nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2013‒01‒07
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The labour market integration of refugee and family reunion immigrants: A comparison of outcomes in Canada and Sweden By Pieter Bevelander; Ravi Pendakur
  2. Visa Policies, Networks and the Cliff at the Border By Simone Bertoli; Jesus Fernández-Huertas Moraga
  3. The value of earning for learning: performance bonuses in immigrant language training By Åslund, Olof; Engdahl, Mattias
  4. Legal status and the criminal activity of immigrants By Giovanni Mastrobuoni; Paolo Pinotti
  5. The causal in fluence of social capital on immigrant health conditions in Canada. By Laporte, Audrey; Berchet, Caroline
  6. Trust Issues: Evidence from Second Generation Immigrants By Ljunge, Martin
  7. Do Ethnic Enclaves Impede Immigrants' Integration?: Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Social-Interaction Approach By Alexander M. Danzer; Firat Yaman
  8. The labour market impact of mobility restrictions: Evidence from the West Bank By Massimiliano Calì; Sami H. Miaari
  9. Why Are Educated and Risk-Loving Persons More Mobile across Regions? By Stefan Bauernschuster; Oliver Falck; Stephan Heblich; Jens Suedekum
  10. Payments for ecological restoration and rural labor migration in China: The Sloping Land Conversion Program in Ningxia By Sylvie Démurger; Haiyuan Wan
  11. Return Migration and Illegal Immigration Control By Alexander Kemnitz; Karin Mayr
  12. Immigration and the UK Labour Market By David Metcalf
  13. A Search-Equilibrium Approach to the Effects of Immigration on Labor Market Outcomes By Chassamboulli, Andri; Palivos , Theodore
  14. Immigration and Trade Creation for the U.S.: The Role of Immigrant Occupation By Mundra, Kusum
  15. Wage Differentials between Immigrants and the Native-Born in Australia By Lixin Cai; Amy Y.C. Liu
  16. Migration, Unemployment, and Over-qualification: A Specific Factors-Model Approach By Muysken, Joan; Vallizadeh, Ehsan; Ziesemer, Thomas
  17. The Returns to Language Skills in the US Labor Market By Isphording, Ingo; Sinning, Mathias
  18. The political economy of trade and migration: Evidence from the U.S. Congress By Conconi, Paola; Facchini, Giovanni; Steinhardt, Max; Zanardi, Maurizio
  19. Economic Conditions and Employment Dynamics of Immigrants versus Natives: Who Pays the Costs of the “Great Recession”? By Raquel Carrasco; J. Ignacio García Pérez

  1. By: Pieter Bevelander (Malmoe University); Ravi Pendakur
    Abstract: This paper assesses the employment and earnings trajectories of refugee and family reunion category immigrants in Canada and Sweden using two national level sources of data. The Canadian Immigration Database (IMDB) is a file that links the intake record of post 1979 immigrants with annual taxation records. The 2007 Swedish Register Data includes information on all legal permanent residents. Using standard regression methods we compare labour force outcomes of age-sex-schooling-place of birth cohorts looking specifically at non-economic (family reunion and refugee intake) immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia. We find that the employment and earning trajectories of the selected non-economic migrant groups are quite similar in the two host countries, although earnings are higher in Canada than in Sweden.
    Keywords: Refugees, immigrants, family reunion, labour market integration, comparison
    Date: 2012–12
  2. By: Simone Bertoli; Jesus Fernández-Huertas Moraga
    Abstract: The scale of international migration flows depends on moving costs that are, in turn, influenced by host-country policies and by the size of migrant networks at destination. This paper estimates the influence of visa policies and networks upon bilateral migration flows to multiple destinations. We rely on a Poisson pseudo-maximum likelihood estimator to derive estimates that are consistent under more general distributional assumptions on the underlying RUM model than the ones commonly adopted in the literature. We derive bounds for the estimated direct and indirect effects of visa policies and networks that reect the uncertainty connected to the use of aggregate data,and we show that bilateral migration flows can be highly sensitive to the immigration policies set by other destination countries, an externality that we are able to quantify.
