nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒09‒22
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Cities and Growth: Human Capital Location Choice: Accounting for Amenities and Thick Labour Markets By Brown, W. Mark<br/> Scott, Darren
  2. The Impact of Social Support Networks on Maternal Employment: A Comparison of West German, East German and Migrant Mothers of Pre-School Children By Mareike Wagner
  3. Immigration and the school system By Facundo Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales; Esther Hauk
  4. Migration networks as a response to financial constraints: Onset and endogenous dynamics By Stark, Oded; Jakubek, Marcin
  5. Convergence or Divergence? Immigrant Wage Assimilation Patterns in Germany By Michael Zibrowius
  6. English Deficiency and the Native-Immigrant Wage Gap By Alfonso Miranda; Yu Zhu
  7. The Impact of Labour Market Dynamics on the Return–Migration of Immigrants By Govert E. Bijwaard; Christian Schluter; Jackline Wahba
  8. The Short- and Long-Run Determinants of Less- Educated Immigrant Flows into U.S. States By Nicole B. Simpson; Chad Sparber
  9. Musn’t Grumble. Immigration, Health and Health Service Use in the UK and Germany By Jonathan Wadsworth
  10. What Drags and Drives Mobility: Explaining Canada’s Aggregate Migration Patterns By David Amirault; Daniel de Munnik; Sarah Miller
  11. Frontier Issues of the Political Economy of Migration By Gil S. Epstein
  12. Migrants, Ethnicity and the Welfare State By Gil S. Epstein
  13. Migration, Congestion Externalities, and the Evaluation of Spatial Investments By Dinkelman, Taryn; Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam
  14. Ethnic Segregation in Germany By Albrecht Glitz

  1. By: Brown, W. Mark<br/> Scott, Darren
    Abstract: A growing literature has found a positive association between human capital and long-run employment growth across cities. These studies have increased interest in understanding the location choices of university degree-holders, a group often used as a proxy measure of human capital. Based on data from the 2001 Canadian Census of Population, this paper investigates determinants of the location choices of degree- and non-degree-holders. With a multinomial logit model, it tests a series of hypotheses about the differential effects of thick labor markets and amenities on the location choice of these groups across metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas in Canada.
    Keywords: Labour, Population and demography, Mobility and migration
    Date: 2012–08–30
  2. By: Mareike Wagner
    Abstract: Given shortages in public child care in Germany, this paper asks whether social support with child care and domestic work by spouses, kin and friends can facilitate mothers’ return to full-time or part-time positions within the first six years after birth. Using SOEP data from 1993-2009 and event history analyses for competing risks, the author compares the employment transitions of West German, East German and migrant mothers of pre-school children. The results indicate that West German and migrant mothers return to work sooner if they have access to kin, and that kinship support is particularly important when public child care is unavailable. Furthermore, West German and migrant mothers are more likely to work full-time if their spouses partipate in domestic work. In contrast, social support does not affect employment transitions in East Germany where public child care is more easily accessible and continuous female employment is a prevalent social norm.
    Keywords: Maternal employment, child care, social support
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Facundo Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales; Esther Hauk
    Abstract: Immigration is an important problem in many societies, and it has wide-ranging effects on the educational systems of host countries. There is now a large empirical literature, but very little theoretical work on this topic. We introduce a model of family immigration in a framework where school quality and student outcomes are determined endogenously. This allows us to explain the selection of immigrants in terms of parental motivation and the policies which favor a positive selection. Also, we can study the effect of immigration on the school system and how school quality may self-reinforce immigrants’ and natives’ choices.
    Keywords: Education, Immigration, School resources, Parental involvement, Immigrant sorting
    JEL: I20 I21 I28 J24 J61
    Date: 2012–01
  4. By: Stark, Oded; Jakubek, Marcin
    Abstract: A migration network is modeled as a mutually beneficial cooperative agreement between financially-constrained individuals who seek to finance and expedite their migration. The cooperation agreement creates a network: “established” migrants contract to support the subsequent migration of others in exchange for receiving support themselves. When the model is expanded to study cooperation between more than two migrants, it emerges that there is a finite optimal size of the migration network. Consequently, would-be migrants in the sending country will form a multitude of networks, rather than a single grand network.
