nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒03‒21
seventeen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Climatic factors as determinants of International Migration By Michel BEINE; Christopher PARSONS
  2. Interethnic Marriages and their Economic Effects By Furtado, Delia; Trejo, Stephen
  3. Is Religiosity of Immigrants a Bridge or a Buffer in the Process of Integration? A Comparative Study of Europe and the United States By García Muñoz, Teresa; Neuman, Shoshana
  4. What drives remittance inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa: A Dynamic Panel Approach By Francis M. Kemegue; Emmanuel Owusu-Sekyere; Reneé van Eyden
  5. Policy on Irregular Migrants in Malaysia: An Analysis of its Implementation and Effectiveness By Kassim, Azizah; Zin, Ragayah Haji Mat
  6. A Longitudinal Study of Migration Propensities for Mixed Ethnic Unions in England and Wales By Feng, Zhiqiang; van Ham, Maarten; Boyle, Paul; Raab, Gillian M.
  7. A sharp drop in interstate migration? not really By Greg Kaplan; Sam Schulhofer-Wohl
  8. Is Temporary Agency Employment a Stepping Stone for Immigrants? By Jahn, Elke J.; Rosholm, Michael
  9. Review of Philippine Migration Laws and Regulations: Gains, Gaps, Prospects By Ambito, Julyn S.; Banzon, Melissa Suzette L.
  10. Are My Neighbours Ageing Yet? Local Dimensions of Demographic Change in German Cities By Uwe Neumann
  11. Structural Estimation and Interregional Labour Migration: Evidence from Japan By Keisuke Kondo; Toshihiro Okubo
  12. Cultural Diversity, Cooperation, and Antisocial Punishment By Marco Faillo; Daniela Grieco; Luca Zarri
  13. The Structure of Canada`s Immigration System and Canadian Labour Market Outcomes By Arthur Sweetman; Casey Warman
  14. The parent and grandparent immigration program in Canada: costs and proposed changes By Grady, Patrick
  15. Why are migrant students better off in certain types of educational systems or schools than in others? By Dronkers, Jaap; van der Velden, Rolf; Dunne, Allison
  16. The Effect of Development Aid Unpredictability and Migrants' Remittances on Fiscal Consolidation in Developing Countries By Sèna Kimm Gnangnon
  17. Are Foreign Aid and Remittance Inflows a Hedge against Food Price Shocks? By Jean-Louis Combes; Christian H Ebeke; Mireille Ntsama Etoundi; Thierry Yogo

  1. By: Michel BEINE (University of Luxembourg, UCL-IRES and CES-Ifo); Christopher PARSONS (University of Nottingham, UK)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine environmental factors as potential determinants of international migration. We distinguish between unexpected short-run factors, captured by natural disasters, as well as long-run climate change and climate variability captured by deviations and volatilities of temperatures and rainfall from and around their long-run averages. We start from a simple neo-classical model, which is augmented to include environmental factors at origin in the form of amenities. We then test the model using a panel dataset of bilateral migration flows for the period 1960-2000, the time and dyadic dimensions of which additionally allow us to control for numerous time-varying and time invariant factors. Using our primary specification, having accounted for other well documented determinants of migration, we find no direct impact of climatic change on international migration in the medium to long run across our entire sample. These results are robust when further considering migrants returning home. Conditioning our regressions upon origin country characteristics, we find evidence that shortfalls in precipitation constrain migration to developing countries from those which rely more heavily upon agriculture and spur movements to developing countries from those with fewer groundwater reserves. We further use the rate of urbanization as a proxy for internal migration and find strong evidence that natural disasters beget greater flows of migrants to urban environs.
