nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2015‒03‒27
eight papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The Expected Well-being of Urban Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Johannesburg By Talita Greyling
  2. The Migrant Network Effect: An empirical analysis of rural-to-urban migration in South Africa By Caroline Stapleton
  3. Migration Externalities in Chinese Cities By Pierre-Philippe Combes; Sylvie Démurger; Shi Li
  4. The Labor Market Effects of Reducing the Number of Illegal Immigrants By Andri Chassamboulli; Giovanni Peri
  5. Immigration and Wage Dynamics: Evidence from the Mexican Peso Crisis By Joan Monras
  6. Immigrants' Effect on Native Workers: New Analysis on Longitudinal Data By Mette Foged; Giovanni Peri
  7. Job mobility as a new explanation for the immigrant-native wage gap : a longitudinal analysis for the German labor market By Brenzel, Hanna; Reichelt, Malte
  8. Why are higher skilled workers more mobile geographically?: the role of the job surplus By Michael Amior

  1. By: Talita Greyling
    Abstract: The influx of asylum seekers and refugees from across Africa to democratic South Africa has increased significantly. The aim of this paper is to determine the factors that influence the ‘expected well-being’ of this unique group. ‘Expected well-being’ is an important determinant of both the decision to migrate and the choice of destination country. Therefore knowledge of this determinant informs refugee policies. The results show that only a few factors found in the literature to explain the ‘expected well-being’ of voluntary migrants also explain the ‘expected well-being’ of forced migrants. However, quite a number of factors found in the literature to explain the subjective well-being and well-being of refugees and asylum seekers also applied to explaining the ‘expected well-being’ of this group. These factors include: government assistance, culture, the time spent in South Africa, economic factors, crime, refugee status, the reasons for leaving their home countries and the number of people in the house. The findings of this study emphasise the differences between forced and voluntary migrants and highlights the factors that influences the ‘expected well-being’ of forced migrants. These factors in turn shed light on migration decisions and choice of destination countries.
    Keywords: Expected well-being, Johannesburg, Forced migrants, Refugees, Asylum seekers, South Africa, Well-being
    JEL: D6 F23 J11 O15
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Caroline Stapleton
    Abstract: Recent empirical migration literature in South Africa suggests that access to physical and human capital, in the way of finance and education respectively, are key factors in increasing one’s probability of migrating. This paper attempts to extend this literature by directly measuring the extent to which social capital, broadly defined as one’s access to a migrant network, affects the probability of rural-to-urban migration. Using the first nationally representative panel dataset in South Africa, the National Income Dynamics Study, I estimate a standard model of migration choice with the inclusion of one’s connection to a migrant network. This connection is measured by being part of a household in the baseline wave that contains somebody with current or recent experience as a labour migrant. In line with international migration literature, the empirical results suggest that access to a migrant network increases the likelihood of becoming a migrant (by between 2-3 percentage points). These findings are robust to the inclusion of various controls and therefore suggest that social capital does indeed play a role along with physical and human capital in determining who migrates in South Africa.
    Keywords: Empirical migration, South Africa
    JEL: D1 I3 J1 J6
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Pierre-Philippe Combes (Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille); Sylvie Démurger (CNRS); Shi Li
    Abstract: We analyse the impact of internal migration in China on natives’ labour market outcomes. We find evidence of a large positive correlation of the city share of migrants with natives’ wages. Using different sets of control variables and instruments suggests that the effect is causal. The large total migrant impact (+10% when one moves from the first to the third quartile of the migrant variable distribution) arises from gains due to complementarity with natives in the production function (+6.4%), and from gains due to agglomeration economies (+3.3%). Finally, we find some evidence of a stronger effect for skilled natives than for unskilled, as expected from theory. Overall, our findings support large nominal wage gains that can be expected from further migration and urbanisation in China.
    Keywords: migration; urban development; agglomeration economies; wage disparities; China.
    Date: 2015–03
  4. By: Andri Chassamboulli (University of Cyprus); Giovanni Peri (UC Davis)
    Abstract: A controversial issue in the US is how to reduce the number of illegal immigrants and what effect this would have on the US economy. To answer this question we set up a two-country model with search in labor markets and featuring legal and illegal immigrants among the low skilled. We calibrate it to the US and Mexican economies during the period 2000-2010. As immigrants, especially illegal ones, have a worse outside option than natives their wages are lower. Hence their presence reduces the labor cost of employers who, as a consequence, create more jobs per unemployed when there are more immigrants. Because of such effect our model shows that increasing deportation rates and tightening border control weakens the low-skilled labor markets, increasing unemployment of native low skilled. Legalization, instead decreases the unemployment rate of low-skilled natives and it increases income per native.
    Keywords: job creation, search costs, illegal immigrants, border controls, deportations, legalization, unemployment, wages
    JEL: F22 J61 J64
    Date: 2015–03
  5. By: Joan Monras (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: How does the US labor market absorb low-skilled immigration? I address this question using the 1995 Mexican Peso Crisis, an exogenous push factor that raised Mexican migration to the US. In the short run, high-immigration states see their low-skilled labor force increase and native low-skilled wages decrease, with an implied local labor demand elasticity of -.7. Internal relocation dissipates this shock spatially. In the long run, the only lasting consequences are for low-skilled natives who entered the labor force in high-immigration years. A simple quantitative many-region model allows me to obtain the counterfactual local wage evolution absent the immigration shock.
    Keywords: International and internal migration, local shocks, local labor demand elasticity.
    Date: 2015–03
  6. By: Mette Foged (University of Copenhagen); Giovanni Peri (UC Davis)
    Abstract: Using longitudinal data on the universe of workers in Denmark during the period 1991-2008 we track the labor market outcomes of low skilled natives in response to an exogenous inflow of low skilled immigrants. We innovate on previous identification strategies by considering immigrants distributed across municipalities by a refugee dispersal policy in place between 1986 and 1998. We find that an increase in the supply of refugee-country immigrants pushed less educated native workers (especially the young and low-tenured ones) to pursue less manual-intensive occupations. As a result immigration had positive effects on native unskilled wages, employment and occupational mobility.
    Keywords: Refugees, dispersal policy, manual skills, employment, wages
    JEL: F22 J24 J61
    Date: 2015–03
  7. By: Brenzel, Hanna (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Reichelt, Malte (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Theoretically, wage gaps between migrants and natives can be explained by human capital theory through either depreciation in human capital with migration or differences in endowments. However, even after considering human capital measures, an unexplained difference remains. We assume that differences in the employment trajectories of migrants and natives contribute to wages that diverge after labor market entrance. Utilizing a rich longitudinal data set (ALWA-ADIAB), we analyze the job mobility of migrants and natives in Germany and distinguish among voluntary, involuntary, internal and other job changes. Indeed, we find evidence for differences in transition patterns and - using several fixed-effects regressions - are able to explain a substantial part of the gap between migrants' and natives' hourly wages by differences in job change behavior." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J61 J31 J62 J15
    Date: 2015–03–19
  8. By: Michael Amior
    Abstract: The skill gap in geographical mobility is entirely driven by workers who report moving for a new job. A natural explanation lies in the large expected surplus accruing to skilled job matches. Just as large surpluses ease the frictions which impede job search in general, they also help overcome those frictions (specifically moving costs) which plague cross-city matching in particular. I reject the alternative hypothesis that mobility differences are driven by variation in the moving costs themselves, based on PSID evidence on self-reported willingness to move. Evidence on wage processes also supports my claims.
    Keywords: internal migration; job search; education; skills
    JEL: J24 J61 J64
    Date: 2015–03

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