nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2014‒03‒22
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Culture: Persistence and Evolution By Francesco Giavazzi; Ivan Petkov; Fabio Schiantarelli
  2. Migration and Inbound Tourism: An Italian Perspective By Etzo, Ivan; Massidda, Carla; Piras, Romano
  3. Previous Migration Experience and Legal Immigration Status among Intending Mexican Migrants to the United States By Peter B. Brownell; Michael S. Rendall
  4. Globalization and Wage Convergence: Mexico and the United States By Davide Gandolfi; Timothy Halliday; Raymond Robertson
  5. 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 A. Puhani
  6. Migration: a burden or a blessing for natives? By Jean J. Gabszewicz; Skerdilajda Zanaj
  7. The Impact of Resident Status Regulations on Immigrants' Labor Supply: Evidence for France By Joachim Jarreau
  8. Capital Accumulation through Studying Abroad and Return Migration By Takumi Naito; Laixun Zhao
  9. Migration, remittances and poverty in Ecuador By Simone BERTOLI; Francesca MARCHETTA

  1. By: Francesco Giavazzi (Bocconi University); Ivan Petkov (Boston College); Fabio Schiantarelli (Boston College; IZA)
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence on the speed of evolution (or lack thereof) of a wide range of values and beliefs of different generations of European immigrants to the US. The main result is that persistence differs greatly across cultural attitudes. Some, for instance deep personal religious values, some fam-ily and moral values, and political orientation are very persistent. Other, such as attitudes toward cooperation, redistribution, effort, children independence, premarital sex, and even the frequency of religious practice or the intensity of association with one’s religion, converge rather quickly. Moreover, the results obtained studying higher generation immigrants differ greatly from those obtained limiting the analysis to the second generation, and imply lesser degree of persistence. Finally, we show that persistence is ”culture specific” in the sense that the country from which one’s ancestors came matters for the pattern of generational convergence.
    Keywords: Culture, Values, Beliefs, Transmission, Persistence, Evolution, Immigrants, Integration
    JEL: A13 F22 J00 J61 Z10
    Date: 2014–03–18
  2. By: Etzo, Ivan; Massidda, Carla; Piras, Romano
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of migration on Italian inbound tourism flows in a dynamic panel data framework. Arrivals, expenditure and nights from 65 countries are analyzed for the period 2005-2011. The migration variable is defined at both origin and destination in order to assess the pushing and pulling forces. Estimates are performed using both aggregated flows and flows disaggregated to separate the VFRs from two non-VFR categories, namely holiday and business. The results suggest the presence of a strong migration-tourism nexus which clearly goes beyond visiting friends and relatives. Moreover, the effects of the different determinants vary according to the way in which the tourism market is segmented and, within each segment, to the way in which tourism demand is measured.
    Keywords: Migration, Inbound Tourism, Dynamic Panel Data, Italy
    JEL: L83 O15
    Date: 2014–02
  3. By: Peter B. Brownell (RAND Corporation); Michael S. Rendall (University of Maryland and RAND)
    Abstract: We examine the size and composition of flows of Mexican migrants intending to cross the border and enter the United States. We focus on two characteristics which relate to eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits: legal immigration status and prior US migration history. We compare estimates from before and after the onset of the Great Recession in 2007. We analyze data from the Survey of Migration at the Northern Border of Mexico (EMIF-Norte), an innovative survey of migration flows fielded in border cities and towns in Mexico. We find that the declining overall level of migration from Mexico to the US since 2007 is driven entirely by declines in the level of undocumented immigration. The size of the legal immigrant flow from Mexico has actually increased since the recession began. We find an overall shift away from migrants with no previous trips to the US, toward migrants with 11 or more previous trips. There was no significant shift in the distribution of previous US trips among undocumented migrants, but among work-authorized migrants, the representation of both first time migrants and those with more than 11 previous US trips grew. The increasing share and absolute number of work-authorized Mexican immigrants with 11 or more past trips to the US seems likely to affect the share of Mexican immigrants qualifying for Social Security retirement benefits in the future, and it may be valuable to continue to examine these trends.
