nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2014‒12‒19
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Intermarriage and the Unhealthy Assimilation of Immigrant Descendants By Giuntella, Osea
  2. Finishing Degrees and Finding Jobs: U.S. Higher Education and the Flow of Foreign IT Workers By John Bound; Murat Demirci; Gaurav Khanna; Sarah Turner
  3. Determinants of Bilingualism among Children By Chiswick, Barry R.; Gindelsky, Marina
  4. Cultural diversity and entrepreneurship in England and Wales By Andres Rodríguez-Pose; Daniel Hardy
  5. Internal Migration in Developing Countries By Valeria Groppo
  6. Should the U.S. Continue Its Family-Friendly Immigration Policy? By Duleep, Harriet; Regets, Mark
  7. Does Development Reduce Migration? By Clemens, Michael A.
  8. Remittance Responses to Temporary Discounts: A Field Experiment among Central American Migrants By Kate Ambler; Diego Aycinena; Dean Yang
  9. Migration and Welfare State: Why is America Different from Europe? By Assaf Razin; Efraim Sadka
  10. Migration and Agricultural Efficiency By Sauer, Johannes; Gorton, Matthew; Davidova, Sophia

  1. By: Giuntella, Osea (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of assimilation on the health of Hispanics in the US. I exploit a unique dataset of linked birth records and use ethnic intermarriage as a metric of acculturation. Intermarried Hispanics have a significantly higher socio-economic status than endogamously married Hispanics. Despite their higher socio-economic status and the positive socio-economic gradient in health, third-generation children of second- generation intermarried Hispanic women are more likely to have poor health at birth, even after I account for second-generation health at birth, employ only within-family variations in the extent of assimilation, and consider the endogeneity of intermarriage. These results do not appear to be driven by father's selectivity nor by individual unobservable characteristics associated with intermarriage. The children of intermarried natives do not receive the same "health penalty", nor do Hispanics intermarried to other ethnic groups. The intermarriage "health penalty" largely reflects the higher incidence of risky behaviors (e.g., smoking during pregnancy) among intermarried Hispanic women.
    Keywords: intermarriage, assimilation, birth outcomes, risky behaviors
    JEL: I10 J15
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: John Bound; Murat Demirci; Gaurav Khanna; Sarah Turner
    Abstract: The rising importance of Information Technology (IT) occupations in the U.S. economy has been accompanied by an expansion in the representation of high-skill foreign-born IT workers. To illustrate, the share of foreign born in IT occupations increased from about 15.5% to about 31.5% between 1993 and 2010, with this increased representation particularly marked among those younger than 45. This analysis focuses on understanding the role that U.S. higher education and immigration policy play in this transformation. A degree from a U.S. college/university is an important pathway to participation in the U.S. IT labor market, and the foreign-born who obtain U.S. degree credentials are particularly likely to remain in the U.S. Many workers from abroad, including countries like India and China where wages in IT fields lag those in the U.S., receive a substantial return to finding employment in the U.S., even as temporary work visa policies may limit their entry. Limits on temporary work visas, which are particularly binding for those educated abroad, likely increase the attractiveness of degree attainment from U.S. colleges and universities as a pathway to explore opportunities in the U.S labor market in IT.
    JEL: I23 J24 J61
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (George Washington University); Gindelsky, Marina (George Washington University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of bilingualism (i.e., speaks a language other than English at home) among children age 5 to 18 years in the American Community Survey, 2005-2011. Two groups of children are considered: those born in the US (native born) and foreign-born children who immigrated prior to age 14 (the 1.5 generation). The analyses are conducted overall, within genders, and within racial and ethnic groups. Bilingualism is more prevalent if the parents are foreign born, less proficient in English, of the same ancestry (linguistic) group, and if the child lives in an ethnic (linguistic) concentration area. Although the effects are relatively smaller, a foreign-born grandparent living in the household increases child bilingualism, while a higher level of parental education tends to decrease it. Children of Asian and especially of Hispanic origin are more likely to be bilingual than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts. Native-born Indigenous children are more likely to be bilingual.
