nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2014‒04‒11
twenty papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. A global view of cross-border migration By Julian di Giovanni; Andrei A. Levchenko; Francesc Ortega
  2. Do Immigrants Bring Good Health? By Giuntella, Osea; Mazzonna, Fabrizio
  3. The Two-Step Australian Immigration Policy and its Impact on Immigrant Employment Outcomes By Gregory, Bob
  4. International Labor Mobility and Child Work in Developing Countries By De Paoli, Anna; Mendola, Mariapia
  5. Migration, remittances and poverty in Ecuador By Simone BERTOLI; Francesca Marchetta
  6. Returns to Citizenship? Evidence from Germany's Recent Immigration Reforms By Gathmann, Christina; Keller, Nicolas
  7. Forty Years of Immigrant Segregation in France, 1968-2007: How Different Is the New Immigration? By Pan Ké Shon, Jean-Louis; Verdugo, Gregory
  8. Female Brain Drains and Women's Rights Gaps: A Gravity Model Analysis of Bilateral Migration Flows By Naghsh Nejad, Maryam; Young, Andrew
  9. Home Sweet Home? Macroeconomic Conditions in Home Countries and the Well-Being of Migrants By Alpaslan Akay; Olivier Bargain; Klaus F. Zimmermann
  10. Immigrants and Firms' Productivity: Evidence from France By Mitaritonna, Cristina; Orefice, Gianluca; Peri, Giovanni
  11. Economic Integration of Intermarried Labour Migrants, Refugees and Family Migrants to Sweden: Premium or Selection? By Irastorza, Nahikari; Bevelander, Pieter
  12. Immigration and Manufacturing In Italy.Evidence from the 2000s By Giuseppe De Arcangelis; Edoardo Di Porto; Gianluca Santoni
  13. Migration and the housing market By Nicholas Sander
  14. Impact of Internal Migration On Political Participation in Turkey By Ali T. Akarca; Aysýt Tansel
  15. Do natural disasters beget fraud victimization?: Unrealized coping through labor migration among the poor By Yoshito Takasaki
  16. The Effect of Hydro-meteorological Emergencies on Internal Migration By Robalino, Juan; Jimenez, José; Chacon, Adriana
  17. Savings in Transnational Households: A Field Experiment among Migrants from El Salvador By Nava Ashraf; Diego Aycinena; Claudia Martínez A.; Dean Yang
  18. Optimal Migration and Consumption Policies over an Individual's Random Lifetime By Willassen, Yngve
  19. Financing Higher Education when Students and Graduates are Internationally Mobile By Silke Übelmesser; Marcel Gérard
  20. Human-Mobility Networks, Country Income, and Labor Productivity By Giorgio Fagiolo; Gianluca Santoni

  1. By: Julian di Giovanni; Andrei A. Levchenko; Francesc Ortega
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the global welfare impact of observed levels of migration using a quantitative multi-sector model of the world economy calibrated to aggregate and firm-level data. Our framework features cross-country labor productivity differences, international trade, remittances, and a heterogeneous workforce. We compare welfare under the observed levels of migration to a no-migration counterfactual. In the long run, natives in countries that received a lot of migration -such as Canada or Australia- are better o due to greater product variety available in consumption and as intermediate inputs. In the short run the impact of migration on average welfare in these countries is close to zero, while the skilled and unskilled natives tend to experience welfare changes of opposite signs. The remaining natives in countries with large emigration flows -such as Jamaica or El Salvador- are also better off due to migration, but for a different reason: remittances. The welfare impact of observed levels of migration is substantial, at about 5 to 10% for the main receiving countries and about 10% in countries with large incoming remittances. Our results are robust to accounting for imperfect transferability of skills, selection into migration, and imperfect substitution between natives and immigrants.
    Keywords: Migration, Remittances, International Trade, Welfare
    JEL: F12 F15 F22 F24
    Date: 2014–03
  2. By: Giuntella, Osea (University of Oxford); Mazzonna, Fabrizio (University of Lugano)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of immigration on health. We merge information on individual characteristics from the German Socio-Economic Panel with detailed local labor market characteristics for the period 1984 to 2009. We exploit the longitudinal component of the data to analyze how immigration affects the health of both immigrants and natives over time. Immigrants are shown to be healthier than natives upon their arrival ("healthy immigrant effect"), but their health deteriorates over time spent in Germany. We show that the convergence in health is heterogeneous across immigrants and faster among those working in more physically demanding jobs. Immigrants are significantly more likely to work in strenuous occupations. In light of these facts, we investigate whether changes in the spatial concentration of immigrants affect natives' health. Our results suggest that immigration reduces residents' likelihood to report negative health outcomes by improving their working conditions and reducing the average workload. We show that these effects are concentrated in blue-collar occupations and are larger among low educated natives and previous cohorts of immigrants.
