nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2014‒05‒04
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Financing Higher Education when Students and Graduates are Internationally Mobile By Marcel GERARD; Silke UEBELMESSER
  2. Culture, Religiosity and Female Labor Supply By Guner, Duygu; Uysal, Gökce
  3. Immigration, Housing Discrimination and Employment By Tito Boeri; Marta De Philippis; Eleonora Patacchini; Michele Pellizzari
  4. Does internal migration improve overall well-being in Ethiopia?: By de Brauw, Alan; Mueller, Valerie; Woldehanna, Tassew
  5. Home Sweet Home? Macroeconomic Conditions in Home Countries and the Well-Being of Migrants By Akay, Alpaslan; Bargain, Olivier; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  6. Employment of Undocumented Immigrants and the Prospect of Legal Status: Evidence from an Amnesty Program By Devillanova, Carlo; Fasani, Francesco; Frattini, Tommaso
  7. Welfare Reform and Immigrant Fertility By Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Averett, Susan L.; Bansak, Cynthia
  8. Declining Migration within the US: The Role of the Labor Market By Molloy, Raven; Smith, Christopher L.; Wozniak, Abigail
  9. Gross In-Migration and Public Policy in the U.S. during the Great Recession: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis, 2008-2009 By Cebula, Richard; Nair-Reichert, Usha; Coombs, Christopher
  10. Education and Self-Employment: South Asian Immigrants in the US Labor Market By Dutta, Nabamita; Kar, Saibal; Roy, Sanjukta
  11. A Field Study of Chinese Migrant Workers' Attitudes Toward Risks, Strategic Uncertainty, and Competitiveness By Li Hao; Daniel Houser; Lei Mao; Marie Claire Villeval
  12. Conservative Immigration Policy Reform Has Not Yet Produced Any Significant Improvement in the Aggregate Labour Market Performance of Recent Immigrants By Grady, Patrick
  13. Projections of Ageing Migrant populations in France: 2008-2028 By Jean-Louis Rallu

  1. By: Marcel GERARD (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Louvain School of Management Research Institute (ILSM) and Institut de Recherches économiques et sociales (IRES)); Silke UEBELMESSER (University of Jena, Germany)
    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: 2014–04–23
  2. By: Guner, Duygu (K.U.Leuven); Uysal, Gökce (Bahcesehir University)
    Abstract: Does culture affect female labor supply? In this paper, we address this question using a recent approach to measuring the effects of culture on economic outcomes, i.e. the epidemiological approach. We focus on migrants, who come from different cultures, but who share a common economic and institutional set-up today. Controlling for various individual characteristics including parental human capital as well as for current economic and institutional setup, we find that female employment rates in 1970 in a female migrant's province of origin affects her labor supply behavior in 2008. We also show that it is the female employment rates and not male in the province of origin in 1970 that affects the current labor supply behavior. We also extend the epidemiological approach to analyze the effects of religion on female labor supply. More specifically, we use a proxy of parental religiosity, i.e. share of party votes in 1973 elections in Turkey to study female labor supply in 2008. Our findings indicate that female migrants from provinces that had larger (smaller) shares of the religious party votes in 1973 are less (more) likely to participate in the labor market in 2008. An extended model where both cultural and religiosity proxies are included shows that culture and religiosity have separately significant effects on female labor supply behavior.
    Keywords: culture, female labor force participation, gender
    JEL: J16 J21 Z10
    Date: 2014–04
  3. By: Tito Boeri (Bocconi University); Marta De Philippis (LSE and fRDB); Eleonora Patacchini; Michele Pellizzari (University of Geneva)
    Abstract: We use a new dataset on eight Italian cities and a novel identification strategy to analyze the relationship between the employment status of migrants and the percentage of migrants living nearby. Our data contain information at the very local level (i.e. the residential block) and are representative of the population of both legal and illegal migrants. Identification is based on an instrumental variable strategy that exploits the physical characteristics of the local buildings as a source of exogenous variation in the incidence of migrants in each location. We find evidence that migrants who reside in areas with a high concentration of non-Italians are less likely to be employed compared to similar migrants who reside in more mixed areas. This penalty is higher if the migrants leaving nearby are illegal and it is not mitigated by living close to migrants who are from own's ethnic group nor who are more proficient in the Italian language. The employment prospects of natives do not appear to be affected by the vicinity of migrants.
