nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2013‒09‒24
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Migration Patterns of Serbian and Bosnia and Herzegovina Migrants in Austria: Causes and Consequences By Michael Landesmann; Isilda Mara; Hermine Vidovic
  2. U.S. High-Skilled Immigration, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Empirical Approaches and Evidence By William R. Kerr
  3. The Effect of Corruption on Migration, 1985-2000 By Eugen Dimant; Tim Krieger; Daniel Meierriecks
  4. The Political Economy of Migration Policies in Oil-rich Gulf Countries By Mehlum, Halvor; Østenstad, Gry
  5. Costs and Benefits of Labour Mobility between the EU and the Eastern Partnership Partner Countries. Country report: Belarus By Alexander Chubrik; Alaksei Kazlou
  6. Migration and Agricultural Efficiency - Empirical Evidence for Kosovo By Sauer, Johannes; Gorton, Matthew; Davidova, Sophia
  7. Migration and Tax Competition Within a Union By Razin, Assaf; Sadka, Efraim
  8. Labour Migration from the Eastern Partnership Countries: Evolution and Policy Options for Better Outcomes By Luca Barbone; Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovskiyi; Matthias Luecke
  9. One Ring to Rule Them All? Globalization of Knowledge and Knowledge Creation By Richard B. Freeman

  1. By: Michael Landesmann (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Isilda Mara (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Hermine Vidovic (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: Abstract The study provides new empirical evidence about migration patterns of immigrants from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in Austria before and after the free visa regime implemented from January 2010 and January 2011 respectively for the two groups of migrants. In this framework a new survey was conducted and about 1000 migrants from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) currently residing in Austria were interviewed. Apart from the collection of standard demographic and socio-economic characteristics, the survey included specific immigration-related questions. The evidence collected through the survey allowed to examine migration intentions, distinguishing between temporary and permanent migration plans, human capital formation in the destination country and labour market experience of different groups of migrants. The results of the survey suggest that the preference for permanent migration is predominant particularly among BiH and the earlier group of Serbian migrants who moved to Austria before visa liberalisation. Serbian migrants who moved to Austria after visa liberalisation show a lesser preference for permanent migration. Serbian migrants and BiH migrants who moved to Austria before visa liberalisation were mainly driven by economic motives, such as taking up a job offer or looking for better working/earning opportunities. Those who moved during the free visa regime were motivated by better studying opportunities, better earnings and prospects of a higher standard of living. The skill composition of migrants is differentiated; there are more BiH migrants with tertiary-level education compared to Serbian migrants. However, Serbian migrants, especially those who moved to Austria before visa liberalisation, have considerably invested in and enhanced their human capital in Austria. Migrants are employed well below their skill levels and mainly have occupations that are classified as low-qualified jobs. In particular, compared to BiH migrants, the allocation of Serbian migrants to low-skilled jobs has been more pronounced among migrants who moved to Austria after visa liberalisation. Consequently, the differences in the level of qualification, type of occupation, adequacy of job qualification and competences, were reflected in significant differences in terms of earnings for the three groups of migrants. The access to social benefits or access to the health care system is strongly related to the length of stay. Generally only one third of migrants receive social benefits, mainly through family allowances, such as child and housing benefits. Migrants with permanent intentions have a better command of the German language and tend to use it more intensively in a family, working and everyday life context. Besides, this group of migrants – as compared to potential returnees – appeared to be much happier with the migration experience and with the decision to come to and live in Austria. The study and an accompanying Working Paper (see Mara and Landesmann, 2013) also analyses the incidence of over-qualification and skill-occupational mismatch among migrants which can be partly explained by factors such as human capital transferability, enhancement of education in the destination country but also partly by discrimination. Accordingly, policy measures that target the efficient use of human capital built in the country of origin as well as the enhancement of migrants’ human capital in the destination country would counteract the phenomenon of brain waste.
    Keywords: migration patterns, temporary vs. permanent migration, labour market outcomes, qualifications-job matching, integration of migrants, migrants from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Austria; bivariate probit model regressions.
    JEL: C35 F22 J24 J61
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: William R. Kerr
    Abstract: High-skilled immigrants are a very important component of U.S. innovation and entrepreneurship. Immigrants account for roughly a quarter of U.S. workers in these fields, and they have a similar contribution in terms of output measures like patents or firm starts. This contribution has been rapidly growing over the last three decades. In terms of quality, the average skilled immigrant appears to be better trained to work in these fields, but conditional on educational attainment of comparable quality to natives. The exception to this is that immigrants have a disproportionate impact among the very highest achievers (e.g., Nobel Prize winners). Studies regarding the impact of immigrants on natives tend to find limited consequences in the short-run, while the results in the long-run are more varied and much less certain. Immigrants in the United States aid business and technology exchanges with their home countries, but the overall effect that the migration has on the home country remains unclear. We know very little about return migration of workers engaged in innovation and entrepreneurship, except that it is rapidly growing in importance.
    JEL: F15 F22 J15 J31 J44 L14 L26 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2013–08
  3. By: Eugen Dimant (University of Paderborn); Tim Krieger (University of Freiburg); Daniel Meierriecks (University Freiburg)
    Abstract: We examine the influence of corruption on migration for 111 countries between 1985 and 2000. Robust evidence indicates that corruption is among the push factors of migration, especially fueling skilled migration. We argue that corruption tends to diminish the returns to education, which is particularly relevant to the better educated.
