nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2013‒07‒28
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Over-qualification of immigrants in the UK By Altorjai, Szilvia
  2. Migration and dynamics: How a leakage of human capital lubricates the engine of economic growth By Sorger, Gerhard; Stark, Oded; Wang, Yong
  3. Low-skilled Immigration and Parenting Investments of College-educated Mothers in the United States: Evidence from Time-use Data By Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Almudena Sevilla-Sanz
  4. Is environmentally-induced income variability a driver of migration? A macroeconomic perspective By Luca Marchiori; Jean-Francois Maystadt; Ingmar Schumacher
  5. Criss-crossing migration By Mattoo, Aaditya; Subramanian, Arvind
  6. “Do labour mobility and technological collaborations foster geographical knowledge diffusion? The case of European regions” By Ernest Miguélez; Rosina Moreno
  7. How Does China's New Labor Contract Law Affect Floating Workers? By Richard B. Freeman; Xiaoying Li
  8. China's 2008 labor contract law : implementation and implications for China's workers By Gallagher, Mary; Giles, John; Park, Albert; Wang, Meiyan
  9. Diaspora versus Refugee: The Political Economy of Lebanese Entrepreneurship Regimes By Nora Stel
  10. Les immigrés en France : en majorité des femmes By Cris Beauchemin; Catherine Borrel; Corinne Régnard

  1. By: Altorjai, Szilvia
    Abstract: This paper uses the first wave of Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), to assess whether or not male migrant workers in the UK are more likely to be over-qualified than the UK born. It also explores whether immigrants from different countries and arriving under different immigration policy regimes vary in their probability of over-qualification. The results suggest that both country of origin (sending factor) and immigration policy (selecting factor) matter and that the greater probability of immigrants over-qualification masks significant group heterogeneities. Thus, the mechanisms that lead to over-qualification may vary for different groups of immigrants.
    Date: 2013–07–17
  2. By: Sorger, Gerhard; Stark, Oded; Wang, Yong
    Abstract: This paper studies the growth dynamics of a developing country under migration. Assuming that human capital formation is subject to a strong enough, positive intertemporal externality, the prospect of migration will increase growth in the home country in the long run. If the external effect is less strong, there exists at least a level effect on the stock of human capital in the home country. In either case, the home country experiences a welfare gain, provided that migration is sufficiently restrictive. These results, obtained in a dynamic general equilibrium setting, extend and strengthen the results of Stark and Wang (2002) obtained in the context of a static model. --
    Keywords: Overlapping-generations growth model,Intertemporal human capital externalities,Long-run growth effect of the prospect of migration
    JEL: F22 I30 J24 J61 O15 O40
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (San Diego State University); Almudena Sevilla-Sanz (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: This paper uses several decades of US time-diary surveys to assess the impact of low-skilled immigration, through lower prices for commercial child care, on parental time investments. Using an instrumental variables approach that accounts for the endogenous location of immigrants, we find that low-skilled immigration to the United States has contributed to substantial reductions in the time allocated to basic child care by college-educated mothers of non-school age children. However, these mothers have not reduced the time allocated to more stimulating educational and recreational activities with their children. Understanding the factors driving parental time investments on children is crucial from a child development perspective.
    Keywords: Parental Time Investment, Immigration, Education Gradient, Time Use.
    JEL: J61 J22 J13
    Date: 2013–07
  4. By: Luca Marchiori; Jean-Francois Maystadt; Ingmar Schumacher
    Abstract: It was recently suggested that the role of environmentally-induced income variability as a determinant of migration has been studied little to none. We provide a theoretical discussion and an overview of the empirical literature on this. We also extend a previous empirical study of ours by including income variability. Our findings lead us to acknowledge that income variability is a negligible driver of migration decisions at the macroeconomic level.