    Date: 2014–03
  4. By: Davide Gandolfi (Macalester College); Timothy Halliday (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa); Raymond Robertson (Macalester College)
    Abstract: Neoclassical trade theory suggests that factor price convergence should follow increased commercial integration. Rising commercial integration and foreign direct investment followed the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Mexico. This paper evaluates the degree of wage convergence between Mexico and the United States between 1988 and 2011. We apply a synthetic panel approach to employment survey data and a more descriptive approach to Census data from Mexico and the US. First, we find no evidence of long-run wage convergence among cohorts characterized by low migration propensities although this was, in part, due to large macroeconomic shocks. On the other hand, we do find some evidence of convergence for workers with high migration propensities. Finally, we find evidence of convergence in the border of Mexico vis-à-vis its interior in the 1990s but this was reversed in the 2000s.
    Keywords: Migration, Labor-market Integration, Factor Price Equalization
    JEL: F15 F16 J31 F22
    Date: 2014–03
  5. By: Julia Jauer (OECD Paris); Thomas Liebig (OECD Paris); John P. Martin (OECD Paris); Patrick A. Puhani (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
    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.
    Keywords: Free mobility, migration, economic crisis, labour market adjustment, Eurozone, Europe, United States
    JEL: F15 F16 F22 J61
    Date: 2014–03
  6. By: Jean J. Gabszewicz (CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgique); Skerdilajda Zanaj (CREA, Université de Luxembourg)
    Abstract: We analyse the effects of migration on the production of public goods, income taxes, and on the welfare of residents in the sending and in the receiving country. Migration is based on income differences between countries. Different alternative scenarios are considered. In the first, we assume fully flexible wages in both countries and we show that migration is welfare detrimental only for origin country. In the second scenario, wages are rigid. With upward wage rigidity, migration has detrimental effects for natives of the origin country but it brings benefits to the natives of the destination country. Finally, migration can be welfare detrimental for both countries, under downward wage rigidities.
    Keywords: migration, public goods, income taxes, labor market rigidities
    JEL: F2 H2 H4
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Joachim Jarreau (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM))
    Abstract: Many OECD countries have changed the rules for immigrants in recent decades, generally making harder to enter and to stay. France is one example. This paper studies the immigrants' response to the 2004 reform of the immigration law, which made it harder for foreigners to obtain resident status. The strategy for identification exploits a discontinuity in exposure to the reform, determined by the time of entry. The first result is that the 2004 reform prompted a wave of departures among low-skilled, unemployed, unmarried men. This effect is observed among those with previous work experience in France and searching for work, indicating that the difficulty to find a job without resident status creates an incentive for outmigration. Second, the obtention of resident status lowers significantly but marginally the labor supply of women, consistently with an adjustment role of women's work, and with a small substitution effect of labor income with welfare benefits. Overall, these results suggest that restrictions on access to resident status prompted outmigration, but not among the population with the most elastic labor supply. Thus, the reform did not reach its main objectives: selection occurred, but not of those less willing to work; cutting access to benefits increased labor supply, but only marginally.
    Keywords: immigration policy; labor markets; welfare magnets
    Date: 2014–02
  8. By: Takumi Naito (Waseda University); Laixun Zhao (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)
    Abstract: This paper characterizes the interactions among studying abroad, return migration, and capital accumulation, in a two-country overlapping generations model with households of heterogeneous ability. The model exhibits positive selection of migration status (i.e., permanent, return, and non-migrants) based on ability, and over time, return migration increases as capital accumulates. Further, a decrease in the fixed cost of studying abroad and a simultaneous offsetting increase in the fixed cost of working abroad raise the relative supply of capital in the source country without decreasing anyone’s utility. Nevertheless, any single change in either fixed cost cannot achieve it.
    Keywords: Capital accumulation; Studying abroad; Return migration; Heterogeneous ability; Positive selection; Brain gain
    JEL: F22 I25 O15
    Date: 2014–03
  9. By: Simone BERTOLI (CEPII); Francesca MARCHETTA (Université d'Auvergne)
    Abstract: We analyse the influence of the recent wave of migration on the incidence of poverty among stayers in Ecuador. We draw our data from a survey that provides detailed information on migrants. The analysis reveals a significant negative effect of migration on poverty among migrant households. This effect is substantially smaller than the one that we find focusing on recipient households. We explore the factors that account for this divergence. Our analysis entails that the existing empirical evidence on the relationship between remittances and poverty needs not to be informative about the size of the direct poverty-reduction potential of migration.
    Keywords: remittances; household-level data; poverty; propensity score matching
    JEL: F22 O15 I32
    Date: 2014

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