nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2014‒03‒01
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The Lame Drain By Dong, Baomin; Fu, Shihe; Gong, Jiong; Fan, Hanwen
  2. Should Citizenship be for Sale? By Rainer Bauböck
  3. Escaping a Rising Tide: Sea Level Rise and Migration in Kiribati By Kelly Wyett
  4. The Effect of Labor Migration on the Diffusion of Democracy: Evidence from a Former Soviet Republic By Mahmoud, Toman Omar; Rapoport, Hillel; Steinmayr, Andreas; Trebesch, Christoph
  5. Migration, Risk Attitudes, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from a Representative Immigrant Survey By Catia Batista; Janis Umblijs
  6. Do Migrants Send Remittances as a Way of Self-Insurance? Evidence from a Representative Immigrant Survey By Catia Batista; Janis Umblijs
  7. Do return migrants transfer political norms to their origin country? Evidence from Mali By Mercier, Marion; Chauvet, Lisa
  8. The Formation of Migrant Networks By Comola, Margherita; Mendola, Mariapia
  9. The Labor Market Effects of Reducing Undocumented Immigrants By Andri Chassamboulli; Giovanni Peri
  10. Immigrants and Demography: Marriage, Divorce, and Fertility By Adsera, Alicia; Ferrer, Ana
  11. Development Impacts of Seasonal and Temporary Migration: A Review of Evidence from the Pacific and Southeast Asia By John Gibson; David McKenzie; Halahingano Rohorua
  12. Interacting Product and Labor Market Regulation and the Impact of Immigration on Native Wages By Susanne Prantl; Alexandra Spitz-Oener; ;
  13. “To Have and Have Not”: Migration, Remittances, Poverty and Inequality in Algeria By Mouhoud, El Mouhoub; Margolis, David; Miotti, Luis; Oudinet, Joël
  14. Relationships between Research and Policy on Migration in the European Union: A Practice-Based Analysis By Andrew Geddes
  15. Cultural Diversity in Europe: a story of mutual benefit By Ulrike Hanna Meinhof
  16. Brain Drain, Educational Quality and Immigration Policy: Impact on Productive Human Capital in Source and Host Countries, with Canada as a Case Study By Schiff, Maurice
  17. Why Is There No Income Gap Between the Hui Muslim Minority and the Han Majority in Rural Ningxia, China? By Gustafsson, Björn Anders; Sai, Ding
  18. Black Europe? Some views from Afro-Surinamese migrants in the Netherlands By Sabrina Marchetti
  19. Membership and/or rights? Analysing the link between naturalisation and integration policies for immigrants in Europe By Maarten Peter Vink

  1. By: Dong, Baomin; Fu, Shihe; Gong, Jiong; Fan, Hanwen
    Abstract: This paper develops a signaling theory where brain drain as well as the opposite of brain drain, a phenomenon we call “lame-drain” can result. In particular, we assume there are three types of agents according to their intrinsic abilities; education (with endogenous intensity) consists of two stages: undergraduate and graduate. There are two types of jobs: entry level and managerial. It is shown that under some circumstances the equilibrium is semi-pooling where the medium type chooses to work after undergraduate education while (a fraction of) both high and low types pursue graduate studies at home and abroad. Some high and low ability students return to work in the indigenous country in equilibrium. However, our model differs from the traditional brain drain models in that some low ability agents also go abroad in equilibrium and work in the host country after graduation, resulting in the recipient country hiring low ability agents, a phenomenon we call lame-drain. We then provide empirical evidence that lame-drain is indeed happening using U.S. Census data.
    Keywords: Brain Drain; Lame Drain; Signalling
    JEL: C72 F22 J61
    Date: 2014–02–14
  2. By: Rainer Bauböck
    Abstract: On 12 November 2013 the Maltese Parliament decided to offer Maltese and European citizenship at the price of € 650,000, but implementation of the law has been postponed due to strong domestic and international critiques. On 23 December, the Maltese government announced significant amendments, including a higher total amount of € 1,150,000, part of which has to be invested in real estate and government bonds. Several other European states have adopted ‘golden passport’ programmes. Should citizenship be for sale? In November 2013 EUDO CITIZENSHIP invited Ayelet Shachar of the University of Toronto Law School to open a debate on these controversial policies. Twelve authors have contributed short commentaries, most of which refer to the initial law adopted by the Maltese Parliament. An executive summary by Rainer Bauböck provides an overview over the main questions raised in our forum. For further information on investor citizenship programmes see Jelena Dzankic’s EUDO CITIZENSHIP working paper on the topic and consult the news section of our observatory.
