nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒05‒22
twenty-one papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Are remittances a substitute for credit? Carrying the financial burden of health shocks in national and transnational households By Ambrosius, Christian
  2. Are remittances a "catalyst" for financial access? Evidence from Mexican household data By Ambrosius, Christian
  3. Migrant Networks as a Basis for Social Control : Remittance Incentives among Senegalese in France and Italy By Isabelle Chort; Flore Gubert; Jean-Noël Senne
  4. Immigration and election outcomes: Evidence from city districts in Hamburg By Otto, Alkis Henri; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
  5. Subjective well-being among ethnic minorities: the Dutch case By Gokdemir, Ozge; Dumludag, Devrim
  6. Accounting for Big City Growth in Low Paid Occupations: Immigration and/or Service Class Consumption By Gordon, Ian; Kaplanis, Ioannis
  7. Cities and Growth: Moving to Toronto - Income Gains Associated with Large Metropolitan Labour Markets By Brown, W. Mark<br/> Newbold, Bruce
  8. Dynamics of Educational Differences in Emigration from Estonia to the Old EU Member States By Kristi Anniste; Tiit Tammaru; Enel Pungas; Tiiu Paas
  9. Immigrant Status and Secondary School Performance as Determinants of Post-Secondary Participation: A Comparison of Canada and Switzerland By Garnett Picot
  10. Immigrant students and educational systems. Cross-country evidence from PISA 2006 By Marina Murat; Davide Ferrari; Patrizio Frederic
  11. Wage and Occupational Assimilation by Skill Level By Alcobendas, Miguel Angel; Rodríguez-Planas, Núria; Vegas, Raquel
  12. Mapping Modes of Rural Labour Migration in China By Sylvie Démurger
  13. The Impact of Migration Policy on Migrants' Education Structure. Evidence from Two Austrian Policy Experiments By Peter Huber; Julia Bock-Schappelwein
  14. Determinants of Immigrants' Cash-Welfare Benefits Intake in Spain By Rodríguez-Planas, Núria
  15. Don't stand so close to me: the urban impact of immigration By Antonio Accetturo; Francesco Manaresi; Sauro Mocetti; Elisabetta Olivieri
  16. The Impact of the 1996 US Immigration Policy Reform (IIRIRA) on Mexican Migrants' Remittances By Vaira-Lucero, Matias; Nahm, Daehoon; Tani, Massimiliano
  17. Moroccans', Ecuadorians' and Romanians' Assimilation in Spain By Rodríguez-Planas, Núria; Vegas, Raquel
  18. An Economic Analysis of Optimum Population Size Achieved Through Boosting Total Fertility and Net Immigration By Hoon Hian Teck
  19. Foreign Born Scientists: Mobility Patterns for Sixteen Countries By Chiara Franzoni; Giuseppe Scellato; Paula Stephan
  20. Wages and international factors’ mobility By E. Podrecca; G. Rossini
  21. État de santé et recours aux soins des immigrés en France : une revue de la littérature. By Jusot, Florence; Berchet, Caroline

  1. By: Ambrosius, Christian
    Abstract: The assumption that remittances are a substitute for credit has been an implicit or explicit theoretical foundation of many empirical studies on remittances. This paper directly tests this assumption by comparing the response to health-related shocks among national and transnational households using panel data from Mexico for 2002 and 2005. While the occurrence of serious health shocks that required hospital treatment doubled the average debt burden of exposed households compared to the control group, households with nuclear family members (a parent, child, or spouse) in the US did not increase their debts due to health shocks. This finding is consistent with the view that remittances respond to households' demand for financing emergencies and make them less reliant on debt-financing. --
    JEL: F24 D14 I15 O12
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Ambrosius, Christian
    Abstract: In policy discussions, it has frequently been claimed that migrants' remittances could function as a catalyst for financial access among receiving households. This paper provides empirical evidence on this hypothesis from Mexico, a major receiver of remittances worldwide. Using the Mexican Family Life Survey panel (MxFLS) for 2002 and 2005, the results from the fixed effects logit model show that receiving remittances is strongly correlated with the ownership of savings accounts and, to some degree, with the availability of borrowing options. These effects are more important for rural households than for urban households and are more important for microfinance institutions, than for traditional banks. --
    Keywords: Remittances,Mexico,Financial Access,Microfinance
    JEL: G21 O16 F24
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Isabelle Chort (PSE); Flore Gubert (Author-Workplace-Name:PSE); Jean-Noël Senne (CREST, PSE)
    Keywords: remittances, migrant workers, asymmetric information
    JEL: F24 F22 D82
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Otto, Alkis Henri; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the effect of immigration on election outcomes. Our analysis makes use of data on city districts in Hamburg, Germany, during a period of substantial inflows of immigrants and asylum seekers. We find significant and robust effects for changes in foreigner shares on the electoral success of parties that built up a distinctive reputation in immigration politics. In particular, our fixed-effects estimates indicate a positive effect for xenophobic, extreme right-wing parties and an adverse effect for the Green party that actively campaigned for liberal immigration policies and minority rights. Overall, our results support the hypothesis that changes in local compositional amenities shape individual attitudes towards immigration. --
