nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2014‒02‒21
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Rural Push, Urban Pull and... Urban Push? New Historical Evidence from Developing Countries By Remi Jedwab; Luc Christiaensen; Marina Gindelsky
  2. Migration as an Adjustment Mechanism in the Crisis? A Comparison of Europe and the United States By Julia Jauer; Thomas Liebig; John P. Martin; Patrick Puhani
  3. Immigrant Networks and the Take-Up of Disability Programs: Evidence from US Census Data By Delia Furtado; Nikolaos Theodoropoulos
  4. Monopsony, Minimum Wages and Migration By Eric Strobl; Frank Walsh
  5. Efects of Carbon Taxes in an Economy with Large Informal Sector and Rural-Urban Migration By Karlygash Kuralbayeva
  6. From Engineer to Taxi Driver? Language Proficiency and the Occupational Skills of Immigrants By Susumu Imai; Derek Stacey; Casey Warman
  7. The Impact of Internal Migration on Local Labour Markets in Thailand By Eliane El Badaoui; Eric Strobl; Frank Walsh
  8. Does migration lead to regional convergence in Russia? By Elena Vakulenko
  9. Annual Levels of Immigration and Immigrant Entry Earnings in Canada By Hou, Feng Picot, Garnett

  1. By: Remi Jedwab (Department of Economics/Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University); Luc Christiaensen (Development Research Group, The World Bank); Marina Gindelsky (Department of Economics, George Washington University)
    Abstract: Standard models explain urbanization by rural-urban migration in response to an (expected) urban-rural wage gap. The Green Revolution and rural poverty constitute rural push factors of migration. The Indus- trial Revolution and the urban bias are urban pull factors. This paper offers an additional demographic mechanism, based on internal urban population growth, i.e. an urban push. Using newly compiled historical data on urban birth and death rates for 7 countries from Industrial Europe (1800-1910) and 33 developing countries (1960-2010), we show that many cities of to- day’s developing world are “mushroom cities†vs. the “killer cities†of In- dustrial Europe; fertility is high, while mortality is much lower. The high rates of urban natural increase have then accelerated urban growth and ur- banization in developing countries, with urban populations now doubling every 18 years (15 years in Africa), compared to every 35 years in Industrial Europe. This is further found to be associated with higher urban congestion, possibly mitigating the beneï¬ts from agglomeration and providing further insights into the phenomenon of urbanization without growth. Both migra- tion and urban demographics must be considered in debating urbanization.
    Keywords: Urbanization;DemographicTransition;Migration;Poverty;Slums
    JEL: O1 O18 R11 R23 J11
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Julia Jauer; Thomas Liebig; John P. Martin; Patrick Puhani
    Abstract: The question of whether migration can be an equilibrating force in the labour market is an important criterion for an optimal currency area. It is of particular interest currently in the context of high and rising levels of labour market disparities, in particular within the Eurozone where there is no exchange-rate mechanism available to play this role. We shed some new light on this question by comparing pre- and post-crisis migration movements at the regional level in both Europe and the United States, and their association with asymmetric labour market shocks. We find that recent migration flows have reacted quite significantly to the EU enlargements in 2004 and 2007 and to changes in labour market conditions, particularly in Europe. Indeed, in contrast to the pre-crisis situation and the findings of previous empirical studies, there is tentative evidence that the migration response to the crisis has been considerable in Europe, in contrast to the United States where the crisis and subsequent sluggish recovery were not accompanied by greater interregional labour mobility in reaction to labour market shocks. Our estimates suggest that, if all measured population changes in Europe were due to migration for employment purposes – i.e. an upper-bound estimate – up to about a quarter of the asymmetric labour market shock would be absorbed by migration within a year. However, in the Eurozone the reaction mainly stems from migration of third-country nationals. Even within the group of Eurozone nationals, a significant part of the free mobility stems from immigrants from third countries who have taken on the nationality of their Eurozone host country. La question de savoir si la migration peut être une force d'équilibre sur le marché du travail est un critère non négligeable pour l’optimisation d’une zone monétaire. Elle est particulièrement importante dans un contexte où les disparités du marché du travail connaissent des niveaux élevés et croissants, en particulier au sein de la zone euro où il n'existe pas de mécanisme de taux de change à même de jouer ce rôle. Nous espérons apporter un éclairage nouveau sur cette question en comparant les flux migratoires avant et après la crise au niveau régional en Europe et aux États-Unis , et leur combinaison avec les chocs asymétriques du marché du travail. Nous avons constaté que les flux migratoires récents ont réagi de manière assez significative aux élargissements de l'UE en 2004 et 2007 et aux changements du marché du travail, en particulier en Europe. En effet, contrairement à la situation qui prévalait avant la crise et aux résultats des études empiriques antérieures, il semblerait que la réponse de la migration à la crise ait été considérable en Europe, contrairement aux États-Unis où la crise et la faible reprise ultérieure n'ont pas été accompagnées par une plus grande mobilité interrégionale des travailleurs en réaction aux chocs du marché du travail. Nos estimations semblent suggérer que si tous les changements de population mesurés en Europe sont dus à la migration à des fins d'emploi - c'est à dire une estimation de la limite supérieure - jusqu'à environ un quart des chocs asymétriques du marché du travail seraient absorbés par la migration dans l'année. Cependant, dans la zone euro, cette réaction s'explique principalement par la migration de ressortissants de pays tiers. Même au sein du groupe des ressortissants de la zone euro, une partie importante des mouvements de libre circulation émanent de migrants de pays tiers ayant pris la nationalité de leur pays d'accueil de la zone euro.