    Keywords: immigration, health
    JEL: F22 I10 J15 J61
    Date: 2014–03
  3. By: Gregory, Bob (Australian National University)
    Abstract: Three decades ago most immigrants to Australia with work entitlements came as permanent settlers. Today the annual allocation of temporary visas, with work entitlements, outnumbers permanent settler visas by a ratio of three to one. The new environment, with so many temporary visa holders, has led to a two-step immigration policy whereby an increasing proportion of immigrants come first as a temporary immigrant, to work or study, and then seek to move to permanent status. Around one half of permanent visas are allocated on-shore to those who hold temporary visas with work rights. The labour market implications of this new two-step system are substantial. Immigrants from non-English speaking countries (NES), are affected most. In their early years in Australia, they have substantially reduced full-time employment and substantially increased part-time employment, usually while attending an education institution. Three years after arrival one third of NES immigrants are now employed part-time which, rather than unemployment, is becoming their principal pathway to full-time labour market integration. Surprisingly, little has changed for immigrants from English speaking countries (ES).
    Keywords: immigrant part-time employment, fee paying foreign students, temporary employment visas, labour market integration, immigrants, employment
    JEL: J15 J61 J68 F22
    Date: 2014–03
  4. By: De Paoli, Anna (University of Milan Bicocca); Mendola, Mariapia (University of Milan Bicocca)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the labor market effect of international migration on child work in countries of origin. We use an original cross-country survey dataset, which combines information on international migration with detailed individual-level data on child labor at age 5-14 in a wide range of developing countries. By exploiting both within- and cross-country variation and controlling for country fixed effects, we find a strong empirical regularity about the role of international mobility of workers in reducing child labor in disadvantaged households through changes in the local labor market.
    Keywords: international migration, child labor, factor mobility, cross-country survey data
    JEL: F22 F1 J61
    Date: 2014–03
  5. By: Simone BERTOLI (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Francesca Marchetta (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    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
    Date: 2014–03–24
  6. By: Gathmann, Christina (Heidelberg University); Keller, Nicolas (Alfred-Weber-Institut für Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Universität Heidelberg)
    Abstract: Immigrants in many countries have lower employment rates and lower earnings than natives. In this paper, we ask whether a more liberal access to citizenship can improve the economic integration of immigrants. Our analysis relies on two major immigration reforms in Germany, a country with a relatively weak record of immigrant assimilation. For identification, we exploit discontinuities in the reforms' eligibility rules. Between 1991 and 1999, adolescents could obtain citizenship after eight years of residency in Germany, while adults faced a 15-year residency requirement. Since 2000, all immigrants face an 8-year residency requirement. OLS estimates show a positive correlation between naturalization and labor market performance. Based on the eligibility rules, we find few returns of citizenship for men, but substantial returns for women. Returns are also larger for more recent immigrants, but essentially zero for traditional guest workers. Overall, liberalization of citizenship provides some benefits in the labor market but is unlikely to result in full economic and social integration of immigrants in the host country.
    Keywords: citizenship, assimilation, language, welfare, Germany
    JEL: J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2014–03
  7. By: Pan Ké Shon, Jean-Louis (CREST-LSQ); Verdugo, Gregory (Bank of France)
    Abstract: Analysing restricted access census data, this paper examines the long-term trends of immigrant segregation in France from 1968 to 2007. Similar to other European countries, France experienced a rise in the proportion of immigrants in its population that was characterised by a new predominance of non-European immigration. Despite this, average segregation levels remained moderate. While the number of immigrant enclaves increased, particularly during the 2000s, the average concentration for most groups decreased because of a reduction of heavily concentrated census tracts and census tracts with few immigrants. Contradicting frequent assertions, neither mono-ethnic census tract nor ghettoes exist in France. By contrast, many immigrants live in census tracts characterised by a low proportion of immigrants from their own group and from all origins. A long residential period in France is correlated with lower concentrations and proportion of immigrants in the census tract for most groups, though these effects are sometimes modest.