    Date: 2012–12
  3. By: Åslund, Olof (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Engdahl, Mattias (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)
    Abstract: We study the effects of performance bonuses in immigrant language training for adults. A Swedish policy pilot conducted in 2009–2010 gave a randomly assigned group of municipalities the right to grant substantial cash bonuses to recently arrived migrants. The results suggest substantial effects on average student achievement. But these were fully driven by metropolitan areas; in other parts of Sweden performance was unaffected. The relative effects were larger for younger students but similar for men and women, and present for migrants from different parts of the world. The bonus had a less clear impact on enrollment, but there are indications that it may have increased the probability of progressing to bonus-awarding courses in metropolitan areas.
    Keywords: immigration; language training; performance bonus
    JEL: I24 J08 J15
    Date: 2012–12–10
  4. By: Giovanni Mastrobuoni; Paolo Pinotti
    Abstract: We present a theoretical model of immigration and crime in which legal status raises the opportunity cost of crime, illegal immigrants may be deported, and there is endogenous selection into legal status. We estimate the model exploiting administrative records on the universe of prison inmates pardoned with a clemency bill in Italy on August 2006, and exogenous variation in legal status after the European Union enlargement of January 2007. The causal eect of legal status amounts to a 50% reduction in recidivism, and explains 1/2 to 2/3 of the observed dierences in crime rates between legal and illegal immigrants.
    Keywords: immigration, crime, legal status
    Date: 2012–09
  5. By: Laporte, Audrey; Berchet, Caroline
    Abstract: Using a representative longitudinal survey of the immigrant population in Canada (the "Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Canada"), this article assesses the causal influence of social capital (as measured by social participation) on immigrant health status and health care use. Furthermore, it sheds light on the relationship existing between social capital, human capital and immigrant health conditions. We begin with Probit models but then address the identification issue of social capital using several bivariate dynamic Probit models. Estimation results are consistent with exiting literature since we nd a positive in uence of social participation on immigrant health status and health care use. Moreover, our analyses reveal that some social activities are more protective than others such as participation to sporting groups, church groups, cultural clubs or political associations. More importantly, the effect of social capital on immigrant health conditions seems to differ according to their human capital level, measured through educational attainment. In this respect, social capital appears to act as a substitute for human capital to enhance immigrant health status while we found a complementary effect between social and human capital to increase immigrant health care utilisation.
    Keywords: Immigrant health status; health care use;
    JEL: I38 I12 O15
  6. By: Ljunge, Martin (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: This paper estimates the intergenerational transmission of trust by studying second generation immigrants in 29 European countries with ancestry in 87 nations. There is significant transmission of trust on the mother’s side. The transmission is stronger in Northern Europe. Ancestry from more developed countries suggests a stronger transmission of trust, but the heterogeneity in ancestry dissipates for individuals who reside in Northern Europe. The results suggest an interaction between cultural background and current institutions, where building trust in Northern Europe is a long process but the adjustment to the trust levels in Southern and Eastern Europe is fast.
    Keywords: Intergenerational transmission; Trust; Immigrants; Cultural transmission; Integration of immigrants
    JEL: D13 D83 J62 Z13
    Date: 2012–12–19
  7. By: Alexander M. Danzer; Firat Yaman
    Abstract: It is widely debated whether immigrants who live among co-ethnics are less willing to integrate into the host society. Exploiting the quasi-experimental guest worker placement across German regions during the 1960/70s as well as information on immigrants’ inter-ethnic contact networks and social activities, we are able to identify the causal effect of ethnic concentration on social integration. The exogenous placement of immigrants “switches off” observable and unobservable differences in the willingness or ability to integrate which have confounded previous studies. Evidence suggests that the presence of co-ethnics increases migrants’ interaction cost with natives and thus reduces the likelihood of integration.
