nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2013‒04‒13
seventeen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. Geographical reallocation and unemployment during the Great Recession: the role of the housing bust By Fatih Karahan; Serena Rhee
  2. Can gender differences in the educational performance of 15-year old migrant pupils be explained by the gender equality in the countries of origin and destination? By Jaap Dronkers; Nils Kornder
  3. Taxation and the Long Run Allocation of Labor: Theory and Danish Evidence By Kreiner, Claus Thustrup; Munch, Jakob Roland; Whitta-Jacobson, Hans-Jørgen
  4. Cultural Influences Across Time and Space: Do Source-country Gender Roles Affect Immigrant Women's Paid and Unpaid Labour Activity? By Frank, Kristyn<br /> Hou, Feng
  5. Gender Differences in Long Term Health Outcomes of Internal Migrants in Italy. By Vincenzo Atella; Partha Deb
  6. Migration and Wage Effects of Taxing Top Earners: Evidence from the Foreigners' Tax Scheme in Denmark By Kleven, Henrik; Landais, Camille; Saez, Emmanuel; Schultz, Esben
  7. Migration, capital formation, and house prices By Grossmann, Volker; Schäfer, Andreas; Steger, Thomas M.
  8. Do happiness indexes truly reveal happiness? Measuring happiness using revealed preferences from migration flows By Helena Marques; Gabriel Pino; J.D. Tena
  9. Musn't Grumble: Immigration, Health and Health Service Use in the UK and Germany By Jonathan Wadsworth
  10. Urbanisation and Migration Externalities in China By Combes, Pierre-Philippe; Démurger, Sylvie; Li, Shi
  11. Homilies as knowledge transfer platform for Filipino migrant workers in Taiwan By Calbay, Francis Raymond
  12. Migrants' Choice of Remittance Channel: Do General Payment Habits Play a Role? By Anneke Kosse; Robert Vermeulen
  13. Sorting out the impact of cultural diversity on innovative firms. An empirical analysis of Dutch micro-data By Ceren Ozgen; Thomas de Graff
  14. Remittances and Economic Growth in Mexico: An Empirical Study with Structural Breaks. By Miguel Ramirez
  15. Task force: Gewerkschaften, Arbeitsmarktregulierung und Migration in China By von der Pütten, Jann Christoph (Ed.); Göbel, Christian (Ed.)
  16. Transferts de fonds, éducation et travail des enfants au Maroc: Une analyse par score de propension By Bouoiyour, Jamal
  17. Influences culturelles au fil du temps selon le lieu : les roles des hommes et des femmes dans le pays d'origine influent-ils sur l'activite remuneree et non remuneree des femmes immigrantes? By Frank, Kristyn<br /> Hou, Feng

  1. By: Fatih Karahan; Serena Rhee
    Abstract: This paper quantitatively evaluates the hypothesis that the housing bust in 2007 decreased geographical reallocation and increased the dispersion and level of unemployment during the Great Recession. We construct an equilibrium model of multiple locations with frictional housing and labor markets. When house prices fall, the amount of home equity declines, making it harder for homeowners to afford the down payment on a new house after moving. Consequently, the decline in house prices reduces migration and causes unemployment to rise differently in different locations. The model accounts for 90 percent of the increase in geographical dispersion of unemployment and the entire decline in net migration. However, despite large effects on migration and geographical dispersion of unemployment, the effect on aggregate unemployment is moderate: Our findings suggest that, absent the housing bust, aggregate unemployment would have been 0.5 percentage point lower.