    Keywords: immigration, spatial segregation, France
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2014–03
  8. By: Naghsh Nejad, Maryam (IZA); Young, Andrew (West Virginia University)
    Abstract: In this paper we model the migration decisions of high-skilled women as a function of the benefits associated with moving from an origin with relatively low women's rights to a destination with a relatively high level of women's rights. However, the costs faced by women are decreasing in the level of women's rights provided. The model predicts a non-linear relationship between the relative levels of women's rights in destination versus origin countries (the women's rights gap) and the gender gap in high-skilled migration flows (the female brain drain ratio). In particular, starting from large values of the women's rights gap (where women's rights are very low in the origin) decreases in the gap may be associated with increases in the female brain drain ratio. However, starting from lower levels of the gap the relationship is positive: a greater gain in women's rights moving from origin to destination is, all else equal, associated with a greater likelihood of migration. Using a cross section of over 3,000 bilateral migration flows across OECD and non-OECD countries and the women's rights indices from the CIRI Human Rights Dataset, we report evidence consistent with the theory. A statistically significant and nonlinear relationship exists between women's rights gaps and female brain drain ratios. The evidence is particularly strong for the case of women's political rights.
    Keywords: female brain drain, high skilled female migration, bilateral migration flows, women's rights, institutional quality, gravity models
    JEL: F22 J11 J61 J16 O17 O43
    Date: 2014–03
  9. By: Alpaslan Akay (University of Gothenburg - University of Göteborg, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor); Olivier Bargain (IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, 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)); Klaus F. Zimmermann (IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor, University of Bonn - University of Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether the subjective well-being of migrants is responsive to fluctuations in macroeconomic conditions in their country of origin. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel for the years 1984 to 2009 and macroeconomic variables for 24 countries of origin, we exploit country-year variation for identification of the effect and panel data to control for migrants' observed and unobserved characteristics. We find strong (mild) evidence that migrants' well-being responds negatively (positively) to an increase in the GDP (unemployment rate) of their home country. That is, we originally demonstrate that migrants regard home countries as natural comparators and, thereby, suggest an original assessment of the migration's relative deprivation motive. We also show that migrants are positively affected by the performances of the German regions in which they live (a 'signal effect'). We demonstrate that both effects decline with years-since-migration and with the degree of assimilation in Germany, which is consistent with a switch of migrants' reference point from home countries to migration destinations. Results are robust to the inclusion of country-time trends, to control for remittances sent to relatives in home countries and to a correction for selection into return migration. We derive important implications for labor market and migration policies.
    Keywords: migrants; well-being; GDP; unemployment; relative concerns/deprivation
    Date: 2014–03
  10. By: Mitaritonna, Cristina (CEPII, Paris); Orefice, Gianluca (CEPII, Paris); Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: Immigrants may complement native workers, increase productivity, allow specialization by skill in the firm and lower costs. These effects could be beneficial for the firm and increase its productivity and profits. However not all firms use immigrants. Allowing firms to have differential fixed cost in hiring immigrants we analyze the impact of an increase in local supply of immigrants on firms' immigrant employment and firm's productivity. Using micro-level data on French firms, we show that a supply-driven increase in foreign born workers in a department (location) increases the productivity of firms in that department. We also find that this effect is significantly stronger for firms with initially zero level of foreign employment. Those are also the firms whose share of immigrants increases the most. We also find that the positive productivity effect of immigrants is associated with faster growth of capital and improved export performances of the firms. Finally we find a positive effect of immigration on wages of natives and on specialization of natives in complex occupations, that is common to all firms in the department.
    Keywords: immigrants, firms, productivity, heterogeneity, fixed costs of hiring
    JEL: F22 E25 J61
    Date: 2014–03
  11. By: Irastorza, Nahikari (Malmö University); Bevelander, Pieter (Malmö University)
    Abstract: We use Swedish register data to compare the employment and income of immigrants who intermarry natives versus those of immigrants who intramarry other immigrants in Sweden. We conduct the same analyses on three subsamples: labour migrants, refugees and family migrants. We find that intermarried immigrants outperformed intramarried ones in employment rates and salaries before and after marriage, in 1997 and 2007 respectively, and the same in true for each of the three subsamples analyzed. There is a statistically significant difference in income growth between intermarried and intramarried immigrants within that time period, but this difference is only significant for the subsample of family migrants. Finally, the upward mobility in employment status between 1997 and 2007 is higher for intermarried immigrants than for intramarried ones, with this being also the case for each of the three groups of labour migrants, refugees and family migrants. Our findings provide evidence to support both the selection hypothesis and the intermarriage premium hypothesis for the whole group of immigrants to Sweden. They also fully support the selection hypothesis for labour and family migrants but only partially for refugees; whereas they fully confirm the intermarriage premium hypothesis for family migrants but only partially for refugees and labour migrants.