    Keywords: immigrants, integration, enclaves, political participation, culture, social interaction, guest workers
    JEL: J15 R23 J61
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Massimiliano Calì (World Bank); Sami H. Miaari (World Bank)
    Abstract: Using data on Israeli closure in the Palestinian West Bank, we provide new evidence on the labour market effects of conflict-induced restrictions to mobility. We exploit the fact that the placement of physical barriers by Israel was exogenous to local labour market conditions and find a causal negative effect of these barriers on employment, wages and days worked per month. On the other hand the barriers had a positive impact on the number of hours per working day. These effects are driven mainly by checkpoints and only a tiny portion of the effects is due to direct restrictions on workers’ mobility. Despite being an under-estimation of the actual effects, the overall costs of the barriers on the West Bank labour market are far from being negligible: in 2007 for example these costs amounted to 6% of GDP.
    Keywords: Conflict, Palestine, Israel, mobility, closures, Intifada
    JEL: J21 J40 J61
    Date: 2012–11
  9. By: Stefan Bauernschuster; Oliver Falck; Stephan Heblich; Jens Suedekum
    Abstract: Why are better educated and more risk-friendly persons more mobile across regions? To answer this question, we use micro data on internal migrants from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) 2000–2006 and merge this information with a unique proxy for region-pair-specific cultural distances across German regions constructed from historical local dialect patterns. Our findings indicate that risk-loving and skilled people are more mobile over longer distances because they are more willing to cross cultural boundaries and move to regions that are culturally different from their homes. Other types of distance-related migration costs cannot explain the lower distance sensitivity of educated and risk-loving individuals.
    Keywords: Migration, culture, distance, human capital, risk attitudes
    JEL: J61 R23 D81
    Date: 2012
  10. 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: 2012–12–13
  11. By: Alexander Kemnitz (TU Dresden); Karin Mayr (University of Vienna)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effectiveness of immigration control policies when the duration of stay of illegal immigrants is endogenous because they may return home voluntarily. It shows that return intentions matter. First, we find that spending on border enforcement can potentially increase the total amount of illegal labor in the receiving country. This is because, while fewer illegals enter the country, those who do enter stay longer. Second, in-site inspections reduce illegal labor, unless there is an amnesty: then, they can have the opposite effect. Third, fines on apprehended migrants have only limited effect.
    Keywords: Return Migration, Illegal Migration, Immigration Control, Immigration Policy
    JEL: F22 K42 O17
    Date: 2012–12
  12. By: David Metcalf
    Abstract: David Metcalf, chair of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), outlines recent changes in the regulatory framework for immigrant workers.
    Keywords: immigration, government policy, EU, migration policy, work skills
    Date: 2012–12
  13. By: Chassamboulli, Andri; Palivos , Theodore
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of the skill-biased immigration influx that took place during the years 2000-2009 in the United States, within a search and matching model that allows for skill heterogeneity, differential search cost between immigrants and natives, capital-skill complementarity and possibly endogenous skill acquisition. Within such a framework, we find that although the skill-biased immigration raised the overall net income to natives, it may have had distributional effects. Specifically, unskilled native workers gained in terms of both employment and wages. Skilled native workers, on the other hand, gained in terms of employment but may have lost in terms of wages. Nevertheless, in one extension of the model, where skilled workers and immigrants are imperfect substitutes, we find that even the skilled wage may have risen.
    Keywords: Immigration; Search; Unemployment; Skill-heterogeneity
    JEL: F22 J61 J64
    Date: 2012–05–15
  14. By: Mundra, Kusum (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: This paper highlights that the immigrants' effect on trade is not identical across all types of immigrants but it varies with the immigrants' occupation. Using a sample of 63 U.S. trading partners which are also big immigrant sending countries over the years 1991-2000, this paper finds that the immigrant trade elasticity for the no occupation group is similar in magnitude to the immigrant effect on trade estimated in the literature. However, this does not capture the full extent of the effect of immigrant network on trade. The share of professional immigrants in comparison to immigrants with no occupation significantly increases the trade elasticity for Rauch's referenced price and differentiated commodities and this effect is strongest for the differentiated goods. This paper establishes that immigrants' occupation is an important indicator of the quality and effectiveness of immigrants' network in trade creation with the home country.