    Keywords: Housing - Prices ; Unemployment ; Geography ; Labor market ; Labor mobility
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Jaap Dronkers (University of Maastricht); Nils Kornder (University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: We try to explain the differences between the performance (in both reading and math) of 8430 15-year-old daughters and 8526 15-year-old sons in 17 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development destination countries across Europe and Oceania with the PISA 2009 data from 45 origin countries or regions. In addition to the level of societal gender equality of the origin and destination countries (the gender empowerment measure, or GEM) we use macro indicators of the educational systems, economic development, and religions of the countries of origin. We find that migrant daughters from countries with higher levels of gender equality have higher reading scores than comparable migrant sons (but this is not the case for math scores). In addition, the higher the level of gender equality in the destination countries, the lower the reading and math scores of both the male and female migrants’ children in their destination countries. Further analyses suggest that the difference between the levels of gender equality, rather than the levels themselves, of the origin and destination countries explains more of the educational performance of both female and male migrant pupils. Our results also show that the low level of gender equality in Islamic origin countries is a sufficient explanation of the low educational performance of Islam male and female migrants’ pupils. Finally, migrants’ daughters seem to perform slightly better educationally than comparable migrants’ sons.
    Date: 2013–04
  3. By: Kreiner, Claus Thustrup; Munch, Jakob Roland; Whitta-Jacobson, Hans-Jørgen
    Abstract: Inspired by Hayek (1945), we study the distortionary effects of taxation on labor mobility and the long run allocation of labor across different profitable opportunities. These effects are not well detected by the methods applied in the large public finance literature estimating the elasticity of taxable income and quantifying the welfare loss from taxation. Our analysis builds on a standard search theoretic framework where workers are continually seeking better paid jobs, but are also fired from time to time because of economic development and productivity shocks. We incorporate non-linear taxation into this setting and estimate the structural parameters of the model using employer-employee register based data for the full Danish population of workers and workplaces for the years 2004-2006. Our results indicate that along the intensive margin the Danish taxation generates an overall efficiency loss corresponding to a 12 percent reduction in GDP. It is possible to reap 4/5 of this potential efficiency gain by going from a high-tax Scandinavian system to a level of taxation in line with low-tax OECD countries such as the United States. The tax-responsiveness of labor mobility and allocation corresponds to an elasticity of taxable income with respect to the net-of-tax rate in the range 0.15-0.3.
    Keywords: elasticity of taxable income; labor mobility; tax distortions
    JEL: H21
    Date: 2013–01
  4. By: Frank, Kristyn<br /> Hou, Feng
    Abstract: Canadian immigrants come from a range of source countries which vary considerably in gender roles. Examining gender roles is therefore valuable in determining whether cultural norms continue to influence labour activities after immigrants have been exposed to the new environment of their host country. This study focuses on the "portability" of gender roles for immigrant women; that is, it examines whether source-country gender roles continue to influence immigrant families' labour and housework activities after arrival in Canada.
    Keywords: Ethnic diversity and immigration, Education, training and learning, Society and community, Education, training and skills, Outcomes of education, Women and gender
    Date: 2013–03–28
  5. By: Vincenzo Atella (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Partha Deb (Hunter College and the Graduate Center)
    Abstract: This article examines the long term physical and mental health effects of internal migration. We use data from Italy that allows us to study a relatively unique migration experience from Southern and Northeastern regions of Italy to Northwestern ones and to the region around Rome concentrated over a relatively short period from 1950-1970. We distinguish between impacts on women and men and between "early" and "late" migrants. We use finite mixture models to account for heterogeneity in the effects of migration and find that there is a statistically significant and substantial improvement in physical and mental health for rural migrant females. In addition, for these women the effect can be attributed to better living conditions at the destination and not due to selection. Even with the finite mixture models, we find no evidence of migration-health effects for the later cohort, nor for males in the early cohort. Finally, we do not find evidence of selection effect.
    Keywords: Health status, Migration decisions, Finite Mixture models, Italy.