    Keywords: International Migration, Climate change, Natural disasters, Income Maximization
    JEL: F22 O15
    Date: 2012–03–12
  2. By: Furtado, Delia (University of Connecticut); Trejo, Stephen (University of Texas at Austin)
    Abstract: Immigrants who marry outside of their ethnicity tend to have better economic outcomes than those who marry within ethnicity. It is difficult, however, to interpret this relationship because individuals with stronger preferences for ethnic endogamy are likely to differ in unobserved ways from those with weaker preferences. To clarify some of the complex issues surrounding interethnic marriage and assimilation, this chapter starts by considering the determinants of intermarriage, proceeds with an examination of the economic consequences of intermarriage, and ends with a discussion of the links between intermarriage, ethnic identification, and measurement of long-term socioeconomic integration.
    Keywords: intermarriage, immigration, ethnicity
    JEL: J12 J15 J61
    Date: 2012–02
  3. By: García Muñoz, Teresa (Universidad de Granada); Neuman, Shoshana (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: This study reviews and evaluates the intertwined relationship between immigration and religiosity, focusing on the two sides of the Atlantic – Europe and the United States. Based on the existing literature and on a statistical analysis of several data sets (the International Social Survey Program – ISSP: Module Religion, 2008; the European Social Survey – ESS, waves 2002-2010; and the General Social Survey – GSS, waves 2002-2010) the following aspects are explored: (i) the current religious landscape of Europe and of the United States and projections for the future; (ii) religiosity of immigrants (in Europe and the United States): are they more religious than the native populations (in terms of church attendance and of prayer habits)?; (iii) how does religiosity of immigrants affect integration: is it serving as a bridge that smoothens integration into the local population, or as a buffer against the harsh integration process?; and (iv) are the intersections between religiosity and integration different in Europe and in the United States, due to historical differences in the state-religion relationship, immigration policies and concepts? The main findings are the following: (a) immigrants are indeed more religious than the populations in the receiving countries. This fact, combined with higher fertility rates and also a continued inflow of immigrants, will lead to major changes in the religious landscape, both in Europe and in the United States; and (b) while in the united States religiosity of immigrants serves as a bridge between the immigrants and the local population, in Europe it has mainly the function of a buffer and of "balm to the soul".
    Keywords: immigration, religion, integration, Europe, United States
    JEL: J11 J15 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2012–02
  4. By: Francis M. Kemegue; Emmanuel Owusu-Sekyere; Reneé van Eyden
    Abstract: This paper investigates the factors that drive and constrain remittance inflows into SubSaharan Africa (SSA) using annual data for 35 SSA countries from 1980 to 2008, generalised method of moments by Arellano and Bover (1995) and LSDV with Driscoll and Kraay (1998) corrected standard errors. We find that when cross-sectional dependence of the error term and individual effects are controlled for, host country economic conditions override home country income in driving remittances to SSA The quality of financial service delivery and investment opportunities in the home country and exchange rate considerations are also significant to remittance inflows to SSA. This is more consistent with self interest motives for remittance inflows than altruism. However there are country level differences.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F22 F24 O55
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Kassim, Azizah; Zin, Ragayah Haji Mat
    Abstract: In the early 1970s, Malaysia began to be inundated by foreign workers, all of whom were irregular migrants. A decade later their uncontrolled entry left several negative consequences especially to the internal and border security of the country. To overcome the problems, Malaysia introduced the foreign worker policy which became fully implemented in 1992. The policy has two objectives, firstly to regulate the inflow of foreign workers; and secondly, to stem the inflow of irregular migrant workers into the country. The implementation of the policy has led to a spectacular increase in the number of legally recruited migrant workers. However, it has not been able to curb the expansion of irregular migrants; instead their number has risen in parallel with that of legally recruited ones. This report is an attempt to examine why this is so. It is based on a research carried out in 2011 among 404 irregular migrants as respondents, comprising 340 who were apprehended and housed at seven of the 17 holding depots run by the government and 64 others who are still at large.
