nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒03‒28
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Movers or Stayers? Understanding the Drivers of IDP Camp Decongestion during Post-Conflict Recovery in Uganda By Carlos Bozzoli; Tilman Brück; Tony Muhumuza
  2. Seasonal Migration and Risk Aversion By Bryan, Gharad; Chowdhury, Shyamal; Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq
  3. Learning about migration through experiments By David McKenzie
  4. How does relationship-based governance accommodate new entrants? Evidence from the cycle rickshaw rental market By Jain, Tarun; Sood, Ashima
  5. Where Are all the Immigrant Organizations? Reassessing the Scope of Civil Society for Immigrant Communities By Gleeson, Shannon; Bloemraad, Irene
  6. Cultural Transmission of Civicness By Martin Ljunge
  7. Importing skills Migration policy, generic skills and earnings among immigrants in Australasia, Europe and North America By Korpi, Tomas
  8. Fiscal transfers to immigrants in Canada: responding to critics and a revised estimate By Grubel, Herbert; Grady, Patrick
  9. The Long-Run Effect of 9/11: Terrorism, Backlash, and the Assimilation of Muslim Immigrants in the West By Gould, Eric D; Klor, Esteban F
  10. Immigrant Integration and Policy in the United States: A Loosely Stitched Patchwork By Bloemraad, Irene; de Graauw, Els
  11. The Impact of Remittance on Poverty and Inequality: A Micro-Simulation Study for Nepal By Chakra P. Acharya; Roberto Leon-Gonzalez
  12. Non-Native Speakers Of English In The Classroom: What Are The Effects On Pupil Performance? By Charlotte Geay; Sandra McNally; Shqiponja Telhaj
  13. Do Public Work Schemes Deter or Encourage Outmigration? Empirical Evidence from China By Chau, Nancy H; Kanbur, Ravi; Qin, Yu
  14. European Integration, Nationalism, and European Identity By Fligstein, Neil; Polyakova, Alina; Sandholtz, Wayne

  1. By: Carlos Bozzoli; Tilman Brück; Tony Muhumuza
    Abstract: The paper explores factors that influence the household decision to leave internal displacement camps in the immediate aftermath of violent conflict. Our analysis is based on two sources of information: household survey data collected in northern Uganda for households that were displaced by the civil conflict, and geo-referenced data on armed conflict events, with which we construct our developed index of recent conflict exposure. We compare households that moved out of camps with those that remained in the camps after the region was declared safe from rebel incursions. The study covers the first few months of the end of conflict, when return was regarded as largely voluntary. We find that a history of conflict both at the place of residence, and at the expected place of return reduces the likelihood of return. Access to camp services overall encourages households to stay in camps, although the effect varies with the proportion of young household members. Results also show that a history of economic skills poses varying effects on return decisions. While experience in cultivation is associated with a high likelihood of moving out of the camp, households with members with recent experience in trading are less inclined to return. From a policy perspective, the results point to the need for recovery initiatives to ensure access to adequate infrastructures in return locations in order to fast-track reintegration.
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Bryan, Gharad; Chowdhury, Shyamal; Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq
    Abstract: Pre-harvest lean seasons are widespread in the agrarian areas of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Every year, these seasonal famines force millions of people to succumb to poverty and hunger. We randomly assign an $8.50 incentive to households in Bangladesh to out-migrate during the lean season, and document a set of striking facts. The incentive induces 22% of households to send a seasonal migrant, consumption at the origin increases by 30% (550-700 calories per person per day) for the family members of induced migrants, and follow-up data show that treated households continue to re-migrate at a higher rate after the incentive is removed. The migration rate is 10 percentage points higher in treatment areas a year later, and three years later it is still 8 percentage points higher. These facts can be explained by a model with three key elements: (a) experimenting with the new activity is risky, given uncertain prospects at the destination, (b) overcoming the risk requires individual-specific learning (e.g. resolving the uncertainty about matching to an employer), and (c) some migrants are close to subsistence and the risk of failure is very costly. We test a model with these features by examining heterogeneity in take-up and re-migration, and by conducting a new experiment with a migration insurance treatment. We document several pieces of evidence consistent with the model.
    Keywords: Bangladesh; Migration; Risk Aversion
    JEL: J61 O1 O15 R23
    Date: 2012–01
  3. By: David McKenzie (World Bank)
    Abstract: International migration is one of the most important choices that individuals and households in poor countries can make to increase their lifetime wellbeing. This choice presents a severe challenge to researchers attempting to learn the impacts of migration, since those who choose to move typically differ in a host of observable and unobservable ways from those who choose to stay behind. This paper provides an overview of a new experimental literature which uses policy experiments and researcher-designed experiments to overcome these selection issues. Particular emphasis is placed on discussing the different datagathering strategies needed for conducing policy experiments. Experimental migration research as a field is still in its nascent stages, and there appears to be plenty of scope for both policymakers and researchers to design new experiments going forward – it is hoped that the summary here will aid researchers and policymakers in this purpose.