    JEL: C23 I11 L23
    Date: 2013–03–29
  6. By: Kleven, Henrik; Landais, Camille; Saez, Emmanuel; Schultz, Esben
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of income taxation on the international migration and earnings of top earners using a Danish preferential foreigner tax scheme and population-wide Danish administrative data. This scheme, introduced in 1991, allows new immigrants with high earnings to be taxed at a preferential flat rate for a duration of three years. We obtain three main results. First, the scheme has doubled the number of highly paid foreigners in Denmark relative to slightly less paid ineligible foreigners, which translates into a very large elasticity of migration with respect to the net-of-tax rate on foreigners, between 1.5 and 2. Hence, preferential tax schemes for highly paid foreign workers could create severe tax competition between countries. Second, we find compelling evidence of a negative effect of scheme-induced increases in the net-of-tax rate on pre-tax earnings at the individual level. This finding cannot be explained by the standard labor supply model where pay equals marginal productivity, but it can be rationalized by a matching frictions model with wage bargaining where there is a gap between pay and marginal productivity. Third, we find no evidence of positive or negative spillovers of the scheme-induced influx of high-skilled foreigners on the earnings of highly paid natives.
    Keywords: International Migration; Taxation; Wage Bargaining
    JEL: H22 H31 J61
    Date: 2013–03
  7. By: Grossmann, Volker; Schäfer, Andreas; Steger, Thomas M.
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of interregional labor market integration in a twosector,overlapping-generations model with land-intensive production in the nontradable goods sector (housing). To capture the response to migration on housing supply, capital formation is endogenous, assuming that firms face capital adjustment costs. Our analysis highlights heterogeneous welfare effects of labor mark etintegration. Whereas individuals without residential property lose from immigration due to increased housing costs, landowners may win. Moreover, we show how the relationship between migration and capital formation depends on initial conditions at the time of labor market integration. Our model is also capable to explain the reversal of migration during the transition to the steady state, like observed in East Germany after unification in 1990. It is also consistent with a gradually rising migration stock and house prices in high-productivity countries like Switzerland. --
    Keywords: Capital formation,House prices,Land distribution,Migration,Welfare
    JEL: D90 F20 O10
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Helena Marques (Universitat de les Illes Balears); Gabriel Pino (Southern Illinois University); J.D. Tena (Universita di Sassari, Italy and Universidad Carlos III, Spain)
    Abstract: In this paper we attempt to establish a nexus between migration decisions and self-assessed happiness, where migration is taken as a mechanism for revealing preferences. The happiness literature has proposed both economic and non-economic determinants of happiness which are very similar to the factors that may be thought of as determinants of migration: absolute income, relative income, demographic and social characteristics, social development, relationship with others and characteristics of the place where we live. To these we add bilateral gravity variables, migration policies, and two survey-based happiness indexes. First, these two indexes are negatively correlated to net migration flows. Second, almost all the other explanatory variables are significant and as such survey-based happiness indexes fail to account for them. Third, we show how an international happiness ranking changes by taking into account those omitted factors. Finally, our migration-based ranking shows that, although many countries "truthfully" reveal happiness levels, in fact 19 countries are net migration senders even though they are self-proclaimed happy in surveys, whereas 23 countries are net migration recipients, even though in surveys they are self-proclaimed unhappy. We identify the sources of this mismatch and suggest where action could be taken to bring people’s self-assessment of happiness in line with revealed preferences.
    Keywords: happiness, subjective wellbeing, revealed preferences, migration, gravity models, FEVD
    JEL: F22 D03 C11 C23
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Jonathan Wadsworth
    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. This study uses longitudinal data from both countries to examine whether immigrants differ in their use of health services compared to native born individuals, both 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 in both countries use hospital and GP services at broadly the same rate as the native born populations. 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: 2013
  10. By: Combes, Pierre-Philippe; Démurger, Sylvie; Li, Shi
    Abstract: We evaluate the role that cities play on individual productivity in China. First, we show that location explains a large share of nominal wage disparities. Second, even after controlling for individual and firms characteristics and instrumenting city characteristics, the estimated elasticity of wage with respect to employment density is about three times larger than in Western countries. Land area and industrial specialisation also play a significant role whereas the access to external markets does not. Therefore, large agglomeration economies prevail in China and they are more localised than in Western countries. Third, we find evidence of a large positive impact of the local share of migrants on local workers' wages. Overall, these results strongly support the productivity gains that can be expected from further migration and urbanisation in China.
