nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒05‒02
twenty papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Optimal Contracts for Loss Averse Consumers By Juan Carlos Carbajal; Jeffrey C. Ely
  2. Country Road Take Me Home: Migration Patterns in the Appalachia America and Place-Based Policy By Partridge, Mark; Betz, Mike
  3. Does Competition Induce Hiring Equity ?. By Clémence Berson
  4. Do those who stay work less? On the impact of emigration on the measured TFP in Poland By Katarzyna Budnik
  5. A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration By Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Katherine Eriksson
  6. The Effect of Host Society Culture on Migrant Wage Discrimination: Approaching the Roestigraben By Pierre Kohler
  7. Migration Networks in Senegal By Isabelle Chort
  8. Labor Mobility in an Enlarged European Union By Kahanec, Martin
  9. Education, Gender, Religion, Politics: What Priorities for Cultural Integration Policies in Switzerland? By Pierre Kohler
  10. Economic Discrimination and Cultural Differences as Barriers to Migrant Integration: Is Reverse Causality Symmetric? By Pierre Kohler
  11. New insights into the selection process of Mexican migrants.What can we learn from discrepancies between intentions to migrate and actual moves to the U.S.? By Isabelle Chort
  12. Choice or Necessity: Do Immigrants and Their Children Choose Self-employment for the Same Reasons? By Abada, Teresa<br/> Hou, Feng<br/> Lu, Yuqian
  13. Distortions in the international migrant labor market :evidence from Filipino migration and wage responses to destination country economic shocks By McKenzie, David; Theoharides, Caroline; Yang, Dean
  14. The Educational Performance of Children of Immigrants in Sixteen OECD Countries By Jaap Dronkers; Manon de Heus
  15. Do local amenities affect the appeal of regions in Europe for migrants? By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Tobias D. Ketterer
  16. Are American homeowners locked into their houses?: the> impact of housing market conditions on state-to-state migration By Alicia Sasser Modestino; Julia Dennett
  17. Discursos sobre la Región de Antofagasta en el contexto de la migración regional By Luis Miguel Rodrigo
  18. Transferts Financiers des Migrants et développement en Afrique subsaharienne By TCHAMANBÉ DJINÉ Louise, TDL; MIAMO WENDJI Clovis, MWC
  19. Choix ou nécessité : Les immigrants et leurs enfants choisissent-ils le travail autonome pour les mêmes raisons? By Abada, Teresa<br/> Hou, Feng<br/> Lu, Yuqian
  20. Il consumo di carne halal nei paesi europei: caratteristiche e trasformazioni in atto By Priore, Laura

  1. By: Juan Carlos Carbajal (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Jeffrey C. Ely
    Abstract: We report initial findings from a household survey of Pacific island migrants and their remittances, conducted in 2010-11 in New South Wales (NSW). The study covers three Polynesian communities, Samoans and Tongans as in previous studies, but also Cook Islanders. We cover migrants in both Sydney and regional NSW. We quantify remittances of all types, formally and informally transferred, and distinguish those sent to households and organizations (mainly churches) or invested, beyond the migrants’ home country household, which account for almost 40% of total remittances. We provide the first estimates of remittances to Cook Islands since the mid-eighties, and the first estimates of remittances from regional areas in Australia. We investigate a number of potential socio-economic determinants of remittance behavior including the migrants’ income, duration of absence, strength of ties to home country, and major events in home country and Australia. We identify a number of important differences among the three groups, and between the Riverina- and Sydney-based communities. Areas for further research from this dataset are identified.
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Partridge, Mark; Betz, Mike
    Abstract: This research fills a void in the regional development literature by assessing how labor force migration affects regional adjustment in peripheral regions and whether it differs than the rest of the country. We do this by comparing patterns for the lagging Appalachian region to the U.S. as a whole for the 1990s and post-2000 periods. We appraise whether successful job creation helps the original residents seeking employment, or primarily goes to outsiders, rendering place-based development policy ineffective. In a novel addition, we also appraise whether local job creation is associated with attracting relatively wealthier net-migrants. Because different relative migration elasticities imply different responses for other labor market outcomes, we also assess whether employment growth supports original residents in terms of lifting median household incomes and employment/population rates and reducing unemployment rates and poverty rates. We find that migration post-2000 has become less responsive to employment growth differentials, which allows successful economic development to lift the employment prospects of original residents, which also produces a stronger response in reducing local poverty rates.
