nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2013‒12‒20
six papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Heaven's Swing Door: Endogenous skills, migration networks and the effectiveness of quality-selective immigration policies By Simone Bertoli; Hillel Rapoport
  2. Migrant Remittances and Information Flows: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Catia Batista; Gaia Narciso
  3. What happen to children's education when their parents emigrate? Evidence from Sri Lanka By Sarma, Vengadeshvaran; Parinduri, Rasyad
  4. Education policy, student migration, and brain gain By Haupt, Alexander; Krieger, Tim; Lange, Thomas
  5. Exams, Districts, and Intergenerational Mobility: Evidence from South Korea By Yong Suk Lee
  6. Recent Trends and Challenges in the Labour Market in Belarus By Maryia Akulava; Gleb Shymanovich; Robert Kirchner

  1. By: Simone Bertoli (University of Auvergne and CNRS); Hillel Rapoport (Paris School of Economics and Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: A growing number of OECD countries are leaning toward adopting quality-selective immigration policies. The underlying assumption behind such policies is that more skill-selection should raise immigrants' average quality (or education level). This view tends to neglect two important dynamic effects: the role of migration networks, which could reduce immigrants' quality, and the responsiveness of education decisions to the prospects of migration. Our model shows that migration networks and immigrants' quality can be positively associated under a set of sufficient conditions regarding the degree of selectivity of immigration policies, the initial pattern of migrants' self-selection on education, and the way time-equivalent migration costs by education level relate to networks. The results imply that the relationship between networks and immigrants' quality should vary with the degree of selectivity of immigration policies at destination. Empirical evidence presented as background motivation for this paper suggests at this is indeed the case.
    Keywords: migration, self-selection, brain drain, immigration policy, discrete choice models
    JEL: F22 O15 J61
    Date: 2013–12
  2. By: Catia Batista (Nova University of Lisbon); Gaia Narciso (Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: Do information flows matter for remittance behavior? We design and implement a randomized control trial to quantitatively assess the role of communication between migrants and their contacts abroad on the extent and value of remittance flows. In the experiment, a random sample of 1,500 migrants residing in Ireland was offered the possibility of contacting their networks outside the host country for free over a varying number of months. We find a sizable, positive impact of our intervention on the value of migrant remittances sent. Our results exclude that the remittance effect we identify is a simple substitution effect. Instead, our analysis points to this effect being a likely result of improved information via factors such as better migrant control over remittance use, enhanced trust in remittance channels due to experience sharing, or increased remittance recipients’ social pressure on migrants.
    Keywords: information flows, international migration, migrantnetworks, remittances, randomized control trial
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2013–12
  3. By: Sarma, Vengadeshvaran; Parinduri, Rasyad
    Abstract: We examine the effects of parental emigration from Sri Lanka on the education of the migrants' children left behind. Using access to foreign-employment agencies at community level as an instrument for migration in two-stage least squares estimations, we do not find parental migration matters on average. However, analyses by the gender of the migrants show the effects are heterogeneous: When the mothers migrate and the fathers stay behind, education of the children worsens; but, when the fathers migrate and the mothers take care of the children, it improves. There are also some evidence boys, younger children, and children of the less educated parents gain more from parental migration.
    Keywords: parental migration, children’s education, South Asia, Sri Lanka
    JEL: F22 I22 O15
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Haupt, Alexander; Krieger, Tim; Lange, Thomas
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyse how increasing student migration from a less developed to a developed country alters education policy in the developed country, and how it affects human capital and welfare in the two countries. We argue that a higher permanent migration probability, i.e., a higher probability that international students continue to stay in their host country after graduation, incentivises the host country to improve its education quality. A higher education quality in turn raises the human capital of all students, including returning students. As long as the permanent migration probability is not too large, this positive quality effect increases human capital and welfare in both the less developed country (LDC) and the developed host country. Thus, a brain gain to the LDC occurs. A decline in the taxes on labour income in the two countries can reinforce this brain gain, although the developed country then raises the tuition fees. --
    Keywords: brain gain,education,human capital,mobility,return migration
    JEL: F22 I28 H52
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Yong Suk Lee (Williams College)
    Abstract: This paper examines how student assignment rules impact intergenerational mobility. High school admission had traditionally been exam based in South Korea. However, between 1974-80 the central government shifted several municipalities to a school district based admission system. I estimate the impact of this reform on intergenerational income elasticity. Results indicate that the shift increased intergenerational income elasticity from 0.21 to 0.32. I further find that selective sorting to reform cities by high income households was the underlying reason for the decrease in intergenerational mobility. Prior to the reform, a 10% increase in household income was associated with a 1.4% decrease in the probability of migrating, whereas, with the creation of school districts resulted in a 0.3% increase in the probability of migration. In sum, I find that the shift from a merit to a location based student assignment rule decreases intergenerational mobility and promotes selective migration by high income households.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, Exams, School districts, Migration
    JEL: I24 I28 J62 R23
    Date: 2013–04
  6. By: Maryia Akulava (Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC)); Gleb Shymanovich (IPM Research Center); Robert Kirchner (German Economic Team Belarus (GET Belarus))
    Abstract: The labour market plays an important role in the Belarusian economy. It is characterized by state dominance, as the private sector is relatively small, and overregulation. The policy of sustaining low wage disparities and excessive employment allows the authorities to eliminate inequality and curtail poverty, thus includes important functions of social policy. However, the economic costs of this policy are quite high, and are present in form of an inefficient allocation of the labour force due to its low mobility and weak motivation. Against this background, a number of challenges have arisen, which make a policy reaction necessary. First, Belarus’an labour market is experiencing a shortage of labour supply due to long-term negative demographic factors. Second, this problem is aggravated by labour migration, which seems to have picked up recently, even though exact numbers are difficult to obtain. Up to now response to these challenges has been limited to hikes in salaries and incomes, coupled with certain administrative measures to restrict cross-border mobility for certain industries. However, the key issue is to ensure productivity gains, which form the basis for subsequent wage increases. For this to happen, a wide-ranging liberalization of the labour market is a key condition. This implies also a de-coupling of social policy issues from labour market policies to a certain degree. Increasing the mobility of the labour force (relocation) across sectors will certainly have a positive impact in this respect, as a lot of potential is still underutilized.
    Keywords: Migration, Belarus
    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.