    Keywords: European citizenship; Malta
    Date: 2014–01–09
  3. By: Kelly Wyett
    Abstract: The inundation of an entire nation due to anthropogenic climate change has never been seen. And the low-lying Pacific nation of Kiribati is likely to be among the first victims of such a disaster. As such, this article examines a number of strategies for the relocation of Kiribati, and finds that bilateral migration deals with Australia and New Zealand present the best policy option. First, bilateral agreements can be designed to allow for pre-emptive and planned migration. Second, as relatively large countries with low population densities, Australia and New Zealand are in the best place to absorb large numbers of migrants. Third, with a history of migration, and support for the Pacific islands combating climate change, there is scope for bilateral deals to be politically supportable. Fourth, as the wealthiest countries in the region, and with developed capacities in refugee resettlement, these governments are most able to implement a migration deal. Of course, the challenge of climate change migration is larger than Kiribati. Some estimates suggest that more than 200 million people may be displaced by climate change by 2050. When this is taken into account, getting policy right in Kiribati takes on added importance, as the way the international community handles this challenge is likely to set a global precedence.
    Keywords: Migration; climate change; Kiribati; Australia; the Pacific
  4. By: Mahmoud, Toman Omar (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Rapoport, Hillel (Paris School of Economics); Steinmayr, Andreas (University of St. Gallen); Trebesch, Christoph (University of Munich)
    Abstract: Migration contributes to the circulation of goods, knowledge, and ideas. Using community and individual-level data from Moldova, we show that the emigration wave that started in the late 1990s strongly affected electoral outcomes and political preferences in Moldova during the following decade and was eventually instrumental in bringing down the last ruling Communist government in Europe. Our results are suggestive of information transmission and cultural diffusion channels. Identification relies on the quasi-experimental context studied and on the differential effects arising from the fact that emigration was directed both to more democratic Western Europe and to less democratic Russia.
    Keywords: emigration, political institutions, elections, social networks, information transmission, cultural diffusion
    JEL: F22 D72 O1
    Date: 2014–02
  5. By: Catia Batista (Nova University of Lisbon); Janis Umblijs (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research, Oslo, Norway)
    Abstract: Do more risk loving migrants opt for self-employment? This is a question especially relevant for policy makers designing selective immigration policies in countries of destination. In order to provide a rigorous answer to it, we use a novel vignette-adjusted measure of risk preferences in the domain of work to investigate the link between risk aversion and entrepreneurship in migrant communities. Using a representative household survey of the migrant population in the Greater Dublin Area, we find a significant negative relationship between risk aversion and entrepreneurship. In addition, our results show that the use of vignettes improves the significance of the results, as they correct for differential item functioning (where respondents interpret the self-evaluation scale in different ways) between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs, and corrects for variation in the use of self-evaluation scales between migrants from different countries of origin.
    Keywords: Migration, Risk Aversion, Entrepreneurship
    JEL: F22 J01 J15 J61 L26
    Date: 2014–02
  6. By: Catia Batista (Nova University of Lisbon); Janis Umblijs (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research, Oslo, Norway)
    Abstract: Do migrants send remittances as a way of obtaining insurance? While this motive is theoretically suggested in the literature, the question of identifying this relationship empirically has only begun to be explored. Using a unique representative survey of 1500 immigrants in the Greater Dublin Area, Ireland, we find a positive and signicant relationship between risk aversion and remittance behavior. Risk-averse individuals are more likely to send remittances home and are, on average, likely to remit a higher amount, after controlling for a broad range of individual and group characteristics. Consistent with a purchase of self insurance motive to remit, we also provide evidence of more remittances sent by risk averse immigrants facing higher wage risks and remitting to individuals with more financial resources.