    Keywords: economic integration, binational couples, immigrants, intermarriage premium, Sweden
    JEL: J1 J12
    Date: 2014–03
  12. By: Giuseppe De Arcangelis (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche, Sapienza University of Rome); Edoardo Di Porto (DISES, University of Naples Federico II); Gianluca Santoni (Institute of Economics, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy)
    Abstract: This tests the effect of an increase in the migration presence (over population) on manufacturing firms' performance at the local level. The model is estimated for the Ital- ian economy during the recent years of rapid and varied migration (a threefold increase in the 1995-2006 and the presence of 189 nationalities). Firm's performance is mea- sured with common indexes (sales per worker, production per worker and value added per worker) by aggregating individual firm data at different levels. In particular, we construct measures for both a representative (average) province-sector firm and a representative (average) province firm. By means of the sector data we are able to estimate the impact of migrants on high- and low-skill sectors, both in the level and in relative terms. We also consider two dimensions of migrants heterogeneity (in terms of characteristics of nationalities) in order to approximate the effect of high- and low-skill migrants. Our results show that migrants' presence in the province positively affects firm's performance: a doubling of the migration ratio to provincial population raises by about 10 per cent sales per worker and production per worker on average. However, this increase is unevenly distributed and favors low-skill versus high-skill sectors: sectors like Food and Beverages and Furniture show an increase between 13% and 15% when the migration rate doubles. Moreover, on the labor supply side, an increase in proxied relatively low-skill migrants favors low-skill sectors.
    Keywords: Sector Analysis, Rybczynski Effect, International Migration.
    JEL: F22 C25
    Date: 2014–03
  13. By: Nicholas Sander (Reserve Bank of New Zealand)
    Abstract: Fluctuations in migration are a significant feature of New Zealand's economy. This note reports results of statistical modelling that analyses the relationship between permanent and long-term migration (and its components) and developments in the housing market.
    Date: 2013–12
  14. By: Ali T. Akarca (University of Illinois at Chicago); Aysýt Tansel (Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: During last sixty years, Turkish population moved from one province to another at the rate of about 7-8 percent per five-year interval. As a consequence of this massive internal migration, population residing in a province other than the one they were born in increased from 12 percent in 1950 to 39 percent in 2011. Impact of this population instability on provincial turnout rates in 2011 parliamentary election is studied, controlling for the effects of other socio-economic, demographic, political and institutional factors. Consequences of migration both at destinations and origins are considered. According to robust regressions estimated, the relationship between turnout and education is inverse U-shaped, and between turnout and age, U-shaped. The latter reflects generational differences as well. Large population, large number parliament members to be elected from a constituency, participation by large number of parties, and existence of a dominant party depress the turnout rate. A percentage increase in the proportion of emigrants among the people born in a province reduces turnout rate in that province by 0.13 percentage points, while a percentage increase in the ratio of immigrants in the population of a province reduces it by 0.06 percentage points. However, at destinations where large numbers of immigrants from different regions are concentrated, the opportunity afforded to immigrants to elect one of their own, reduces the latter adverse impact significantly and in some cases turns it to positive.
    Keywords: Election turnout, internal migration, political participation, Turkey, voter behavior.
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Yoshito Takasaki
    Abstract: Although international remittances are important insurance against natural disasters in developing countries, fraud is a pitfall of international labor migration. This paper addresses an unexplored question about the disaster-fraud nexus: Do natural disasters beget fraud victimization among the poor as they seek labor migration for coping? I exploit a natural experiment: Two years after a cyclone, a huge number of Fijian males were defrauded of application fees for labor migration to the Middle East in 2005. My household survey data, which by chance I collected before the fraudulence was noticed, are free from underreporting/misreporting out of embarrassment. Controlling for the endogeneity of household housing damage reveals that housing damage strongly increases individual memberfs job application that later turned out to be fraud victimization. Households resort to high-risk, highreturn labor migration because their domestic coping options are constrained by their labor endowment.