    Keywords: Migration networks, Schedule of migration, Sequential migration, Affinity, Interpersonal bonds, Cost of migration, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Labor and Human Capital, D01, D71, D90, F22, F24, J61, O15,
    Date: 2012–08
  5. By: Michael Zibrowius
    Abstract: Using a rich panel data set, I estimate wage assimilation patterns for immigrants in Germany as an example of a key European destination country. This study contributes to the literature by performing separate estimations by skill groups. Comparisons with similar natives reveal that immigrants’ experience earnings profiles are flatter on average, although clear differences exist between skill groups. The effect of time spent in the host country is significantly positive and thus partly offsetting the diverging trend in the experience earnings profiles. Still, wage differences between natives and immigrants remain. They are particularly noticeable for highly skilled immigrants, the group needed most in Germany’s skill intensive labor market.
    Keywords: international migration, wage differentials, assimilation, longitudinal data
    JEL: F22 J31 J61
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Alfonso Miranda; Yu Zhu
    Abstract: We focus on the effect of English deficiency on the native-immigrant wage gap for employees in the UK using the first wave of the UK Household Longitudinal Survey (Understanding Society). We show that the wage gap is robust to controls for age, region of residence, educational attainment and ethnicity, particularly for men. However, English as Additional Language (EAL) is capable of explaining virtually all the remaining wage gap between natives and immigrants. Using the interaction of language of country of birth and age-at-arrival as instrument, we find strong evidence of a causal effect of EAL on the native-immigrant wage gap.
    Keywords: native-immigrant wage gap; English as Additional Language (EAL); age-at-arrival
    JEL: J15 J61
    Date: 2012–09
  7. By: Govert E. Bijwaard (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)); Christian Schluter (University of Southampton and Aix Marseille School of Economics); Jackline Wahba (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: Using administrative panel data on the entire population of new labour immigrants to The Netherlands, we estimate the causal effects of individual labour market spells on immigration durations using the “timing-of-events†method. The model allows for correlated unobserved heterogeneity across migration, unemployment and employment processes. We find that unemployment spells increase return probabilities for all immigrant groups, while re-employment spells typically delay returns. The precise quantitative impacts on migration durations depend on both the timing and lengths of the employment and unemployment spells, and are evaluated in several factual and counterfactual examples.
    Keywords: temporary migration, durations, timing of event method, labour market dynamics.
    JEL: J61 J64 C41
    Date: 2012–09
  8. By: Nicole B. Simpson (Colgate University); Chad Sparber (Colgate University)
    Abstract: We use a gravity model of migration and alternative estimation strategies to analyse how income differentials affect the flow of immigrants into U.S. states using annual data from the American Community Survey. We add to existing literature by decomposing income differentials into short- and long-term components and by focusing on newly arrived less-educated immigrants between 2000-2009. Our sample is unique in that the vast majority of our observations take zero values. Models that include observations with zero flow values find that recent male immigrants respond to differences in (short-term) GDP fluctuations between origin countries and U.S. states, and perhaps to (long-term) trend GDP differences as well. More specifically, GDP fluctuations pull less-educated male immigrants into certain U.S. states, whereas GDP trends push less-educated male immigrants out of their countries of origin. Effects for less-educated women are less robust, as GDP coefficients tend to be much smaller than for men.
    Keywords: Immigration, Macroeconomics, GDP, Gravity
    JEL: J61 E01
    Date: 2012–09
  9. By: Jonathan Wadsworth (Royal Holloway College, Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics; Centre for Analysis and Research on Migration at UCL and IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: A rise in population caused by increased immigration, is sometimes accompanied by concerns that the increase in population puts additional or differential pressure on welfare services which might affect the net fiscal contribution of immigrants. The UK and Germany have experienced significant increases in immigration in recent years and this study uses longitudinal data from both countries to examine whether immigrants differ in their use of health services than native born individuals on arrival and over time. While immigrants to Germany, but not the UK, are more likely to self-report poor health than the native-born population, the samples of immigrants use hospital and GP services at broadly the same rate as the native born populations in both countries. Controls for observed and unobserved differences between immigrants and native-born sample populations make little difference to these broad findings.