    Keywords: Migration, Risk Aversion, Remittances, Insurance
    JEL: D81 F22 F24 J01 J08 J15 J61
    Date: 2014–02
  7. By: Mercier, Marion; Chauvet, Lisa
    Abstract: This paper explores the link between return migration and political outcomes in the origin country, using the case study of Mali. We use electoral and census data at the locality level to investigate the role of return migration on participation rates and electoral competitiveness. First, we run OLS and IV estimations for the 2009 municipal election, controlling for current emigration and using historical and distance variables as instruments for return migration and current emigration. Second, we build a panel dataset combining the 1998 and 2009 censuses and the electoral results for the municipal ballots of those two years to control for the potential time-invariant unobservable characteristics of the localities. We find a positive impact of the stock of return migrants on participation rates and on electoral competitiveness, which mainly stems from returnees from non-African countries. Finally, we show that the impact of returnees on turnout goes beyond their own participation, and that they affect more electoral outcomes in areas where non-migrants are poorly educated, which we interpret as evidence of a diffusion of political norms from returnees to non-migrants.
    Keywords: Return migration; Elections; Mali; Norms transfer;
    JEL: D72 F22 O15 O55
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Comola, Margherita (Paris School of Economics); Mendola, Mariapia (University of Milan Bicocca)
    Abstract: This paper provides the first direct evidence on the determinants of link formation among immigrants in the host society. We use a purposely-designed survey on a representative sample of Sri Lankan immigrants living in Milan to study how migrants form social links among them and the extent to which this network provides them with material support along three different dimensions: accommodation, credit, job-finding. Our results show that both weak and strong ties are more likely to exist between immigrants who are born in close-by localities at origin. The time of arrival has a U-shaped effect: links are more frequent between immigrants arrived at the same time, and between long-established immigrants and newcomers. Once the link is formed, material support is provided mainly to relatives while early migrant fellows are helpful for job finding.
    Keywords: Sri Lanka, networks, migration, Milan
    JEL: J15 D85 C45
    Date: 2014–02
  9. By: Andri Chassamboulli; Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: A key controversy in US immigration reforms is how to deal with undocumented workers. Some policies aimed at reducing them, such as increased border security or deportation will reduce illegal immigrants as well as total immigrants. Other policies, such as legalization would decrease the illegal population but increase the legal one. These policies have different effects on job creation as they affect the firm profits from creating a new job. Economists have never analyzed this issue. We set up and simulate a novel and general model of labor markets, with search and legal/illegal migration between two countries. We then calibrate it to the US and Mexico labor markets and migration. We find that policies increasing deportation rates have the largest negative effect on employment opportunities of natives. Legalization, instead has a positive employment effect for natives. This is because repatriations are disruptive of job matches and they reduce job-creation by US firms. Legalization instead stimulates firms' job creation by increasing the total number of immigrants and stimulating firms to post more vacancies some of which are filled by natives.
    JEL: E24 J15 J64
    Date: 2014–02
  10. By: Adsera, Alicia (Princeton University); Ferrer, Ana (University of Waterloo)
    Abstract: This is a draft chapter for B. R. Chiswick and P. W. Miller (eds.) Handbook on the Economics of International Migration. It discusses some of the data and methodological challenges to estimating trends in family formation and union dissolution as well as fertility among immigrants, and examines the evidence collected from the main studies in the area. The literature on immigrant family formation is diverse but perhaps the key findings highlighted in this chapter are that outcomes depend greatly on the age at migration and on the cultural norms immigrants bring with them and their distance to those of the host country. With regard to marriage we focus on the determinants of intermarriage, the stability of these unions, and the timing of union formation. The last section of the chapter reviews, among other things, a set of mechanisms that may explain the fertility behavior of first generation immigrants; namely, selection, disruption and adaptation. The section ends with a focus on the second generation.
    Keywords: age at migration, immigrant intermarriage, union dissolution, immigrant fertility, fertility disruption, adaptation, second generation, culture
    JEL: J11 J12 J13 J15
    Date: 2014–02
  11. By: John Gibson; David McKenzie; Halahingano Rohorua
    Abstract: Seasonal and temporary migration programs are widely used around the world, yet there is scant evidence as to their development impacts. Absent such evidence, it is difficult to evaluate whether the proliferation of temporary worker programs in recent years is a useful development. This article reviews studies that attempt to measure impacts of seasonal and temporary migration with a particular focus on evidence from the Pacific and Southeast Asia.