    Keywords: Immigrant residential density, housing discrimination, ethnic networks
    JEL: J15 J61 R23
    Date: 2014–04
  4. By: de Brauw, Alan; Mueller, Valerie; Woldehanna, Tassew
    Abstract: In this paper, we use a unique panel dataset of tracked migrants and non-migrants that originate from 18 villages in Ethiopia to examine the welfare impacts of internal migration. Using a number of techniques and various objective and subjective measures, we measure the impacts of migration on the welfare of migrants versus non-migrants. We find large gains to objective welfare measures such as consumption, around 110 percent. Gains are larger among male and urban migrants. Howev-er, we also find that relative to household heads subjective welfare measures are similar for migrants. The large welfare gains to migration suggest that barriers exist, even within countries such as Ethiopia, against the free movement of people to places where they would be objectively better off.
    Keywords: Migration, Internal migration, Living standards., tracking survey,
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Akay, Alpaslan (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Bargain, Olivier; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
    Abstract: This paper examines whether the subjective well-being of migrants is responsive to fluc- tuations 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 (un- employment 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
    JEL: C90 D63
    Date: 2014–04
  6. By: Devillanova, Carlo (Bocconi University); Fasani, Francesco (Queen Mary, University of London); Frattini, Tommaso (University of Milan)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the causal effect of the prospect of legal status on the employment outcomes of undocumented immigrants. Our identification strategy exploits a natural experiment provided by the 2002 amnesty program in Italy that introduced an exogenous discontinuity in eligibility based on date of arrival. We find that the prospect of legal status significantly increases the employment probability of immigrants that are potentially eligible for the amnesty relative to other undocumented immigrants. The size of the estimated effect is equivalent to about two thirds of the increase in employment that undocumented immigrants in our sample normally experience in their first year after arrival in Italy. These findings are robust to several falsification exercises.
    Keywords: illegal immigration, natural experiment, legalization
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2014–04
  7. By: Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (San Diego State University); Averett, Susan L. (Lafayette College); Bansak, Cynthia (St. Lawrence University)
    Abstract: Immigration policy continues to be at the forefront of policy discussions, and the use of welfare benefits by immigrants has been hotly debated. In 1996, Congress enacted welfare reform legislation (PRWORA), which denied the use of most means-tested assistance to non-citizens and lowered immigrant welfare dramatically. While Federal legislation imposed strict restrictions on eligibility for non-citizens, a number of states allowed previously eligible women to continue to receive benefits similar to those before 1996, whereas others imposed the new Federal cutbacks. Using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) for the years 1994-2000, we examine whether immigrant women adjusted their childbearing in response to cutbacks in the generosity of welfare benefits at the state-level. Our findings suggest that non-citizen women, especially those of Hispanic origin, altered their fertility decisions in response to the legislation. In addition, they increased their labor force participation, possibly to obtain employer-sponsored benefits. Our results are robust to alternative definitions of our treatment and control groups and do not appear to be driven by pre-existing trends. Finally, we find no evidence that women who anticipated having children migrated to the more generous states. Overall, the results provide further evidence that immigrants respond to variation in state-level policies and provide insight into the potential impacts of comprehensive immigration reform, particularly the components related to the path to citizenship and access to public benefits.
    Keywords: immigration, fertility, welfare reform
    JEL: J13 I38
    Date: 2014–04
  8. By: Molloy, Raven (Federal Reserve Board of Governors); Smith, Christopher L. (Federal Reserve Board of Governors); Wozniak, Abigail (University of Notre Dame)
    Abstract: Interstate migration has decreased steadily since the 1980s. We show that this trend is not primarily related to demographic and socioeconomic factors, but instead appears to be connected to a concurrent secular decline in labor market transitions. We explore a number of reasons for the declines in geographic and labor market transitions, and find the strongest support for explanations related to a decrease in the net benefit to changing employers. Our preferred interpretation is that the distribution of relevant outside offers has shifted in a way that has made labor market transitions, and thus geographic transitions, less desirable to workers.
    Keywords: migration, migration decline, labor market transitions, job transitions, returns to tenure
    JEL: J6 J1
    Date: 2014–04
  9. By: Cebula, Richard; Nair-Reichert, Usha; Coombs, Christopher
    Abstract: For the period 2008-2009 of the “Great Recession,” the gross state-level in-migration rate was an increasing function of expected per capita personal income, state parks per capita, and warmer January temperatures. For the same study period, the gross in-migration rate was a decreasing function of the cost of living, the poverty rate, the average state income tax rate, per capita property taxation, and hazardous waste sites. All of the estimates yield results suggesting consistently, as in previous studies of earlier time periods, that migrants (consumer-voters) at the very minimum prefer lower state income tax burdens and lower property tax burdens. Consumer-voters’ evaluation of government services in determining their choice of location during the “Great Recession” appears to depend upon the type of government service. While consumer-voters on average appear to prefer states with greater public provision of state parks, our results do not indicate a strong preference for states with higher per pupil outlays on primary and secondary public education.
