nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2011‒12‒19
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Immigrant language barriers and house prices By Andreas M. Fischer
  2. Do immigrant students succeed? Evidence from Italy and France based on PISA 2006 By Marina Murat
  3. Outward and Inward Migrations in Italy: A Historical Perspective By Matteo Gomellini; Cormac Ó Gráda
  4. Trade and Migration: Firm-Level Evidence By Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas; Lodefalk, Magnus
  5. Migration, remittances and forests : disentangling the impact of population and economic growth on forests By Tiwari, Sailesh; Bhattarai, Keshav
  6. Remittances and Children's Capabilities: New Evidence from Kyrgyzstan, 2005-2008 By Kathryn Anderson; Antje Kroeger
  7. Testing the 'Residential Rootedness' - Hypothesis of Self-Employment for Germany and the UK By Darja Reuschke; Maarten Van Ham
  8. Demographic Divide and Labor Migration in the Euro-Mediterranean Region By Tosun, Mehmet S.
  9. Immigrant Enclaves and Crime By Brian Bell; Stephen Machin
  10. Poverty reduction in a refugee-hosting economy: A natural experiment By Maystadt, Jean-Francois
  11. Social Housing Policies in Latin America and Singapore: Lessons for China By Roger Sandilands
  12. How Immigrant Children Affect the Academic Achievement of Native Dutch Children By Ohinata, A.; Ours, J.C. van
  13. Housing busts and household mobility: an update By Fernando Ferreira; Joseph Gyourko; Joseph Tracy
  14. A counterfactual decomposition analysis of immigrants-natives earnings in Malaysia By Anees, Muhammad; Sajjad, Muhammad; Ahmed, Ishfaq

  1. By: Andreas M. Fischer
    Abstract: Are language skills important in explaining the nexus between house prices and immigrant inflows? The language barrier hypothesis says immigrants from a non common language country value amenities more than immigrants from common language countries.> ; In turn, immigrants from non common language countries are less price sensitive to house price changes than immigrants from a common language country. Tests of the language barrier hypothesis with Swiss house prices show that an immigration inflow from a non common language country equal to 1 percent of an area's population is coincident with an increase in prices for single-family homes of about 4.9 percent. Immigrant inflow from a common language country instead has no statistically significant impact.
    Keywords: Labor mobility
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Marina Murat
    Abstract: This paper uses data from PISA 2006 on science, mathematics and reading to analyse immigrant school gaps – negative difference between immigrants’ and natives’ scores - and the structural features of educational systems in two adjacent countries, Italy and France, with similar migration inflows and with similar schooling institutions, based on tracking. Our results show that tracking and school specific programs matter; in both countries, the school system upholds a separation between students with different backgrounds and ethnicities. Residential segregation or discrimination seem also to be at work, especially in France. Given the existing school model, a teaching support in mathematics and science in France and in reading in Italy would help immigrant students to converge to natives’ standards
    Keywords: International migration; educational systems; PISA;
    JEL: F22 I21
    Date: 2011–11
  3. By: Matteo Gomellini (Bank of Italy); Cormac Ó Gráda (University College of Dublin)
    Abstract: This work focuses on some economic aspects of the two main waves of Italian emigration (1876-1913 and post-1945) and of the immigration of recent years. First, we examine the characteristics of migrants. Second, for the period 1876-1913 we investigate the determinants of emigration using a new dataset that allows us to control for regional fixed effects. In this context, the role of the networks formed by once migrated in shaping early twentieth-century Italian emigration results enhanced (30 per cent higher than previously found). Third, we analyze the consequences of emigration for those left behind. A particular concern is whether emigration as a whole raised the living standards of those who stayed and whether it promoted interregional convergence within Italy. Our simulation exercises suggest that in the long run emigration accounted for a share of 4-5 per cent of the total per capita GDP growth; the contribution at the South was twofold with respect to the North. In the recent past Italy has become a country of net immigration. We explore nowadays’ immigration in the light of our findings on earlier Italian emigration, focusing on the links with the economic activity, the labor market, the balance of payments, crime and public opinion, on the other.
    Keywords: migration determinants, migration effects, self-selection, public perception
    JEL: N0 F22
    Date: 2011–10
  4. By: Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas (Department of Economics, Lund University); Lodefalk, Magnus (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Migration has been associated with higher levels of trade. Previous studies interpret this as evidence of migrants’ ability to lower trade costs. Nevertheless, no study has investigated the impact of migrants on firms’ foreign trade. Thus, they fail to both provide evidence on the role that migrants may play in lowering firms’ trade costs, and exactly through which mechanisms the impact is derived. This study, being the first to study in depth the impact of immigration on trade at the firm level, bridges this gap in research. It utilizes new and unique employer-employee data for 12,000 Swedish firms, for the period 1998-2007, in a firm-level gravity framework. It provides novel firm-level evidence, demonstrating a significant, positive, and robust impact of immigrants in raising firms’ foreign trade. Migrants are found to increase trade both on the extensive and intensive product margin. Further, the study is able to conclude that the sustained effect mainly derives from lower information frictions through superior knowledge of foreign-markets, although contacts are also important.
