nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒09‒03
seven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Long-Distance Moves and Labour Market Outcomes of Dual-Earner Couples in the UK and Germany By Philipp M. Lersch
  2. Offshoring and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand By Gaaitzen De Vries; Neil Foster; Robert Stehrer
  3. Neighborhood Quality and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Quasi-Random Neighborhood Assignment of Immigrants By Anna Piil Damm
  4. Are Migrants in Large Cities Underpaid? Evidence from Vietnam By Nguyen, Viet Cuong; Pham, Minh Thai
  5. When migrants rule: the legacy of mass migration on economic development in the US By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Viola von Berlepsch
  6. Internal migration in Egypt : levels, determinants, wages, and likelihood of employment By Herrera, Santiago; Badr, Karim
  7. ‚Getting Asylum Seekers into Employment‘? – Ein Allheilmittel für die Europäische Einwanderungspolitik? By Tausch, Arno

  1. By: Philipp M. Lersch
    Abstract: Chances are high that partners in dual-earner couples do not receive equal occupational returns from long-distance moves, because job opportunities are distributed heterogeneously in space. Which partners are more likely to receive relatively higher returns after moves? Recent research shows the stratification of returns by gender and highlights the importance of gender roles in mobility decisions. I extend past literature in two ways. First, while past research mostly examined partners separately, I directly test for gender differences in matched pairs of women and men in dual-earner couples and account for the nonindependence of both careers. Second, I compare evidence from the United Kingdom (UK) and Germany to shed light on the effects of institutional and normative contexts. For my analysis, I draw longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey and the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (1991-2008). My results show that women in dual-earner couples are temporarily adversely affected in their careers by long-distance moves in the UK and West Germany after controlling for various characteristics of both partners. Women in East Germany are not affected by long-distance moves. Moves do not change wage rates significantly for women and men that stay in employment in both countries.
    Keywords: Residential mobility, gender inequalities, cross-national comparison, actor-partner interdependence model
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Gaaitzen De Vries; Neil Foster (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Robert Stehrer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the link between international outsourcing – or offshoring – and the skill structure of labour demand for a sample of 40 countries over the period 1995 2009. The paper uses data from the recently compiled World-Input-Output-Database (WIOD) to estimate a system of variable factor demand equations. These data allow us to exploit both a cross-country and cross-industry dimension and split employment into three skill categories. Our results indicate that while offshoring has impacted negatively upon all skill levels, the largest impacts have been observed for medium-skilled (and to a lesser extent high-skilled) workers. Such results are consistent with recent evidence indicating that medium-skilled workers have suffered to a greater extent than other skill types in recent years.
    Keywords: offshoring, trade, wages, labour demand
    JEL: F14 J31
    Date: 2012–06
  3. By: Anna Piil Damm (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University)
    Abstract: Using survey information about characteristics of personal contacts linked with administrative register information on employment status one year later, I show that unemployed survey respondents with many employed acquaintances have a higher job finding rate. Settlement in a socially deprived neighborhood may, therefore, hamper individual labor market outcomes because of lack of employed contacts. I investigate this hypothesis by exploiting a unique natural experiment that occurred between 1986 and 1998 when refugee immigrants to Denmark were assigned to municipalities quasi-randomly, which successfully addresses the methodological problem of endogenous neighborhood selection. Taking account of location sorting, living in a socially deprived neighborhood does not affect labor market outcomes of refugee men. Furthermore, their labor market outcomes are not affected by the overall employment rate of men living in the neighborhood, but positively affected by the employment rate of non-Western immigrant men and co-national men living in the neighborhood. This is strong evidence that immigrants find jobs in part through their employed immigrant and co-ethnic contacts in the neighborhood of residence and that a high quality of contacts increases the individual's employment chances and annual earnings.
    Keywords: Residential job search networks, referral, contacts, neighborhood quality, labor market outcomes
    JEL: J60 J31 R30
    Date: 2012–08
  4. By: Nguyen, Viet Cuong; Pham, Minh Thai
    Abstract: This paper examine the difference in wages between migrants and non-migrants (native workers) in large cities in Vietnam. It is found that migrants receive substantially lower wages than non-migrants. The wage gap tends to be larger for older migrants. However, once observed demographic characteristics of workers are controlled, there is no difference in wages between migrants and non-migrants. The main difference in observed wages between migrants and non-migrants is explained by differences in age and education between migrants and non-migrants.
