nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2014‒11‒28
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. In Transit: The Well-Being of Migrants from Transition and Post-Transition Countries By Nikolova, Milena; Graham, Carol Lee
  2. The Rhetoric of Closed Borders: Quotas, Lax Enforcement and Illegal Migration By Facchini, Giovanni; Testa, Cecilia
  3. Evidence on Policies to Increase the Development Impacts of International Migration By McKenzie, David; Yang, Dean
  4. Receiving Countries' Perspectives: The Case of Sweden By Gerdes, Christer; Wadensjö, Eskil
  5. Examining the Relationships between Labour Market Mismatches, Earnings and Job Satisfaction among Immigrant Graduates in Europe By McGuinness, Seamus; Byrne, Delma
  6. The Impact of Immigration on Native Wages and Employment By Anthony Edo
  7. Immigrant Skill Selection and Utilization: A Comparative Analysis of Australia, Canada, and the United States By Clarke, Andrew; Skuterud, Mikal
  8. “Job loss among immigrant and native workers: evidence from Spain’s economic downturn” By Elisabet Motellón; Enrique López-Bazo
  9. The Free Movement of Workers in an Enlarged European Union: Institutional Underpinnings of Economic Adjustment By Kahanec, Martin; Pytlikova, Mariola; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  10. Migration of Graduates within a Sequential Decision Framework: Evidence from Poland By Herbst, Mikolaj; Kaczmarczyk, Pawel; Wojcik, Piotr
  11. Migration, Local Off-farm Employment and Agricultural Production Efficiency: Evidence from China By Yang, Jin; Wang, Hui; Jin, Songqing; Chen, Kevin; Riedinger, Jeffrey; Peng, Chao
  12. The impact of corruption on apprehension level of immigrants: A study of the United States immigration By Buzurukov, Bilol; Lee, Byeong Wan
  13. Regularisations and employment in Italy REGANE Assessment Report By Baldwin-Edwards, Martin; Zampagni, Francesca
  14. Climate Change and Labor Markets in Rural Mexico: Evidence from Annual Fluctuations in Weather By Jessoe, Katrina; Manning, Dale; Taylor, J. Edward
  16. Ethnic Differences in Realising Desires to Leave the Neighbourhood By Boschman, Sanne; Kleinhans, Reinout; van Ham, Maarten
  17. The Effect of High-Skilled Immigration on Patenting and Employment: Evidence from H-1B Visa Lotteries By Kirk Doran; Alexander Gelber; Adam Isen
  18. Do remittances increase borrowing? By Ambrosius, Christian; Cuecuecha, Alfredo
  19. Migrants' choice of remittance channel: Do general payment habits play a role? By Kosse, Anneke; Vermeulen, Robert

  1. By: Nikolova, Milena (IZA); Graham, Carol Lee (Brookings Institution)
    Abstract: The extant literature has focused on migration's consequences for the receiving countries. In this paper, we ask a different but important question: how much do migrants gain from moving to another country? Using Gallup World Poll data and a methodology combining statistical matching with difference-in-differences, we assess migration's effects on the well-being of migrants from transition economies. We contribute to the literature by showing that in addition to increasing household income, migration enhances subjective well-being and satisfaction with freedom. The results are robust to sensitivity checks. Understanding the causal effects of migration on perceived and actual well-being is crucial for an informed public policy debate and has direct implications for social cohesion and integration policy.
    Keywords: migration, transition economies, subjective well-being
    JEL: F22 I31 J61 O15
    Date: 2014–10
  2. By: Facchini, Giovanni (University of Nottingham); Testa, Cecilia (Royal Holloway, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper studies why illegal immigration is widespread. We develop a political agency model in which a politician decides on an immigration target and its enforcement, facing uncertainty on the supply of migrants. Illegal immigration can arise for two reasons: the policy maker may be unable to enforce the target because supply is higher than expected; alternatively, he may underinvest in enforcement because of electoral concerns, and this occurs only when the incumbent and the majority of voters have different preferences over immigration. Empirical evidence provides strong support for our predictions, highlighting how electoral concerns shape illegal immigration flows.