    Keywords: cultural migration; development impacts, evaluation, seasonal migration, temporary migration
  12. By: Susanne Prantl; Alexandra Spitz-Oener; ;
    Abstract: Does interacting product and labor market regulation alter the impact of immigration on wages of competing native workers? Focusing on the large, sudden and unanticipated wave of migration from East to West Germany after German reunification and allowing for endogenous immigration, we compare native wage reactions across dierent segments of the West German labor market: one segment without product and labor market regulation, to which standard immigration models best apply, one segment in which product and labor market regulation interact, and one segment covering intermediate groups of workers. We nd that the wages of competing native West Germans respond negatively to the large influx of similar East German workers in the segment with almost free firm entry into product markets and weak worker influence on the decision-making of firms. Competing native workers are insulated from such pressure if firm entry regulation interacts with labor market institutions, implying a strong influence of workers on the decision-making of profit-making firms.
    Keywords: Immigration, Product Market Regulation, Labor Market Regulation
    JEL: J61 L50 J3
    Date: 2014–02
  13. By: Mouhoud, El Mouhoub; Margolis, David; Miotti, Luis; Oudinet, Joël
    Abstract: This article analyses the distributional impact of international migration across two regions of Algerian emigration (Nedroma and Idjeur) using an original survey we conducted of 1,200 households in 2011. The non-parametric technique of DiNardo, Fortin and Lemieux (1996) is used to analyse the effects of remittances on the distribution of household incomes. The analysis is then deepened with a parametric model, which allows for the estimation of counterfactual household income and the calculation of the impact of migration on the distribution of household income. Remittances, and especially foreign pensions, decrease the Gini index by nearly 4 % for the two Algerian regions combined, with the effect in Idjeur being twice as large as Nedroma. At the same time, they help reduce poverty by nearly 13 percentage points. Remittances have a strong positive impact on very poor families in Idjeur but much less in Nedroma, where poor families suffer from a “double loss” due to the absence of their migrants and the fact that the latter do not send money home.
    Keywords: Transferts de fonds; Migration; Inégalités; Pauvreté; Algérie; Remittances; Migration; Poverty; Inequality; Algeria;
    JEL: F24 O15 O55
    Date: 2014–01
  14. By: Andrew Geddes
    Abstract: This paper analyses relationships between research and policy at European Union (EU) level about international migration by drawing from the perspectives of migration policy practitioners and their practices. By practitioners is meant those who seek to influence, shape or make migration policy at EU level including officials from EU institutions, national officials, academic researchers and representatives of international organisations, think tanks and NGOs. By practice is meant the socially recognised competence of practitioners. A particular focus is on the relationship between research and policy, or put another way, between the production of knowledge about international migration and the use of this knowledge in policy-shaping and policy-making. Questions include: how are relationships structured between researchers and policy-makers at EU level? How do policy-makers gather and process information? Is there risk of information overload and, if there is, how does this affect the relationship between researchers and policy-makers? Do policy-makers actually listen to researchers? If they do, what do they want to hear? And, do they actually hear it? Is there evidence that research has contributed to the development of shared understandings at EU level? If so, do these confirm or challenge existing policy orientations?
    Date: 2014–01–23
  15. By: Ulrike Hanna Meinhof
    Abstract: The paper highlights the considerable positive impact of cultural diversity and the mutual benefit accrued for migrants and non-migrants alike. Against the background of growing hostility against, and increasing politicisation of the presence of migrants in European societies it sets a different vision of mutual respect, collaboration and benefit. So as to show the way in which contemporary migration is not a ‘one-way’ street of movements from poorer to richer countries where the rich offer all and receive nothing in return, the paper develops a four-tiered ‘hub’ structure that highlights complex multidirectional connections and mutual support of people in transnational networks. Central to the argument is the understanding that migrants do not come empty-handed but possess substantial ‘transcultural capital ‘that forms the basis for enriching reciprocal encounters between the global North and the global South. The paper offers much-needed empirical data from these encounters based on the author’s field work in Madagascar and across different European countries.