    Keywords: bilingualism, native born children, immigrant children, family
    JEL: J15 J24 I21 Z13
    Date: 2014–09
  4. By: Andres Rodríguez-Pose; Daniel Hardy
    Abstract: British regions are becoming increasingly culturally diverse, with migration as the main driver. Does this diversity benefit local economies? This research examines the impact of cultural diversity on the entrepreneurial performance of UK regions. We focus on two largely overlooked factors, the measurement of diversity, and the skills composition of diverse populations. First, more that demonstrating the importance of cultural diversity for entrepreneurship, we show that the type of cultural diversity measured is a decisive factor. Second, the skill composition of diverse populations is also key. Diversity amongst the ranks of the highly skilled exerts the strongest impact upon start-up intensities. The empirical investigation employs spatial regression techniques and carriers out several robustness checks, including instrumental variables specifications, to corroborate our findings.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, cultural diversity, high-skilled migration, knowledge spillovers
    JEL: J24 L26 M13 F22
    Date: 2014–11
  5. By: Valeria Groppo
    Abstract: For people in rural areas of developing countries, finding a better paying job or better education is often only possible by moving - migrating - somewhere else. Moreover, agricultural production, generally the main economic activity in rural areas of developing countries, is risky, affected by droughts and floods. Due to poverty and the limited availability of crop insurance, rural households often rely on distant family members to provide money for buying food, starting a business or maintaining an existing business. The vast majority of moves happen within countries. Focusing on developing regions, this Roundup addresses the following questions: What are the broad trends in internal migration? Do internal migrants and their families really benefit from within-country mobility? What role does internal migration play in the recent urbanization process? The Roundup also documents how policy can increase the development impact of internal migration.
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Duleep, Harriet (College of William and Mary); Regets, Mark (National Science Foundation)
    Abstract: An ongoing debate is whether the U.S. should continue its family-based admission system, which favors visas for family members of U.S. citizens and residents, or adopt a more skills-based system, replacing family visas with employment-based visas. In many ways this is a false dichotomy: family-friendly policies attract highly-skilled immigrants regardless of their own visa path, and there are not strong reasons why a loosening of restrictions on employment migrants need be accompanied by new restrictions on family-based immigration. Moreover, it is misleading to think that only employment-based immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy. Recent immigrants, who have mostly entered via kinship ties, are economically productive, a fact hidden by a flawed methodology that underlies most economic analyses of immigrant economic assimilation.
    Keywords: immigration, human capital, admissions policy
    JEL: J24 J15
    Date: 2014–08
  7. By: Clemens, Michael A. (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: The most basic economic theory suggests that rising incomes in developing countries will deter emigration from those countries, an idea that captivates policymakers in international aid and trade diplomacy. A lengthy literature and recent data suggest something quite different: that over the course of a "mobility transition", emigration generally rises with economic development until countries reach upper-middle income, and only thereafter falls. This note quantifies the shape of the mobility transition in every decade since 1960. It then briefly surveys 45 years of research, which has yielded six classes of theory to explain the mobility transition and numerous tests of its existence and characteristics in both macro- and micro-level data. The note concludes by suggesting five questions that require further study.
    Keywords: emigration, migration, mobility, development, growth, transition, hump, lifecycle, inequality, poverty, aid, demand, pressure
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2014–10
  8. By: Kate Ambler; Diego Aycinena; Dean Yang
    Abstract: We study the impacts on remittances of offering migrants temporary discounts on remittance transaction fees. We randomly assigned migrants from El Salvador and Guatemala 10-week remittance transaction fee discounts, and assess impacts using administrative transaction data and a post-experiment survey. Temporary discounts lead to substantial increases in the number of transactions and total amount remitted during the discount period. Surprisingly, these increases persist up to 20 weeks after expiration of the discount. We find no evidence that the discounts cause migrants to shift remittances from other remittance channels, or to send remittances on behalf of other migrants. These findings are consistent with naïveté on the part of migrants regarding remittance recipients' reference-dependent preferences.
    JEL: F24 J61 O15
    Date: 2014–09
  9. By: Assaf Razin; Efraim Sadka
    Abstract: Over the years, there emerged two key policy differences between Europe and America, both welfare and migration-states. The former has more generous welfare state and more liberal migration policies than the latter. In this paper we attempt to provide a political-economy explanation for these key differences, based on the degree of coordination among member states of the economic union, and the different levels of population aging.
    JEL: F2 H23 H87
    Date: 2014–09
  10. By: Sauer, Johannes; Gorton, Matthew; Davidova, Sophia
    Keywords: International Development, Production Economics,
    Date: 2014

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