    Keywords: Migration; underpaid; decomposition; household survey; Vietnam
    JEL: E24 O15
    Date: 2012–05–16
  5. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Viola von Berlepsch
    Abstract: This paper examines the extent to which the distinct settlement pattern of migrants arriving in the US during the big migration waves of the late 19th and early 20th centuries has left a legacy on the economic development of the counties where they settled and whether this legacy can be traced until today. Using data from the 1880, 1900 and 1910 censuses, we first look at the geography of migration across US counties in the 48 continental states. We then link this settlement pattern of migrants to current levels of local development – proxied by GDP per capita at county level in 2005 – while controlling for a number of factors which may have influenced both the location of migrants at the time of migration, as well as for the economic development of the county today. The results of the econometric analysis including instrumental variables underline that the big migration waves have left an indelible trace on territories which determines their economic performance until today. US counties which attracted large numbers of migrants more than a century ago are still more dynamic today than counties that did not. The results also show that the territorial imprint of migration has become more pervasive than all other local characteristics which would have determined and shaped economic performance in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
    Keywords: Migration, economic development, institutions, culture, long-term legacy, counties, US
    Date: 2012–08
  6. By: Herrera, Santiago; Badr, Karim
    Abstract: This paper describes stylized facts about internal migration and the labor force in Egypt, and shows how internal migration in the country is low compared with international standards. Using aggregate labor force survey data, the paper shows how individuals migrate to governorates with higher wages. With a Mincerian equation, the analysis finds that migrants earn premiums with respect to non-migrants, except for those migrants with low education levels. The aggregate labor statistics reveal lower unemployment rates among migrants, a phenomenon that is verified by an employment equation. According to the econometric results, migrants are more likely to be employed, even after controlling for other observable individual characteristics. Finally, the paper estimates a Probit model for the decision to migrate, finding that more educated individuals are more likely to migrate, agricultural workers have a lower probability of migrating, and individuals from governorates in which food production for own consumption is higher are less likely to migrate. These results suggest that low educational attainment and the"food problem", which ties resources to food production to meet subsistence requirements, are at the root of low migration in Egypt.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Voluntary and Involuntary Resettlement,Human Migrations&Resettlements,Anthropology,Gender and Development
    Date: 2012–08–01
  7. By: Tausch, Arno
    Abstract: The cross-national empirics of the international asylum system are in their infancy. While Hatton, 2009, and Neumayer, 2005, 2006a and 2006b provided important and valuable cross-national insights on the drivers of the asylum seeking process, as yet little is known in terms of hard-core evidence about the effects of asylum-driven migration processes on the recipient countries. But such analyses are necessary, since asylum plays such an important role in the overall South-North migration process, and several international decision makers, especially on the European level, are increasingly stressing the necessity to get asylum seekers into employment, while others – like the Austrian Ministry of the Interior in its long-term strategy, published in 2012 – vehemently argue in favour of a clear separation between legal, employment-related migration and asylum. Will ‘getting asylum seekers into employment’ have any effects on social and economic development, or will it motivate more and more people to emigrate for work as “free riders” of the asylum system? This paper should preliminarily attempt to close this widening and politically highly relevant research gap. The EU's total population was 502.5 million, with a yearly increase of 0.5 million due to natural population increase and 0.9 million due to net migration. While the European Union accepts about 2.4 million immigrants per year from third countries, among them more than 800.000 people in the framework of work visas, and more than 750.000 people under the title of family reunifications, 260.000 to 300.000 people apply for asylum each year. All official European Commission data, surveyed in this article, seem to suggest that asylum and illegal migration are part and parcel of the overall migration process. While on average ¾ of the asylum applications in Europe are being rejected by the authorities as unfounded, there was a stock of up to 4.5 million illegal residents already residing in the entire EU-27; and in addition, we can assume that around 450.000 illegal entrants are apprehended each year at the EU external borders. The illegal inflow and shadow economy migration statistics also have to take into account the around 340.000 persons, denied entry each year, suggesting that the overall shadow migration pressure, resulting from unfounded asylum and illegal or rejected entries amounts to more than 1 million people each year, by far exceeding the 800.000 work visas granted annually. Thus there is an urgent political need to act. The somewhat surprising, but undisputable net end result of all these European immigration procedures (work visas, family re-unifications, and other migration) up to now was a sharp and clear-cut rise in the total stock of the resident population in Europe from only three countries: Turkey (approx. 2.4 million), Morocco (approx. 1.8 million) and Albania (approx. 