nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2012‒12‒15
eight papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Migration, Unemployment, and Over-qualification: A Specific-Factors Model Approach By Muysken, Joan; Vallizadeh, Ehsan; Ziesemer, Thomas
  2. Payments for Ecological Restoration and Internal Migration in China : The Sloping Land Conversion Program in Ningxia By Sylvie Démurger; Haiyuan Wan
  3. Brain Drain and Development Traps By Jean-Pascal Bénassy; Elise S. Brézis
  4. Neighborhood Quality and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Quasi-Random Neighborhood Assignment of Immigrants By Anna Piil Damm
  5. Wage growth through job hopping in China By Kenn Ariga; Fumio Ohtake; Masaru Sasaki; Zheren Wu
  6. Split decisions : family finance when a policy discontinuity allocates overseas work By Clemens, Michael A.; Tiongson, Erwin R.
  7. The Mover's Advantage: Scientific Performance of Mobile Academics By Chiara Franzoni; Giuseppe Scellato; Paula Stephan
  8. Native language, spoken language, translation and trade By Jacques Melitz; Farid Toubal

  1. By: Muysken, Joan; Vallizadeh, Ehsan; Ziesemer, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of the skill composition of migration flows on the host country's labour market in a specific-factors-two-sector model with heterogeneous labour (low, medium, and high skill) and price- and wage-setting behaviour. The low- and medium-skilled labour markets are characterized by frictions due to wage bargaining. Moreover, we assume bumping down of unemployed medium-skilled workers into low-skilled labour supply. Endogenous benefits create an interdependency between the two bargaining processes. Particular attention is paid to medium-skilled migration which enables us to augment the literature by replicating important stylized facts regarding medium skills, such as i) the interaction between immigration, low-skilled unemployment and medium-skilled over-qualification, ii) the polarization effect where both low- and high-skilled wages increase relative to the medium-skilled. The model is calibrated using German data. The key findings are: (i) a migration-induced supply shock of medium-skilled workers decreases the low-skilled unemployment rate because of the endogenous benefits; (ii) immigration of medium-skilled labour together with some high-skilled labour has a positive effect on output per capita; (iii) migration of only medium-skilled labour has a neutral impact on GDP per capita.
    Keywords: Medium-Skilled Migration; Wage and Price Setting; Specific Factors Model; Unemployment; Over-qualification; Wage Polarization
    JEL: F22 J51 J52 J61 J64
    Date: 2012–12–03
  2. By: Sylvie Démurger (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure - Lyon); Haiyuan Wan (Department of Social Development, National Development and Reform Commission - National development and reform commission)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of the Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP) on rural labor migration in China. We use recent survey data from Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and a difference-in-difference approach to assess the impact of the policy on labor migration decision. We find a significant effect of the policy : the migration probability increase due to the SLCP policy amounts to 17.5 percentage points in 2008. Furthermore, we highlight the role of policy duration in strengthening the impact of the program on migration. We also find that young, male and Hui nationality individuals are more likely to be impacted by the policy.
    Keywords: Sloping Land Conversion Program; Labor migration; Policy evaluation, China
    Date: 2012–12–05
  3. By: Jean-Pascal Bénassy; Elise S. Brézis (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: This paper links the two fields of “development traps” and “brain drain”. We construct a model which integrates endogenous international migration into a simple growth model. As a result the dynamics of the economy can feature some underdevelopment traps: an economy starting with a low level of human capital can be caught in a vicious circle where low level of human capital leads to low wages, and low wages leads to emigration of valuable human capital. We also show that our model displays a rich array of different dynamic regimes, including the above traps, but other regimes as well, and we link explicitly the nature of the regimes to technology and policy parameters.
    Keywords: brain drain; development traps; human capital; migration.
    JEL: F22 J61 O11 O15
    Date: 2012–01
  4. By: Anna Piil Damm (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 quasirandomly, 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: 2012–11
  5. By: Kenn Ariga (Institute of Economic Research,Kyoto University); Fumio Ohtake (The Institute of Social and Economic Research of Osaka University); Masaru Sasaki (The Graduate School of Economics at Osaka University); Zheren Wu (Faculty of Economics,Kinki University)
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique survey of the Chinese youth to construct a panel data in which we keep track of geographical and job mobilities. Our estimation results deliver the following major findings. (1) The sample individuals are highly mobile. Job quits and relo- cations are frequent and they are closely correlated. We find the job hopping to be highly productive as our estimates indicate each job quit generates more than .2 log increase in monthly wage. .(2) The migrant disadvantage in urban labor market is compensated by their higher job mobility. After four jobs, the expected earnings di¤erentials essentially disappear. We also find that migration and job mobility are highly selective processes. Our evidence indicates that the migrants are positively selected. (3) Job and location mobilities are highly dependent upon family back ground and personal traits which we interpret as representing un- observable characteristics associated with risk taking, active and opti- mistic personality, as well as the implied economic incentives to migrate and keep searching for better jobs.
    JEL: J31 J61 J62
    Date: 2012–11
  6. By: Clemens, Michael A.; Tiongson, Erwin R.
    Abstract: Labor markets are increasingly global. Overseas work can enrich households but also split them geographically, with ambiguous net effects on decisions about work, investment, and education. These net effects, and their mechanisms, are poorly understood. This study investigates a policy discontinuity in the Philippines that resulted in quasi-random assignment of temporary, partial-household migration to high-wage jobs in Korea. This allows unusually reliable measurement of the reduced-form effect of these overseas jobs on migrant households. A purpose-built survey allows nonexperimental tests of different theoretical mechanisms for the reduced-form effect. The study also explores how reliably the reduced-form effect could be measured with standard observational estimators. It finds large effects on spending, borrowing, and human capital investment, but no effects on saving or entrepreneurship. Remittances appear to overwhelm household splitting as a causal mechanism.
    Keywords: Access to Finance,Population Policies,Labor Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Health Monitoring&Evaluation
    Date: 2012–12–01
  7. By: Chiara Franzoni; Giuseppe Scellato; Paula Stephan
    Abstract: We investigate performance differentials associated with mobility for research active scientists residing in a broad spectrum of countries and working in a broad spectrum of fields using data from the GlobSci survey. We distinguish between two categories of mobile scientists: (1) those studying or working in a country other than that of origin and (2) those who have returned to their native country after a spell of study or work abroad. We compare the performance of these mobile scientists to natives who have never experienced a spell of mobility and are studying or working in their country of origin. We find evidence that mobile scientists perform better than those who have not experienced mobility. Among the mobile, we find some evidence that those who return perform better than the foreign born save in the United States, suggesting that positive selection is not at work in determining who remains outside the country. This is supported by the finding that for most countries the performance of returnees is no different than that of compatriots who remain abroad after controlling for other effects.
    JEL: F22 J24 J61 O30
    Date: 2012–11
  8. By: Jacques Melitz; Farid Toubal
    Abstract: We construct new series for common native language and common spoken language for 195 countries, which we use together with series for common official language and linguis-tic proximity in order to draw inferences about (1) the aggregate impact of all linguistic factors on bilateral trade, (2) whether the linguistic influences come from ethnicity and trust or ease of communication, and (3) in so far they come from ease of communication, to what extent trans-lation and interpreters play a role. The results show that the impact of linguistic factors, all together, is at least twice as great as the usual dummy variable for common language, resting on official language, would say. In addition, ease of communication is far more important than ethnicity and trust. Further, so far as ease of communication is at work, translation and inter-preters are extremely important. Finally, ethnicity and trust come into play largely because of immigrants and their influence is otherwise difficult to detect.
    Date: 2012

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