nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2013‒05‒19
23 papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
Australian National University

  1. The Effects of International Migration on the Well-Being of Native Populations in Europe By Betz, William; Simpson, Nicole B.
  2. South-South Migration and the Labor Market: Evidence from South Africa By Facchini, Giovanni; Mayda, Anna Maria; Mendola, Mariapia
  3. Negative and Positive Assimilation By Prices and By Quantities By Chiswick, Barry R.; Miller, Paul W.
  4. Skilled Immigration, Innovation and Wages of Native-born American By Asadul Islam; Faridul Islam; Chau Nguyen
  5. Who Moves and For How Long: Determinants of Different Forms of Migration By Borodak, Daniela; Piracha, Matloob
  6. Intra-Firm Upward Mobility and Immigration By Javdani, Mohsen; McGee, Andrew
  7. The Impact of Immigrant Concentration in Schools on Grade Retention in Spain: a Difference-in-Differences Approach By Pedraja Chaparro, Francisco; Santín González, Daniel; Simancas Rodríguez, Rosa
  8. Age at Migration, Language Proficiency and Socio-economic Outcomes: Evidence from Australia By Cahit Guven; Asadul Islam
  9. International Migration: A Global Complex Network By Emmanouil Tranos; Masood Gheasi; Peter Nijkamp
  10. Cultural Distance, Immigrants' Identity, and Labour Market Outcomes By Asadul Islam; Paul A. Raschky
  11. Is Smoking Behavior Culturally Determined? Evidence from British Immigrants By Rebekka Christopoulou; Dean R. Lillard
  12. Showing Off to the New Neighbors? Income, Socioeconomic Status and Consumption Patterns of Internal Migrants By Danzer, Alexander M.; Dietz, Barbara; Gatskova, Ksenia; Schmillen, Achim
  13. Does Migration Raise Agricultural Investment? An Empirical Analysis for Rural Mexico By Marcus Böhme
  14. Access to Social Insurance in Urban China: A Comparative Study of Rural-Urban and Urban-Urban Migrants in Beijing By Zhiming Cheng; Ingrid Nielsen; Russell Smyth
  15. Foreign Scientists and Engineers and Economic Growth in Canadian Labor Markets By Peri, Giovanni; Shih, Kevin Y.
  16. Language Proficiency of Migrants: The Relation with Job Satisfaction and Matching By Bloemen, Hans
  17. Does Bilateral Trust Affect International Movement of Goods and Labor? By Spring, Eva; Grossmann, Volker
  18. Altruism to Strangers for our Own Sake: Domestic Effects from Immigration By Annie Tubadji; Peter Nijkamp
  19. Happiness and Job Satisfaction in Urban China: A Comparative Study of Two Generations of Migrants and Urban Locals By Haining Wang; Zhiming Cheng; Russell Smyth
  20. Do Migrant Remittances Complement Domestic Investment? New Evidence from Panel Cointegration By Abdilahi Ali; Baris Alpaslan
  21. 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 Kornder N.; Dronkers J.; Dronkers J.
  22. Compensating Wage & Income Differentials for Occupational Risk: Evidence from Migrant Workers in China's Pearl River Delta By Haining Wang; Zhiming Cheng; Russell Smyth
  23. Taxation, match quality and social welfare By Brendan Epstein; Ryan Nunn

  1. By: Betz, William (Colgate University); Simpson, Nicole B. (Colgate University)
    Abstract: With worldwide migration becoming increasingly prevalent in policy agendas over the past several decades, understanding the effects that migrants have on a host country's population continues to be an important research agenda. There is a large literature documenting the effects that migrants have on native wages, tax burden, unemployment, etc. However, very little is understood about how migrants affect the happiness, or subjective well-being, of natives. This paper uses the European Social Survey to analyze the effects of aggregate immigration inflows on the subjective well-being of native-born populations in a panel of 26 countries between 2002 and 2010. We find that recent immigrant flows have a nonlinear, yet overall positive impact on the well-being of natives. Specifically, we find that immigrant flows from two years prior have larger positive effects on natives' well-being than immigrant inflows from one year prior. Our findings are very small in magnitude and in practical application; only large immigrant flows would affect native well-being significantly.
