nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒04‒10
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The wage impact of undocumented workers By Julie L. Hotchkiss; Myriam Quispe-Agnoli; Fernando Rios-Avila
  2. Foreign aid, illegal immigration, and host country welfare By Subhayu Bandyopadhyay; Dustin Chambers; Jonathan Munemo
  3. Reducing illegal immigration to South Africa: A dynamic CGE analysis By Heinrich R. Bohlmann
  4. Politics, Unemployment, and the Enforcement of Immigration Law By Michael D. Makowsky; Thomas Stratmann
  5. Trade, Variety, and Immigration By Chen Bo; David S. Jacks
  6. Social Policies or Private Solidarity?: The Equalizing Role of Migration and Remittances in El Salvador By Acevedo, Carlos; Cabrera, Maynor
  7. Migration as a rural development strategy and the migrants involved : an account of a migrants' hometown in Sichuan, China By Yamaguchi, Mami
  8. Immigration to Norway 1969-2010. Effects of policies and EEA membership By Ådne Cappelen and Terje Skjerpen
  9. Why do Immigrant Workers in Australia Perform Better than in Canada? Is it the Immigrants or their Labour Markets? By Clarke, Andrew; Skuterud, Mikal

  1. By: Julie L. Hotchkiss; Myriam Quispe-Agnoli; Fernando Rios-Avila
    Abstract: Using administrative, individual-level, longitudinal data from the state of Georgia, this paper finds that a documented worker employed by a firm that hires undocumented workers can expect to earn 0.15 percent less than if employed by a firm that does not hire undocumented workers. However, in sectors where there are opportunities for task specialization and benefits from communication skills, documented workers can expect to earn a wage premium of less than 1 percent from being employed at a firm that also hires undocumented workers.
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Subhayu Bandyopadhyay; Dustin Chambers; Jonathan Munemo
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of foreign aid on illegal immigration and host country welfare using a general equilibrium model. We show that foreign aid may worsen the recipient nation’s terms of trade. Furthermore, it may also raise illegal immigration, if the terms of trade effect on immigration flows dominates the other effects identified in our analysis. Empirical analysis of the effect of foreign aid on illegal immigration to the United States broadly supports the predictions of our theoretical model. Foreign aid worsens the recipient’s terms of trade. While the terms of trade effect tends to reduce illegal immigration, countervailing effects are found to dominate. The paper contributes to the related literature by establishing that there are unintended consequences of foreign aid, and, while some of them are reminiscent of the classical transfer problem, others are new and arise due to endogenous illegal immigration flows.
    Keywords: Foreign aid program ; Immigrants ; Public welfare
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Heinrich R. Bohlmann
    Abstract: South African authorities are attempting to limit inflows of illegal immigrants. Evidence for the United States presented in Dixon et al (2011) suggests that a policy-induced reduction in labour supply from illegal immigrants generates a welfare loss for legal residents. I use a similar labour market mechanism within a dynamic CGE model for South Africa, but take into consideration a number of well-known facts about the local economy. With high unemployment rates among low skilled workers and a legal minimum wage in place, I find a net gain in employment and welfare for legal residents in South Africa when reducing the inflow of illegal immigrants.
    Keywords: Illegal immigration, dynamic CGE modelling
    JEL: J61 C68
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Michael D. Makowsky (Department of Economics, Towson University); Thomas Stratmann (Department of Economics, George Mason University)
    Abstract: Immigration control-related audits and their resulting sanctions are not solely determined by impartial enforcement of laws and regulations. They are also determined by the incentives faced by vote-maximizing congressmen, agents acting on their behalf, and workers likely to compete with immigrants in the local labor market. In this paper we test to what extent congressional oversight, i.e., legislative involvement, determines the bureaucratic immigration enforcement process. We examine the determinants of decisions made at each stage of regulatory enforcement for over 40,000 audits from 1990 to 2000. This includes an analysis of the determinants of whether a firm is 1) found in violation, 2) whether a warning or fine issued, 3) the size of the fine issued, and 4) how much of dollar reduction fined employers were able to negotiate after the fact. Consistent with the hypothesis that locals will provide more tips to the enforcement agency when unemployment is high, we find that the number of audits conducted grows with increased local unemployment. We also find that a congressman's party affiliation and its interaction with committee membership, party rank, and party majority status, as well as firm size and local union membership, correlate to bureaucratic decisions made at every stage of immigration enforcement.