    Keywords: Income variability, international migration, rural-urban migration, weather anomalies, sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F22 Q54 R13
    Date: 2013–05–17
  5. By: Mattoo, Aaditya; Subramanian, Arvind
    Abstract: The current perspective on the flow of people is almost exclusively focused on permanent migration from poorer to richer countries and on immigration policies in industrial countries. But international mobility of people should no longer be seen as a one-time event or one-way flow from South to North. The economic crisis has accentuated the longer-term shift in location incentives for people in industrial countries. As consumers, they could obtain better and cheaper access to key services -- such as care for the elderly, health, and education -- whose costs at home are projected to increase in the future, threatening standards of living. As workers, they could benefit from new opportunities created by the shift in economic dynamism from industrial to emerging countries. But subtle incentives to stay at home, such as lack of portability of health insurance and non-recognition of qualifications obtained abroad, inhibit North-South mobility and need to be addressed. Furthermore, if beneficiaries of movement abroad exert countervailing power against those who support immigration barriers at home, then that could lead to greater inflows of people, boosting innovation and growth in the North. Eventually, growing two-way flows of people could create the possibility of a grand bargain to reduce impediments to the movement of people at every stage in all countries and help realize the full benefits of globalization.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Population Policies,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Emerging Markets,Health Systems Development&Reform
    Date: 2013–07–01
  6. By: Ernest Miguélez (Economics and Statistics Division, WIPO and AQR-IREA); Rosina Moreno (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is twofold: first, we aim to assess the role played by inventors’ cross-regional mobility and collaborations in fostering knowledge diffusion across regions and subsequent innovation. Second, we intend to evaluate the feasibility of using mobility and co-patenting information to build cross-regional interaction matrices to be used within the spatial econometrics toolbox. To do so, we depart from a knowledge production function where regional innovation intensity is a function not only of the own regional innovation inputs but also external accessible knowledge stocks gained through interregional interactions. Differently from much of the previous literature, cross-section gravity models of mobility and co-patents are estimated to use the fitted values to build our ‘spatial’ weights matrices, which characterize the intensity of knowledge interactions across a panel of 269 regions covering most European countries over 6 years.
    Keywords: inventors’ spatial mobility, co-patenting, gravity models, weights matrix, knowledge production function. JEL classification: C8, J61, O31, O33, R0.
    Date: 2013–07
  7. By: Richard B. Freeman; Xiaoying Li
    Abstract: China’s new Labor Contract Law took effect on January 2008 and required firms to give migrant workers written contracts, strengthened labor protections for workers and contained penalties for firms that did not follow the labor code. This paper uses survey data of migrant workers in the Pearl River Delta before and after the law and a retrospective question on when workers received their first labor contract to assess the effects of the law on labor outcomes. The evidence shows that the new law increased the percentage of migrant workers with written contracts, which in turn raised social insurance coverage, reduced the likelihood of wage arrears, and raised the likelihood that the worker had a union at their workplace.
    JEL: J01 J28 J53 K31
    Date: 2013–07
  8. By: Gallagher, Mary; Giles, John; Park, Albert; Wang, Meiyan
    Abstract: This paper presents empirical evidence from household and firm survey data collected during 2009-2010 on the implementation of the 2008 Labor Contract Law and its effects on China's workers. The government and local labor bureaus have made substantial efforts to enforce the provisions of the new law, which has likely contributed to reversing a trend toward increasing informalization of the urban labor market. Enforcement of the law, however, varies substantially across cities. The paper analyzes the determinants of worker satisfaction with the enforcement of the law, the propensity of workers to have a labor contract, workers'awareness of the content of the law, and their likelihood of initiating disputes. The paper finds that all of these factors are highly correlated with the level of education, especially for migrants. Although higher labor costs may have had a negative impact on manufacturing employment growth, this has not led to an overall increase in aggregate unemployment or prevented the rapid growth of real wages. Less progress has been made in increasing social insurance coverage, although signing a labor contract is more likely to be associated with participation in social insurance programs than in the past, particularly for migrant workers.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Labor Policies,Labor Standards,Work&Working Conditions,Labor Law