    Keywords: Migration; appalachia; regional economic development
    JEL: O18 R23
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Clémence Berson (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics et CEE)
    Abstract: This paper tests the impact of competition on the hiring process in the French retail sector. Following the Becker's theory, higher the competition, lower is discrimination. Using local Herfindhal-Hirschman indexes, a correspondence study ensures to observe how competition affects discrimination. A strong employment gap is observable between French natives and second generation immigrants. Concerning gender, women are favored as cashiers. The impact of competition depends on the target population : competition reinforces preference for women, whereas discrimination due to origin is follows the Becker's theory. However, increasing competition to fight against discrimination is not a solution, as it will enhance bad condition of women in the labor market and an increase of awareness of human resources department to equality of treatment is more efficient.
    Keywords: Discrimination, hiring, competition.
    JEL: J71 C93
    Date: 2012–01
  4. By: Katarzyna Budnik (National Bank of Poland)
    Abstract: The measured TFP growth in Poland slowed from around 4% in the second half of the 90s to 2% a decade later. This reduction in the growth rate of the Solow residual is argued to reflect the evolution of worker effort and, indirectly, of the labour market within the period. The unobserved worker effort is identified within a structural efficiency wage model with shirking. The model estimates suggest that a reduction in the generosity of the unemployment benefit system and the stabilization of the job destruction rate before 2000 reinforced worker motivation. In turn, the economic revival and the intensification of emigration around the date of the Polish accession to the European Union undermined it. Consequently, a steep increase in worker effort before 2000 temporarily boosted the measured TFP growth. A levelling off and the eventual correction of effort after 2000 depressed the observed TFP growth rates. Around 15% of the estimated decline in GDP tied to an increase in emigration after 2004 can be attributed to negative changes in worker discipline.
    Keywords: emigration, TFP, labour productivity, efficiency wages, shirking, potential product, gross worker flows, EU enlargement
    JEL: C11 J30 J61 J64 F22
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Katherine Eriksson
    Abstract: During the Age of Mass Migration, the US maintained open borders and absorbed 30 million European immigrants. Using cross-sectional data, prior work on this era finds that immigrants held lower-paid occupations than natives upon first arrival but experienced rapid convergence. In newly-assembled panel data following immigrants over time, the initial immigrant earnings penalty disappears almost entirely, and immigrants experience occupational upgrading at the same rate as natives. Cross-sectional patterns are driven by declines over time in arrival cohort quality and the departure of negatively-selected return migrants. We show that these findings vary substantially across sending countries and explore potential mechanisms.
    JEL: F22 J61 N31
    Date: 2012–04
  6. By: Pierre Kohler (Graduate Institute of International Studies)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether host society culture affects migrant wage discrimination, i.e. whether migrant wage discrimination is more intense in host societies where culture is more inward-looking. The motivation for this investigation in the Swiss context stems from two stylized facts showing that (i) political preferences on issues related to migration, asylum and naturalization of foreigners are markedly more conservative in the German region and (ii) that average wage differences between migrants and natives are larger in the German region. Building on this, the paper begins with a comparison of returns to factors (for eight migrant groups compared to natives) using a human capital model of wage determination. It then performs an Oaxaca decomposition of wage differentials in order to compare its unexplained component across groups and regions. The last step consists in implementing a regression discontinuity design approach to establish whether host society culture is one of the determinants explaining differences in migrant wage discrimination across the language border. Results show returns to factors of wage-earning migrants are lower in the German region for a preponderant majority of migrant groups. The analysis of wage differentials and the associated unexplained parts also support the hypothesis that wage discrimination is more pronounced in this region of the Swiss labor market. Finally, results of the regression discontinuity design approach confirm that host society culture is one of the determinants of wage discrimination endured by migrants.
    Keywords: immigration, migration, labour market, culture, political preferences, wage discrimination, Switzerland
    JEL: F22 J15 J31 J60 J68 J71 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2012–04–22
  7. By: Isabelle Chort (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the importance and role of migration networks in Senegal using a new nationally representative survey conducted in 2006-2007. Using a sample of 1707 Senegalese households I explore potentially differential effects of networks on international migration depending on their characteristics in terms of composition and destination. Results from logit and multinomial logit regressions show that household networks seem to be destination-specific and have a greater positive influence on migration than community networks. Networks also seem to have heterogeneous effects on migration depending on gender, household wealth or size which is consistent with previous findings in the literatureand backs up a networks effects story.