    Keywords: Migration, Experiments, Selection, Data Gathering Methods.
    Date: 2012–03
  4. By: Jain, Tarun; Sood, Ashima
    Abstract: A large theoretical and empirical literature suggests that the salience of network-based ties in contract enforcement under relation-based governance systems limits market expansion. This paper illustrates the incorporation of new agents into market exchange under conditions of informal contract governance using a case study of the cycle-rickshaw rental market in a city in central India. Our analytical model formalizes features of this market through a higher penalty of default for migrants that introduces a gap between the ex ante risk for out-of-network agents and the ex post risk. The model predicts a sorting equilibrium such that migrants are more likely to participate in the rental contract. We test this prediction using primary survey data with multidimensional measures of migrant status and find that it is a significant predictor of rental contract participation, even controlling for credit access and other variables that moderate the rickshaw driver’s ability to own a cycle-rickshaw.
    Keywords: Urban informal sector; Contract enforcement; Rural to urban migration
    JEL: L14 O18 O17 L92 O15 J61 R23
    Date: 2012–02–08
  5. By: Gleeson, Shannon; Bloemraad, Irene
    Abstract: We examine the official scope and actual coverage of immigrant civil society in seven California cities using a widely-employed 501(c)3 database. First, to capture demographic underrepresentation, we compare the number of immigrant organizations in official data to population statistics and find substantially fewer immigrant organizations than we would expect. Second, we measure the organizational undercount by calculating the number of publicly present immigrant organizations not captured in official data. We do this for four immigrant-origin communities (Indian, Mexican, Portuguese and Vietnamese) using 160 key informant interviews and extensive examination of directories and media (ethnic and mainstream). We find a notable organizational undercount, which varies by city and immigrant group. Considering both underrepresentation and undercounts, Mexican-origin organizations seem at a particular disadvantage. Our findings have important implications for resource inequalities and advocacy capacity in minority communities, as well as for scholars’ ability to accurately document the vitality of immigrant civil society.
    Keywords: Sociology
    Date: 2011–06–19
  6. By: Martin Ljunge (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the intergeneration transmission of civicness by studying second generation immigrants in 29 European countries with ancestry in 83 nations. There is significant transmission of civicness both on the mother’s and the father’s side. The estimates are quantitatively significant and provide evidence on the transmission of trustworthiness.
    Keywords: intergenerational transmission; civicness; civic virtues; trustworthiness; cultural transmission; integration of immigrants
    JEL: D13 D83 J62 Z13
    Date: 2012–01–09
  7. By: Korpi, Tomas (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: -
    Keywords: -
    Date: 2012–03–19
  8. By: Grubel, Herbert; Grady, Patrick
    Abstract: In 2011, we estimated that in 2005 Canada’s immigrant selection policies resulted in an average fiscal burden on taxpayers of $6,000 for each immigrant. Later that year, Mohsen Javdani and Krishna Pendakur from the economics department at Simon Fraser University (J&P hereafter) presented an alternative estimate of this fiscal burden of $450. This study concludes that J&P’s lower estimate is due mainly to their choice of a different immigrant cohort and assumptions about the immigrants’ absorption of government spending on pure public goods, education, and public housing. After taking into account some new data and some issues raised by J&P, this study presents new estimates that show that the fiscal burden imposed by the average recent immigrants is $6,000, which for all immigrants is a total of between $16 billion and $23 billion per year, figures virtually identical to those found in our earlier study. This study also rejects arguments made by J&P that immigrants are needed to meet labour shortages, that they bring productivity-increasing economies of scale, and that their children will repay the fiscal burden. New evidence does not provide any grounds for optimism that the offspring of recent immigrants are going to be able to earn enough to compensate current and future generations of Canadians for the fiscal transfers made to their parents by existing Canadians. This study also presents new evidence showing that immigrants who were admitted mainly on the basis of pre-arranged jobs have superior economic performance, which supports the policy recommendation made in our 2011 study.