    Date: 2013–12–11
  16. By: Schiff, Maurice (World Bank)
    Abstract: With the 1967 reform, Canada's immigration policy changed from a country-preference system to a points system. The latter provides points according to applicants' education level but abstracts from the quality of their education. This paper considers the points system, the country-preference system, as well as a system that includes both educational quantity and quality and is termed the "𝑞2 points system." It focuses on the policies' impact on immigrants' average productive human capital â the product of educational quality and quantity â or skill level, 𝑆𝑥 (for policy 𝑥). It shows, among others, that i) 𝑆𝑥 is greater under the 𝑞2 system than under the points system (𝑆𝑞 > 𝑆ℎ); ii) a switch from a points system to a 𝑞2 system results in a human capital gain or net brain gain for Country 1 (the high-education quality country) and a loss or net brain drain for Country 2; iii) 𝑆𝑥 is greater under the country-preference system than under the points system (𝑆𝑝 > 𝑆ℎ); iv) whether 𝑆𝑥 is greater under the 𝑞2 or the country-preference system is ambiguous, with 𝑆𝑞 >(
    Keywords: points system, country-preference system, education quantity-quality system, Canadian immigration policy, human capital impact
    JEL: F22 I20
    Date: 2014–02
  17. By: Gustafsson, Björn Anders (University of Gothenburg); Sai, Ding (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
    Abstract: Using a household sample survey for 2006 we show that the Hui population in the rural part of Ningxia autonomous region of China is disadvantaged compared to the Han majority as regards length of education and household per capita wealth. Yet there is no gap in average disposable income between the two ethnic groups and poverty rates are very similar. This paradox is due to members of Hui households earning more income outside the farm than members of Han households. Particularly young male Hui living in poor villages have a remarkably high likelihood of migrating, thereby bringing home income to their households.
    Keywords: China, ethnic minorities, Hui ethnicity, income, poverty, migration
    JEL: D31 J15 R23
    Date: 2014–02
  18. By: Sabrina Marchetti
    Abstract: Today, when comes to racism and ethnicity-based discriminations, the attention of European media and policymakers is predominantly on discriminations against Muslims, Roma and other minorities. Instead, the preoccupation of people who consider they are oppressed because of their skin colour generally remains without a response. This paper thus contributes to the discussion around the specificities of discrimination based on people’s skin colour, and what this means for society in general and, especially, for the people who experience it in person. These are also the concerns of the scholars who have elaborated the notion of a ‘Black Europe’ that I am choosing as reference framework with the aim of drawing attention to the question of blackness and to the way it affects the experience of migration to Europe.In order to do this, I will refer to the subjective experience of a group of women who migrated from Suriname to the Netherlands during the 60s and 70s. As I will show, this group shares the common self-identifications of Blacks and at the same time of postcolonial migrants – as was the case for many of those who migrated to Europe from former colonies. Moreover, these women have in common the fact that they found employment in the domestic work sector in the city of Rotterdam. Their memories are a small and yet significant example of the negotiations that Black migrants in Europe have made in order to resist the race-based discriminatory attitudes they encountered after their arrival.
    Date: 2014–01–28
  19. By: Maarten Peter Vink
    Abstract: Traditionally, there are two contrasting views on the way in which European states instrumentalise naturalisation, residence, and rights policies as part of a broader agenda of immigrant integration. First, the ‘complementary’ view sees access to membership as a complementary strategy to access to rights. Second, the ‘alternative’ view sees the granting of social and political rights, independent of citizenship status, as an alternative to granting access to formal membership through naturalisation. Whereas there are theoretical and normative reasons to support either perspective, surprisingly, there has been no systematic comparative work on how in practice states instrumentalise membership and rights for immigrants. In this paper, we analyse the relation between naturalisation and integration policies in 29 European states. We find strong empirical evidence in Europe that extending membership and rights are generally used as complementary strategies of immigrant incorporation. Naturalisation policies are not simply one of several integration policy alternatives. Hence states with inclusive naturalisation policies also tend to be inclusive in terms of extending rights to foreigners in diverse areas of public life, such as political participation, anti-discrimination, education, labour market access and family reunion. We conclude that naturalisation policies are at the heart of a state’s integration policy and one of the best predicators of its overall approach to integration. Exclusive naturalisation policies signal the lack of an inclusive immigrant integration agenda.
    Keywords: citizenship
    Date: 2013–12–16

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