    Keywords: illegal immigration, immigration policy, political economy
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: McKenzie, David (World Bank); Yang, Dean (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: International migration offers individuals and their families the potential to experience immediate and large gains in their incomes, and offers a large number of other positive benefits to the sending communities and countries. However, there are also concerns about potential costs of migration, including concerns about trafficking and human rights, a desire for remittances to be used more effectively, and concerns about externalities from skilled workers being lost. As a result there is increasing interest in policies which can enhance the development benefits of international migration and mitigate these potential costs. We provide a critical review of recent research on the effectiveness of these policies at three stages of the migration process: pre-departure, during migration, and directed towards possible return. The existing evidence base suggests some areas of policy success: bilateral migration agreements for countries whose workers have few other migration options, developing new savings and remittance products that allow migrants more control over how their money is used, and some efforts to provide financial education to migrants and their families. Suggestive evidence together with theory offers support for a number of other policies, such as lowering the cost of remittances, reducing passport costs, offering dual citizenship, and removing exit barriers to migration. Research offers reasons to be cautious about some policies such as enforcing strong rights for migrants like high minimum wages. Nevertheless, we find the evidence base to be weak for many policies, with no reliable research on the impact of most return migration programs, nor for whether countries should be trying to induce communal remitting through matching funds.
    Keywords: migration policy, remittances, return migration, impact evaluation
    JEL: O15 F22
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Gerdes, Christer (SOFI, Stockholm University); Wadensjö, Eskil (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Sweden has made its labour market more open for labour immigration since the mid1990s: becoming member of the common labour market of EES/EU in 1994, no transitional rules introduced at the enlargement of European Union in 2004 and 2007, and opening up for labour migration from non-EES/EU countries in December 2008. The changes have led to increased labour immigration. The labour immigration expanded for example after the enlargement in 2004 but not so much as in for example the United Kingdom and Ireland. Other forms of immigration have been more important. On the other hand, the migration has been rather stable in the years after the crisis in 2008. The main explanation is most likely that the recession in Sweden was only for one year, 2009, and that it was concentrated to some parts of the manufacturing industry where few migrant workers were employed. If the present EMU crisis is spreading to Sweden the result may of course be different.
    Keywords: immigration, wages, EU enlargement, Sweden
    JEL: F22 J15 J31 J61
    Date: 2014–08
  5. By: McGuinness, Seamus (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin); Byrne, Delma (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
    Abstract: This paper uses graduate survey data and econometric methods to estimate the incidence and wage/job satisfaction effects of over-education and overskilling among immigrants graduating from EU 15 based universities in 2005. Female immigrants with shorter durations of domicile were found to have a higher likelihood of overskilling. Newly arrived immigrants incurred wage penalties' which were exacerbated by additional penalties resulting from overskilling in the male labour market and overeducation in the female labour market. Established immigrants were found to enjoy a wage premia, particularly within the male labour market, with no evidence of disproportionate wage impacts arising as a consequence of mismatch. Female immigrants were generally found to have a significantly lower probability of being job satisfied relative to native female graduates.
    Keywords: overeducation, overskilling, immigrants, pay, job satisfaction
    JEL: J31 J61
    Date: 2014–08
  6. By: Anthony Edo (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the immigration impact on native outcomes using micro-level data for France. I find that immigration does not affect the wages of competing natives, but induces adverse employment effects. This finding is consistent with a wage structure that is much less flexible in France. The quality of the data allows to dig more deeply into the interpretation of the immigration impact. First, I show that immigrants displace native workers because they are more willing to have bad employment conditions. Second, I find that natives on short-term contracts, who are less subject to wage rigidities, do experience wage losses due to immigration.
    Keywords: Immigration; wage rigidities; employment; naturalization
    Date: 2013–09
  7. By: Clarke, Andrew; Skuterud, Mikal
    Abstract: We compare literacy test scores and relative wage and employment outcomes of Australian, Canadian and U.S. immigrants using the 2003/2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS). We find substantially higher immigrant skill levels at the lower end of the distribution in Australia, especially among recent arrivals, but little difference across countries at the top. In addition, we identify substantially larger wage returns to immigrant skill in the U.S., which we argue reflects language-skill complementarities, as opposed to more efficient skill utilization or unobserved productivity characteristics. Our results suggest that the benefit of a point system for the U.S. lies in its potential to limit unskilled immigration flows, rather than in raising skills at the top end of the distribution where the economic growth potential of immigration is likely greatest.
