nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒07‒23
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. A behavioural approach to remittances analysis By Meyer, Wiebke; Mollers, Judith; Buchenrieder, Gertrud
  2. On Estimating The Effects of Legalization: Do Agricultural Workers Really Benefit? By Sampaio, Breno Ramos; Sampaio, Gustavo Ramos; Sampaio, Yony
  3. Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking? By Seo-Young Cho; Axel Dreher; Eric Neumayer
  4. Modeling for Determinants of Human Trafficking By Seo-Young Cho
  5. Who leaves and when? Selective outmigration of immigrants from Germany By Kuhlenkasper, Torben; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
  6. Citizenship acquisition, employment prospects and earnings: comparing two cool countries By Pieter Bevelander and Ravi Pendakur
  7. The impact of parental migration on children’s school performance in rural China By Zhao, Qiran; Yu, Xiaohua; Wang, Xiaobing; Glauben, Thomas
  8. Immigration and Structural Change – Evidence from Post-war Germany By Sebastian Braun; Michael Kvasnicka
  9. Indeterminacy in a dynamic small open economy with international migration By Parello, Carmelo Pierpaolo
  10. The Costs of Babylon – Linguistic Distance in Applied Economics By Ingo E. Isphording; Sebastian Otten
  11. Migration and Imperfect Labor Markets: Theory and Cross-Country Evidence from Denmark, Germany and the UK By Brücker, Herbert; Jahn, Elke J.; Upward, Richard
  12. The Trade Effects of Skilled versus Unskilled Migration By Egger, Peter; Nelson, Doug R; von Ehrlich, Maximilian
  13. Do immigrant outflows lead to native inflows? An empirical analysis of the migratory responses to US state immigration legislation By Michael Good

  1. By: Meyer, Wiebke; Mollers, Judith; Buchenrieder, Gertrud
    Abstract: This paper approaches the migrant’s motivation to remit from a new, behavioural perspective. We apply the well-established Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) using a structural equation model for the first time for this specific research question. Our micro-dataset stems from a 2009/10 survey, covering Albanian migrants from Kosovo living in Germany as well as their home-country households. More than 90% of Kosovar migrants living in Germany remit. However, little is known about their underlying motivations. Our analytical results show that the migrant’s attitude and norms are decisive for the remitting behaviour. The common socio-economic approach lacks explanatory power backed by theory.
    Keywords: Kosovo, Germany, remittances, structural equation modelling, Theory of Planned Behaviour, Consumer/Household Economics, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Political Economy, F24, H30, O15,
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Sampaio, Breno Ramos; Sampaio, Gustavo Ramos; Sampaio, Yony
    Abstract: The question of whether legalization affects the economic returns of immigrants has been the focus of many empirical studies in the past two decades. Their results have consistently shown that there exists significant wage differences between legal and illegal workers. However, the validity of such findings have been questioned by many researchers, given the lack of good identification strategies to correctly account for omitted variables. In this article we move away from the methods previously used in the literature, which in most part rely on selection on observables, and propose to use recently developed techniques designed specifically to address the issue of selection into treatment based (in some degree) on unobservable variables. Our results highlight that measuring such effects is much more difficult, from an econometrics standpoint, than what previous analysis claim and suggest that lower skill levels and not discrimination explain differences in economic outcomes of immigrants.
    Keywords: economic outcomes, undocumented workers, immigration, identification, Labor and Human Capital, J31, J32, J43, J71,
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Seo-Young Cho; Axel Dreher; Eric Neumayer
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of legalized prostitution on human trafficking inflows. According to economic theory, there are two opposing effects of unknown magnitude. The scale effect of legalized prostitution leads to an expansion of the prostitution market, increasing human trafficking, while the substitution effect reduces demand for trafficked women as legal prostitutes are favored over trafficked ones. Our empirical analysis for a cross-section of up to 150 countries shows that the scale effect dominates the substitution effect. On average, countries where prostitution is legal experience larger reported human trafficking inflows.
    Keywords: human trafficking, prostitution, legalization, scale effect, substitution effect, global
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Seo-Young Cho
    Abstract: This study aims to identify robust push and pull factors of human trafficking. I test for the robustness of 78 push and 67 pull factors suggested in the literature. By employing an extreme bound analysis, running more than two million regressions with all possible combinations of variables for up to 180 countries during the period of 1995-2010, I show that crime prevalence robustly explains human trafficking prevalence both in destination and origin countries. My finding also implies that a low level of gender equality and development may have constraining effects on human trafficking outflows, contrary to expectations. The linkage between migration and human trafficking is less clear, and institutional quality matters more in origin countries than destinations.