    Keywords: immigrant occupation, immigrant networks, bilateral trade, U.S.
    JEL: F22 F11 J10 J61
    Date: 2012–12
  15. By: Lixin Cai; Amy Y.C. Liu
    Abstract: This study examines the wage differentials along the entire distribution between immigrants and the Australian-born. The results show that the productivity characteristics and the returns to the characteristics reinforce each other for immigrants from English-speaking countries, putting them in a favourable position relative to the native-born. Male immigrants from non-English-speaking (NESC) have little wage difference from their native-born counterparts since their favourable productivity characteristics are offset by disadvantage in the returns to the characteristics. Female immigrants from NESC are advantaged at the upper but disadvantaged at the lower part of the wage distribution relative to their native-born counterparts. Our results suggest that the increasingly skill-based immigration policy in Australia has resulted in increasing skill levels of immigrants relative to the Australian born. However, due to unfavourable rewards to their productivity factors NESC immigrants, especially males, earn less than the Australian born.
    Keywords: Immigrants, quantile regression, decomposition
    Date: 2012–12
  16. 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
  17. By: Isphording, Ingo (Ruhr University Bochum); Sinning, Mathias (Australian National University)
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) to study the returns to language skills of child and adult migrants in the US labor market. We employ an instrumental variable strategy, which exploits differences in language acquisition profiles between immigrants from English- and non-English-speaking countries of origin, to address problems related to endogeneity and measurement error. We find significantly positive returns to language skills and demonstrate that education is an important channel through which language skills affect wages of child migrants. Although the returns of adult migrants do not depend on education, we find that child and adult migrants exhibit similar returns to language skills.
    Keywords: international migration, language skills, labor productivity
    JEL: F22 J24 J31
    Date: 2012–12
  18. By: Conconi, Paola; Facchini, Giovanni; Steinhardt, Max; Zanardi, Maurizio
    Abstract: Over the last decades, the United States has become increasingly integrated in the world economy. Very low trade barriers and comparatively liberal migration policies have made these developments possible. What drove US congressmen to support the recent wave of globalization? While much of the literature has emphasized the differences that exist between the political economy of trade and migration, in this paper we find that important similarities should not be overlooked. In particular, our analysis of congressional voting between 1970 and 2006 suggests that economic drivers that work through the labor market play an important role in shaping representatives’ behavior on both types of policies. Representatives from more skilled-labor abundant districts are more likely to support both trade liberalization and a more open stance vis-à-vis unskilled immigration. Still, important systematic differences exist: welfare state considerations and network effects have an impact on the support for immigration liberalization, but not for trade; Democratic lawmakers are systematically more likely to support a more open migration stance than their Republican counterparts, and the opposite is true for trade liberalization.
    Keywords: immigration reforms; trade reforms
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2012–12
  19. By: Raquel Carrasco (Department of Economics, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); J. Ignacio García Pérez (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: This paper studies how unemployment and employment durations for immigrants and natives respond differently to changes in the economic conditions due to the 2008 crisis and to the receipt of unemployment benefits when the economy declines. Using administrative data for Spain, we estimate multi-state multi-spell duration models that disentangle unobserved heterogeneity from true duration dependence. Our findings suggest that immigrants are more sensitive to changes in economic conditions, both in terms of unemployment and employment hazards. Moreover, the effect of the business cycle is not constant but decreases with duration at a higher rate among immigrants. The results also point to a disincentive effect of unemployment benefits on unemployment duration, which is stronger for immigrants but only at the beginning of the unemployment spell and mainly during good times (before the 2008 recession). Finally, we find evidence of a positive effect of unemployment benefits on subsequent employment duration, but only for native workers with temporary contracts. Nonetheless, this effect vanishes as workers qualify again for unemployment benefits.
    Keywords: Duration models; Multiple spells; Unobserved heterogeneity; Unemployment Benefits; Economic cycle; Immigration.
    JEL: J64 J61 C23 C41 J65
    Date: 2012–12

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