    Keywords: Migration ; Migrant Networks ; Senegal
    Date: 2012–04
  8. By: Kahanec, Martin (Central European University and IZA)
    Abstract: The 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the EU extended the freedom of movement to workers from the twelve new member states mainly from Central Eastern Europe. This study summarizes and comparatively evaluates what we know about mobility in an enlarged Europe to date. The pre-enlargement fears of free labor mobility proved to be unjustified. No significant detrimental effects on the receiving countries’ labor markets have been documented, nor has there been any discernible welfare shopping. Rather, there appear to have been positive effects on EU’s productivity. The sending countries face some risks of losing their young and skilled labor force, but free labor mobility has relieved them of some redundant labor and the associated fiscal burden. They have also profited from remittances. Of key importance for the sending countries is to reap the benefits from brain gain and brain circulation in an enlarged EU. For the migrants the benefits in terms of better career prospects have with little doubt exceeded any pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of migration. In conclusion, the freedom of movement in the EU provides for a triple-win situation for the receiving and sending countries as well as for migrants themselves, provided the risks are contained and efficient brain circulation is achieved.
    Keywords: EU labor markets, migration, EU enlargement, labor mobility, free movement of workers, transitional arrangements, new member states, European Union
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2012–04
  9. By: Pierre Kohler (Graduate Institute of International Studies)
    Abstract: This paper explores cultural integration paths of eight migrant groups in Switzerland. It specifically analyzes the evolution of objective behaviors and subjective attitudes of migrants from the first to the second generation. In order to deepen the analysis, the cultural integration of migrants is further examined from different perspectives: across cohorts (older vs. younger migrants) and across types of couples (individuals in endogamous vs. mixed couples). Gender differences are also paid attention to. First, behaviors are examined by looking at performances of migrants at school (educational attainment and gender gap). As women play a key role in the transmission of cultural traits and the socialization of the second generation, the focus then turns to their position in the couple (marriage, intermarriage, age and education gap between partners, early marriage, cohabitation, fertility, divorce) and in the labor market (labor force participation). Finally, this paper proposes to look at migrants' use of language, their feelings towards Switzerland, as well as their attitudes towards gender, religious and political issues. Evidence points to overall convergence. As the most striking and lasting differences across groups do not pertain to educational achievement, religious or political attitudes but to gender-related attitudes and, even more, to gender-related behaviors in endogamous couples, it appears that migration-related gender issues and migration-specific household dynamics" should be taken into account in the design of future cultural integration policies.
    Keywords: immigration, migration, culture, integration, Switzerland
    JEL: F22 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2012–04–22
  10. By: Pierre Kohler (Graduate Institute of International Studies)
    Abstract: This paper examines the endogenous relationship between the economic and cultural integration of migrants in Switzerland or, more precisely, how economic and cultural barriers to integration reinforce each other. Are cultural differences preventing the successful integration of migrants or does the root of integration failures lie in unequal economic opportunities and discrimination? How legitimate are claims arguing migrants are economically discriminated because they don't integrate culturally compared to claims that migrants don't integrate because they are discriminated? And are Muslim communities, which currently often lie at the centre of this debate, different in this regard? Implementing an empirical method to build indices of economic discrimination and cultural differences (\cultural distance"), the findings of this paper show that, at the aggregate level, population groups facing higher economic discrimination are culturally more distant from the natives. Muslim communities are no different in this regard: their specificity resides more in the stronger discrimination they face in the labour market than in cultural differences separating them from natives. Using an instrumental variable approach, evidence at the individual level reveals that there is an asymmetric causal relationship between economic discrimination and “cultural distance", the former clearly dominating the latter. It also shows that the asymmetry is at least twice as acute for second-generation compared to first-generation migrants.
