nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒09‒30
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Critical Periods during Childhood and Adolescence: A Study of Adult Height among Immigrant Siblings By van den Berg, Gerard J.; Lundborg, Petter; Nystedt, Paul; Rooth, Dan-Olof
  2. Welfare-Induced Migration of the Elderly in Japan - Gender differences in welfare migration patterns among the elderly By Katsuyoshi Nakazawa
  3. Migration Elasticities, Fiscal Federalism and the Ability of States to Redistribute Income By Giertz, Seth H.; Tosun, Mehmet S.
  4. Recovering the Counterfactual Wage Distribution with Selective Return Migration By Biavaschi, Costanza
  5. Immigration and Poverty: Findings from Cyprus By Christos Koutsampelas
  6. Migrant Labor Markets and the Welfare of Rural Households in the Developing World: Evidence from China By de Brauw, Alan; Giles, John T.
  7. Migration Challenge for PAYG By Gurgen Aslanyan
  8. Moving to Segregation: Evidence from 8 Italian Cities By Boeri, Tito; De Philippis, Marta; Patacchini, Eleonora; Pellizzari, Michele
  9. Out of the kitchen, into the economic reality: why Europe needs migration. By Goldin, Ian

  1. By: van den Berg, Gerard J. (Department of Economics, University of Mannheim); Lundborg, Petter (Department of Economics, Lund University); Nystedt, Paul (Department of Economics, Linköping University); Rooth, Dan-Olof (Linnaeus University)
    Abstract: We identify the ages that constitute critical periods in children’s development towards their adult health status. For this we use data on families migrating into Sweden from countries that are poorer, with less healthy conditions. Long-run health is proxied by adult height. The relation between siblings’ ages at migration and their heights after age 18 allows us to estimate the causal effect of conditions at certain ages on adult height. We effectively exploit that for siblings the migration occurs simultaneously in calendar time but at different developmental stages (ages). We find some evidence that the period just before the puberty growth spurt constitutes a critical period.
    Keywords: early-life conditions; migration; parental education; adult health; height retardation; age; fetal programming; developmental origins
    JEL: F22 I10 I12 I18 I20 I30 J10 N30
    Date: 2012–09–12
  2. By: Katsuyoshi Nakazawa (University of Toyo)
    Abstract: In Japan, there is a shortage of long-term care facilities for the elderly and families are having difficulty supporting the elderly at home. Thus, the elderly in Japan often want to move to municipalities that have a greater availability in long-term care facilities. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether there is a gender difference in the elderly’s welfare migration patterns in Japan. The analysis was performed by calculating net migration data by gender and age group using available plural statistical materials. Results showed a clear gender difference for both the early-stage and late-stage elderly. Results also revealed that the hypothesis of welfare migration is more appropriate for the late-stage elderly rather than the early-stage elderly, and confirmed that welfare-induced migration was a trend among males, especially those at the early-stage. The effect of the long-term care facilities was found to be the strongest for migration patterns among late-stage elderly females. In addition, the pattern for female migration showed consistent inflow to the larger cities. Implications of these findings on long-term care policy in Japan are discussed.
    JEL: H73 H75 I38 R23
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Giertz, Seth H. (University of Nebraska at Lincoln); Tosun, Mehmet S. (University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: This paper develops a simulation model in order to examine the effectiveness of state attempts at redistribution under a variety of migration elasticity assumptions. Key outputs from the simulation include the impact of tax-induced migration on state revenues, excess burden, and fiscal externalities. With modest migration elasticities, the costs of state-level redistribution are substantial, but state action may still be preferred to a federal policy that is at odds with preferences of a state's citizens. At higher migration elasticities, the costs of state action can be tremendous. Overall excess burden is greater, but this is dominated by horizontal fiscal externalities. Horizontal fiscal externalities represent a cost to the state pursuing additional redistribution, but not a cost at the national level.
    Keywords: fiscal externalities, fiscal federalism, income redistribution, excess burden, deadweight loss
    JEL: H21 H23 H71
    Date: 2012–08
  4. By: Biavaschi, Costanza (IZA)
    Abstract: This paper explores the distribution of immigrant wages in the absence of return migration from the host country. In particular, it recovers the counterfactual wage distribution if all Mexican immigrants were to settle in the United States and no out-migration of Mexican-born workers occurred. Because migrants self-select in the decision to return, the overarching problem addressed by this study is the use of an estimator that accounts also for selection on unobservables. I adopt a semiparametric procedure that recovers this counterfactual distribution and find that Mexican returnees are middle- to high-wage earners at all levels of educational attainment. The presented results contrast with the general perception that those migrants who return home have failed in the host country.