    Keywords: international migration, happiness, life satisfaction
    JEL: F22 I31 O15
    Date: 2013–04
  2. By: Facchini, Giovanni (University of Nottingham); Mayda, Anna Maria (Georgetown University); Mendola, Mariapia (University of Milan Bicocca)
    Abstract: Using census data for 1996, 2001 and 2007 we study the labor market effect of immigration to South Africa. The paper contributes to a small but growing literature on the impact of South-South migration by looking at one of the most attractive destinations for migrant workers in Sub-Saharan Africa. We exploit the variation – both at the district level and at the national one – in the share of foreign-born male workers across schooling and experience groups over time. At the district level, we estimate that increased immigration has a negative and significant effect on natives' employment rates – and that this effect is more negative for skilled and white South African native workers – but not on total income. These results are robust to using an instrumental variable estimation strategy. At the national level, we find that increased immigration has a negative and significant effect on natives' total income but not on employment rates. Our results are consistent with outflows of natives to other districts as a consequence of migration, as in Borjas (2006).
    Keywords: South Africa, labor market effects, immigration
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2013–04
  3. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (George Washington University); Miller, Paul W. (Curtin University of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper considers the labor market assimilation of immigrants in terms of earnings and employment (employment probability, unemployment probability, and hours worked per week). Using the 2006 Australian Census of Population and Housing the analyses are performed separately by gender, and separately by whether or not the origin is an English-speaking developed country (ESDC). Among men in general, 'negative assimilation' is found for immigrants from the ESDC, and positive assimilation for other origins. Among women, the pattern of assimilation in earnings and employment is more positive than among their male counterparts. This may reflect the greater tendency for female immigrants to be tied movers. Among never married immigrant women from the ESDC, who are more likely than married immigrant women from the same countries to be economic migrants, the pattern of negative assimilation is observed.
    Keywords: immigrants, assimilation, earnings, hours worked, employment, unemployment
    JEL: J61 J31 F22
    Date: 2013–05
  4. By: Asadul Islam; Faridul Islam; Chau Nguyen
    Abstract: The paper examines the effects of skilled immigration on US wages that are due to innovation. We extend the studies by Hunt & Gauthier-Loiselle (2010), and Hunt (2011) to explore the immigration-innovation-wages nexus. Using the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG) and the US Census datasets we find a significant positive effect of immigration on wages that are attributable to immigrants‘ contribution to innovation. Our findings suggest that as the share of skilled immigrants increases in a particular group, the wages of both natives and immigrants in that group get a positive boost. The effects are more pronounced through immigrants‘ impact on patent granted and patent commercialized, compared with their impact on other measures of innovations. The results also show that the immigrants are more likely to present a paper at a conference or publish in professional journals, primarily because they are more educated or concentrated in the related occupation compared to the natives. Our findings indicate that immigrants make a substantial contribution to the host economy‘s innovation which is a major driver of productivity growth.
    Keywords: Innovation, immigration, wages
    JEL: J15 J31
    Date: 2013–05
  5. By: Borodak, Daniela (France Business School); Piracha, Matloob (University of Kent)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the determinants and correlates of different forms of migration, including circular, temporary and permanent. Using Moldovan data we show that age, education, number of children in a household and social as well as economic development in the region of origin play a crucial role in the decision to migrate permanently or on temporary/circular basis. We believe that understanding who moves and whether temporarily or circularly will help formulate more effective migration policies both in the sending and receiving countries.