    Keywords: immigration,elections,xenophobia
    JEL: D72 J15 R23
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Gokdemir, Ozge; Dumludag, Devrim
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigated the role of socio-economic factors like income, unemployment levels, and non-economic factors such as religion, identity and culture to explain the reasons for disparity of happiness levels among Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands by applying a questionnaire survey to 111 Turkish and 96 Moroccan immigrants (Arnhem, Den Haag, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht) in the Netherlands. The overall results of this paper indicate that Turkish immigrants report much lower levels of life satisfaction than Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands. Typical socio-economic factors like income, unemployment levels and entrepreneurship levels have failed to explain why Turkish immigrants are the least happy immigrant group in the Netherlands. We wanted to search for possible explanations for this disparity by using the Mann-Whitney U Test to reveal non-parametric comparison between two groups (Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands). We found that, contrary to the mainstream economic approach, the effect of absolute income for Turkish immigrants was insignificant. On the other hand, the effect of relative income, which mostly explains the low level of life satisfaction, matters for Turkish immigrants. We examined also non-economic facts explaining the disparity. We investigated the role of religion, media, language, identity and discrimination to explain the different levels of life satisfaction for immigrant groups. For example, although poorer health plays an important role in explaining lower life satisfaction, Moroccans who have health problems reported higher satisfaction levels. A strong sense of “Dutch” identity was found to have a positive effect on life satisfaction. Moroccans have a strong sense of Dutch identity, but also they are more satisfied with their lives than Turks who have a strong sense of Dutch identity. Another significant finding is that immigrants who identify themselves as Muslims are much satisfied than immigrants who identify themselves as Moroccan or Turkish.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction; Immigrants; Mann-Whitney U test
    JEL: A12 C42
    Date: 2011–06–05
  6. By: Gordon, Ian; Kaplanis, Ioannis
    Abstract: Growth of 'global cities' in the 1980s was supposed to have involved an occupational polarisation, including growth of low paid service jobs. Though held to be untrue for European cities, at the time, some such growth did emerge in London a decade later than first reported for New York. The question is whether there was simply a delay before London conformed to the global city model, or whether another distinct cause was at work in both cases. This paper proposes that the critical factor in both cases was actually an upsurge of immigration from poor countries providing an elastic supply of cheap labour. This hypothesis and its counterpart based on growth in elite jobs are tested econometrically for the British case with regional data spanning 1975-2008, finding some support for both effects, but with immigration from poor countries as the crucial influence in late 1990s London. Keywords: regional labour markets; wages; employment; international migration; consumer demand JEL Codes: J21, J23, F22, R12
    Keywords: Mercat de treball, Salaris, Ocupació, Migracions de pobles, Economia regional, Consumidors, 33 - Economia,
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Brown, W. Mark<br/> Newbold, Bruce
    Abstract: This paper examines the process by which migrants experience gains in earnings subsequent to migration and, in particular, the advantage that migrants obtain from moving to large, dynamic metropolitan labour markets, using Toronto as a benchmark. There are two potentially distinct patterns to gains in earnings associated with migration. The first is a step upwards in which workers realize immediate gains in earnings subsequent to migration. The second is accelerated gains in earnings subsequent to migration. Immediate gains are associated with obtaining a position in a more productive firm and/or a better match between worker skills and abilities and job tasks. Accelerated gains in earnings are associated processes that take time, such as learning or job switching as workers and firms seek out better matches. Evaluated here is the expectation that the economies of large metropolitan areas provide workers with an initial productive advantage stemming from a one-time improvement in worker productivity and/or a dynamic that accelerates gains in earnings over time through the potentially entwined processes of learning and matching. A variety of datasets and methodologies, including propensity score matching, are used to evaluate patterns of income gains associated with migration to Toronto.