    Keywords: Immigrant workers; labour market integration; immigrant selection policy
    JEL: J61 J31 J23
    Date: 2014–09–22
  8. By: Elisabet Motellón (Department of Econometrics. University of Barcelona); Enrique López-Bazo (Department of Econometrics. University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: The profound crisis that has affected the Spanish economy since mid-2008 has been characterized by significant job losses and a marked rise in the country´s unemployment rate. However, unemployment has had a differential impact on different population groups. Compared to native, immigrant workers have experienced higher rates of job loss. Against this backdrop, this paper examines the differences between immigrants and natives (distinguished by gender) in terms of their probability of suffering job loss in the downturn of late 2008 and 2009. Our results indicate that the higher rate of job loss among female immigrant workers can be fully explained by their lower endowment of human capital. By contrast, human capital endowment and over-representation in certain occupations, sectors and regions in which the crisis had greatest impact do not appear to be the only reason for the penalty suffered by immigrant males in terms of their chances of losing their job in the downturn.
    Keywords: Immigration, Job Loss, Crisis, Labour Market Segregation, Spain JEL classification: I24, J24, J61
    Date: 2014–10
  9. By: Kahanec, Martin (Central European University); Pytlikova, Mariola (VSB Technical University Ostrava); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA and University of Bonn)
    Abstract: The eastern enlargements of the European Union (EU) and the extension of the free movement of workers to the new member states' citizens unleashed significant east-west migration flows in a labor market with more than half a billion people. Although many old member states applied transitional arrangements temporarily restricting the free movement of new member states' citizens, the need for adjustment became ever more important during the Great Recession, which affected EU member states unevenly. This chapter studies whether and how east-west migration flows in an enlarged EU responded to institutional and economic factors. We first develop a simple framework of adjustment through migration of workers between labor markets affected by asymmetric economic shocks. Using a new migration dataset and treating the EU enlargement and labor market openings towards the new EU members as a natural experiment allows us to estimate the effects of the EU accession and economic opportunities on migration. Applying the difference-in-differences and triple differences empirical modeling framework, we subsequently find that east-west migration flows in the EU responded positively to the EU entry and economic opportunities in receiving labor markets. However, this potential through which migration helped to ease the imbalances across EU labor markets was hampered by transitional arrangements, which negatively affected the flows of east-west migrants. We conclude that the free movement of workers is an asset that the EU needs to nurture as a means of adjusting to structural economic asymmetries as well as to short-run shocks across EU member states.
    Keywords: migration policy, difference-in-differences, EU eastern enlargement, free movement of workers, transitional arrangements, determinants of migration, Great Recession, natural experiment
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2014–09
  10. By: Herbst, Mikolaj (Warsaw University); Kaczmarczyk, Pawel (Warsaw University); Wojcik, Piotr (Warsaw University)
    Abstract: According to the economic literature human capital is a critical growth factor. This is why migration of individuals well endowed with human capital is subject of interest for both academics and policymakers. The aim of this paper is to identify main drivers of highly skilled migration within Poland. Following the findings of earlier studies, we argue that the spatial mobility of individuals should not be considered in terms of one-time displacement, but rather as a sequence of migration decisions within certain time period. We assume that the propensity to migrate depends on factors to be interpreted in terms of aspirations and capabilities and, additionally, the importance of those factors can change during the education process and in the life course. Applying multinomial logit modelling on the unique database on Polish graduates we find that all tested migration strategies can be explained both in terms of capacities to aspire and capacities to realize, whereas repeat migration is driven particularly by characteristics related to level of aspirations and return migration - by low capacities to realize the migration projects.