    Keywords: Human trafficking, push and pull factors, robustness, extreme bound analysis
    JEL: F22 J16 J61 O15
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Kuhlenkasper, Torben; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the outmigration behaviour of foreign-born immigrants. Our analysis is based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel covering the period 1984 to 2010. A unique feature of our paper is the use of new data from panel-drop out studies, which allows us to identify outmigration. As statistical technique, we employ penalized spline smoothing in the context of a Poisson-type Generalized Additive Mixed Model (GAMM), which enables us to incorporate bivariate interaction effects. For Non-Turkish immigrants we find a u-shaped pattern between human capital endowment and outmigration. For Turkish immigrants, outmigration is characterized by a positive self-selection with respect to skill intensifying the initial negative selection process. In addition to this, family characteristics have strong effects on emigration decisions. Finally, our results highlight substantial variation in outmigration behaviour during the life cycle. --
    Keywords: Emigration,Self-selection,German Socio-Economic Panel,Generalized Additive Mixed Models,Penalized Splines
    JEL: C14 C51 F22 J61
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Pieter Bevelander and Ravi Pendakur
    Abstract: Direct country comparisons on the effect of citizenship are rare. The aim of this paper is to analyse the citizenship effect on both employment probabilities and the relative income of work of immigrants in two countries, Canada and Sweden. We ask 'Is there a citizenship effect and if any, in which country is it that we find the largest effect and for which immigrant groups'. Using Instrumental Variable Regression to assess the clean effect of citizenship acquisition on data from the 2006 Canadian census and the 2006 Swedish registry we find that citizenship has a positive impact on both characteristics, and that it is often stronger in Sweden than in Canada.
    Keywords: citizenship
    Date: 2012–07–15
  7. By: Zhao, Qiran; Yu, Xiaohua; Wang, Xiaobing; Glauben, Thomas
    Abstract: A substantial amount of China’s rapid economic growth in has been attributed to its large proportion of rural-urban migrants, but more than 80% of these migrants’ children are still left in rural areas mainly due to China’s household registration system. Identification of the impact of parental migration on children’s school performance may encounter the problem of endogeneity. Using unique survey data collected from Qinghai Province and the Ningxia Autonomous Region in Northwestern China where more than 7,100 Grade 4 & 5 students from 74 rural elementary schools participated and by the instrumental-variable estimation, our results indicate that parents’ decisions to migrate are exogenous to their children’s schooling performance, and one more migratory parent can marginally reduce their child’s math score by 1.73 percent in percentile rank, which implies that the current economic growth in China partially jeopardizes the future of the next rural generation. In addition, we find a causal relationship between the poor performance of ethnic minorities and both geographical and social disadvantages.
    Keywords: instrumental variables, migration, rural China, school performance, Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Sebastian Braun; Michael Kvasnicka
    Abstract: Does immigration accelerate sectoral change towards high-productivity sectors? This paper uses the mass displacement of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe to West Germany after World War II as a natural experiment to study this question. A simple two-sector model of the economy, in which moving costs prevent the marginal product of labor to be equalized across sectors, predicts that immigration boosts output per worker by expanding the high-productivity sector, but decreases output per worker within a sector. Using German district-level data from before and after the war, we find strong empirical support for these predictions.
    Keywords: Immigration; sectoral change; output growth; post-war Germany
    JEL: J61 J21 C36 N34
    Date: 2012–06
  9. By: Parello, Carmelo Pierpaolo
    Abstract: This paper presents a dynamic small open economy version of the standard neoclassical exogenous growth model with international migration. It considers both the case of perfect world capital markets and the case of imperfect capital markets and shows that local indeterminacy always arises independently of the capital market regime. To study the dynamic implications of migration on domestic consumption, current account and capital accumulation, we simulate the model numerically by distinguishing three different scenarios depending on whether the initial immigration ratio is larger, equal or smaller than its steady-state value. In the case of perfect world capital markets, we find that migration has only a temporary impact on capital accumulation, but a permanent impact on domestic consumption and foreign debt. Instead, in the case of imperfect world capital markets, we find that migration has only temporary impacts on all the main macroeconomic variables.