    Keywords: agglomeration economies; China; migration; urban development; wage disparities
    JEL: J31 O18 O53 R12 R23
    Date: 2013–02
  11. By: Calbay, Francis Raymond
    Abstract: Labor migration has become entrenched in underdeveloped countries as a means to address rampant unemployment and to sustain the local economy. In the Philippines, it is estimated that one in ten Filipinos work abroad. With limited sources to address the information needs of widely dispersed Filipino migrant workers, this study explores how the Catholic Church could steward knowledge transfer, specifically through homilies. Under the framework of Symbolic Convergence theory, thematic content analysis is executed on homilies gathered from a Taiwan-based parish. Through close reading of themes from the recorded texts, migrant workers are said to have knowledge requirements based on their roles as: surveyor (of the foreign environment), survivor (of migrant challenges), and savior-returnee (of eventual homecoming). Findings suggest that homilies provide pragmatic, non-sectarian information. This exploratory study proposes that the church setting could host knowledge transfers for Filipino migrant workers.
    Keywords: knowledge transfer; migrant labor; social communication; symbolic convergence
    JEL: Z12 Z13
    Date: 2012
  12. By: Anneke Kosse; Robert Vermeulen
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants in migrants’ choice of payment channel when transferring money to relatives abroad. We surveyed 1,680 migrants in the Netherlands, identifying five remittance channels: bank services, money transfer operator (MTO) services, in-cash transfers via informal intermediaries, ATM cash withdrawals abroad and carrying cash when travelling back home. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to present evidence of the role played by general payment habits: migrants who regularly use internet banking for other purposes are more likely to use bank services for remittances as well. However, we also demonstrate that other important drivers exist in determining the choice of payment channels, such as personal characteristics and country-specific factors, (perceived) costs, ease of use and the availability of remittance options. Based on our findings, we suggest that financial education, cost reduction and new (mobile) remittance solutions may serve a valuable role.
    Keywords: Remittances; payment instruments; qualitative choice models
    JEL: F24 E42 C25
    Date: 2013–03
  13. By: Ceren Ozgen (Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam and bTinbergen Institute, Amsterdam,); Thomas de Graff (aDepartment of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: An increasing amount of research in the migration literature shows a positive association between migrant diversity and rm productivity. However, the potential bias due to unobserved heterogeneity remains a challenge. In this paper we analyse the impact of cultural diversity on firm innovativeness, while using finite mixture modeling to control for observed and unobserved heterogeneity. Recent availability of microdata has enabled us to construct a linked employee- employer dataset through merging datasets on both workers and firms. We explore the possible ways of firm-level knowledge exchange among the employees with different cultural backgrounds and its impact on firms' product and process innovations. We find that workforce diversity is beneficial for innovativeness in capital-intensive sectors. It also positively impacts large firms that operate in high-level services, manufacturing, mining and R&D sectors, that are predominantly located in the non-urban areas in the Netherlands. In labour and land intensive sectors, the impact of cultural diversity on innovativeness is inconclusive.
    Keywords: Cultural diversity, innovativeness, (un-)observed heterogeneity, finite mixture modeling, migration
    JEL: J15 J21
    Date: 2013–04
  14. By: Miguel Ramirez (Department of Economics, Trinity College)
    Abstract: This paper investigates remittance flows to Mexico during the 1980-2010 period in absolute terms, relative to GDP, in comparison to FDI inflows, and in terms of their regional destination. Next, the paper reviews the growing literature that assesses the impact of remittances on investment spending and economic growth. Third, it presents a simple endogenous growth model that explicitly incorporates the potential impact of remittance flows on economic and labor productivity growth. Fourth, it presents a modified empirical counterpart to the simple model that tests for both single- and two-break unit root tests, as well as performs cointegration tests with an endogenously determined level shift over the 1970-2010 period. The error-correction model estimates suggest that remittance flows to Mexico have a positive and significant effect, albeit small, on both economic growth and labor productivity growth. The concluding section summarizes the major results and discusses potential avenues for future research on this important topic.