    Keywords: migration, labor market, unemployment, Muslim, religious, ethnic, discrimination, culture, integration
    JEL: F22 J15 J31 J60 J68 J71 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2012–04–22
  11. By: Isabelle Chort (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: Comparing intentions to migrate and actual migration of Mexicans, I intend to assess the impact of unexpected shocks and misevaluated costs on the materialization of migration plans. I show that both sets of reasons may explain discrepancies between intentions and subsequent actions without denying the rationality of intentions by resorting to the theoretical framework of the Roy model. I use intention and migration data from the Mexican Family Life Survey, together with precipitations monthly series, hurricane and crime data to represent different sets of shocks. Correlations between intentions and migration on the one hand, and between intentions and individual labor market characteristics show that intentions are not devoid of informational content. Then, modelling intentions and migration with a bivariate probit, I find that shocks, and in particular rainfall and hurricanes, affect the probability to migrate conditional on initial intentions. The key finding is nonetheless the much lower propensity for women to migrate abroad conditional on intentions, which suggests that women incur specic costs or constraints misestimated at the intention stage. Alternative explanations, such as gendered preferences are discussed, but convergent empirical evidence suggest that women are more constrained than men on the international migration market. Moreover the data suggest that migrants are positively selected with respect to their unobserved characteristics whereas those with intention to migrate abroad are negatively selected. The shift in selection between the two stages of the migration process may be due to the cost reducing effect of individuals' unobserved characteristics that explain their higher local wages. Mots-clés : Migration, Roy model, migrant self-selection, subjective data, shocks, Mexico
    Keywords: Migration ; Roy Model ; Migrant Self-Selection ; Subjective Data ; Shocks ; Mexico
    Date: 2012–04
  12. By: Abada, Teresa<br/> Hou, Feng<br/> Lu, Yuqian
    Abstract: Immigrants in major industrialized countries are disproportionately represented in self-employment as compared to the domestic-born. Using a generational cohort method and data from the 20% sample file of the 1981 Canadian Census and the 20% sample file of the 2006 Canadian Census, this study examines whether the effects of three important determinants of self-employment--expected earnings differentials between paid employment and self-employment, difficulties in the labour market, and ethnic enclaves--differ between immigrants and the Canadian-born, between children of immigrants and children of the Canadian-born, and between children of immigrants and their parents.
    Keywords: Ethnic diversity and immigration, Ethnic groups and generations in Canada, Immigrants and non-permanent residents, Labour market and income
    Date: 2012–04–17
  13. By: McKenzie, David; Theoharides, Caroline; Yang, Dean
    Abstract: The authors use an original panel dataset of migrant departures from the Philippines to identify the responsiveness of migrant numbers and wages to gross domestic product shocks in destination countries. They find a large significant elasticity of migrant numbers to gross domestic product shocks at destination, but no significant wage response. This is consistent with binding minimum wages for migrant labor. This result implies that labor market imperfections that make international migration attractive also make migrant flows more sensitive to global business cycles. Difference-in-differences analysis of a minimum wage change for maids confirms that minimum wages bind and demand is price sensitive without these distortions.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Labor Policies,Population Policies,International Migration,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2012–04–01
  14. By: Jaap Dronkers (Maastricht University); Manon de Heus
    Abstract: Using Program for International Student Assessment [PISA] 2006 data, we examine the science performance of 9.279 15-year-old children of immigrants, originating from 35 different countries, living in 16 Western countries of destination. Whereas former research has mainly paid attention to the influence of individual-level characteristics on the educational performance of immigrants, this study’s focus is on macro-level characteristics. Using a cross-classified multilevel approach, we examine the impact of educational systems and political, economic, and religious features of both countries of origin and destination. The results show that at the destination level the degree of teacher shortage has a negative, and a longer history of migration has a positive, effect on science performance. Moreover, comprehensive educational systems have a positive influence on immigrant children’s performance, but this is only the case for higher class children. At the origin level, the compulsory period of education has a positive effect on immigrants’ science performance. Moreover, whereas immigrants from countries with an Eastern religious affiliation perform better than immigrants from Christian countries, immigrants from Islamic countries perform worse.
    Keywords: immigrants, educational performance, PISA, origin countries, destinationcountries, educational systems.
    Date: 2012–04
  15. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (IMDEA Social Sciences); Tobias D. Ketterer (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: This paper delves into the factors which determine the attractiveness of regions in Europe for migrants. Contrary to the literature on the US which has increasingly focused on the role of amenities, existing research in Europe tends to highlight the predominance of economic conditions as the main drivers of migration. Differentiating between economic, sociodemographic and amenity-related territorial features, we examine the appeal of various regional characteristics for migrants by analyzing net migration data for 133 European regions between 1990 and 2006. Our results show that, in addition to economic, human capital-related and demographic aspects, network effects and – in contrast to existing literature – different types of regional amenities exert an important influence on the relative attractiveness of sub-national territories across the European Union (EU). Our findings therefore indicate that locational choices in Europe may be much more similar to place-based preferences in the US than originally thought.
