nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2014‒06‒14
sixteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Financial Support from the Family Network and Illegal Immigration By Slobodan Djajić
  2. A Crook is a Crook … But is He Still a Crook Abroad? - On the Effect of Immigration on Destination-Country Corruption By Eugen Dimant; Tim Krieger; Margarete Redlin
  3. A Field Study of Chinese Migrant Workers' Attitudes toward Risks, Strategic Uncertainty, and Competitiveness By Hao, Li; Houser, Daniel; Mao, Lei; Villeval, Marie Claire
  4. Urbanization and spatial patterns of internal migration in India By S. Chandrasekhar; Ajay Sharma
  5. Migration of international students and mobilizing skills in the MENA Region By Nour S.
  6. Immigrant versus natives ? displacement and job creation By Ozden, Caglar; Wagner, Mathis
  7. Migration, Education and the Gender Gap in Labour Force Participation By Abdulloev, Ilhom; Gang, Ira N.; Yun, Myeong-Su
  8. The Impact of Parents Migration on the Well-being of Children Left Behind: Initial Evidence from Romania By Botezat, Alina; Pfeiffer, Friedhelm
  9. Mr. Rossi, Mr. Hu and Politics: The Role of Immigration in Shaping Natives' Political Preferences By Barone, Guglielmo; D'Ignazio, Alessio; de Blasio, Guido; Naticchioni, Paolo
  10. Afghan unaccompanied minors in the Netherlands: Far away from home and protected? By Siegel M.; Buil C.
  11. Naturalizations and the economic and social integration of immigrants By Engdahl, Mattias
  12. How the macroeconomic context impacts on attitudes to immigration: evidence from parallel time series By Joakim Ruist
  13. Inter-Firm Mobility and Return Migration Patterns of Skilled Guest Workers By Briggs Depew; Peter Norlander; Todd A. Sorensen
  14. Employer Attitudes towards Refugee Immigrants By Lundborg, Per; Skedinger, Per
  15. What drives bilateral remittances to Pakistan? A gravity model approach By Ahmed, Junaid; Martinez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada
  16. Directing remittances to education with soft and hard commitments : evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment and new product take-up among Filipino migrants in Rome By De Arcangelis, Giuseppe; Joxhe, Majlinda; McKenzie, David; Tiongson, Erwin; Yang, Dean

  1. By: Slobodan Djajić (IHEID, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: Barriers to immigration of low-skilled workers from developing countries into the advanced countries prevent many potential migrants from leaving their countries of origin. With very low home-country wages in relation to the cost of undocumented migration, the opportunity to migrate often hinges on becoming indebted to a human smuggling organization or family and friends. This paper examines the conditions under which migration is optimal for an individual who lacks liquid assets, with a focus on alternative options for financing migration costs. One is by accumulating the required amount of savings out of source-country income, with or without financial support from the family or social network. The other is debt-bonded migration, which involves borrowing from a smuggling organization and paying o the loan while working in the host country. I find that greater financial support from the family network increases the attractiveness of debt-bonded relative to self-financed migration.
    Keywords: liquidity constraints, debt-bonded labor, illegal immigration, financial support
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2014–06–09
  2. By: Eugen Dimant (University of Paderborn); Tim Krieger (University of Freiburg); Margarete Redlin (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of migration on destination-country corruption levels. Capitalizing on a comprehensive dataset consisting of annual immigration stocks of OECD countries from 207 countries of origin for the period 1984-2008, we explore different channels through which corruption might migrate. Independent of the econometric methodology applied, we consistently find that while general migration has an insignificant effect on the destination country’s corruption level, immigration from corruption-ridden origin countries boosts corruption in the destination country. Our findings provide a more profound understanding of the economic implications associated with migration flows.
    Keywords: Corruption, Migration, Impact of migration
    JEL: D73 F22 O15
    Date: 2013–10
  3. By: Hao, Li (University of Arkansas, Fayetteville); Houser, Daniel (George Mason University); Mao, Lei (GATE, University of Lyon); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    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
    JEL: C93 D03 D63 J61
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: S. Chandrasekhar (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research); Ajay Sharma (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)
    Abstract: With an urbanization level of 31.16 percent in 2011, India is the least urbanized country among the top 10 economies of the world. In addition, unlike other countries, the transition of workforce out of agriculture is incomplete. This coupled with jobless growth in recent years has contributed to an increase in certain migration streams. While rural-rural migration continues to be the largest in terms of magnitude, we also document an increase in two-way commuting across rural and urban areas. Further, there are a large number of short term migrants and an increase in return migration rate is also observed.
