nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒01‒03
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Quasi-experimental impact estimates of immigrant labor supply shocks: the role of treatment and comparison group matching and relative skill composition By Aydemir, Abdurrahman; Kirdar, Murat G.
  2. Ethnic Networks and the Location Choice of Migrants in Europe By Klaus Nowotny; Dieter Pennerstorfer
  3. Assimilation in multilingual cities By Ortega, Javier
  4. Choosing how to pay: the influence of home country habits By Anneke Kosse; David-Jan Jansen
  5. Remittances and Return Migration By Matloob Piracha; Teresa Randazzo
  6. What Drives Individual Attitude towards Immigration in South Africa? By Giovanni Facchini; Anna Maria Mayda; Mariapia Mendola
  7. Contextualizing immigrant inter-wave dynamics and the consequences for migration processes By Agnieszka Kubal; Rianne Dekker
  8. Demographics and Factor Flows – A Political Economy Approach By Lena Calahorrano; Philipp an de Meulen
  9. Ethnic Residential Segregation and Immigrants' Perceptions of Discrimination in West Germany By Verena Dill; Uwe Jirjahn
  10. Migration as a Substitute for Informal Activities: Evidence from Tajikistan By Ilhom Abdulloev; Ira N. Gang; John Landon-Lane
  11. Immigration: The European Experience By Christian Dustmann; Tommaso Frattini
  12. Differential Migration Prospects, Skill Formation, and Welfare By Stark, Oded; Zakharenko, Roman
  13. Migration systems, pioneers and the role of agency By Oliver Bakewell; Hein de Haas; Agnieszka Kubal
  14. Utopia becoming dystopia? Analyzing political trust among immigrants in Sweden By Adman, Per; Strömblad, Per
  15. Self-Employment and Geographical Mobility in Germany By Darja Reuschke
  16. Immigrants, Welfare Reform, and the U.S. Safety Net By Marianne Bitler; Hilary W. Hoynes
  17. Immigrant Selection Systems and Occupational Outcomes of International Medical Graduates in Canada and the United States By James Ted McDonald; Casey Warman; Christopher Worswick
  18. Network mechanisms and social ties in markets for low- and unskilled jobs: (theory and) evidence from North-India By Iversen, Vegard Iversen; Torsvik, Gaute
  19. Los determinantes de la inmigración irregular en España By Paula Elena Fernández Páez

  1. By: Aydemir, Abdurrahman; Kirdar, Murat G.
    Abstract: This paper examines the employment effects of an increase in labor supply using the politically-driven exodus of ethnic Turks from Bulgaria into Turkey in 1989. The strong involvement of the Turkish state in the settlement of earlier waves of repatriates provides us a strong source of exogenous variation in the 1989 immigrant shock across locations. Using a potential sample of 613 cities and towns in Turkey with variable treatment intensity—in some locations the change in the labor force is almost 10 percent—this analysis places much attention on constructing a matched sample that is well balanced in terms of covariate distributions of the treatment and comparison groups, including matching based on an estimated propensity score. We find a positive effect of repatriates on the unemployment of non-repatriates. In fact, in certain regions, a 10-percentage-point increase in the share of repatriates in the labor force increases the unemployment rate of natives by 4 percentage points. When the analysis is done according to skill groups, we find that the impact is the strongest on the young and on non-repatriates with similar educational attainment.
    Keywords: Labor Force and Employment; Immigrant Workers; Quasi experiments
    JEL: J21 J61
    Date: 2011–12
  2. By: Klaus Nowotny (WIFO); Dieter Pennerstorfer (WIFO)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the role of ethnic networks in the location decision of migrants to the EU 15 at the regional level. Using a random parameters logit specification we find a substantially positive effect of ethnic networks on the location decision of migrants. The effect is, however, decreasing in network size. Furthermore, we find evidence of spatial spillovers in the effect of ethnic networks: ethnic networks in neighbouring regions significantly help to explain migrants' choice of target regions. The positive effects of ethnic networks thus also extend beyond regional and national borders. Analysing the trade-off between potential income and network size, we find that migrants would require a sizeable compensation for living in a region with a smaller ethnic network, especially when considering regions where only few previous migrants from the same country of origin are located.