    Date: 2013–07–01
  9. By: Nora Stel (Nora Stel is Research Fellow at Maastricht School of Management (MSM) and PhD Candidate at Utrecht University’s Centre for Conflict Studies. Contact: and/or; 0031628530429)
    Abstract: Lebanon is widely renowned for its entrepreneurial acumen. This reputation is largely built on the success story of the worldwide Lebanese diaspora. There is, however, another group of transnational entrepreneurs associated with Lebanon. This is the Palestinian refugee community living in Lebanon. Whereas Lebanese entrepreneurs abroad are commonly credited for making a crucial contribution to Lebanon’s economy, post-Civil War reconstruction and national identity through seeking innovation and utilizing opportunity, Palestinian entrepreneurs in Lebanon overwhelmingly fall within the category of selfemployed necessity entrepreneurs. This, while “it is widely believed that [both] the Lebanese and the Palestinians are among the top entrepreneurs in the world” (Kawasmi 2011). This paper engages with the duality of Lebanese migrant entrepreneurship and juxtaposes the veneration of the Lebanese entrepreneurship diaspora with the marginalization of Palestinian entrepreneurial capacity. I argue that the main rationale for the paradox of Lebanon’s simultaneous championing and undermining of entrepreneurial potential should be sought in its highly sectarian and elitist political order. Whereas the ascendancy of the Lebanese diaspora(s) was boosted in sectarian struggles for political and economic power, the economic relegation of the Palestinian refugees is part of a comprehensive regime of sectarian neutralization. Accordingly, the rationale for contrasting these two specific groups of migrant entrepreneurs – and not, for instance, Palestinian and other foreign entrepreneurs in Lebanon or Lebanese and Palestinian entrepreneurs in Lebanon – lies in their shared deep connection to the Lebanese sectarian-political system (a characteristic non-Palestinian foreign entrepreneurs in Lebanon lack) and their shared context of migrant entrepreneurship (an experience naturally not applicable to Lebanese entrepreneurs in Lebanon). It is this common engagement with the Lebanese political system from a migrant entrepreneurship perspective that connects these two groups residing at the extreme ends of the same political economy. Palestinian entrepreneurs in Lebanon and Lebanese entrepreneurs abroad are tied to the Lebanese system in a way that shows most pungently the effects a specific political economy might have on migrant entrepreneurship, the core objective of this paper. Through this main argument the paper makes two broader contributions to the literature on migration and entrepreneurship. First, it emphasizes the significance of the political in determining not so much the extent but the nature of entrepreneurship – ranging from necessity to opportunity and innovation. This observation is particularly pertinent in light of the ‘Arab Spring’ and complements economic perspectives on entrepreneurship. Second, and related to this, the paper shows the merits of analyzing differences in entrepreneurship regimes within countries in addition to the usual comparisons between countries. This paper should be conceived of predominantly as a sensitizing exercise, its main purpose being to offer an alternative perspective on the dichotomous discussion on the main determinants of entrepreneurship in diasporic or refugee communities as being either structural or personal. It does so through an in-depth discussion of the Lebanese case. As such, I do not seek to discuss primary empirical data, even if the observations made in this paper are grounded in extensive fieldwork in among both Palestinian and Lebanese communities in Lebanon on related topics, but rather to present an additional analytical framework for existing data sets. My main methodology is therefore that of a qualitative case-study based on literature review and document analysis and complemented by contextual fieldwork.
    JEL: F55 H1 H7 J7 L13 L26 Z13
    Date: 2013–07
  10. By: Cris Beauchemin (Ined); Catherine Borrel (Ined); Corinne Régnard (Ined)
    Abstract: La population immigrée comprend 51 % de femmes en France métropolitaine en 2008. Comme le montre l'enquête Trajectoires et Origines (TeO), la féminisation de la population immigrée ne vient pas seulement du regroupement familial. Les courants migratoires les plus féminisés sont en fait ceux dans lesquels les femmes célibataires ou pionnières (qui devancent leur conjoint en migration) sont les plus nombreuses. Rejoindre un conjoint en France n'est plus réservé aux femmes : les hommes forment après 1998 le tiers des personnes regroupées et progressent également parmi les conjoints de Français. En définitive, sans atteindre un équilibre parfait entre hommes et femmes, les comportements migratoires des deux sexes se rapprochent fortement.
    Date: 2013

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