    Keywords: migration, United States, labour market adjustments, economic crisis, free mobility, Europe, Eurozone
    JEL: F15 F16 F22 J61
    Date: 2014–01–09
  3. By: Delia Furtado (University of Connecticut); Nikolaos Theodoropoulos (University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of ethnic networks in disability program take-up among workingage immigrants in the United States. We find that even when controlling for country of origin and area of residence fixed effects, immigrants residing amidst a large number of co-ethnics are more likely to receive disability payments when their ethnic groups have higher take-up rates. Although this pattern can be partially explained by cross-group differences in satisfying the work history or income and asset requirements of the disability programs, we also present evidence suggesting that social norms play an important role.
    Keywords: Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplementary Security Income, Networks, Social norms, Immigrants
    JEL: C31 H55 I18 J61
    Date: 2014–01
  4. By: Eric Strobl; Frank Walsh
    Abstract: We show in a monopsony model that in response to a small increase in migration employment will increase in both low productivity non-compliant firms who pay less than and in high productivity firms who pay more than the minimum wage, but will increase by proportionately more in minimum wage firms who are constrained by the labour supply curve. Using data from Thailand we provide evidence that increases in inward net migration are indeed associated with a proportionately greater increase in employment at than below the minimum wage.
    Date: 2014–01–06
  5. By: Karlygash Kuralbayeva
    Abstract: I build an equilibrium search and matching model of an economy with an informal sector and rural-urban migration to analyze the effects of budget-neutral green tax policy (raising pollution taxes, while cutting payroll taxes) on the labor market. The key results of the paper suggest that when general public spending varies endogenously in response to tax reform and higher energy taxes can reduce the income from self-employed work in the informal sector, green tax policy can produce a triple dividend: a cleaner environment, lower unemployment rate and higher after-tax income of the private sector. This is due to the ability of the government, by employing public spending as an additional policy instrument, to reduce the overall tax burden when an increase in energy tax rates does not exceed some threshold level. Thus governments should employ several instruments if they are concerned with labor market implicatoins of green tax policies.
    Keywords: informal sector, matching frictions, pollution taxes, double dividend subsidy, learning by doing, directed technical change, multiplicative damages, additive damages
    JEL: H20 H23 H30
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Susumu Imai (UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia); Derek Stacey (Department of Economics, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada); Casey Warman (Department of Economics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada)
    Abstract: We examine the ability of male immigrants to transfer the occupational human capital they acquired prior to immigration using information from the O*NET and a unique dataset that includes both the last source country occupation and the first four years of occupations in Canada. We first augment a model of occupational choice to study the implications of language proficiency on the cross-border transferability of occupational human capital. We then test the empirical predictions using the skill requirements of pre- and post-immigration occupations. We find that male immigrants to Canada were employed in source country occupations that required high levels of cognitive skills, but relied less intently on manual skills. Following immigration, they find initial employment in occupations that require the opposite. These discrepancies are both larger and more detrimental to earnings among immigrants with limited language fluency.
    Keywords: Occupational mobility; Language Proficiency; Skills; Human Capital; Immigration
    JEL: J24 J31 J61 J62 J71 J80
    Date: 2014–02
  7. By: Eliane El Badaoui; Eric Strobl; Frank Walsh
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of internal migration on local labour markets in Thailand. Using an instrumental variable approach based on weather and distance we estimate an exogenous measure of the net migration inflow into each region. Our results show that instrumenting for the possible endogeneity of net inward migration is crucial to the analysis. The results suggest that wages of low skill male workers are highly flexible with substantial adjustments in hours worked and weekly wages in response to short term changes in labour supply. We find no effect on high skilled workers.
    Keywords: Internal migration, Labour markets, Thailand
    JEL: O15 J10
    Date: 2014–01–06
  8. By: Elena Vakulenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of migration on wages, income and the unemployment rate. Using the official Russian statistical database from 1995 to 2010, we calculate a dynamic panel data model with spatial effects. There is a positive spatial effect for wages and unemployment. There is no significant impact of migration on the unemployment rate. We find a negative relationship between net internal migration and both wages and income, which is explained by the positive effect of emigration. However, the migration benefits are not big enough to make a difference on the Gini index across regions. We conclude that migration does not affect the regional convergence of economic indicators.
    Keywords: convergence, migration, wage, income, unemployment rate, spatial dynamic panel data models.
    JEL: R23 C23
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Hou, Feng Picot, Garnett
    Abstract: The annual level of immigration is one of the most critical components of a country's immigration policy. It is difficult to directly compare the costs and benefits of changing immigration levels because immigration can serve multiple goals. However, some narrowly-defined effects can be empirically assessed. This study considers solely the potential influence of immigration levels on immigrant entry earnings. This study focuses on the effect of immigration levels on one aspect of immigrants' labour market outcomes their entry earnings, i.e., earnings during the first two full years in Canada. An increase in labour supply - that is, a larger immigrant entering cohort - could increase competition for the types of jobs sought by entering immigrants and place downward pressure on wages for immigrants arriving in that cohort.
    Keywords: Ethnic diversity and immigration, Labour, Wages, salaries and other earnings, Labour market and income
    Date: 2014–02–13

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