    Keywords: network migration, ethnic networks, random parameters
    Date: 2011–12–19
  3. By: Ortega, Javier
    Abstract: Using the Public Use Microdata Files of the 2001 and 2006 Canadian Censuses, we study the determinants of the assimilation of language minorities into the city majority language. We show that official minority members (i.e. francophones in English-speaking cities and anglophones in French-speaking cities) assimilate less than the "allophones" (the individuals with a mother tongue other than English or French), and that immigrants generally assimilate less than natives. In addition, the language composition of cities is shown to be an important determinant of assimilation both for allophones and for official minorities. Finally, we show that assimilation into French in French-majority cities is lower than assimilation into English in English-majority cities even when controlling for the language composition of the cities and including a rich set of language dummmies.
    Keywords: immigration; assimilation; language policies; minorities
    JEL: F22 J15
    Date: 2011–12
  4. By: Anneke Kosse; David-Jan Jansen
    Abstract: Is having a foreign background a relevant factor in choosing between payment instruments in consumer point-of-sale transactions? We analyze this question using a unique diary survey in which both participants with a Dutch and a foreign background documented their daily purchases. Payment habits acquired in home countries continue to affect the mode of payment after migration. First generation migrants born in cash-oriented economies are more likely to use cash in point-of-sale transactions. However, the second-generation has similar payment habits as individuals with a Dutch background. This finding suggests that payment behaviour is not passed on from generation to generation, but moulded by host country payment habits. Finally, we suggest that special information campaigns to increase debit card usage will not have clear net social benefits.
    Keywords: consumer payments; habits; debit card; cash, migration
    JEL: C25 D12
    Date: 2011–12
  5. By: Matloob Piracha; Teresa Randazzo
    Abstract: This paper utilises survey data of return migrants to analyse the determinants of remittances sent while the migrants were abroad. We approach our research question from the perspective of three sending countries in the Maghreb, namely Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. We investigate the remittance behaviour using the migrants' conditions before migration as well as during the migration experience. Using a two-part model, we show that the decision to remit and the amount remitted depend on a combination of different migrant characteristics as well as the duration and form of migration. We also consider if the remittance behaviour is dependent on the type of return: decided or compelled. We show that those who decided to return have a higher probability to remit for investment purposes and remit more as the time spent abroad increases.
    Keywords: remittances; return migration; Maghreb countries
    JEL: F22 F24
    Date: 2011–11
  6. By: Giovanni Facchini (Erasmus University, University of Milan, Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano, CEPR and CES-Ifo); Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University, Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano, CEPR and IZA); Mariapia Mendola (University of Milan Bicocca and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano)
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration in South Africa using the 1996, 2001 and 2007 rounds of the World Value Survey. The main question we want to answer is whether South African public opinion on migration is affected by the potential labor market competition of migrants towards natives. We investigate this issue by estimating the impact of survey respondents’ individual skill on their pro-migration attitudes. Our estimates show that the impact of individual skill – measured both with educational attainment and an occupationbased measure – is positive and significant in both 1996 and 2001. Given that in both years immigrants to South Africa are on average more skilled than natives, we conclude that the labor-market channel does not play a role in preference formation over immigration. What might explain the positive impact of individual skill are noneconomic determinants.
    Keywords: Immigration Attitudes; South Africa
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2011–12–27
  7. By: Agnieszka Kubal (University of Oxford); Rianne Dekker (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: What drives international migration? Theories of migration networks, migration culture, migration systems and cumulative causation suggest that once a critical threshold level of migrants have settled, migration tends to stimulate the creation of social and economic structures that make the process of migration self-perpetuating (cf. Massey et al. 1987; de Haas 2010). One important aspect of the theory is that the more migrants from a particular locality settle in one place, their presence, assistance and established structures in the destination country act as incentives for others to follow in their footsteps, which emphasizes the instrumental role of pioneers’ agency in influencing others to follow suit. A historical perspective on the migration from Ukraine to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands challenges this assumption. While substantial numbers of migrants have settled in those destinations, migration, especially in the last 20 years, has not developed into large, self-sustaining migration systems (in comparison to the dynamic migration linkages between Ukraine and Southern European countries such as Portugal, Italy and Greece). Trying to understand why migration has not taken off, we argue that the role of settled pioneer migrants and their community structures in assisting others to follow in their footsteps should not be taken for granted. We argue that the role of pioneers is much more ambiguous and complex, and the relevant question about ‘bridgeheads’ and ‘gatekeepers’ (cf. Böcker 1994) should not be that of ‘either/or’ but ‘how much’, ‘to what extent’ or ‘under what conditions’.