    Keywords: Population and demography, Labour, Mobility and migration, Wages, salaries and other earnings
    Date: 2012–05–03
  8. By: Kristi Anniste (University of Tartu); Tiit Tammaru (University of Tartu); Enel Pungas (University of Tartu); Tiiu Paas (University of Tartu)
    Abstract: The study analyzes the changes in emigration from Estonia in order to shed more light on East-West migration, contributing to the main debate on “brain drain” by focusing on educational differences in emigration. We use anonymous individual level data for all emigrants from the register-based Estonian Emigration Database compiled by Statistics Estonia for the period 2000–2008. The analysis shows that there has been no significant brain drain from Estonia as the new EU member state during this period. Moreover, we find evidence of a spreading of the emigration norm into a wider range of population groups, including the less educated, since Estonia joined the European Union in 2004.
    Keywords: education; emigration; East-West migration; Estonia
    Date: 2012–05
  9. By: Garnett Picot
    Abstract: This working paper seeks to explore the reasons why educational attainment in the immigrant population varies between North America and Europe. Specifically, the examples of Canada and Switzerland are used as Canada has an immigrant population with a typically higher rate of post-secondary education than that of the domestic population, while in Switzerland the opposite is true. Analysis shows that while differences in immigration policy play a significant role, there are many other variables which affect educational attainment in immigrants, such as the education level of the parents, source region and home language.<BR>Le présent document de travail tente d’explorer les raisons pour lesquelles le niveau de formation de la population immigrée varie entre l’Amérique du Nord et l’Europe. Il s’attache plus particulièrement aux exemples du Canada et de la Suisse, les diplômes de l’enseignement post-secondaire étant typiquement plus nombreux dans la population immigrée que dans la population autochtone au Canada, tandis qu’en Suisse, c’est l’inverse qui s’observe. L’analyse montre que si les différences en termes de politiques d’immigration jouent un rôle important, il existe également de nombreuses autres variables qui influent sur le niveau de formation de la population immigrée, telles que le niveau de formation des parents, la région d’origine et la langue parlée à la maison.
    Date: 2012–05–11
  10. By: Marina Murat; Davide Ferrari; Patrizio Frederic
    Abstract: Using data from PISA 2006 on 29 countries, this paper analyses immigrant school gaps (difference in scores between immigrants and natives) and focuses on tracking and comprehensive educational systems. Results show that the wider negative gaps are present where tracking is sharp and less frequently in countries with comprehensive schooling. In both cases, negative gaps are concentrated in continental Western Europe, where they are also often related to immigrants and natives attending different schools, or are significant within schools
    Keywords: Immigrant students, educational systems, PISA
    JEL: F22 I21
    Date: 2012–05
  11. By: Alcobendas, Miguel Angel (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (IZA); Vegas, Raquel (FEDEA, Madrid)
    Abstract: While much of the literature on immigrants' assimilation has focused on countries with a large tradition of receiving immigrants and with flexible labor markets, very little is known on how immigrants adjust to other types of host economies. With its severe dual labor market, and an unprecedented immigration boom, Spain presents a quite unique experience to analyze immigrations' assimilation process. Using alternative datasets and methodologies, this paper provides evidence of a differential assimilation pattern for low- versus high-skilled immigrants in Spain: our key finding is that having a high-school degree does not give immigrants an advantage in terms occupational or wage assimilation (relative to their native counterparts).