    Keywords: high skilled migration, graduates, sequential decision framework, capacity to aspire, capacity to realize
    JEL: I25 J24 J61 J62
    Date: 2014–10
  11. By: Yang, Jin; Wang, Hui; Jin, Songqing; Chen, Kevin; Riedinger, Jeffrey; Peng, Chao
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of local off-farm employment and migration on rural households’ technical efficiency of crop production using a five-year panel dataset from more than 2,000 households in five Chinese provinces. While there is not much debate about the positive contribution of migration and local off-farm employment to China’s economy, there is an increasing concern about the potential negative effects of moving labor away from agriculture on China’s future food security. This is a critical issue as maintaining self-sufficiency in grain production will be critical for China to feed its huge population in the future. Several papers have studied the impact of migration on production and yield with mixed results. But the impact of migration on technical efficiency is rarely studied. Methodologically, we incorporate the correlated randomeffects approach into the standard stochastic production frontier model to control for unobservable that are correlated with migration and off-farm employment decisions and technical efficiency. The most consistent result that emerged from our econometric analysis is that neither migration nor local off-farm employment has a negative effect on the technical efficiency of grain production, which does not support the widespread notion that vast-scale labor migration could negatively affect China’s future food security.
    Keywords: migration, local off-farm, agriculture, efficiency, China, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Security and Poverty, Productivity Analysis, D24, O12, O13,
    Date: 2014–07
  12. By: Buzurukov, Bilol; Lee, Byeong Wan
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates the effect of country level corruption on illicit behavior of individuals in a foreign country. The empirical research investigates the probability of individuals being apprehended overseas due to the influence of corrupt environment in their home countries. Using cross-sectional data for empirical analysis from 104 different countries over the period of 2009-2011, the authors focused on finding how people from various countries act and behave differently while stationing outside of their home countries. Their findings reveal some evidences that individuals coming to the United States from corruption-ridden countries are more likely to be apprehended than individuals from less corrupt countries are.
    Keywords: immigration,corruption,apprehension
    JEL: F22 D73 K42
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Baldwin-Edwards, Martin; Zampagni, Francesca
    Abstract: This report presents the results from the collection of background information, interviews with experts and stakeholders conducted in Milan and Naples in May 2013, and qualitative semi-structured interviews with migrants in these two regions of Italy. Section one provides an overview of Italy’s relatively recent emergence as a major receiverof labour immigration, along with policy responses and outcomes and recent legislative changes. The succeeding section details the various regularisations and other forms of amnesty since 1990, along with estimates of changed stocks of irregular migrants over time,and for the first time estimation of Italy’s irregularity rate over the last decade. The third section provides in the first instance a summary of the more important literature concerning labour market outcomes of regularisations in Italy. This is followed by a synopsis of the results of the 20 interviews conducted with immigrants in Milan and Naples. Some broad patterns are identified, along with tabular presentation of some major variables concerning the responses. Four case studies are presented in some detail – each representing a fairly common pattern of interaction with the immigration legislative framework of Italy. The report concludes with some thoughts on the problematic of conducting large-scale surveys in Naples and Milan to establish the impact of regularisations on the labour market and on immigrants themselves
    Keywords: regularisation employment immigrants Italy labour market REGANE ICMPD
    JEL: J08 J61 J68 K4
    Date: 2014–02
  14. By: Jessoe, Katrina; Manning, Dale; Taylor, J. Edward
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of annual fluctuations in temperature and precipitation on labor allocation in rural Mexico. We use a 28-year panel of individuals to investigate how people adjust their sector and location of work in response to year-to-year variation in weather. Controlling for state-year and individual fixed effects, we find that individuals are less likely to work locally in years with a high occurrence of extreme heat. This reduction in labor occurs for both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, with larger reductions among wage workers. Extreme heat early in the year or for individuals located close to the U.S. border increases the likelihood that individuals respond by migrating to the United States. Under two medium-emissions climate change scenarios, our results imply that increased temperatures will lead to a 1.2-3% decrease in local employment and a 1-2% increase in domestic migration from rural to urban areas. These results provide an important example of how climate change could impact rural labor markets in developing countries.
