nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2014‒06‒07
eight papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Culture: Persistence and Evolution By Francesco Giavazzi; Ivan Petkov; Fabio Schiantarelli
  2. Dissecting the Act of God: An Exploration of the Effect of Religion on Economic Activity By Carpantier, Jean-Francois; Litina, Anastasia
  3. New Political Issues, Niche Parties, And Spatial Voting In Multiparty Systems: Immigration As A Dimension Of Electoral Competition In Scandinavia By Kirill Zhirkov
  4. Under-investment in a Profitable Technology: The Case of Seasonal Migration in Bangladesh By Gharad Bryan; Shyamal Chowdhury; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
  5. Migrant Networks and Trade: The Vietnamese Boat People as a Natural Experiment By Pierre-Louis Vezina; Christopher Parsons
  6. Naturalizations and the economic and social integration of immigrants By Engdahl, Mattias
  7. Remittances and the Impact on Crime in Mexico By Steve Brito; Ana Corbacho; Rene Osorio Rivas
  8. A Field Study of Chinese Migrant Workers' Attitudes toward Risks, Strategic Uncertainty, and Competitiveness By Li Hao; Daniel Houser; Lei Mao; Marie Claire Villeval

  1. By: Francesco Giavazzi; Ivan Petkov; Fabio Schiantarelli
    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 family and moral values, and political orientation converge very slowly to the prevailing US norm. Other, such as attitudes toward cooperation, redistribution, effort, children's independence, premarital sex, and even the frequency of religious practice or the intensity of association with one's religion, converge rather quickly. The results obtained studying higher generation immigrants differ greatly from those found when the analysis is limited to the second generation, as typically done in the literature, and they imply a lesser degree of persistence than previously thought. 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.
    JEL: A13 F22 J00 J61 Z1
    Date: 2014–05
  2. By: Carpantier, Jean-Francois; Litina, Anastasia
    Abstract: This research establishes that religiosity has a persistent effect on economic outcomes. First we use a sample of migrants in the US to establish that religiosity at the country of origin has a long lasting effect on the religiosity of migrants. Second, exploiting variations in the inherited component of religiosity of migrants, our analysis uncovers the causal effect of religiosity on economic activity using a panel of countries for the period 1935-2000. The empirical findings suggest that i) church attendance has a positive impact on economic outcomes; ii) religious beliefs in the existence of god, hell, heaven and miracles have no systematic effect on economic outcomes, and iii) stronger faith is associated with prosperity. Moreover we extend our analysis to uncover the channels via which religiosity operates. Notably, the positive effect of religious participation and of stronger faith on economic outcomes operates via the creation of social capital and the development of traits, such as hard work and thrift, that are conducive to growth.
    Keywords: Religiosity, Growth, Beliefs, Migration, Culture
    JEL: A1 A13 Z1 Z12
    Date: 2014–05–30
  3. By: Kirill Zhirkov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In the present study I use spatial voting model to assess the importance of the left-right and immigration issue dimensions on electoral behavior in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. My findings indicate that distances between parties and voters on both left-right and immigration dimensions do significantly influence voting choice in all three countries, although effect of the latter is substantially lower. I also demonstrate that voting for the niche parties, and especially for the radical right, is much stronger related to the immigration issue than voting for the mainstream parties, both center-left and center-right ones. Finally, my analysis demonstrates that positional spatial voting model shows a good degree of stability even under imperfect measurement of policy preferences. In conclusion, I discuss implications of my findings for the research on new political issues and niche parties
    Keywords: spatial voting, left-right, immigration, Scandinavia
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Gharad Bryan; Shyamal Chowdhury; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
    Abstract: Hunger during pre-harvest lean seasons is widespread in the agrarian areas of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. We randomly assign an $8.50 incentive to households in rural Bangladesh to temporarily out-migrate during the lean season. The incentive induces 22% of households to send a seasonal migrant, their consumption at the origin increases significantly, and treated households are 8-10 percentage points more likely to re-migrate 1 and 3 years after the incentive is removed. These facts can be explained qualitatively by a model in which migration is risky, mitigating risk requires individual-specific learning, and some migrants are sufficiently close to subsistence that failed migration is very costly. We document evidence consistent with this model using heterogeneity analysis and additional experimental variation, but calibrations with forward-looking households that can save up to migrate suggest that it is difficult for the model to quantitatively match the data. We conclude with extensions to the model that could provide a better quantitative accounting of the behavior.
    JEL: J61 O1 O15 R23
    Date: 2014–05
  5. By: Pierre-Louis Vezina; Christopher Parsons
    Abstract: We provide cogent evidence for the causal pro-trade effect of migrants and in doing so establish an important link between migrant networks and long-run economic development.� To this end, we exploit a unique event in human history, the exodus of the Vietnamese Boat People to the US.� This episode represents an ideal natural experiment as the large immigration shock, the first wave of which comprised refugees exogenously allocated across the US, occurred over a twenty-year period during which time the US imposed a complete trade embargo on Vietnam.� Following the lifting of trade restrictions in 1994, the share of US exports going to Vietnam was higher and more diversified in those US States with larger Vietnamese populations, themselves the result of larger refugee inflows 20 years earlier.
    Keywords: Migrant Networks, US Exports, Natural Experiment
    JEL: F14 F22
    Date: 2014–05–07
  6. By: Engdahl, Mattias (Uppsala University, Institute for Housing and Urban Research)
    Abstract: I study the effects of naturalizations on labor market outcomes and family formation. The results show that naturalizations are associated with improving economic outcomes for immigrants from outside the OECD. The strength of the correlation varies depending on the country group and gender. A causal interpretation of the results is not possible as the outcomes start to improve already before the acquisition of citizenship. The study also shows that the propensity to get married rises for some country groups the years surrounding naturalizations. This is suggestive of naturalizations being related to not only labor market integration but also decisions regarding the family. Further, my findings illustrate that modeling assumptions are of great importance. Models that are not flexible enough could lead to false claims regarding causality.
    Keywords: Naturalizations; labor market outcomes; family formation
    JEL: J13 J15 J21 J61
    Date: 2014–05–12
  7. By: Steve Brito; Ana Corbacho; Rene Osorio Rivas
    Abstract: This working paper studies the effect of remittances from the United States on crime rates in Mexico. The topic is examined using municipal-level data on the percent of household receiving remittances and homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Remittances are found to be associated with a decrease in homicide rates. Every 1 percent increase in the number of households receiving remittances reduces the homicide rate by 0.05 percent. Other types of crimes are analyzed, revealing a reduction in street robbery of 0.19 percent for every 1 percent increase in households receiving remittances. This decrease is also observed using a state-level panel in another specification. The mechanisms of transmission could be related to an income effect or an incapacitation effect of remittances increasing education, opening job opportunities, and/or reducing the amount of time available to engage in criminal activities.
    Keywords: Remittances, Crime, Remittances, Migration, Crime, Homicides, Mexico
    Date: 2014–05
  8. By: Li Hao (Walton College - University of Arkansas); Daniel Houser (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, George Mason University - George Mason University); Lei Mao (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I (UCBL)); Marie Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I (UCBL))
    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.
    Keywords: Migration; risk preferences; strategic uncertainty; ambiguity; field experiment
    Date: 2014

This nep-mig issue is ©2014 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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