    Keywords: migration system, cumulative causation, Ukrainian migration, pioneer migrants, migration waves, United Kingdom, Netherlands
    Date: 2011–12
  8. By: Lena Calahorrano; Philipp an de Meulen
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of population aging on international factor flows in a political-economy framework. Political barriers to immigration in developed countries and insecure property rights in developing countries impede factor flows. Taking into account different generations’ conflicting attitudes towards immigration and expropriation, we explore how these policy barriers interact. We find that incentives to expropriate increase as more emigration from the developing country takes place. Meanwhile, the industrialized country admits less immigrants as less capital is allocated to the developing country. Furthermore, the effects of population aging on international factor flows are considerably underestimated if one does not take into consideration the interactions between immigration and expropriation policies.
    Keywords: Demographic change; political economy; migration; foreign direct investment
    JEL: D78 F21 F22 J10
    Date: 2011–12
  9. By: Verena Dill; Uwe Jirjahn
    Abstract: Using survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, this study shows that immigrants living in segregated residential areas are more likely to report discrimination because of their ethnic background. This applies to both segregated areas where most neighbors are immigrants from the same country of origin as the surveyed person and segregated areas where most neighbors are immigrants from other countries of origin. The results suggest that housing discrimination rather than self-selection plays an important role in immigrant residential segregation.
    Keywords: Segregation, immigrants, housing discrimination, self-selection
    JEL: J15 J61 R23 R30
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Ilhom Abdulloev (Rutgers University); Ira N. Gang (Rutgers University & Fellow of IZA, OEI, CReaM); John Landon-Lane (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: How is migration related to informal activities? They may be complementary since new migrants may have difficulty finding employment in formal work, so many of them end up informally employed. Alternatively, migration and informality may be substitutes since migrants' incomes in their new locations and income earned in the home informal economy (without migration) are an imperfect trade-off. Tajikistan possesses both a very large informal sector and extensive international emigration. Using the gap between household expenditure and income as an indicator of informal activity, we find negative significant correlations between informal activities and migration: the gap between expenditure and income falls in the presence of migration. Furthermore, Tajikistan's professional workers ability to engage in informal activities enables them to forgo migration, while low-skilled non-professionals without post-secondary education choose to migrate instead of working in the informal sector. Our empirical evidence suggests migration and informality substitute for one another.
    Keywords: informal, migration, remittances, Tajikistan
    JEL: O17 J61 P23
    Date: 2011–12
  11. By: Christian Dustmann (University College London and CReAM); Tommaso Frattini (University of Milan, Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano, CReAM and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper first presents a brief historical overview of immigration in Europe. We then provide (and distinguishing between EU and non-EU immigrants) a comprehensive analysis of the skill structures of immigrants and their labor market integration in the different European countries, their position in the wage distribution, and the situation of their children, and discuss the disadvantage of immigrants and their children relative to natives. We show that immigrants – in particular those from non-EU countries – are severely disadvantaged in most countries, even if we compare them to natives with the same measurable skills. We conclude with a discussion of the role of regulations and institutions as one possible mechanism for these findings, and suggest directions for future research.
    Keywords: Immigration; Europe; Integration; Institutions
    JEL: J15 J61 J62
    Date: 2011–12–27
  12. By: Stark, Oded; Zakharenko, Roman
    Abstract: This paper develops a one sector, two-input model with endogenous human capital formation. The two inputs are two types of skilled labor: âengineering,â which exerts a positive externality on total factor productivity, and âlaw,â which does not. The paper shows that a marginal prospect of migration by engineers increases human capital accumulation of both types of workers (engineers and lawyers), and also the number of engineers who remain in the country. These two effects are socially desirable, since they move the economy from the (inefficient) free-market equilibrium towards the social optimum. The paper also shows that if the externality effect of engineering is sufficiently powerful, everyone will be better off as a consequence of the said prospect of migration, including the engineers who lose the migration âlottery,â and even the individuals who practice law.