    Keywords: wage assimilation, occupational assimilation, education
    JEL: J15 J24 J61 J62
    Date: 2012–05
  12. By: Sylvie Démurger (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure - Lyon)
    Abstract: Internal labour migration has become an important part of the process of China's industrialization and urbanisation in the 2000s. Using micro data for the year 2007, this chapter attempts to contribute to a better understanding of the motives of and the constraints to labour mobility in China. Drawing on various empirical investigations at the household level, it examines both the decision and the level of migration and provides a mapping of the main factors driving different types of labour mobility across space (by destination) and time (by duration).
    Keywords: rural-urban migration; destination; duration; migration networks; China
    Date: 2012–05–09
  13. By: Peter Huber (WIFO); Julia Bock-Schappelwein (WIFO)
    Abstract: We ask how two reforms of migration law (EEA accession in 1994 and the integration agreement regulation in 2003) impacted on the education structure of migrants to Austria. To identify the effects of these reforms, we use the fact that EEA accession affected only migrants from EEA countries, while third country citizens were unaffected and that the opposite is the case for the integration agreement regulation. We find robust evidence that the share of low educated permanent migrants from the EEA to Austria reduced relative to the share of low educated permanent migrants from other countries due to Austria's EEA accession. With respect to the reform of residence law in 2003 our results are less robust. Most of them, however, point to an increased share of low skilled permanent migrants.
    Keywords: Migration Policy, Self-Selection, European Economic Area
    Date: 2012–05–08
  14. By: Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (IZA)
    Abstract: Much of the literature on immigrants' cash-welfare benefits use has focused on countries with a large tradition of receiving immigrants and with well established Welfare states. This paper contributes to this literature by analyzing differences in cash-welfare benefits receipt between immigrants and natives and their determinants in Spain, a country with: (1) a small level of social assistance and a Welfare state heavily reliable on conditioned access to pensions; and (2) an unprecedented immigration boom. Different probit models of social program intake are estimated for immigrants and native-born individuals using pooled cross-sectional data from the 1999 to 2009 Spanish Labor Force Survey. Results show that a negative residual welfare gap exists and that it is mainly driven by recently arrived immigrants, whose legal status or insufficient contribution is likely to hamper participation in social programs. In addition, I find that immigrants with more than 5 years in the host country are more likely to receive unemployment benefits than natives, consistent with findings in other countries. These findings hold regardless of immigrants' continent of origin.
    Keywords: Southern European welfare state, immigrants' residual welfare use
    JEL: J15 J61 J68 I38
    Date: 2012–05
  15. By: Antonio Accetturo (Bank of Italy); Francesco Manaresi (Bank of Italy); Sauro Mocetti (Bank of Italy); Elisabetta Olivieri (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of immigration on the residential market within urban areas. We develop a spatial equilibrium model that shows how the effect of an immigrant inflow in a district affects local housing prices through changes in how natives perceive the quality of their local amenities and how this influences their mobility. Predictions of the model are tested using a novel dataset on housing prices and population variables at the district level for a sample of 20 large Italian cities. To address endogeneity problems we adopt an instrumental variable strategy which uses historical enclaves of immigrants across districts to predict current settlements. We find that immigration raises average housing prices at the city level; however it reduces price growth in a district affected by an inflow vis-à-vis the rest of the city. This pattern is driven by the natives&#x2019; flight from immigrant-dense districts towards other areas of the city. These findings are consistent with native preferences to live in predominantly native areas.
    Keywords: migration, housing, spatial segregation
    JEL: R23 J15 R21 F22
    Date: 2012–04
  16. By: Vaira-Lucero, Matias (Macquarie University, Sydney); Nahm, Daehoon (Macquarie University, Sydney); Tani, Massimiliano (Macquarie University, Sydney)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of the US Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) on the remitting patterns of Mexican immigrants. Using data from the Mexican Migration Project (MMP128), we find that a significant effect on remittance flows from illegal migrants took place after the implementation of the IIRIRA. This is consistent with the hypothesis that illegal immigrants are risk-averse agents who transfer more money to their home country as a mechanism to insure themselves against higher degrees of uncertainty within their host countries. Furthermore, this finding confirms previous research that conditions and policies in the host country affect migrants' remitting behaviour, and migrants' motivations are not only altruistic but also self-interested. Given that migrants' remittances and their savings are important sources of capital formation in many sending countries and of savings in the countries that host them, a better understanding of the effect that migration policies have on remittance flows can lead to more informed policies that can transcend the home security aspects that often dominate discussions about illegal migration.