    Keywords: Error-correction model, FDI inflows, Gregory-Hansen cointegration single-break test, Gross fixed capital formation, Johansen Cointegration test, KPSS no unit root test, Lee-Strazicich two-break unit root test, remittance flows, and Zivot-Andrews single-break unit root test
    JEL: C22 F24 O4 O15 O54
    Date: 2013–03
  15. By: von der Pütten, Jann Christoph (Ed.); Göbel, Christian (Ed.)
    Abstract: Die vorliegende Publikation untersucht die gegenwärtigen Entwicklungen am chinesischen Arbeitsmarkt. Sie analysiert die Funktion chinesischer Gewerkschaften und die Rolle von Tarifverhandlungen im Lohnfindungsprozess, aber auch die grundlegende Frage, ob Chinas Reservoir an billigen Arbeitskräften langsam versiegt. Einer genaueren Betrachtung wird auch die Situation der ca. 180 Millionen Wanderarbeiterinnen und Wanderarbeiter in China unterzogen. -- This publication traces current developments in the Chinese labor market. It analyses the function of Chinese trade unions and the role of collective bargaining for determining wage levels, and addresses the fundamental question if China is running out of cheap labour. The effect of recent legal changes on China's approximately 180 million migrant workers is also analysed in some detail, as are the specific challenges for female migrants.
    Keywords: China,Gewerkschaften,soziale Sicherung,Sozialversicherung,Wanderarbeiter,soziale Unruhe,Zivilgesellschaft,Gender,demografischer Wandel,Tarifverhandlungen,All-Chinesischer Gewerkschaftsbund,China,trade union,social security,social welfare,migrant workers,social unrest,civil society,gender,demographic change,collective bargaining,All-Chinese Federation of Trade Unions
    Date: 2013
  16. By: Bouoiyour, Jamal
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of remittances on child labor and demand of education using survey data on the Souss-Massa-Draa region (South of Morocco). Based on an instrumental variables probit model, we find a positive and significant effect of remittances on the investments in education. Furthermore, the number of children living in migrant households who accumulate employment and schooling is clearly less raised compared with the children of the households of group of control (non migrant households). Moreover, our results show the positive effect of remittances on the schooling of the poor children. It also seems that the partial participation of poor children or teenagers in work declines more significantly through migrant remittances.
    Keywords: Children time allocation, Education attainments, Propensity-Score Matching, Remittances, Morocco
    JEL: F22 F24 I25
    Date: 2013–04–11
  17. By: Frank, Kristyn<br /> Hou, Feng
    Abstract: Les immigrants au Canada proviennent d'un vaste eventail de pays, ou les roles des hommes et des femmes varient considerablement. Il est par consequent utile d'examiner les roles des hommes et des femmes pour determiner si les normes culturelles continuent d'influencer l'activite sur le marche du travail, une fois que les immigrants ont ete exposes au nouvel environnement de leur pays d'accueil. La presente etude est axee sur la < transferabilite > des roles des hommes et des femmes dans le cas des femmes immigrantes, c'est a dire qu'elle tente de determiner si les roles des hommes et des femmes dans le pays d'origine continuent d'avoir une influence sur l'activite sur le marche du travail et les taches menageres des familles immigrantes apres leur arrivee au Canada.
    Keywords: Diversite ethnique et immigration, Education, formation et apprentissage, Societe et communaute, Education, formation et competences, Resultats educationnels, Femmes et rapports entre les sexes
    Date: 2013–03–28

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