    Keywords: Heterogeneous human capital, Differential externality effects, Migration of educated workers, Human capital formation, Efficient acquisition of human capital, Beneficial brain drain, Labor and Human Capital, F22, J61, R23,
    Date: 2011–12
  13. By: Oliver Bakewell (International Migration Institute, University of Oxford); Hein de Haas (International Migration Institute, University of Oxford); Agnieszka Kubal (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: The notion of a migration system is often invoked but it is rarely clearly defined or conceptualized. De Haas has recently provided a powerful critique of the current literature highlighting some important flaws that recur through it. In particular, migration systems tend to be identified as fully formed entities, and there is no theorization as to how they come into being. Moreover, there is no explanation of how they change in time, in particular how they come to decline. The inner workings – the mechanics – which drive such changes are not examined. Such critiques of migration systems relate to wider critiques of the concept of systems in the broader social science literature, where they are often presented as black boxes in which human agency is largely excluded. The challenge is how to theorize the mechanics by which the actions of people at one time contribute to the emergence of systemic linkages at a later time. This paper focuses on the genesis of migration systems and the notion of pioneer migration. It draws attention both to the role of particular individuals, the pioneers, and also the more general activity of pioneering which is undertaken by many migrants. By disentangling different aspects of agency, it is possible to develop hypotheses about how the emergence of migrations systems is related to the nature of the agency exercised by different pioneers or pioneering activities in different contexts.
    Keywords: migration systems, agency, emergence, pioneer migrants, migrant networks, social capital
    Date: 2011–12
  14. By: Adman, Per (Department of Government, Uppsala University); Strömblad, Per (Institute for Futures Studies)
    Abstract: This paper aims to increase our knowledge on the political trust of immigrants’ in established democracies. Utilising Swedish survey data, based on a large oversample of respondents with a foreign background, we show that immigrants from countries more plagued by corruption place significantly higher trust in political institutions in Sweden in comparison with both immigrants from more auspicious institutional settings and with the native population. However, we also find that an initially bright view of the Swedish institutional qualities tend to attenuate over time, as immigrants from countries of high corruption develop more critical viewpoints. In con-trast to reasonable expectations, we nonetheless find that this decrease in trust is not explained by experiences of discrimination. Overall, the hypotheses elaborated and tested in this paper may be regarded as a more general contribution to a theory on how political trust is related to experiences and expectations of political institutions.
    Keywords: political trust of immigrants’; Swedish survey data; experiences and expectations of political institutions
    JEL: C42
    Date: 2011–12–19
  15. By: Darja Reuschke
    Abstract: Little is known about the individual location behaviour of self-employed entrepreneurs. This paper investigates the geographical mobility behaviour of self-employed entrepreneurs, as compared to employees, thereby shedding new light onto the place embeddedness of self-employment. It examines whether self-employed entrepreneurs are `rooted¿ in place and also whether those who are more rooted in place are more likely to enter self-employment. The paper draws on large-scale panel data covering the years 1996¿2009 from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). It shows that self-employed entrepreneurs as compared to employees are not more `rooted¿ in their place of residence and that those who are more rooted in their place of residence are not more likely to become self-employed. However, in contrast to expectations drawn from previous literature, flows into self-employment are positively associated with inter-regional moves. It concludes that a longitudinal perspective on individual employment careers provides an important methodological advance. In addition, it emphasises the importance of mobility and immobility and individual and household constraints and preferences for understanding who becomes self-employed.