    Keywords: Immigration, Health, Health Service
    JEL: H00 J00
    Date: 2012–09
  10. By: David Amirault; Daniel de Munnik; Sarah Miller
    Abstract: Using census data at the economic region level from 1991 to 2006 and a gravity model framework, this paper examines the factors that influence migration within Canada. Results from both Poisson pseudo-maximum likelihood and negative binominal regression models suggest that provincial borders are statistically significant barriers to migration but the magnitude of their effect varies by model specification. The regression results also indicate that differences in employment rates, household incomes and language are important in explaining migration between Canadian economic regions. We also find evidence that the negative effect of distance on migration may be declining over time.
    Keywords: Econometric and statistical methods; Labour markets; Regional economic developments
    JEL: J61 R23
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Gil S. Epstein (Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University, Israel IZA, Bonn and CReAM, London)
    Abstract: Migration has a strong economic impact on the sending and host countries. Since individuals and groups do not benefit equally from migration, interest groups emerge to protect and take care of their narrow self-interests and compete for rents generated by migration. Narrow self-interests may be present not only for interest groups but also for ruling politicians and civil servants. In this paper we consider how political culture is important for determining policy and how interest groups affect, via a lobbying process, the choice of public policy. We also consider how interest groups and lobbying activities affect assimilation and attitudes towards migrants and international trade. The narrow interests of the different groups may cause a decrease in social welfare, in some cases, and may enhance welfare in other situations.
    Keywords: Migration, Political Economy, Culture, Minorities, Politicians.
    JEL: F22 P48 O15
    Date: 2012–09
  12. By: Gil S. Epstein (Bar-Ilan University, IZA and CReAM)
    Abstract: A model is set up where migrants must choose a level of social traits and consumption of ethnic goods. As the consumption level of ethnic goods increases, the migrants become ever more different to the local population and are less assimilated. Less assimilation affects the reaction of the local population to the migrants and their willingness to accept the newcomers. This social phenomenon and affects wages and unemployment. We show that the growth in the unemployment and social benefits of legal migrants increases the consumption of ethnic goods, thus creating a trap wherein the willingness of the local population to accept the migrants into the economy decreases. This process also increases the probability of the migrants' dependence on the welfare state. On the other hand, illegal migrants could play an important role in the assimilation of the legal migrants.
    Keywords: Welfare state, Social benefits, Ethnic goods, Social trait, Assimilation, Unemployment.
    JEL: F22 O15 D6
    Date: 2012–09
  13. By: Dinkelman, Taryn; Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam
    Abstract: Evaluations of new infrastructure in developing countries typically focus on direct effects, such as the impact of an electrification program on household energy use. But if new infrastructure induces people to move into an area, other local publicly provided goods may become congested, offsetting the benefit of the infrastructure. We use a simple model to show how to measure the net benefit of a place-based program without data on land prices -- an indicator that is commonly used to measure congestion in developed countries but that often cannot be used in poor countries because land markets are missing or land prices are badly measured. Our model shows that congestion externalities are especially large when land markets are missing. To illustrate, we estimate the welfare impact of a recent household electrification program in South Africa. Congestion externalities from migration reduced local welfare gains by half.
    Keywords: congestion effects; migration; program evaluation; rural infrastructure; South Africa; welfare
    JEL: H23 H43 H54 O15 O18 R13
    Date: 2012–09
  14. By: Albrecht Glitz (Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE)
    Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive description of the nature and extent of ethnic segregation in Germany. Using matched employer-employee data for the universe of German workers over the period 1975 to 2008, I show that there is substantial ethnic segregation across both workplaces and residential locations and that the extent of segregation has been relatively stable over the last 30 years. Workplace segregation is particularly pronounced in agriculture and mining, construction, and the service sector, and among low-educated workers. Ethnic minority workers are segregated not only from native workers but also from workers of other ethnic groups, but less so if they share a common language. From a dynamic perspective, for given cohorts of workers, the results show a clear pattern of assimilation, reminiscent of typical earnings assimilation profiles, with immigrants being increasingly less likely to work in segregated workplaces with time spent in the host country.
    Keywords: Ethnic Minorities, Residential Segregation, Workplace Segregation.
    JEL: J61 J63 J31
    Date: 2012–09

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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