    Keywords: migration; public policy; state income tax rates; property tax levels
    JEL: D72 H71 H75 R23 R53
    Date: 2013–12–13
  10. By: Dutta, Nabamita (University of Wisconsin, La Crosse); Kar, Saibal (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta); Roy, Sanjukta (World Bank)
    Abstract: Does higher educational attainment lead to greater participation in self-employment? Available studies agree and disagree on this subject through various explanations. We invoke an empirical example from the experiences of immigrants moving from poor countries to rich countries. Further, we focus exclusively on the self-employment participation among south Asian immigration in the United States (using IPUMS Data), which the related literature has clearly neglected thus far despite long traditions of successful business ventures. We establish that higher educational attainment for immigrants from south Asia reduces the likelihood of being self-employed. In fact, a South Asian immigrant with higher educational attainment has 10% less chance of being self-employed than one without. In addition, we show that factors such as longer stay in USA and being a male, affect the likelihood of being self-employed positively. However, another interesting finding of our paper is that being a 'citizen immigrant' affects the probability of being self-employed positively. Though citizen immigrants with higher education attainment are less likely to choose self-employment, the probability is relatively higher in comparison to the non-citizen immigrant group with similar levels of education. This trend lends itself to a more than proportionate participation in self-employment by the citizen immigrants and the difference with immigrant non-citizen group becomes statistically significant. These results have various static and dynamic implications for the native labor market in host countries.
    Keywords: immigration, occupation, microdata, USA, South Asia
    JEL: J11 J15 J24
    Date: 2014–04
  11. By: Li Hao (Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville); Daniel Houser (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University); Lei Mao (Groupe d’Analyse et de Théorie Economique, UniversiteÌ de Lyon); Marie Claire Villeval (Groupe d’Analyse et de Théorie Economique, UniversiteÌ de Lyon)
    Abstract: Using a field experiment in China, we study whether migration status is correlated with attitudes toward risk, ambiguity, and competitiveness. Our subjects include migrants and non-migrants. We find that, migrants exhibit no differences from non-migrants in risk and ambiguity preferences elicited using pairs of lotteries; however, migrants are significantly more likely to enter competition in the presence of strategic uncertainty when they expect competitive entries from others. Our results suggest that migration may be driven more by a stronger belief in one’s ability to succeed in an uncertain and competitive environment than by risk attitudes under state uncertainty. Length: 46
    Keywords: migration, risk preferences, strategic uncertainty, ambiguity, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D03 D63 J61
    Date: 2014–04
  12. By: Grady, Patrick
    Abstract: This paper examines the performance of recent immigrants to Canada in the labour market as revealed in the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB), which is an administrative database constructed by Statistics Canada by combining an administrative landing file from Citizenship and Immigration with the T1 Family File (T1FF) from the Canada Revenue Agency. As this database extends to 2010, it provides evidence on the impact on the labour market performance of recent immigrants of the relatively ambitious immigration reforms introduced by the Conservative Government. The conclusion of the paper is that the overall performance of recent immigrants has not improved enough to substantially reduce the wide earnings gap that has opened up between average recent immigrant and overall earnings. There are many reasons for this, but the most important is that the Conservative Government has continued to pursue a policy of high mass immigration admitting around 250,000 new immigrants per year right through the 2008-09 recession.
    Keywords: wages, recent immigrants to Canada, immigration policy, immigrant labour, human capital
    JEL: J23 J24 J61
    Date: 2013–10–01
  13. By: Jean-Louis Rallu (INED)
    Abstract: As migrant populations are ageing, migration is becoming less a factor of demographic rejuvenation than in the past. Ageing migrant projections provide data for social and health services that will have to serve linguitiscally and culturally diverse populations. Although migrants tend to return less than they planned, return migration is the main component of old age migration, but migrants will engage more and more in back and forth moves in the future, due to easier and cheaper travel. Old age immigration is also significant, mostly for females: late family reunification, zero generation (migrants' parents coming to help in child care), etc. These flows will tend to rebalance the sex ratios of migrants - who were mostly males - from labour sending countries. However, the main determinant of migrant ageing is the shape of their age pyramids that vary according to origin, following migration history: pre- and post-independence migration, economic booms and crisis. Migration policies, like the closed border policy following the first oil shock in 1974 and subsequent family reunification will also impact on trends in migrant ageing.
    Date: 2014

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