    Keywords: circular migration, return migration, nested logit, Moldova
    JEL: C35 F22 J61
    Date: 2013–05
  6. By: Javdani, Mohsen (University of British Columbia, Okanagan); McGee, Andrew (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: We examine how immigrants in Canada fare in terms of promotions relative to their native peers. Using linked employer-employee data and firm effects, we identify the extent to which differences in promotion outcomes result from immigrants sorting into firms offering "dead-end" jobs versus facing intra-firm barriers to advancement. We find that while white immigrants experience broadly similar promotion outcomes relative to their white native peers, visible minority immigrants – particularly those in their first five years in Canada – are substantially less likely to have been promoted and have been promoted fewer times with their employers than their white native peers. Newly arrived female visible minority immigrants sort into firms offering "dead end" jobs, but most of the differences in promotion outcomes between immigrants and their native peers result from intra-firm differences in promotion outcomes. The findings imply that policies that do not tackle barriers to advancement within firms may be insufficient to address the difficulties faced by immigrants in the labor force.
    Keywords: promotions, immigration
    JEL: J61 J71
    Date: 2013–04
  7. By: Pedraja Chaparro, Francisco; Santín González, Daniel; Simancas Rodríguez, Rosa
    Abstract: Since the late 1990s, Spain has played host to a sizeable flow of immigrants who have been absorbed into the compulsory stage of the education system. In this paper, our aim is to assess the impact of that exogenous increase in the number of immigrant students from 2003 to 2009 on grade retention using Spanish data from PISA 2003 and 2009. For this purpose, we use the difference-in-differences method (DiD), capable of detecting whether the immigrant concentration has had a significant effect on student performance. Within this framework, the control group will be the schools without sampled immigrants from 2003 to 2009 and the treatment group will be schools with immigrant students that experienced a significant increase of immigrants throughout this period. As the percentage of immigrants is different across schools, the DiD methodology is adapted to deal with a dose treatment. What we are looking for then is not simply the average effect of there being or not being foreign students at the school, but the effect of their concentration. In this way, the effect of immigrants joining schools can be isolated and estimated through a DiD dose estimator controlling by other educational variables that also influence school performance. Our results evidenced that their arrival does not on average decrease school promotion rates with respect to 2003 and is even beneficial to native students. Although the concentration of immigrant students at the same school does have a negative impact on immigrant students generating more grade retention, native students are unaffected until concentrations of immigrant students are higher.
    Keywords: difference in differences, immigration, education, PISA
    JEL: H41 I21
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Cahit Guven; Asadul Islam
    Abstract: This paper seeks to estimate the causal effects of language proficiency on the earnings and social assimilation of Australian immigrants. Identifying the effects of languages on socio-economic outcomes is inherently difficult, due to the endogeneity of the language skills. This study exploits the phenomenon that younger children learn languages more easily than older children to construct an instrumental variable for language proficiency. To achieve this, we exploit the age at arrival of immigrants who came as children from Anglophone and non-Anglophone countries. We find English proficiency to have a significant positive effect on wages and promotions among adults who immigrated to Australia as children. English proficiency decreases the perceived risk of job loss, but leads to lower levels of health and life satisfaction. People with better English skills take more risks and drink more, and English proficiency increases the age at marriage. Partners of immigrants with better English skills drink more in general. Parents' proficiency in speaking English has a significant, positive effect on their children's English-speaking proficiency, high school achievements and occupational prestige. We show that IV estimates cannot be explained by alternative theories such as reverse causality and immigrants from English-speaking countries being a poor control group for non-language age-at-arrival effects.
    Keywords: Economics of Immigration; English Proficiency; Socio-economic Outcomes; Instrumental Variable; Australia.