    JEL: J61 K31 K42
    Date: 2012–03
  5. By: Chen Bo; David S. Jacks
    Abstract: What are the gains from international trade? And how do immigrants influence this process? While economists have considered these questions before, particularly in the context of aggregate trade flows, there has been no work assessing the relation between immigration and international trade in varieties—that is, the trade of particular goods from particular geographic areas. We consider the case of Canada, document its impressive experience with import variety growth in the period from 1988 to 2007, and relate this variety growth to the process of immigration. We find that import varieties grew 76%, that this growth is associated with a welfare gain to Canadian consumers as large as 28%, and that enhanced immigration flows may be responsible for 25% of this variety growth and its attendant welfare gains for native-born Canadians.
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2012–03
  6. By: Acevedo, Carlos; Cabrera, Maynor
    Abstract: This paper reviews the pattern of poverty rates and income inequality in El Salvador since the 1990s. It discusses some of the likely factors that explain the reduction in income inequality that has taken place in the country in the last decade, which paradoxically has coincided with the long period of economic stagnation that has followed dollarization since 2001. After examination of the available evidence, we conclude that this trend has been mainly due to the equalizing effect of migration and remittances (that is, a .private safety net. built around solidarity within families) rather than the distributive effect of public social expenditure or other public policies.
    Keywords: El Salvador; remittances; migration; inequality; poverty; labour market
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Yamaguchi, Mami
    Abstract: This paper attempts to describe part of the history of Chinese rural migration to urban industrial areas. Using a case study of a township in Sichuan, the author examines a type of rural development which she defines as a "bottom-up" style strategy of regional development. Different types of social mobility are observed in the case study, and over its long history, migration in the township has offered diverse means of social mobility to the local peasants. The paper concludes by considering the diversity and limits of Chinese social mobility at this stage.
    Keywords: China, Population movement, Social change, Migration, Social mobility, Rural development
    JEL: I39 J49 J61 J68 R23
    Date: 2012–03
  8. By: Ådne Cappelen and Terje Skjerpen (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We examine how changes to regulations and the economic conditions have influenced gross immigration to Norway from, in principle, all countries in the world during 1969– 2010. In line with existing studies of immigration we find that economic factors were important for immigration to Norway. Income differences between Norway and other countries have the expected impact, as do changes in income distributions. The labour market situation has also been important in that lower unemployment in Norway has resulted in higher immigration and higher unemployment in the country of origin has led to higher emigration to Norway. We find that immigration policies have largely had the expected effects. One example is the 1975 ‘immigration halt’ that did have a strong and long lasting effect on total immigration to Norway. Further tightening of the immigration regulations that came in 1977 also reduced immigration, while the more liberal policies introduced in 1981 contributed to higher immigration. From 2000 to 2010 several changes linked to the enlargement of EU influenced immigration to Norway. Norway’s membership in the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1994, and in the Schengen-area in 2001 resulted in higher immigration while the 2004 and 2007 EU enlargements also increased labour immigration to Norway substantially.
    Keywords: Immigration; Immigration policies; Incentive variables
    JEL: J11 J15
    Date: 2012–03
  9. By: Clarke, Andrew; Skuterud, Mikal
    Abstract: Research comparing the labour market performance of recent cohorts of immigrants to Australia and Canada points to superior employment and earnings outcomes in Australia. Examining Australian and Canadian Census data between 1986 and 2006, we find that this performance advantage is not driven by differences in broader structural and macroeconomic labour market conditions affecting all new labour market entrants. Rather, the results from comparing immigrants from a common source country { either the UK, India, or China { suggest that the advantage, particularly in earnings, primarily reflects a difference in the source country distribution of Australian immigrants. Moreover, the recent tightening of Australian selection policy, most notably its use of mandatory pre-migration English-language testing, appears to be having an effect primarily by further shifting the source country distribution of immigrants away from non-English-speaking source countries, rather than in identifying higher-quality migrants within source countries.
    Keywords: Immigrant workers; labour market integration; immigrant selection policy
    JEL: J61 J31 J23
    Date: 2012–03–31

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