    Date: 2013–07
  16. By: Robalino, Juan; Jimenez, José; Chacon, Adriana
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of hydro-meteorological emergencies on internal migration in Costa Rica between 1995 and 2000. Nationwide, we find that an increase of one emergency in a canton significantly increases average migration rates from that canton, after controlling for several social, economic, climatic and demographic factors in both the canton of origin and destination. Moreover, when we separately analyze landslides and floods, we find that both increase migration. However, we also find that emergencies with the most severe onsequences, those with loss of lives, decrease migration. The severity of the consequences may explain the differences in the sign of the effect in previous research. We also find that emergencies will significantly increase population in metropolitan areas. Less severe emergencies significantly increase migration toward metropolitan areas. More severe emergencies significantly decrease migration toward non-metropolitan areas. This is especially important in developing countries, where cities face problems associated with overpopulation.
    Keywords: separated by commas
    Date: 2013–12–27
  17. By: Nava Ashraf; Diego Aycinena; Claudia Martínez A.; Dean Yang
    Abstract: We implemented a randomized field experiment that tested ways to stimulate savings by international migrants in their origin country. We find that migrants value and take advantage of opportunities to exert greater control over financial activities in their home countries. In partnership with a Salvadoran bank, we offered U.S.-based migrants bank accounts in El Salvador. We randomly varied migrant control over El Salvador-based savings by offering different types of accounts across treatment groups. Migrants offered the greatest degree of control accumulated the most savings at the partner bank, compared to others offered less or no control over savings. Impacts are likely to represent increases in total savings: there is no evidence that savings increases were simply reallocated from other savings mechanisms. Enhanced control over home-country savings does not affect remittances sent home by migrants.
    JEL: F22 O16
    Date: 2014–03
  18. By: Willassen, Yngve (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to determine optimal migration policies for an individual of known age-dependent mortality who accumulates capital by compound interest and also by skill-dependent income. By a continuing choice of several environments, which vary in intrinsic preference and in the rates at which they improve and reward skills, the individual have the option of developing skills, current earnings and residential preference by moving between the environments. Specifying the expected future utility which recognizes the preference for residence as well as for consumption, the corresponding dynamic programming (DP) equations are derived. The optimality of return migration is particularly investigated by studying the movement between two environments. The analysis is then extended to allow for several environments. The DP-equations are also modified to examine the effect of monetary as well as non-monetary psychic) costs. In combining the essential causes motivating migration in a tractable dynamic control model that can be used for analysing the impacts of the various factors, this paper is believed to be an contribution to the migration literature.
    Keywords: Residential preferences; development of skills; reward of human capital; optimal migration; dynamic programming
    JEL: C61 J24 R23
    Date: 2014–01–08
  19. By: Silke Übelmesser (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena); Marcel Gérard (CESifo, Munich)
    Abstract: This paper aims at linking cross border mobility of students and graduates with the financing of higher education. Against the background of institutional features and empirical evidence of the European Union and Northern America, a theoretical framework is developed. This allows analyzing the optimal financing regimes for different migration scenarios, comparing them with the regimes in place and discussing possible remedies. In particular, the (optimal) sharing of education costs between students / graduates and tax-payers is studied as well as the (optimal) sharing of the tax-payers' part between the various countries involved: the country which provides higher education (the host country), the country of previous education (the origin country) and possibly the countries which benefit from the improved skills of the workers. Alternative designs exhibiting potentially desirable properties are developed and policy recommendations derived.
    Keywords: Mobility of students, Mobility of graduates, Financing of higher education
    JEL: F22 H52 I23
    Date: 2014–03–31
  20. By: Giorgio Fagiolo; Gianluca Santoni
    Abstract: This paper asks whether the level of integration of world countries in the international network of temporary human mobility can explain differences in their per-capita income and labor productivity. We disentangle the role played by global country centrality in the network from traditional openness measures, which only account for local, nearest- neighbor linkages through which ideas and knowledge can flow. Using 1995-2010 data, we show that global country centrality in the temporary human-mobility network enhances both per-capita income and labor productivity. Our results hold cross-sectionally, as well as in a dynamic-panel estimation, and take into account potential endogeneity issues. Our findings imply that how close a country is to the theoretical technological frontier, depends not only on how much she is open to temporary human mobility, but mostly on whether she is embedded in a web of relationships connecting her with other influential partners in the network. Our exercises also suggest that most of the gain in income and productivity can be attained if country centrality in the network comes mostly from influential partners that lie not too far away from, but neither too close to them in the network.
    Keywords: temporary human-mobility network; International technological diffusion; Per-capita income; Productivity; Openness to mobility and trade; Centrality.
    Date: 2014–03–30

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