    Keywords: Internal migration streams, Short term migration, Commuting, Return migration, Regional labour mobility
    JEL: R23 J61 O1
    Date: 2014–05
  5. By: Nour S. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper uses both the descriptive and comparative approaches to provide an overview of migration of international students from the Middle East and North Africa MENA region and mobilizing skills in the MENA Region. We fill the gap in the MENA literature and present a more comprehensive and updated analysis of migration of international students from the MENA region. Our findings support the first hypothesis that the number of international students from the MENA region increased substantially over the past years. Our results corroborate the second hypothesis that international students from the MENA region are concentrated in few countries. Our findings support the third hypothesis that skills of international students can be better mobilized in their countries of origin by addressing the push-pull factors that determine migration of skills from the MENA region. Keywords migration, international students mobility, mobilizing skills, MENA region
    Keywords: Education and Economic Development; Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies: General; Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers;
    JEL: J60 J61 I25
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Ozden, Caglar; Wagner, Mathis
    Abstract: The impact of immigration on native workers is driven by two countervailing forces: the degree of substitutability between natives and immigrants, and the increased demand for native workers as immigrants reduce the cost of production and output expands. The literature so far has focused on the former substitution effect, while ignoring the latter scale effect. This paper estimates both of these effects using labor force survey data from Malaysia (1990-2010), a country uniquely suited for understanding the impact of low-skilled immigration. The instrumental variable estimates imply that the elasticity of labor demand (3.4) is greater than the elasticity of substitution between natives and immigrants (2.5). On average the scale effect outweighs the substitution effect. For every ten additional immigrants, employment of native workers increases by 4.1 in a local labor market. These large reallocation effects are accompanied by negligible relative wage changes. At the national level, a 10 percent increase in immigrants, equivalent to 1 percent increase in labor force, has a small positive effect on native wages (0.14 percent). The impact of immigration is highly heterogeneous for natives with different levels of education, resulting in substantial changes in skill premiums and hence inequality. Immigrants on net displace natives with at most primary education; while primarily benefiting those with a little more education, lower secondary or completed secondary education.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Population Policies,Labor Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Markets and Market Access
    Date: 2014–06–01
  7. By: Abdulloev, Ilhom (Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, Tajikistan); Gang, Ira N. (Rutgers University); Yun, Myeong-Su (Tulane University)
    Abstract: Women who want to work often face many more hurdles than men. This is true in Tajikistan where there is a large gender gap in labour force participation. We highlight the role of two factors – international migration and education – on the labour force participation decision and its gender gap. Using probit and decomposition analysis, our investigation shows that education and migration have a significant association with the gender gap in labour force participation in Tajikistan. International emigration from Tajikistan, in which approximately 93.5% of the participants are men, reduces labour force participation by men domestically; increased female education, especially at the university and vocational level, increases female participation. Both women acquiring greater access to education and men increasing their migration abroad contribute to reducing the gender gap.
    Keywords: migration, education, gender gap, labour force participation, Tajikistan
    JEL: J01 J16 O15
    Date: 2014–05
  8. By: Botezat, Alina (Romanian Academy); Pfeiffer, Friedhelm (ZEW Mannheim)
    Abstract: Many children grow up with parents working abroad. Economists are interested in the achievement and well-being of these "home alone" children to better understand the positive and negative aspects of migration in the sending countries. This paper examines the causal effects of parents' migration on their children left home in Romania, a country where increasingly more children are left behind in recent years. Using samples from a unique representative survey carried out in 2007 instrumental variable and bivariate probit estimates have been performed. Our initial evidence demonstrates that in Romania home alone children receive higher school grades, partly because they increase their time allocation for studying. However, they are more likely to be depressed and more often suffer from health problems especially in rural areas.
    Keywords: parent migration, home alone children, well-being, Romania
    JEL: I12 I21 J13
    Date: 2014–05
  9. By: Barone, Guglielmo (Bank of Italy); D'Ignazio, Alessio (Bank of Italy); de Blasio, Guido (Bank of Italy); Naticchioni, Paolo (University of Rome 3)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of immigration on voting. Using Italian municipality data and IV estimation strategy, we find that immigration generates a sizable causal increase in votes for the centre-right coalition, which has a political platform less favorable to immigrants. Additional findings are: big cities behave differently, with no impact of immigration on electoral outcomes; gains in votes for the centre-right coalition correspond to loss of votes for the centre-left parties, a decrease in voter turnout, and a rise in protest votes; cultural diversity, competition in the labor market and for public services are the most relevant channels at work.
    Keywords: immigration, voting, political economy
    JEL: D72 P16 J61
    Date: 2014–05
  10. By: Siegel M.; Buil C. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This study aims to provide insights into the migration situation of Afghan unaccompanied minors UAMs in the Netherlands and the extent to which the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child CRC is respected. This paper contributes to the scarce literature on the largest group of UAMs in the Netherlands and in many European countries. On the basis of participant observation in a UAM campus and interviews with Afghan minors and various stakeholders involved with UAMs the following aspects were analysed in relation to the CRC reception facilities, standard of living and care, possibilities of education, work and leisure, psychological difficulties and the legal situation. The study found that the Netherlands does well on the reception facilities, the standard of living and care, and the work conditions. Improvements can be made regarding educational opportunities, leisure, mental health care, integration and length of asylum procedure.Key words Afghanistan, unaccompanied minors, refugee, asylum seeker, migration
    Keywords: International Migration; Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth; Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination;
    JEL: F22 J13 J15
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Engdahl, Mattias (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)
    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: 2014–05–06
  12. By: Joakim Ruist (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effects of the macroeconomic context on attitudes to immigration. Earlier studies do in most cases not provide significant empirical support for the existence of important such effects. In this article it is argued that this lack of consistent evidence is mainly due to the cross-national setup of these studies being vulnerable to estimation bias caused by country-specific factors. The present study instead analyzes attitude variation within countries over time, using parallel time series from 23 European countries that were observed biannually 2002-2012 in the European Social Survey. The results provide firm empirical support in favor of macroeconomic variation importantly affecting attitudes to immigration. As an illustration, the estimates indicate that the number of individuals in the average European country in 2012 who were against all immigration from poorer countries or of foreign ethnicities was 40% higher than it would have been if macroeconomic conditions in that year had been as good as they were in 2006.
