain also driven by housing bubble). Migration has rational and chain components. Due to chain effect, migration inflow will be positive and high when city passes its optimal level. Housing price and construction sector will both grow at this stage although utility of citizens already decline. Thus, chain migration is de-stabilizer of the economy and one of sources for bubble emergence. Combination of city dynamics with the static theory of urban and housing economics makes it necessary to understand the issue of ownership in land rent. This is a complex collective phenomenon with externalities.
    Date: 2011–09
  25. By: Amnon Frenkel; Edward Benedit; Sigal Kaplan
    Abstract: Knowledge-workers belonging to the super-creative core of the creative-class are considered a mean to induce economic growth and to sharpen the regional competitive edge. Driven by the key-role of housing in attracting and retaining knowledge-workers, most studies focus on the residential choice of knowledge workers at the inter-metropolitan level. In contrast, empirical evidence and analysis at the intra-metropolitan level are scarce. This study focuses on investigating the tradeoff among location amenities, workplace and lifestyle in the residential choice of knowledge-workers at the intra-metropolitan level. The importance of this issue derives from the key-role of housing as enabler for attracting and retaining knowledge-workers, and from evidence regarding the contradicting role of knowledge-workers both as catalysts to urban revitalization and as contributors to urban sprawl. Consequently, understanding the determinants of knowledge-workers' residential choice is essential for suggesting policy measures to attract and to retain knowledge workers, while promoting sustainable urban development. Multinomial logit and nested logit models are estimated for the location choice within the metropolitan area. Residential alternatives include several community types in the metropolitan core and surrounding concentric rings. Considered amenities are municipal socio-economic ranking, municipal investment in education, housing density, population composition in terms of age and creative occupations, and land-use shares allocated to public open spaces, culture and sport, public services, healthcare, education and industry. Workplace attributes are location and self-reported commuting time to work. Lifestyle is viewed from a holistic perspective encompassing lifecycle stage, work-role and leisure consumption, subject to available budget and level of mobility. The proposed model is applied to 837 observations of actual housing choices collected by means of a custom-designed web-based survey. Survey respondents consist of knowledge-workers in high-technology and financial business services, who work and reside in Tel Aviv metropolitan region, also known as the ‘the startup metropolis’. The empirical results reveal the relative importance of location amenities, workplace location and lifestyle in the residential location choice of knowledge workers. Relevant policy directions are suggested and discussed.
    Date: 2011–09
  26. By: Ernest Miguelez; Rosina Moreno
    Abstract: The aim of the present paper is to shed light on the determinants of geographical mobility and location choices of skilled individuals across the European regions. The most talented workers, e.g. inventors, move for a number of reasons, contributing in this manner to the geographical diffusion of knowledge as well as to reshape the geography of talent. Thus, geographic areas constitute nodes through which talent circulate, bringing knowledge from one place to another. By means of a gravity model, we will test whether social proximity between inventors’ communities and the so-called National System of Innovation drive in- and out-flows of inventors between pairs of regions, above and beyond physical separation, as well as other pulling factors (amenities, economic conditions, and the like). As for the econometrics is concerned, in order to accommodate our estimations to the count nature of our dependent variable and the high number of zeros in it, zero inflated negative binomial models are used. Our first results point out to the importance of, still, geographical proximity in driving this phenomenon. However, social relationships, as well as institutional, or technological and cultural proximities, are also playing a preponderant role in mediating the mobility patterns of inventors across the European geography.
    Date: 2011–09
  27. By: Sabrina Iommi; Patrizia Lattarulo
    Abstract: Cities have recently been affected by important changes both as regards their role in general economic growth and their spatial structure. As for the first issue, market globalisation has heightened territorial competition and cities, as places with a concentration of economic activities and workers and potential cradles of innovation, have found a new leading role in determining the future development of the regions and nations they belong to; as for the second issue, improvements in transportation and communication systems have reduced the necessity for proximity, thus leading to a new urban form which has been given many labels (low-density city, scattered city, dispersed city, exploded city, urban sprawl, etc.), but has clearly lost two traditional urban aspects: the territorial concentration of the population and economic activities and the certainty of city boundaries, intended both in physical and administrative terms. The last item is particularly important in territorial contexts, like in Italy, characterised by a large number of small local governments: in fact the spillover of cities from their traditional boundaries has provoked a twofold negative effect, that is, growing difficulties in understanding and in managing urban problems and opportunities. Keeping the described context as a framework, this paper aims to analyse the population movements that affected the chief regional city of Tuscany over a ten-year period (more precisely 1998-2008), in order to deduce their related causes and effects. The model developed was based on microeconomic data and connected the individual characteristics of the people leaving Florence (i.e. age, level of education, family size and composition) to the economic and territorial features of the places of destination (i.e. distance from Florence, real estate prices, social composition and functional mix). This application, based on an ordinarily little used data set, gave statistical evidence to residential choices and some measures of rental effects and search of amenities on urban sprawl. This insight could be reach of political implications. Given the subject-matter, the paper refers both to the literature on causes and patterns of residential mobility and to the one on causes and consequences of urban sprawl.
    Date: 2011–09

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.