    Keywords: trade costs; information; trust; migration; heterogeneous firms; gravity; firmlevel data; product margins
    JEL: D22 D83 F14 F22
    Date: 2011–12–13
  5. By: Tiwari, Sailesh; Bhattarai, Keshav
    Abstract: International migration has increased rapidly in recent decades and this has been accompanied by a remarkable increase in transfers made by migrants to their home countries. This paper investigates the effect of the rural economic growth brought about by migration and remittances on Nepal's Himalayan forests. The authors assemble a unique village-panel dataset combining remote sensing data on land use and forest cover change with data from the census and multiple rounds of living standards surveys to test various inter-relationships between population, economic growth and forests. The results suggest that rural economic growth spurred by remittances has had an overall positive impact on forests. The paper also finds that remittances caused an increase in rural wages and an increase in income, but a decrease in land prices. Considered together, however, the relationship between forests and remittances is driven largely through the income channel, indicating that the demand for amenities provided by forests in the rural Nepali setting may have been more important than factor prices in influencing land use changes for the period of the study.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Environmental Economics&Policies,Forestry,Climate Change and Environment,Wildlife Resources
    Date: 2011–12–01
  6. By: Kathryn Anderson; Antje Kroeger
    Abstract: The Kyrgyz Republic is one of the largest recipients of international remittances in the world; from a Balance of Payments measure of remittances, it ranked tenth in the world in 2008 in the ratio of remittances to GDP, a rapid increase from 30th place in 2004.Remittances can be used to maintain the household's standard of living by providing income to families with unemployed and underemployed adult members. Remittances can also be used to promote investment not only in businesses and communities but also in people. In this paper, we examine the role that remittances have played in the Kyrgyz Republic in promoting investments in children. Based on the capabilities approach to well-being initiated by Sen (2010), we look at the impact of remittances and domestic transfer payments primarily from internal migration on children's education and health. Our outcomes include enrollment in school and preschool, expenditures, stunting and wasting of preschool children, and health habits of older children. We use unique panel data from the Kyrgyz Republic for 2005-2008 and thus control for some of the biases inherent in cross-sectional studies of remittances and family outcomes. We find that overall remittances and domestic transfers have not promoted investments in the human capital of children. Specifically, preschool enrollments were higher in the urban north but secondary school enrollments were lower in other regions in remittance receiving households; expenditures were also negatively affected in the south and the mountain areas. These negative enrollment results were larger for girls than for boys. We also found evidence of stunting and wasting among young children and worse health habits among boys in remittance or transfer receiving households. In the long run, Kyrgyzstan needs human capital development for growth; our results suggest that remittances are not providing the boost needed in human capital to promote development in the future.
    Keywords: Children’s education and health, Remittances, Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia
    JEL: C23 F22 I21 O53 R23
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Darja Reuschke; Maarten Van Ham
    Abstract: Based on the notion that entrepreneurship is a 'local event' , the literature argues that selfemployed 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 selfemployment are associated with internal migration.
    Keywords: Self-employment, migration, residential mobility, rootedness hypothesis, UK, Germany
    JEL: D22 J61 J62 L26
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Tosun, Mehmet S. (University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: This paper provides a demographic outlook of the Euro-Mediterranean region and then shows the economic and fiscal consequences of such demographic differences within a two-region model with international labor mobility. International labor mobility is also examined through an externalities framework where brain drain from migration could be taxed by the home countries. Taxing the brain drain has a substantial limiting effect on labor migration and a small negative effect on per worker growth. On the other hand, it could be a solution to the negative externality problem associated with brain drain. It is also found that such tax can raise substantial tax revenue for the SMCs which could be used to enhance human capital in the region.
    Keywords: demographic divide, demographic deficit, population aging, youth bulge, labor mobility, brain drain, overlapping generations, endogenous tax policy, Mediterranean region
    JEL: E62 F22 H23 H24 H41
    Date: 2011–12
  9. By: Brian Bell; Stephen Machin
    Abstract: There is conflicting evidence on the consequences of immigrant neighbourhood segregation for individual outcomes, with various studies finding positive, negative or insubstantial effects. In this paper, we document the evolution of immigrant segregation in England over the last 40 years. We show that standard measures of segregation point to gentle declines over time for all immigrant groups. However, this hides a significant increase in the number of immigrant enclaves where immigrants account for a substantial fraction of the local population. We then explore the link between immigrant segregation, enclaves and crime using both recorded crime and self-reported crime victimization data. Controlling for a rich set of observables, we find that crime is substantially lower in those neighbourhoods with sizeable immigrant population shares. The effect is non-linear and only becomes significant in enclaves. It is present for both natives and immigrants living in such neighbourhoods. Considering different crime types, the evidence suggests that such neighbourhoods benefit from a reduction in more minor, non-violent crimes. We discuss possible mechanisms for the results we observe.