    JEL: J12 J13 J24 J31 J61 J62
    Date: 2013–05
  9. By: Emmanouil Tranos (VU University Amsterdam); Masood Gheasi (VU University Amsterdam); Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Migration has become a prominent research theme in geography and regional science and it has been approached from various methodological angles. Nonetheless, a common missing element in most migration studies is the lack of awareness of the overall network topology, which characterizes migration flows. Although gravity models focus on spatial interaction - in this case migration - between pairs of origins and destinations, they do not provide insights into the topology of a migration network. In the present paper, we will employ network analysis to address such systemic research questions, in particular: How centralized or dispersed are migration flows and how does this structure evolve over time? And how is migration activity clustered between specific countries, and if so, do such patterns change over time? Going a step further than exploratory network analysis, this paper estimates international migration models for OECD countries based on a dual ap proach: gravity models estimated using conventional econometric approaches such as panel data regressions as well as network-based regression techniques such as MRQAP. The empirical results reveal not only the determinants of international migration among OECD countries, but also the value of blending network analysis with more conventional analytic methods.
    Keywords: immigration, gravity model, complex networks, community detection, MRQAP
    JEL: F22 O15 D85
    Date: 2012–11–16
  10. By: Asadul Islam; Paul A. Raschky
    Abstract: Consistent estimates of the effect of ethnic identity on labor market outcomes is complicated by the endogenous relationship between performance on the labor market and attitudes towards ethnic identity. This paper uses measures of genetic and linguistic distance between an immigrants' home and host countries as instruments for ethnic identity. We find some evidence for adverse effects of home country identity on male immigrants' unemployment likelihood. Our results also suggest that a stronger host country identity only has a systematic effect on female employment and job satisfaction. Overall, ethnic identity appears to play only a negligible role in immigrants' labour market performance.
    Keywords: Ethnic Identity, Labor Market Outcomes, Instrumental Variables
    JEL: F22 J15 J16 Z10
    Date: 2013–05
  11. By: Rebekka Christopoulou; Dean R. Lillard
    Abstract: We exploit migration patterns from the UK to Australia, South Africa, and the US to investigate whether a person’s decision to smoke is determined by culture. For each country, we use retrospective data to describe individual smoking trajectories over the life-course. For the UK, we use these trajectories to measure culture by cohort and cohort-age, and more accurately relative to the extant literature. Our proxy predicts smoking participation of second-generation British immigrants but not that of non-British immigrants and natives. Researchers can apply our strategy to estimate culture effects on other outcomes when retrospective or longitudinal data are available.
    JEL: I10 J15 Z10
    Date: 2013–05
  12. By: Danzer, Alexander M. (University of Munich); Dietz, Barbara (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg); Gatskova, Ksenia (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg); Schmillen, Achim (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)
    Abstract: This paper analyses incomes and socioeconomic status of internal migrants over time and in comparison to their new neighbors and investigates whether status consumption is a way for newly arrived city dwellers to signal their social standing. Using a novel dataset from the emerging economy of Kazakhstan we find that internal migrants earn an income and status premium for their move. In a comparison to indigenous city dwellers their earnings and household incomes are not significantly different; however, mobile households report a significantly higher subjective socio-economic status. Exploiting expenditure data, we find that recent migrant households gain status from using visible consumption to impress their new neighbors. This signaling might be used as adaptation to the new economic and social environment or to gain access to social capital.