    Keywords: remittances, legal status, uncertainty, policy reform, illegal migrants, Mexico, migration policy
    JEL: F22 F24 J61
    Date: 2012–05
  17. By: Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (IZA); Vegas, Raquel (FEDEA, Madrid)
    Abstract: Using the 2007 Encuesta Nacional de Immigración (ENI), we find that male migrants follow a similar labor and legal assimilation pattern in Spain regardless of their nationality (with Romanians faring worse in terms of legal status but better in terms of employment status at arrival). Among women, Moroccans and Ecuadorians follow a similar pattern that contrasts with the one observed among Romanian women. While the former mainly arrive to Spain to work with legal status and with time in Spain (some of them) move out of employment, the latter are considerably (and persistently) more attached to the labor force, although they tend to lack legal status at arrival, and only gain such status overtime. Controlling for observable characteristics and using Heckman-corrected estimates, our wage analysis finds that with the exception of Moroccan and Romanian males for which no wage differences are observed, Moroccans outperform the other two nationalities in terms of higher wages at arrival. Moreover, this wage differential does not decrease over time.
    Keywords: legal and employment assimilation, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean men and women
    JEL: J15 J24 J61 J62
    Date: 2012–05
  18. By: Hoon Hian Teck (School of Economics, Singapore Management University)
    Abstract: Without net immigration, the population size is projected to decline from 2025 on- ward. Does it matter? To answer this question, the paper proceeds in two main parts. In the first part, taking a citizen's utility as a measure of welfare, we identify the channels through which a larger population size reduces welfare, on the one hand, and increases welfare on the other hand. The optimum population size is achieved when the net resul- tant effect of all these channels leaves citizens' welfare at the maximum. When current and projected total fertility rates without net immigration lead to a projected path of actual population size that glides below the path of optimum population size, the policy question is how best to boost population increase to reach the optimum. The second part of the paper analyzes the costs to Singapore society of reaching the optimum by measures to boost total fertility rate, on the one hand, and allowing net immigration flows on the other hand. A starting point of economic analysis uses neoclassical growth theory to demonstrate how an increase in population size reduces per capita consumption and hence utility via a "capital dilution" channel. With a limited land size, an increase in population size raises population density, which lowers welfare through a "congestion" channel. The paper, however, identifies four other channels through which a larger population size increases welfare. These are a "tax base" channel, a "Mozart effect" channel, a "human capital externalities" channel, and an "Okun's Law" channel. To analyze the costs to Singapore's national budget of boosting the total fertility rate, we start off with the classic Becker model of fertility decisions and quantity-quality trade- off. When parents value both the quantity as well as human capital level ("quality") of children, the Becker model predicts that when parents' incomes rise, they choose quality over quantity. (This can be called a level effect.) When education boosts a child's human capital, and higher growth rates raise the marginal productivity of parental investment in a child's human capital, the expected decline in GDP growth rates as the Singapore economy matures would boost total fertility. (This can be called a growth effect.) The impact of policy measures such as parental leave, childcare subsidy and the Baby Bonus on total fertility rate can be analyzed in terms of substitution and income effects. The costs to Singapore society of net immigration, apart from scal subsidies to attract potential immigrants, would appear to come from its impact on social capital. In particular, a recent concept of "identity economics" - that an individual's payoff or utility is affected by identification with particular social categories - can help us understand the nature of the cost of achieving a given increase in population via net immigration. The optimal mix of measures to boost total fertility rate and allowing net immigration flows to achieve a given increase in the size of population equates the marginal cost of the two approaches. Forging a national identity is an investment that can lower the cost of achieving a given increase in population size.