    Keywords: attitudes, immigration, macroeconomics, time series
    JEL: F22 E32 J15
    Date: 2014–06
  13. By: Briggs Depew; Peter Norlander; Todd A. Sorensen
    Abstract: Critics of U.S. high-skilled guest worker visa programs argue that 1) program regulations tie workers to their sponsoring firm, creating working conditions akin to indentured servitude and that 2) the pro- grams lack a vehicle for adjusting downward the number of visas avail- able during a recession. We address these two criticisms using unique payroll data from firms that rely upon these programs. Contrary to popular belief, we find that the guest workers in our sample exhibit a significant amount of inter-firm mobility that varies over both the earn- ings distribution and the business cycle. This suggests that, despite regulatory frictions of the visa programs, competitive pressures are a driving force in this labor market. Furthermore, we find evidence of increased return migration during periods of high unemployment. This is especially true for lower paid workers, suggesting positive selection.
  14. By: Lundborg, Per (Swedish Institute for Social Research); Skedinger, Per (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: We present a large survey with responses from Swedish firms on their attitudes towards refugees, regarding hiring, job performance, wage setting and discrimination. Generally, firms report positive experiences of having refugees as employees, but we also document a great deal of heterogeneity in attitudes. Firms that ceased to have refugees on the payroll are less satisfied with their job performance, which seems related to poor language skills and less screening of refugees but not to discrimination of them by staff or customers. While most firms agree with statements that wage cuts negatively affect worker cohesion, effort or the quality of applicants, employers who consider such cuts as employment-enhancing tend to not agree.
    Keywords: Refugee immigrants; Labour demand; Discrimination
    JEL: J15 J23 J71
    Date: 2014–05–16
  15. By: Ahmed, Junaid; Martinez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada
    Abstract: Formal remittance flows to Pakistan have shown noticeable growth over the past decade. Using bilateral remittance data for 23 major source countries, this study examines the external and internal factors driving these remittance flows during the period 2001-2011. We estimate a gravity model for bilateral remittance flows using a variety of panel data techniques suitable to control for unobserved heterogeneity as well as simultaneous bias existing between remittances and migrant's stock. The main novelty with respect to the existing literature is the use of transaction costs of remittances as a superior alternative to geographical distance to proxy for remittance costs. We find that several factors have a significant effect on remittances, such as improved economic conditions in the receiving country, Pakistani migrant's stock in the source country, and financial development and political stability in the recipient country. Geographical distance, economic conditions and the unemployment rate in the source countries, however, do not appear to play a substantial role. We also find that geographical distance seems to be a poor proxy for the cost of remitting. This can be better understood in terms of migrant networks and improvements in receiving and source country financial services. While the effect of transaction costs of remittances' on remittance flows is found to be negative, its significance is not robust to changes in the specification of the estimated models. --
    Keywords: remittances,gravity model,stock of migrant,geographical distance,transaction cost,financial development,political stability,Pakistan
    JEL: F22 F30 J61 O11 O24
    Date: 2014
  16. By: De Arcangelis, Giuseppe; Joxhe, Majlinda; McKenzie, David; Tiongson, Erwin; Yang, Dean
    Abstract: This paper tests how migrants'willingness to remit changes when given the ability to direct remittances to educational purposes using different forms of commitment. Variants of a dictator game in a lab-in-the-field experiment with Filipino migrants in Rome are used to examine remitting behavior under varying degrees of commitment. These range from the soft commitment of simply labeling remittances as being for education, to the hard commitment of having funds directly paid to a school and the student's educational performance monitored. The analysis finds that the introduction of simple labeling for education raises remittances by more than 15 percent. Adding the ability to directly send this funding to the school adds only a further 2.2 percent. The information asymmetry between migrants and their most closely connected household is randomly varied, but no significant change is found in the remittance response to these forms of commitment as information varies. Behavior in these games is shown to be predictive of take-up of a new financial product called EduPay, designed to allow migrants to pay remittances directly to schools in the Philippines. This take-up seems largely driven by a response to the ability to label remittances for education, rather than to the hard commitment feature of directly paying schools.
    Keywords: Remittances,Tertiary Education,Access&Equity in Basic Education,Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems,Debt Markets
    Date: 2014–05–01

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