    Keywords: migrant workers, immigration, emigration, foreign workers, irregular migrants, illegal immigrants, legalization, amnesty, deportation, asylum seekers, refugees
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Feng, Zhiqiang (University of St. Andrews); van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology); Boyle, Paul (University of St. Andrews); Raab, Gillian M. (University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: Most studies investigating residential segregation of ethnic minorities ignore the fact that the majority of adults live in couples. In recent years there has been a growth in the number of mixed ethnic unions that involve a minority member and a white member. To our knowledge, hardly any research has been undertaken to explicitly examine whether the ethnic mix within households has an impact on the residential choices of households in terms of the ethnic mix of destination neighbourhoods. Our study addresses this research gap and examines the tendencies of migration among mixed ethnic unions in comparison with their co-ethnic peers. We used data from the Longitudinal Study for England and Wales. Our statistical analysis supports the spatial assimilation theory: ethnic minorities move towards less deprived areas and to a lesser extent also towards less ethnically concentrated areas. However, the types of destination neighbourhood of minority people living in mixed ethnic unions varied greatly with the ethnicity of the ethnic minority partner.
    Keywords: ethnic concentration, deprivation, migration, mixed ethnic unions, longitudinal analysis
    JEL: J12 J15 J61 R23
    Date: 2012–02
  7. By: Greg Kaplan; Sam Schulhofer-Wohl
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Jahn, Elke J. (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Rosholm, Michael
    Abstract: We investigate whether agency employment is a bridge into regular employment for immigrants to Denmark using the timing-of-events approach. We provide evidence of large positive in-treatment effects, particularly for non-western immigrants and immigrants arriving during childhood. Post-treatment effects are fairly high for male non-western immigrants and immigrants from Eastern Europe.
    Keywords: immigrants, temporary agency employment, stepping stone
    JEL: J61 J64 J68
    Date: 2012–03
  9. By: Ambito, Julyn S.; Banzon, Melissa Suzette L.
    Abstract: The Philippines has often been cited as the global model in managing international labor migration. Despite the complexity of our management infrastructure, however, some gaps still remain. This paper reviews the Philippine legal and administrative framework governing the recruitment, documentation, and deployment of Filipino workers abroad. The study finds that although the provisions of the landmark legislation RA 8042, as amended by RA 9422 and 10022, are laudable, some of the key provisions are not absolute. Furthermore, the study finds the need to further strengthen policy implementation as well as the implementing capacity of government agencies.
    Keywords: Philippines, international labor migration, government policy and regulation
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Uwe Neumann
    Abstract: In the discussion about demographic change, the regional dimension so far has played a subordinate role. Based on municipal data for the period between 1998 and 2008, this paper examines to what extent recent demographic change has affected the population of cities and neighbourhoods, focusing on the largest urban agglomeration in Germany, the Rhine-Ruhr conurbation in North Rhine-Westphalia. The local outcomes of demographic change are modified considerably by regional migration and interrelate closely with regional prosperity. The survey provides a precise outline of the interrelation between basic demographic characteristics and shifts in the composition of neighbourhood populations over the study period. The analysis shows that in the most thriving cities, there is a particularly strong tendency of young adults to separate from other demographic groups. In neighbourhoods where there is no such influx of younger people, particularly in low-density residential areas on the urban fringe, rapid demographic ageing aff ects neighbourhood populations and local economies.
    Keywords: Demographic change; neighbourhoods; segregation; migration
    JEL: J11 R23
    Date: 2012–02
  11. By: Keisuke Kondo (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University); Toshihiro Okubo (Faculty of Economics, Keio University)
    Abstract: This paper empirically tests relationships among interregional labour migration, wage, and real market potential (RMP) based on a multi-region economic geography model, which describes bilateral migration flows. We estimate a nonlinear gravity model using manufacturing workers' migration flows across the 47 Japanese prefectures. Estimates of structural parameters enable us to compute key variables of the model: price index, RMP, and real wage. We show that higher RMP regions can offer higher nominal wages. Furthermore, we find that an increase in the relative real wage of a region brings about a net increase in workers into the region.