    Keywords: Corruption, Migration, Skilled Migration, Push Factors of Migration
    JEL: D73 F22 O15
    Date: 2013–03
  4. By: Mehlum, Halvor (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo); Østenstad, Gry (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: We study the political economy of migration policies in oil-rich Gulf countries focusing on two policy dimensions: a) the number of migrants allowed into the country and b) the assimilation of migrants, where less assimilated migrants on short-term contracts remit more. We develop a two goods macro model with traded and non-traded goods. The migration of guest workers leads to a wage drop hurting citizen workers, while capitalists and oil rent earners benefit. When foreign exchange is remitted out of the economy, the real exchange rate depreciates. The remittance outflow benefits oil rent earners while capitalists and workers lose. Hence the three classes of domestic agents have diverging interests with regard to their preferred policy mix. The results are important for understanding the changes in migration policy in the Gulf, in particular in relation to the sharing of oil rents and on the political influence of the working class and the capitalists.
    Keywords: Migration; Natural Resources; Gulf countries
    JEL: F22 O15 P16
    Date: 2013–05–31
  5. By: Alexander Chubrik; Alaksei Kazlou
    Abstract: Labour migration does not appear to have the same magnitude and socio-economic importance in Belarus as in other EaP countries. It is one of the few post-socialist economies that have preserved the dominance of the state sector and built complicated systems of subsidisation and economic support for the population designed to manage the political-business cycle (see Chubrik, Shymanovich, Zaretsky (2012)). This model has allowed the economy to grow quite steadily until recently. However, the distorted system of incentives that was created for enterprises and households has resulted in the need for a “correction”, which happened in the form of a balance of payments crisis in 2011. The impact of this factor on migration has not been fully visible yet. At the same time the relatively long period of stability and gradual, but steady, increase in welfare payments has played a role as a migration-restraining factor. In order to estimate cost and benefits of labour migration between EU and Belarus, this study utilises publically available literature as background and relies where possible on micro-data: Census-2009, Household Budget Survey (HBS), as well as relevant official data and data from polls related to the topic. Additionally, some sections of this report rely on information collected in the course of a focus group meeting with labour migrants and a series of in-depth interviews with officials from state, international, and non-governmental agencies dealing with migration. Lastly, in some cases anecdotal evidence was collected to support some of the new trends that have not yet been recorded in the statistics.
    Keywords: Labour Economics, Labour Markets, Labour Mobility, Belarus
    JEL: D78 F22 F24 I25 J01 J15 J40 J61 J83
    Date: 2013–09
  6. By: Sauer, Johannes; Gorton, Matthew; Davidova, Sophia
    Abstract: Kosovo, like most of rural Central and Eastern Europe, has witnessed substantial out-migration in recent years, prompting debates on the effect of migration on agricultural efficiency. This paper addresses this issue, drawing on a large (n=2217) and representative sample of agricultural households. A two-stage estimation procedure is followed: a frontier technique to estimate the effect of migration on farm efficiency, followed by a matching estimation approach to robustly estimate the sample average effect on efficiency for different levels of migration intensity. Migration has an efficiency decreasing effect which is amplified for better educated and older workers.
    Keywords: Migration, Technical Efficiency, Agricultural Households, Kosovo, Agricultural and Food Policy, Production Economics, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Razin, Assaf; Sadka, Efraim
    Abstract: We develop a stylized EU-type model of a union consisting of rich, capital-abundant and productive, countries, and poor,capital-scarce and low productivity, countries, in order to explain key features of tax policies and inter- and intra-migration flows. Our purpose is to explain the differences in the tax rates and the generosity of the welfare state, on the one hand, and migration flows, on the other hand, between rich and poor countries, within the union, and migration flows from the rest of the world. We identify a fiscal externality which makes the tax competition and the tax coordination regime to be different one from the other.
    Keywords: capital mobility; fiscal leakage; labor mobility
    JEL: F2 H2
    Date: 2013–08
  8. By: Luca Barbone; Mikhail Bonch-Osmolovskiyi; Matthias Luecke
    Abstract: This study is part of the project entitled “Costs and Benefits of Labour Mobility between the EU and the Eastern Partnership Countries” for the European Commission1. The study was written by Luca Barbone (CASE) Mikhail Bonch- Osmolovskiy (CASE) and Matthias Luecke (Kiel). It is based on the six country studies for the Eastern Partnership countries commissioned under this project and prepared by Mihran Galstyan and Gagik Makaryan (Armenia), Azer Allahveranov and Emin Huseynov (Azerbaijan), Aleksander Chubrik and Aliaksei Kazlou (Belarus), Lasha Labadze and Mirjan Tukhashvili (Georgia), Vasile Cantarji and Georgeta Mincu (Moldova), Tom Coupé and Hanna Vakhitova (Ukraine). The authors would like to thank for their comments and suggestions Kathryn Anderson, Martin Kahanec, Costanza Biavaschi, Lucia Kurekova, Monica Bucurenciu, Borbala Szegeli, Giovanni Cremonini and Ummuhan Bardak, as well as the dbaretailed review provided by IOM. The views in this study are those of the authors’ only, and should not e interpreted as representing the official position of the European Commission and its institutions.
    Keywords: Labour economics, Labour markets, Labour mobility, ENPI, EU, Eastern Partnership, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine
    JEL: F22 F24 D78 I25 J15 J83 J01 J40 J61
    Date: 2013–09
  9. By: Richard B. Freeman
    Abstract: This paper directs attention at the globalization of knowledge and knowledge creation as the fundamental global driver of economic outcomes in today's information economy. It documents the globalization of knowledge and spread of scientific research from advanced to developing countries and argues that these developments undermine trade models in which advanced countries invariably have comparative advantage in high tech goods and services; determine the immigration of skilled workers; boosts labor standards; and influences incomes and inequality within and across countries. To the extent that knowledge is the key component in productivity and growth, its spread and creation is the one ring of globalization that rules the more widely studied patterns of trade, capital flows and immigration, per my title.
    JEL: F11 F16 F22 J24 J44 J81
    Date: 2013–08

This nep-mig issue is ©2013 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.