    Keywords: Self-employment, migration, moves, panel data, SOEP, Germany
    JEL: C23 J21 J61 J62 R23
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Marianne Bitler; Hilary W. Hoynes
    Abstract: Beginning with the 1996 federal welfare reform law many of the central safety net programs in the U.S. eliminated eligibility for legal immigrants, who had been previously eligible on the same terms as citizens. These dramatic cutbacks affected eligibility not only for cash welfare assistance for families with children, but also for food stamps, Medicaid, SCHIP, and SSI. In this paper, we comprehensively examine the status of the U.S. safety net for immigrants and their family members. We document the policy changes that affected immigrant eligibility for these programs and use the CPS for 1995-2010 to analyze trends in program participation, income, and poverty among immigrants (and natives). We pay particular attention to the recent period and examine how immigrants and their children are faring in the “Great Recession” with an eye toward revealing how these policy changes have affected the success of the safety net in protecting this population.
    JEL: I3 I38
    Date: 2011–12
  17. By: James Ted McDonald (University of New Brunswick); Casey Warman (Queen's University); Christopher Worswick (Carleton University)
    Abstract: We analyze the process of immigrant selection and occupational outcomes of International Medical Graduates (IMGs) in the US and Canada. We extend the IMG relicensing model of Kugler and Sauer (2005) to incorporate two different approaches to immigrant selection: employer nomination systems and point systems. Analysis of the model indicates that point systems can allow IMGs to immigrate who would be unable to gain entry to the receiving country under an employer nomination system and who are subsequently unable to relicense and work as physicians in the receiving country. We apply the model to the case of IMGs migrating to the US and Canada since the 1960s and evaluate the empirical predictions from the model based on an analysis of the occupational outcomes of IMGs in Canada (where a point system has been in place) and in the US (where IMGs enter through employer nomination). In Canada, IMGs are less likely to be employed as a physician than are IMGs in the US and a large percentage of the IMGs in Canada either find work in lower skill occupations or are not employed. The empirical findings are consistent with our hypotheses based on the theoretical framework on the effects of immigrant selection systems on the probability of working as a physician in the two countries.
    Keywords: physicians, immigration, occupation, skills, human capital
    JEL: J24 J31 J61 J62 J71 J80
    Date: 2011–12
  18. By: Iversen, Vegard Iversen (University of Manchester); Torsvik, Gaute (Department of Economics, University of Bergen)
    Abstract: Abstract: Workplace referrals may resolve incentive problems that arise due to incomplete contracts. We use an in-depth primary data set covering low- and unskilled migrants from Western Uttar Pradesh (India), to examine this and alternative explanations for referral-based recruitment. We find little evidence of referral screening for unobservable worker traits, but some support for a hypothesis of referral as a mechanism to enforce workforce discipline. Two observations back this conjecture: the high prevalence of strong kinship ties between referees and new recruits and that those who recruit are in more ‘prestigious’ jobs and therefore have higher stakes vis-à-vis their employer. These main findings are exposed to robustness checks to rule out rival explanations: that entry through a workplace insider merely reflects privileged access to job vacancy information; that workplace clustering results from preferences for working together or that the higher prevalence of referral for very young migrants that we observe may reflect that referral has an insurance dimension.
    Keywords: Work Migration; Social Networks; Screening; Moral Hazard
    JEL: J24 J61 R23 Z13
    Date: 2011–12–15
  19. By: Paula Elena Fernández Páez (IDEGA-Universidad de Santiago de Compostela)
    Abstract: In recent years there has been a strong political interest about illegal immigrants in Spain. In fact, there have been three regulatory adjustments in the period from 2000 to 2005. However, this effort has not been accompanied by studies that accurately estimate both the size of the irregular population and its characteristics. The reason for this paucity of studies is that illegal immigrants avoid any participation in surveys that may reveal their irregular status. However, the National Immigrant Survey 2007, National Statistics Institute (INE) allows to know if an immigrant has the necessary documentation to reside in Spain as well as personal characteristics. Thus, in this work we try to analyze the determinants of regular and irregular immigration in Spain, following the theoretical framework by Chiswick (1988). Also, we analyzed the influence of labor supply variables, variables related to personal characteristics of immigrant labor demand variables, and institutional variables (effects of regularization processes). And since the characteristics of immigrants are very different depending on their country of origin, we have also estimated models by country of origin.
    Keywords: illegal immigration, labor supply, regularization
    JEL: J61 F22
    Date: 2011

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