    Date: 2012–05
  19. By: Chiara Franzoni; Giuseppe Scellato; Paula Stephan
    Abstract: We report results from the first systematic study of the mobility of scientists engaged in research in a large number of countries. Data were collected from 17,182 respondents using a web-based survey of corresponding authors in 16 countries in four fields during 2011. We find considerable variation across countries, both in terms of immigration and emigration patterns. Switzerland has the largest percent of immigrant scientists working in country (56.7); Canada, and Australia trail by nine or more percent; the U.S. and Sweden by approximately eighteen percent. India has the lowest (0.8), followed closely by Italy and Japan. The most likely reason to come to a country for postdoctoral study or work is professional. Our survey methodology also allows us to study emigration patterns of individuals who were living in one of the 16 countries at age 18. Again, considerable variation exists by country. India heads the list with three in eight of those living in country when they were 18 out of country in 2011. The country with the lowest diaspora is Japan. Return rates also vary by country, with emigrants from Spain being most likely to return and those from India being least like to return. Regardless of country, the most likely reason respondents report for returning to one’s home country is family or personal.
    JEL: F32 J24 O30
    Date: 2012–05
  20. By: E. Podrecca; G. Rossini
    Abstract: The labor wage is the result of market variables and institutional settings of a country. In an open economy the determination of the market wage rate may be further affected by the extent of international mobility of both factors of production, labor and capital. Labor mobility is represented by migration in and out of a country, while capital mobility relates mostly to the extent of foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows and inflows. Migrants may represent an addition to the native labor force of a country and, in some cases, play a substitute role with respect to incumbent workers. FDI, in particular of the greenfield category, represents either a supplement to or a reduction of the domestic capital and, by and large, changes the opportunity set of a firm’s CEO with respect to the corresponding company operating in a closed economy. International factor mobility and domestic market variables, such as unemployment and productivity, interact in the wage setting process. In this paper, we derive a theoretical wage equation following the above premises, and perform pooled mean group estimates of its parameters on panel data for a group of 13 European countries with quarterly time observation over the period 1996-2007. We find that capital outflows have a robust negative effect on the wage rate. The effects of migration inflows, on the other hand, are not so clear-cut, as they can be nullor negative depending on the sample of countries considered.
    JEL: F2 J5 J6
    Date: 2012–05
  21. By: Jusot, Florence; Berchet, Caroline
    Abstract: L’état de santé des immigrés est considéré comme un véritable enjeu de santé publique en raison de la fragilisation économique et sociale que peuvent connaître certains d’entre eux, et qui participe à la détérioration de leur état de santé. Ce bilan des études françaises sur l’état de santé et l’accès aux soins des immigrés suggère l’existence d’inégalités de santé liées à la migration et de disparités selon le pays d’origine. En outre, l’ensemble des études s’ac- corde sur le moindre recours aux soins de la population immigrée, révélant des difficultés d’accès à la médecine de ville. Enfin, la situation économique et sociale plus défavorisée des immigrés, leur moindre accès à la complémentaire santé et leur moindre intégration sociale sont les principaux facteurs expliquant ces inégalités de santé et d’accès aux soins. Ces travaux appellent à une modification des politiques sanitaires et sociales visant à améliorer l’état de santé et l’accès aux soins des populations d’origine étrangère.
    Abstract: The health status of immigrants is considered as a genuine public health concern due to the economic and social fragility that they may experience, which contributes to the deterioration of their health. This review of French studies on migrant health status and access to care suggests the existence of health inequalities related to migration and some disparities according to the country of origin. In addition, the body of evi-dence shows a lesser use of health care among the migrant population, suggesting difficulties in accessing ambulatory care. Finally, the more dis-advantaged economic and social status of immigrants, their lower access to complementary health coverage, and their lower social integration are the most important factors explaining these health and health care inequalities. These studies call for health and social policy reforms designed to improve the health status and health care use of the foreign born population.
    Keywords: Migration; inégalités de santé; recours aux soins; Migration; health inequalities; access to care;
    JEL: I18
    Date: 2012–01

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