    Keywords: Crime, immigrant segregation, enclaves
    JEL: F22 J15 K42
    Date: 2011–12
  10. By: Maystadt, Jean-Francois
    Abstract: The role of migration in reducing poverty in developing countries has been investigated mainly from the perspective of migrants and their relatives. This paper exploits the time and spatial variations in the way households in the region of Kagera (Tanzania) traced between 1991 and 2004 have been affected by massive refugee inflows to assess how migration may affect poverty in the hosting communities. Large population inflows from Burundi and Rwanda have improved the welfare of the hosting population, particularly for the poor. Despite the process of structural transformation observed in the refugee-hosting economy, such pro-poor development is mainly explained by improved agricultural labor productivity and income diversification among the poor.
    Keywords: Migration, Poverty, Refugees, Structural transformation,
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Roger Sandilands (Department of Economics, The University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the challenges facing China in accelerating the pace of rural-urban migration as part of its on-going economic development programme. It explains the push and pull influences on migration and in particular explains why a continuing focus on urbanisation is justified by the very large gap between rural and urban incomes and the relatively higher income elasticity of demand for urban-based goods and services. The provision of affordable housing is an integral part of this structural shift programme. The paper thus considers the most appropriate ways in which housing finance can be mobilised, and thence how both the quality and the affordability of the housing stock can be increased. Positive and negative lessons for China are offered from the different urbanisation experiences of Latin America (especially Colombia) and Singapore.
    Keywords: China, Colombia, Singapore, rural-urban migration, housing finance
    JEL: O16 O18 O57 R31 R52
    Date: 2011–11
  12. By: Ohinata, A.; Ours, J.C. van (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze how the share of immigrant children in the classroom affects the educational attainment of native Dutch children. Our analysis uses data from various sources, which allow us to characterize educational attainment in terms of reading literacy, mathematical skills and science skills. We do not find strong evidence of negative spill-over effects from immigrant children to native Dutch children. Immigrant children themselves experience negative language spill-over effects from a high share of immigrant children in the classroom but no spill-over effects on maths and science skills.
    Keywords: Immigrant children;Peer effects;Educational attainment.
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Fernando Ferreira; Joseph Gyourko; Joseph Tracy
    Abstract: This paper provides updated estimates of the impact of three financial frictions—negative equity, mortgage lock-in, and property tax lock-in—on household mobility. We add the 2009 wave of the American Housing Survey (AHS) to our sample and also create an improved measure of permanent moves in response to Schulhofer-Wohl’s (2011) critique of our earlier work (2010). Our updated estimates corroborate our previous results: Negative equity reduces household mobility by 30 percent, and $1,000 of additional mortgage or property tax costs reduces household mobility by 10 to 16 percent. Schulhofer-Wohl’s finding of a slight positive correlation between mobility and negative equity appears due to a large fraction of false positives, as his coding methodology has the propensity to misclassify almost half of the additional moves it identifies relative to our measure of permanent moves. This also makes his mobility measure dynamically inconsistent, as many transitions originally classified as a move are reclassified as a nonmove when additional AHS panels become available. We conclude with directions for future research, including potential improvements to measures of household mobility.
    Keywords: Housing - Finance ; Equity ; Mortgages ; Property tax
    Date: 2011
  14. By: Anees, Muhammad; Sajjad, Muhammad; Ahmed, Ishfaq
    Abstract: Economics of discrimination has been the topic of interest of many in the last decade or two. Human capital theory describes wage determination as a function of labour human capital and should be determined based on marginal productivity theorem of labour economics. Islamic theology also dictates paying labour well in time and equal to their productivity not based on his colour, race, gender, nationality health status and other non-economic factors. The current study analyses the immigrants-natives wage gap to find the extent of potential discrimination against the immigrants. Using employees' level data from the Enterprise Surveys by the World Bank in 2007, standard Oaxaca-Blinder technique and Machado-Mata counterfactual decomposition is applied. Findings indicate an existence of earning's differential in favour of natives or the Malaysian citizens and immigrants have a disadvantage. On the other hand, the differential increases until the middle of income distribution and the start declining. It suggests higher-income groups have a low level of discriminatory disadvantage. Labour market productivity could be increased if this differential is reduced, which motivates the employees. --
    Keywords: Labour market discrimination,Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition,Machado-Mata decomposition,quantile regression,earnings differential,enterprise survey,World Bank,Malaysia
    JEL: J J1 J3 J7
    Date: 2011

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