    Date: 2012–03
  12. By: Marco Faillo (Department of Economics, University of Trento); Daniela Grieco (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Luca Zarri (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: Is culture an important variable to explain whether groups can successfully provide public goods? A wealth of empirical evidence on both industrialized and developing countries shows that cooperation levels decrease in the presence of ethnic divisions. Although several laboratory works deal with cultural differences, so far most studies restrict their attention to cross-cultural comparisons among internally homogeneous societies. We depart from these contributions and conduct an intercultural public goods game with punishment experiment in Italy, a country where immigration is a quite recent, but politically hot phenomenon. We investigate the effects of introducing a varying number of foreign participants within a homogeneous pool of native subjects. Our results indicate that foreigners contribute significantly less than natives, natives react lowering their own contribution levels, and, consequently, the degree of cultural diversity negatively affects the overall level of cooperation. In terms of sanctioning, we observe no difference in the overall amount of assigned and received punishment points; however, behaving mostly as free-riders, foreigners are more likely to use anti-social punishment. In the absence of institutional restrictions ruling out anti-social punishment, this might amplify the documented detrimental effect on cooperation.
    Keywords: Experimental Economics; Public Good Games; Cooperation; Cultural Diversity; Anti-social Punishment.
    JEL: C72 C91 C92 D64 D71
    Date: 2012–03
  13. By: Arthur Sweetman (Department of Economics, McMaster University); Casey Warman (Department of Economics, Queen`s University)
    Abstract: Two distinct issues are addressed. First, we explore earnings and employment outcome differences across categories of the immigrant selection system and directly link the points system to these outcomes, which is relatively rare in Canadian research. Second, the appropriateness of alternative approaches to selecting the sample for analysis and defining the dependent variable(s) are investigated to determine their relevance for answering different policy questions. Appreciable differences in outcomes across immigrant categories are observed with, as expected, the economic class having superior earnings in the long run. However, employment in some categories is comparable to, or higher than, that of the economic class, especially in the short run. Notably, privately sponsored refugees have relatively good outcomes, particularly in the short run and for employment. Their outcomes are particularly strong conditional on observed characteristics and plausibly point to the value of local information and networks.
    Keywords: Immigration Class, Point System, Canada
    JEL: J15 J24 J31 J61 J62
    Date: 2012–01
  14. By: Grady, Patrick
    Abstract: This paper examines the need for the parent and grandparent immigration program in Canada and provides critical observations on its objectives and operations and offers empirical estimates on its costs. And, as a contribution to the Government’s recently launched consultations on how to redesign the program to make it more fiscally sustainable, it offers a specific proposal. First, the costs: taking into account a $1.3 billion per year increase in transfer payments to parents and grandparents (in 2005) estimated from the Census 2006 Public Use Microfile and the $4.6 billion extra healthcare spending estimated from Canadian Institute for Health Information data and allowing for growth in numbers and costs, the annual fiscal costs of the parent and grandparent program to all levels of government in Canada could easily exceed $6 billion per year at the present time. Bringing in the Government’s estimate 165,000 individuals in the backlog and its expected increase in numbers applying to 500,000 by 2020 (including the 165,000) would more than double the fiscal costs from the $6 billion estimated here. This would represent a significant increase in the claims on Canada’s income support programs, which are already under severe strain from the ageing of the Canadian population. Many Canadians have trouble understanding the meaning of multi-billion dollar cost estimates. Some illustrative examples of the potential benefits to individual immigrant families can help to put the figures in the perspective of their own household budgets. For instance, an immigrant family that brings in one parent or grandparent might benefit from subsidized health care worth $9,600 per year during the parent’s senior years. The immigrant parent might also get income support worth on average $7,644 ($6,262.24 OAS/GIS plus $1,381.30 other government transfers). Together, this adds up to a total health and welfare benefit of $17,244 per year, which over a 20-year life time as a senior would equal a rather hefty $344,880. And if an immigrant family were able to bring in all four parents of both the husband and the wife, or perhaps a grandparent if one of the parents can’t come, the total fiscal benefit would equal $1,379,520 over the assumed 20-year post age 65 life of the parents. The only way to make the parent and grandparent program “sustainable in the future” and to “avoid future large backlogs and be sensitive to fiscal constraints,” the objectives specified by the Government in its press release announcing the consultations, is to drastically pare the numbers of parents and grandparents admitted and/or to shift the costs of the income support of the parents and grandparents and their health care back on to the shoulders of their sponsors where it belongs. Specifically, the sponsors must be made personally responsible for the support and health care of their parents and grandparents by requiring them to purchase life annuities for their parents and grandparents that provide a minimum level of lifetime income support and also to buy health insurance, perhaps from a special risk pool established by the Government for that purpose to help ensure coverage. This will eliminate the large subsidy from Canadian taxpayers to the parents and grandparents of immigrants admitted to Canada.