    Keywords: climate change, weather, rural employment, migration, Mexico, Environmental Economics and Policy, Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Gokce Uysal (Bahcesehir University Center for Economic and Social Research); Duygu Guner (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
    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.
    Date: 2014–04
  16. By: Boschman, Sanne (Delft University of Technology); Kleinhans, Reinout (Delft University of Technology); van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology)
    Abstract: Selective mobility into and out of neighbourhoods is one of the driving forces of segregation. Empirical research has revealed who wants to leave certain types of neighbourhoods or who leaves certain neighbourhoods. A factor which has received little attention so far is that some residents will have a desire to leave their neighbourhood, but are unable to do so. The residential mobility literature shows that the discrepancy between moving desires and actual mobility is larger for ethnic minorities than for natives. This paper uses a unique combination of register data and survey data. We combine data from a large housing survey in the Netherlands (WoON) with longitudinal register data from the Netherlands (SSB), which contains individual level information on residential mobility histories. This allows us to study which households with a wish to leave their neighbourhood are actually successful, and to which neighbourhoods they move. A more thorough insight in who wants to leave which neighbourhoods but is unable to do so will contribute to a better understanding of the drivers of segregation, especially in the context of the debate on voluntary segregation versus segregation due to a lack of choice. We find that ethnic minority groups are less likely to realise a desire to leave their neighbourhood and that if they succeed in moving from an ethnic minority concentration or poverty neighbourhood, they are more likely to end up in another minority concentration or poverty neighbourhood than native residents.
    Keywords: ethnic minorities, selective mobility, segregation, neighbourhoods, moving desires
    JEL: J15 R23
    Date: 2014–09
  17. By: Kirk Doran; Alexander Gelber; Adam Isen
    Abstract: We study the effect of winning an additional H-1B visa on a firm's patenting and employment outcomes. We compare firms randomly allocated H-1Bs in the Fiscal Year 2006 and 2007 H-1B visa lotteries to other firms randomly not allocated H-1Bs in these lotteries. We use Department of Homeland Security administrative data on the winners and losers in these lotteries matched to administrative data on the universe of approved U.S. patents, and matched to IRS administrative data on the universe of U.S. employment. Winning an H-1B visa has an insignificant average effect on patenting, with confidence intervals that rule out moderate-sized effects and that are even more precise in many cases. Employment data generally show that on average H-1B workers at least partially replace other workers in the same firm, with estimates typically indicating substantial crowdout of other workers.
    JEL: J18 J21 J23 J24 J44 J48 J61 O3 O32 O34 O38
    Date: 2014–11
  18. By: Ambrosius, Christian; Cuecuecha, Alfredo
    Abstract: While recent literature has pointed out that migrants´ remittances have a positive impact on savings with financial institutions, findings with respect to access to and the use of loans have been ambiguous. This paper investigates whether the reception of remittances facilitates taking up loans from formal or informal sources among Mexican households and finds positive and statistically significant effects of remittances on borrowing and on the existence of debts. We address methodological concerns of selection bias and reverse causality through household fixed effects and an instrumental strategy that exploits distance to train lines and labor market conditions in the US as exogenous determinants of remittances.
    JEL: F24 D14 I15 O12
    Date: 2014
  19. By: Kosse, Anneke; Vermeulen, Robert
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants in migrants’ choice of payment channel when transferring money to relatives abroad. We surveyed 1,680 migrants in the Netherlands, identifying five remittance channels: bank services, money transfer operator (MTO) services, in-cash transfers via informal intermediaries, ATM cash withdrawals abroad and carrying cash when travelling back home. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to present evidence of the role played by general payment habits: migrants who regularly use internet banking for other purposes are more likely to use bank services for remittances as well. However, we also demonstrate that other important drivers exist in determining the choice of payment channels, such as personal characteristics and country-specific factors, (perceived) costs, ease of use and the availability of remittance options. Based on our findings, we suggest that financial education, cost reduction and new (mobile) remittance solutions may serve a valuable role. JEL Classification: F24, E42, C25
    Keywords: payment instruments, qualitative choice models, remittances
    Date: 2014–06

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