    Keywords: absolute and relative welfare, income, status consumption, signaling model, conspicuous consumption, adaptation, internal migration, emerging economy, rural-urban migration
    JEL: P36 I31 R23
    Date: 2013–04
  13. By: Marcus Böhme
    Abstract: The effect of remittances on capital accumulation remains a contested topic. This paper uses a panel data set from rural Mexico to investigate the impact of remittances on agriculture and livestock investments. After controlling for the endogeneity of migration through an instrumental variable estimation our empirical results show that international migration has a significantly positive effect on the accumulated agricultural assets but not on livestock capital. This suggests that households use the capital obtained from international migration only to overcome liquidity constraints for subsistence production whereas migration itself seems to be the superior investment option compared to other productive activities such as livestock husbandry
    Keywords: migration, investment, Mexico, agriculture
    JEL: D1 J6 O1
    Date: 2013–05
  14. By: Zhiming Cheng; Ingrid Nielsen; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: Since 1958 the hukou (household registration) system has assigned Chinese citizens either a rural or urban status. Some studies argue that the rural-to-urban migrants in China who do not have urban hukou are not entitled to urban social insurance schemes, due to institutional discrimination, which applies differing treatment to urban and rural hukou (chengxiang fenge). Although rural-urban migrants participate less in the social insurance system than their counterparts with urban hukou, a closer examination of recent policy developments shows that migrants actually do have the legal right to access the system. This implies that discrimination between rural and urban workers has been declining, and distinctions based on household registration status are less able to explain China's current urban transition. This paper provides a new way of examining Chinese migrants' social insurance participation, by adopting a framework that includes both rural-to-urban migrants and urban-to-urban migrants, which are an important, but less studied, migrant group. Among our key findings are that urban migrants are more likely to sign a labour contract than rural migrants; urban migrants have higher participation rates in social insurance than rural migrants; having a labour contract has a greater impact than hukou status in determining whether Beijing's floating population accesses social insurance; and urban migrants who have signed a labour contract have higher participation rates in social insurance than either rural migrants or urban migrants without a labour contract.
    Keywords: rural-to-urban migrants, urban-to-urban migrants, social insurance, labour contract
    Date: 2013–05
  15. By: Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis); Shih, Kevin Y. (University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the impact of foreign-born workers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) on employment and wages in Canadian geographical areas during the period 1991-2006. Canadian policies select immigrants with a strong emphasis on high educational attainment. Moreover the foreign-born constitute a third of the Canadian population making Canada a very good case to analyze the effect of foreign-STEM workers on the local economy. We use the dispersion of immigrants by nationality across 17 geographical areas in 1981 to predict the supply-driven increase in foreign Scientists and Engineers during the period 1991-2006. Then we analyze their impact on the employment and wages of college and non-college educated Canadian-born (native) workers. We find significant positive effects on the wages and (to a lesser extent) employment of college educated natives. We also find a smaller positive effect on the wages and employment of native workers with very low levels of education (i.e. those with no high school degree). This implies a positive productivity effect of foreign-STEM workers in Canada, and also a college bias in their contribution to productivity growth. Compared to the effect of foreign Scientists and Engineers in US cities, the Canadian results show similar effects on wages of college educated and at least partial evidence of a positive diffusion of the effect to non-college educated, which was not present in the US.
    Keywords: STEM workers, foreign-born, Canadian-born, college-educated, wage, employment
    JEL: J61 F22 O33 R10
    Date: 2013–04
  16. By: Bloemen, Hans (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We empirically analyze the language proficiency of migrants in the Netherlands. Traditionally, the emphasis in studying language proficiency and economic outcomes has been on the relation between earnings and indicators for language proficiency, motivated by the human capital theory. Here we analyze whether there is a relation between proficiency of the destination language and job level. A lack of language skills may induce the migrant to work in jobs of a lower level leading to lower job satisfaction. We use subjective survey information about job satisfaction and the fit between the migrant's education and skill level and the job. We also use objective information on professional level. For men, we find evidence for a positive relationship between indicators for language proficiency and satisfaction with work type and professional level.
    Keywords: immigrants, skills, job satisfaction
    JEL: J15 J24 J28
    Date: 2013–04
  17. By: Spring, Eva (University of Fribourg); Grossmann, Volker (University of Fribourg)
    Abstract: Trust in the citizens of a potential partner country may affect the decision to trade with or to migrate to a foreign country. This paper employs panel data to examine the causal impact of such bilateral trust on international trade and migration patterns. We apply instrumental variables (IV) approaches that capture the exogenous variance of bilateral trust separately with eight indicators of genetic ("somatic") distance between country-pairs. These indicators work equally well at the first stage. However, second-stage results very much depend on the exact measure employed as instrument. Overall, we find little evidence that bilateral trust affects international movements of goods and labor. More generally, we highlight the potential fragility of IV estimations even when the instruments seem plausible on theoretical grounds and when standard statistical tests confirm their validity.