1 million). They are the absolute winners of the hitherto existing de-facto European migration ‘policy’. The combined size of illegal border crossings, denied entry applications, and rejected asylum applications of more than 1.0 million persons seems to suggest that indeed there exists a huge migration-related shadow economy (Graphs 1-3). Our ensuing data analysis is based on the tradition of cross-national development accounting, using an expanded version of the Tausch, 2012b data set (“Corvinus University data set”) and UNDP, 2009 and UNHCR, 2012 figures on migration. We start these empirical cross-national analyses by providing some calculations about the societal effects of the well-known Migration Policy Index, which measures the general institutional ease with which migration recipient countries integrate migrants economically in general. Our calculations reconfirm the reservations by the present author (Tausch, 2010, 2012) against the generalized neo-liberal thesis that a free migration process automatically ensures economic prosperity. With the level of development and the overall conditions of the migration process being constant, there are some very serious and significant negative partial correlations of the MIPEX Index with indicators of political participation and the fight against discrimination. Our data also show the significant pull-factors, caused by an open migration regime, as measured by the MIPEX Index, as well as the societal consequences of a high MIPEX Index score - growing xenophobia against the weakest groups in society - such as the Roma and Sintis, an ensuing growing public debt burden, and lower economic growth. One might still argue that, on ethical grounds, one should be still in favour of increasing MIPEX index performance, but in terms of its societal consequences, our results suggest to be pessimistic. We then move on to analyse systematically the effects of the UNDP cross-national migration variables on socio-economic development and vice versa. Our hypothesis is that opening the gates of unlimited access of asylum seekers to the labour market an even more substantial number of people would decide to enter the labour markets in the developed countries in Europe via the asylum procedure, thus thwarting any attempts to arrive at a more education and skill oriented immigration system. We try to corroborate this by first looking into the question of the relationship between access liberalization, measured by the MIPEX Index, and the UNDP documented asylum burden rate (Graph 1 and 2). Although the relationship is not too strong, there are some positive trade-offs between the two variables. In Table 3 of this study, we then provide a very clear-cut argument on how a migration policy, based on asylum influx, is ill-conceived, and several important phenomena are significantly being undermined - internal security, the balance of tolerance in society, gender relations, education, and environmental conditions. Our partial correlation analysis shows that with increasing dependence on the immigration system based on the influx of asylum seekers, there is a significantly larger societal acceptance of the value orientation that men have precedence on the labour market over women when jobs are scarce; and in addition, the import of polluting goods and raw materials; maternal mortality, terrorist attacks, and the violations of civil rights and political rights increase, independent from the development level reached and the general conditions of the migration process being in place. The near bankruptcy of the current de facto existing European asylum-based migration policy is also reflected in Table 4 of this study – documenting the partial correlations of asylum seekers per head of population with processes of socio-economic development. Again, the level of development and general overall conditions of the migration process were held constant. Crime rates, macho values, and the terrorist threat increase significantly, while fiscal freedom, growth prospects in the current crisis and the employment of older workers are being curtailed, and important areas of environmental policy, measured by the Yale-Columbia environment policy data series, are again being negatively affected. In addition, also the World Values Survey data on the work ethics of society are negatively being affected by an asylum-based migration system. Table 5 then documents the positive effects of work permit requirements for asylum seekers, still in place in several European countries and documented by the European Commission/Europäische Kommission (2012), on various socio-economic indicators from the Tausch 2012b Corvinus data set, including environment data, economic growth, education, and World Values Survey indicators of tolerance and volunteer activities. Social security, growth, environmental policy, education, health, liberal values in society - all these are positively affected by a work permit regime for asylum seekers in Europe, which the European Commission seems to be inclined to abolish. Table 6 shows the sobering results of the determinants of average economic growth rates in the EU-27 in the era of the current world economic crisis, 2008 to 2011. The crisis hit the poorer EU countries - ceteris paribus - far harder than the richer countries, and immigration rates are a significant negative determinant of growth, while the work permits regime for asylum seekers significantly and positively affects economic growth. Table 7 shows our final estimates of the determinants of asylum burden rates in the world system. In addition to the famous "bell-curve" of the levels of development, private health expenditures and the military personnel rates are significant drivers of asylum burden rates, while we also show that dependency from the large transnational corporations (measured by UNCTAD data on MNC penetration and its rise over time) are conducive to such higher asylum burden rates. Thus, we can show that traditional quantitative approaches to international development, initiated by the Swiss sociologist Volker Bornschier, which are based on UNCTAD data on MNC penetration and its rise over time, explain well contemporary social asylum process realities of the world today. By contrast, an employment policy favouring the employment rates of older workers generally deters higher asylum dependency ratios. In Tables 8a and 8b, we finally show bivariate and partial correlations of asylum procedure global recognition rates, as documented by the UNHCR for 2010, and key variables of socio-economic development, as documented in Tausch, 2012a, 2012b. Our results again would caution against an asylum-based or asylum-driven immigration policy. We conclude by saying that the European Commission would be well advised to seek to redistribute current asylum inflows from countries like Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, and Austria to other EU-member countries, thus providing more fairness in the current Schengen system. Doubling or even tripling the European numbers of legal work permits would also be an advisable strategy, and Europe should seriously consider the new Austrian migration procedure for third-country nationals (Red-White-Red-card) as a best practice model.
    Keywords: International Migration Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration Regional Migration; Regional Labour Markets; Population; Neighbourhood Characteristics
    JEL: F22 O15 R23
    Date: 2012–08–20

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