    Keywords: return migration, self-selection, assimilation, U.S.-Mexico migration
    JEL: J61 F22
    Date: 2012–08
  5. By: Christos Koutsampelas
    Abstract: In this paper we employ the 2009 Family Expenditure Survey conducted by the Statistical Service of Cyprus in order to measure the poverty risk among immigrants in Cyprus. Results show that immigrants face a higher risk and depth of poverty than the native population. Large intra-group variation exists. Poverty risk is considerably higher for non-Europeans and, within the group of Europeans, migrants from Western Europe are better off than those from Eastern Europe. Econometric analysis shows that the worst position of immigrants cannot be explained solely by socioeconomic characteristics, suggesting that this is the outcome of discriminatory practices in the income-generating process. Moreover, we found that the results of the analysis are sensitive to the definition of income. In particular, the inclusion of imputed rent in the notion of income increases the measured poverty gap between natives and immigrants even further, due to the lower incidence of homeownership among immigrants.
    Keywords: Poverty, Immigration, Cyprus, Imputed rents
    Date: 2012–08
  6. By: de Brauw, Alan (International Food Policy Research Institute); Giles, John T. (World Bank)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the impact of reductions in barriers to migration on the consumption of households in rural China. We find that increased migration from rural villages leads to significant increases in consumption per capita, and that this effect is stronger for poorer households within villages. Household income per capita and non-durable consumption per capita both increase with out-migration, and this increase is greater for poorer households. We also establish a causal relationship between increased out-migration and investment in housing and durable goods assets, and these effects are also stronger for poorer households. We do not find robust evidence, however, to support a connection between increased migration and investment in productive activity. Instead, increased migration is associated with two significant changes for poorer households: increases both in the total labor supplied to productive activities and in the land per capita managed by the household. In examining the effect of migration, we pay considerable attention to motivating, developing and evaluating our identification strategy.
    Keywords: migration, migrant networks, consumption, poverty, wealth, rural China
    JEL: O12 O15 J22 J24
    Date: 2012–07
  7. By: Gurgen Aslanyan
    Abstract: Immigration has been popularised in the economics literature as a tool to balance the troubled PAYG pension systems. A pivotal research by Razin and Sadka showed that unskilled immigration can surmount the pension problem and, further, boost the general welfare in the host economy. However a large strand of current economics literature is engaged in identifying mechanisms through which unskilled immigration, while solving the pension problem, causes undesired shifts in general welfare. This work shows that actually recurring unskilled immigration may challenge the entire pension system and decrease the pension benefits themselves.
    Keywords: Public Pensions, PAYG, Unskilled Migration
    JEL: J18 F22 H55 E61
    Date: 2012–09
  8. By: Boeri, Tito (Bocconi University); De Philippis, Marta (London School of Economics); Patacchini, Eleonora (Sapienza University of Rome); Pellizzari, Michele (OECD)
    Abstract: We use a new dataset and a novel identification strategy to analyze the effects of residential segregation on the employment of migrants in 8 Italian cities. Our data, which are representative of the population of both legal and illegal migrants, allow us to measure segregation at the very local level (the block) and include measures of house prices, commuting costs and migrants' linguistic ability. We find evidence that migrants who reside in areas with a high concentration of non-Italians are less likely to be employed compared to similar migrants who reside in less segregated areas. In our preferred specification, a 10 percentage points increase in residential segregation reduces the probability of being employed by 7 percentage points or about 8% over the average. Additionally, we also show that this effect emerges only above a critical threshold of 15-20% of migrants over the total local population, below which there is no statistically detectable effect. The negative externality associated with residential segregation arises only for the employment prospects of immigrants, whether legal or illegal. We do not find evidence of either spatial mismatch or skill bias as potential explanations of this effect. Statistical discrimination by native employers is the remaining suspect.
    Keywords: migration, residential segregation, hiring networks
    JEL: J15 J61 R23
    Date: 2012–09
  9. By: Goldin, Ian
    Abstract: Ian Goldin argues that we need to defuse the growing anti-immigrant sentiment in our society. Not only is there no clear empirical evidence suggesting that migration drives down wages, or that migrants ‘steal’ jobs, there are a number of reasons why it is desirable for society. Migration needs to be reinserted into our economic strategy for growth as it is in everyone’s interest.
    Date: 2012–07–04

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