    Keywords: taxes; benefits; fiscal cost of immigration; recent immigrants to Canada
    JEL: H24 J61
    Date: 2012–03–06
  9. By: Gould, Eric D; Klor, Esteban F
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the 9/11 attacks will have a long-term impact by altering the fertility and assimilation rate of immigrants from Muslim countries in the United States. Terror attacks by Islamic groups are likely to induce a backlash against the Muslim community, and therefore, tend to raise the costs of assimilation for Muslims in the West. We test this hypothesis by exploiting variation across states in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Our results show that Muslim immigrants living in states which experienced the sharpest increase in hate crimes also exhibit: (i) greater chances of marrying within their own ethnic group; (ii) higher fertility; (iii) lower female labor force participation; and (iv) lower English proficiency. Importantly, the state-level increase in hate crimes against Muslims after the 9/11 attacks was not correlated with the pre-existing state-level trend in any of these assimilation outcomes. Moreover, we do not find similar effects for any other immigrant group after the 9/11 attacks. Overall, our results show that the backlash induced by the 9/11 attacks increased the ethnic identity and demographic strength of the Muslim immigrant community in the U.S. These findings shed light on the increasing use of terror attacks on Western countries, with the concurrent rise in social and political tensions surrounding the assimilation of Muslim immigrants in several European countries.
    Keywords: Assimilation of Muslim Immigrants; Backlash; Terrorism
    JEL: D74 J12 J13
    Date: 2012–02
  10. By: Bloemraad, Irene; de Graauw, Els
    Keywords: Sociology
    Date: 2011–04–07
  11. By: Chakra P. Acharya (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Roberto Leon-Gonzalez (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: We estimate a household consumption function using two rounds of the nationally representative panel of living standard measurement survey (LSMS) of Nepal and simulate the impacts of remittance on poverty and inequality. We study how these impacts vary with the regional ‘incidence’ and maturity of the migration process and with the country-source of remittance. We find that remittance has conditional impacts on both poverty and inequality, which largely depends on the ‘incidence’ and maturity of the migration process and, more importantly, on how lower quintiles of the society participate in this process. The national-level simulations indicate that remittance decreases the head count poverty by 2.3% and 3.3% in the first round of the survey, and between 4.6% and 7.6% in the second round. It reduces even further the depth (at least 3.4% and at most 10.5%) and severity (at least 4.3% and at most 12.5%) of poverty. Although overall remittance increases inequality, this is less so in the second round of the survey. Furthermore, remittance payment from India, which is on average much lower than from other countries, decreases inequality and has the largest impact on poverty reduction. This is due to the larger participation of the poor in the Nepal-India migration process. The region-wise simulations show that remittance has larger impacts on poverty reduction in the regions that have higher levels of migration.
    Date: 2012–03
  12. By: Charlotte Geay; Sandra McNally; Shqiponja Telhaj
    Abstract: In recent years there has been an increase in the number of children going to school in England who do not speak English as a first language. We investigate whether this has an impact on the educational outcomes of native English speakers at the end of primary school. We show that the negative correlation observed in the raw data is mainly an artefact of selection: non-native speakers are more likely to attend school with disadvantaged native speakers. We attempt to identify a causal impact of changes in the percentage of non-native speakers within the year group. In general, our results suggest zero effect and rule out negative effects.
    Keywords: language, immigration, education
    Date: 2012–03
  13. By: Chau, Nancy H; Kanbur, Ravi; Qin, Yu
    Abstract: How does the introduction of rural public work schemes impact individual incentives to migrate? This paper examines this question in the context of rural public work program (Yigong-daizhen) in China, and unveils empirical evidence that suggest that the introduction of Yigong-daizhen projects in fact stimulates outmigration at the village level, after controlling for village characteristics and project types. By furthermore accounting for the endogeneity of Yigong-daizhen placement, the impact of such projects is found to be even larger. These results are consistent with household migration behavior in the presence of significant cost of migration, and credit market imperfection.
    Keywords: Outmigration; Public Works Schemes; Rural China
    JEL: H53 J43 O15
    Date: 2012–01
  14. By: Fligstein, Neil; Polyakova, Alina; Sandholtz, Wayne
    Abstract: Early theorists of European integration speculated that economic integration would lead to political integration and a European identity. A European identity has not displaced national identities in the EU, but, for a significant share of EU citizens, a European identity exists alongside a national identity. At the same time, political parties asserting more traditional nationalist identities and policies have directed their dissatisfaction against immigrants, foreigners, and, sometimes, the EU. Those who participate in “Europe†are more likely to develop a European identity, while those whose economic and social horizons are essentially local are more likely to assert nationalist identities. 
    Keywords: Social Sciences, European Integration, European Community
    Date: 2011–09–02

This nep-mig issue is ©2012 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.
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