    Keywords: location choice; inter-regional migration; economic conditions; amenities; social networks; regions; Europe
    Date: 2012–04–25
  16. By: Alicia Sasser Modestino; Julia Dennett
    Abstract: U.S. policymakers are concerned that negative home equity arising from the severe housing market decline may be constraining geographic mobility and consequently serving as a factor in the nation's persistently high unemployment rate. Indeed, the widespread drop in house prices since 2007 has increased the share of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages. At the same time, migration across states and among homeowners has fallen sharply. Using a logistic regression framework to analyze data from the Internal Revenue Service on state-to-state migration between 2006 and 2009, the authors discover evidence that "house lock" decreases mobility but find it has a negligible impact on the national unemployment rate. A one-standard deviation increase in the share of underwater nonprime households in the origin state reduces the outflow of migrants from the origin to the destination state by 2.9 percent. When aggregated across the United States, this decrease in mobility reduces the national state-to-state migration rate by 0.05 percentage points, resulting in roughly 110,000 to 150,000 fewer individuals migrating across state lines in any given year. Assuming that all of these discouraged migrants were job-seekers who were previously unemployed before relocating and then found a job in their new state would reduce the nation's unemployment rate by at most one-tenth of a percentage point in a given year. The cumulative effect over this period would yield an unemployment rate of 9.0 percent versus 9.3 percent in 2009. Recognizing that not all state-to-state migrants are job-seekers, not all job-seekers were previously unemployed, and not all previously unemployed job-seekers will successfully find work in their new location yields an unemployment rate that is virtually unchanged from the actual one that prevailed from 2006 to 2009.
    Keywords: Housing - Prices ; Migration, Internal ; Unemployment
    Date: 2012
  17. By: Luis Miguel Rodrigo (ORDHUM - Department of Economics, Universidad Católica del Norte - Chile)
    Abstract: This work aims to fill the existing gap on the social representation of regions and how it affects the process of internal migration. The case of the Region of Antofagasta, a mining region in Northern Chile, is analyzed. It is widespread the idea that this region has a negative image in the rest of the country which reduces the region appeal as a work, residence and tourism place. We did not have, however, empirical information about this image. We use the sociological discourse analysis with information obtained from six discussion groups of university undergraduates from the regions of Coquimbo, Metropolitan and Valdivia in order to (re)construct the social discourses that form the social representation of the Region of Antofagasta and mining northern Chile from the framework of work migration.
    Keywords: Social representation, mining cities, regional migration, discussion groups, sociological discourse analysis
    JEL: R23 Z13
    Date: 2012–03
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship Workers’ Remittances, poverty, and economic growth in Sub-Saharan African countries. Workers’ Remittances seem to affect the economic development of recipient countries in the same way as Official Development Aid and Foreign Direct Investment. To achieve this objective, we use the fixed effects panel regression models to determine the link between Remittances and poverty on the one hand, Remittances and growth on the other. Recourse to the instrumental variables method turned out to be better for the estimation of the poverty model, while the standard error correction method proved to be well suited for the estimation of the growth model. Empirical results reveal that, Remittances inflows do not contribute significantly to the reduction of poverty. However, it is important to note that Workers’ Remittances seem to be a key element in boosting economic growth in the same manner as investment. Thus, if decision makers allocate a substantial percentage of the fruits derived from this growth to investment in the development of human capital, physical and basic social infrastructures, it is very likely that poverty will be reduced in the long term.
    Keywords: Workers’ Remittances; Poverty; Economic Growth; Development
    JEL: F22 I31 F24
    Date: 2012
  19. By: Abada, Teresa<br/> Hou, Feng<br/> Lu, Yuqian
    Abstract: Les immigrants des grands pays industrialisés sont représentés de façon disproportionnée au chapitre du travail autonome par rapport aux personnes nées au pays. À partir d'une méthode de cohorte générationnelle et à l'aide des données-échantillon (20 %) des fichiers maîtres des recensements du Canada de 1981 et 2006, la présente étude tente d'établir si les effets de trois déterminants importants du travail autonome -- différences entre les gains attendus d'un emploi rémunéré et d'un travail autonome, difficultés sur le marché du travail et enclaves ethniques -- diffèrent chez les immigrants par rapport aux personnes nées au Canada, chez les enfants d'immigrants par rapport aux enfants de personnes nées au Canada, et chez les enfants d'immigrants par rapport à leurs parents.
    Keywords: Diversité ethnique et immigration, Groupes ethniques et générations au Canada, Immigrants et résidents non permanents au Canada, Marché du travail et revenu
    Date: 2012–04–17
  20. By: Priore, Laura
    Keywords: Halal, migrants, Italy, Islam
    JEL: K32 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2011–12

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