    Keywords: recent immigrants to Canada; Canadian immigration policy; parent and grandparent program; old age pensions; healthcare costs
    JEL: J62 H55 H51 J24
    Date: 2012–02–06
  15. By: Dronkers, Jaap; van der Velden, Rolf; Dunne, Allison
    Abstract: The main research question of this paper is the combined estimation of the effects of educational systems, school composition, track level, and country of origin on the educational achievement of 15-year-old migrant students. We focus specifically on the effects of socioeconomic and ethnic background on achievement scores and the extent to which these effects are affected by characteristics of the school, track, or educational system in which these students are enrolled. In doing so, we examine the ‘sorting’ mechanisms of schools and tracks in highly stratified, moderately stratified, and comprehensive education systems. We use data from the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) wave. Compared with previous research in this area, the paper’s main contribution is that we explicitly include the tracks-within-school level as a separate unit of analyses, which leads to less biased results concerning the effects of educational system characteristics. The results highlight the importance of including factors of track level and school composition in the debate surrounding educational inequality of opportunity for students in different education contexts. The findings clearly indicate that the effects of educational system characteristics are flawed if the analysis only uses a country- and a student level and ignores the tracks-within-school level characteristics. From a policy perspective, the most important finding is that educational systems are neither uniformly ‘good’ nor ‘bad’, but they can result in different consequences for different migrant groups. Some migrant groups are better off in comprehensive systems, while others are better off in moderately stratified systems.
    Keywords: migrants; educational performance; educational systems; schools; destination country; origin country; cross-national; PISA
    JEL: F22 O1 O15 I21
    Date: 2011–08
  16. By: Sèna Kimm Gnangnon (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: We use panel data on seventy-four developing countries for the period 1980-2007 to examine the effects of aid unpredictability and migrants' remittances on fiscal consolidation in these countries. Two definitions of fiscal adjustment are considered and a conditional logit model is used to perform the analysis. Evidence is shown that except for the case of low-income countries, remittances increase the likelihood of fiscal consolidation, be the latter gradual or rapid. Surprisingly, we observe that aid unpredictability, except in SSA countries where the effect is strongly positive and significant, does not affect the adoption of fiscal consolidation measures in all the groups considered.
    Keywords: Remittances; Aid Unpredictability; Fiscal consolidation
    Date: 2012–03–07
  17. By: Jean-Louis Combes; Christian H Ebeke; Mireille Ntsama Etoundi; Thierry Yogo
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of foreign aid and remittance inflows in the mitigation of the effects of food price shocks. Using a large sample of developing countries and mobilising dynamic panel data specifications, the econometric results yield two important findings. First, remittance and aid inflows significantly dampen the effect of food price shocks in the most vulnerable countries. Second, a lower remittance-to-GDP ratio is required in order to fully absorb the effects of food price shocks compared to the corresponding aid-to-GDP ratio.
    Date: 2012–03–02

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