    Keywords: Small Open Economy; Indeterminacy; International Migration; Capital Adjustment Costs; First best
    JEL: F22 O41 C61 F43 C62
    Date: 2012–07–07
  10. By: Ingo E. Isphording; Sebastian Otten
    Abstract: Linguistic distance, i.e. the dissimilarity between languages, is an important factor influencing international economic transactions such as migration or international trade flows by imposing hurdles for second language acquisition and increasing transaction costs. To measure these costs, we suggest to use a new measure of linguistic distance. The Levenshtein distance is an easily computed and transparent approach of including linguistic distance into econometric applications. We show its merits in two different applications. First, the effect of linguistic distance in the language acquisition of immigrants is analyzed using data from the 2000 U.S. Census, the German Socio-Economic Panel, and the National Immigrant Survey of Spain. Across countries, linguistic distance is negatively correlated with reported language skills of immigrants. Second, applying a gravity model to data on international trade flows covering 178 countries and 52 years, it is shown that linguistic distance has a strong negative influence on bilateral trade volumes.
    Keywords: Linguistic distance; immigrants; language; transferability; human capital;international trade
    JEL: J24 J61 F22 F16
    Date: 2012–05
  11. By: Brücker, Herbert (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Jahn, Elke J. (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Upward, Richard (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: We investigate the labor market effects of immigration in Denmark, Germany and the UK, three countries which are characterized by considerable differences in labor market institutions and welfare states. Institutions such as collective bargaining, minimum wages, employment protection and unemployment benefits affect the way in which wages respond to labor supply shocks, and, hence, the labor market effects of immigration. We employ a wage-setting approach which assumes that wages decline with the unemployment rate, albeit imperfectly. We find that wage flexibility is substantially higher in the UK compared to Germany and, in particular, Denmark. As a consequence, immigration has a much larger effect on the unemployment rate in Germany and Denmark, while the wage effects are larger in the UK. Moreover, the elasticity of substitution between natives and foreign workers is high in the UK and particularly low in Germany. Thus, the preexisting foreign labor force suffers more from further immigration in Germany than in the UK.
    Keywords: immigration, unemployment, wages, labor markets, panel data, comparative studies
    JEL: F22 J31 J61
    Date: 2012–07
  12. By: Egger, Peter; Nelson, Doug R; von Ehrlich, Maximilian
    Abstract: In this paper, we assess the role of skilled versus unskilled migration for bilateral trade using a flexible reduced-form model where the stocks of skilled and unskilled migrants at the country-pair level are determined as endogenous continuous treatments. The impact of different levels of skilled and unskilled migration on the volume and structure of bilateral trade is identified in a quasi-experimental design. This is accomplished through a generalization of propensity score estimation procedures for a case of multivariate, multi-valued treatments whereof the bivariate continuous treatment model is a special case. We find evidence of a polarized impact of skill-specific migration on trade: highly concentrated skilled or unskilled migrants induce higher trade volumes than a balanced composition of the immigrant base. Regarding the structure of trade, we observe a polarization specifically for differentiated goods and for north-south trade. Both bits of evidence are consistent with a segregation of skill-specific immigrant networks and corresponding consumption patterns and effects on trade.
    Keywords: Bilateral trade; Generalized propensity score estimation; Quasi-randomized experiments; Skilled vs. unskilled immigration
    JEL: C14 C21 F14 F22
    Date: 2012–07
  13. By: Michael Good (Department of Economics, Florida International University)
    Abstract: I estimate the impact on population and employment for 52 different demographic groups of the recent in?ux of state omnibus immigration laws targeting undocumented immigrants in the United States. I ?nd evidence that while the demographic groups pinpointed as having higher percentages of undocumented individuals certainly experience population and employment ¡¯out?ows¡¯ from states implementing these immigration laws, there is a lack of associated ¡¯in?ows¡¯ for those demographic groups identi?ed by economic theory as being probable substitutes for undocumented immigrants. Several segments designated as probable substitutes actually experience an adverse effect on population and employment. This ?nding provides rigorous empirical backing to existing anecdotal evidence of the same migratory phenomenon, resulting in clear policy implications in relation to the ongoing debate over immigration.
    Date: 2012–07

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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