    Keywords: instrumental variables, international trade, international migration, bilateral trust, somatic distance
    JEL: F10 F22 Z10
    Date: 2013–05
  18. By: Annie Tubadji (Institut für Arbeidsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), and University of Regensburg); Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to identify relationships between human capital and cultural capital, in the context of local labour market productivity. The key constituents of human capital, identified in the literature, are jointly examined in a close-to-reality-model. The main advantage of our model of productivity is that, in addition to accounting for the filigree composition of human capital, it also takes into consideration the cultural capital present in a locality. In this manner, we are able to examine the interaction between the quality of the incoming human capital and the cultural encounter context (generating the cultural "milieu" effect) of the modern diverse city. To this end, we operationalize one model with data on the 'melting pot' of EU15, at NUTS2 level. The sources of our data are the Eurostat Regional Database and the World Value Survey, which have served to construct both a cross-section for the year 2001. These datasets allows us: (1) to exa mine the different groups of migrating and local human capital, their interaction and joint impact on local productivity, and (2) to cross-check for the causality direction behind our model. Our findings suggest that benefits from immigrants differ, not only due to their human capital, but also due to their culturally biased different bargaining power on the labour market.
    Keywords: human capital, cultural capital, diversity, productivity, growth, Weber
    JEL: Z10 O31 O43 R11
    Date: 2012–07–27
  19. By: Haining Wang; Zhiming Cheng; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: This study investigates determinants of happiness and job satisfaction of urban locals, first-generation migrants and new-generation migrants in China's urban workforce. We present evidence to suggest that new-generation migrants are less satisfied with their jobs and lives than first-generation migrants, despite having higher income. This finding is consistent with aspirations rising faster than income in China's fast growing urban economy.
    Keywords: China; Migrants; Subjective wellbeing
    JEL: J28
    Date: 2013–05
  20. By: Abdilahi Ali; Baris Alpaslan
    Date: 2013
  21. By: Kornder N.; Dronkers J.; Dronkers J. (GSBE)
    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
  22. By: Haining Wang; Zhiming Cheng; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: This study contributes to an important, but under-researched, topic on China by empirically examining the theory of compensating differentials in the context of China's migrant workers. Using survey data collected from the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong province in south China, this study applies the Firpo-Fortin-Lemieux quantile decomposition method to examine the compensating wage and income differentials for migrant workers undertaking risky and safe jobs. The results show that migrant workers undertaking risky jobs incur a wage penalty at medium- and low-wage levels and an income penalty at the low-income level. In contrast, migrant workers at the high wage level enjoy positive wage premiums, and those at the medium and high-income levels enjoy positive income premiums. Both the negative wage premiums and positive income premiums exhibit an inverted U-shape with the quantile increment. Overtime allowances, bonuses and other income are the major sources of compensation for job riskiness. In addition, at the medium-income level, workers in risky jobs are further compensated by employee benefits, while at the high-income level they are further compensated by medical reimbursement.
    Keywords: China; Pearl River Delta economy; migrant workers; compensating wage/income differentials
    JEL: C21 J31
    Date: 2013–05
  23. By: Brendan Epstein; Ryan Nunn
    Abstract: A large public finance literature argues that taxable income elasticities are a sufficient statistic for the social welfare consequences of taxation. We develop calibrations that show such deadweight loss calculations are overestimates proportional to the quantitative significance of heterogeneity in amenities across job matches. In particular, the endogenous supply of amenities can substantially exacerbate this overestimation in both static and dynamic environments. Given the possibility of gradual migration of workers into more amenity-focused job matches in response to tax increases, welfare calculations based on long-run taxable income elasticities can be more misleading than those based on short-run elasticities.
    Date: 2013

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