nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2015‒04‒02
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Emigrants from Great Britain: what do we know about their lives? By John Jerrim
  2. Fertility Responses of High-Skilled Native Women to Immigrant Inflows By Delia Furtado
  3. Financial Education for Migrants and their Families By Adele Atkinson; Flore-Anne Messy
  4. Cultural Biases in Migration: Estimating Non-Monetary Migration Costs By Falck, Oliver; Lameli, Alfred; Ruhose, Jens
  5. Insights in Economical Complexity in Spain: the hidden boost of migrants in international tradings By Elena Agliari; Adriano Barra; Andrea Galluzzi; Francisco Requena-Silvente; Daniele Tantari
  6. The labor market effects of reducing the number of illegal immigrants By Andri Chassamboulli; Giovanni Peri
  7. Promoting integration of immigrants. Effects of free child care on child enrollment and parental employment By Nina Drange; Kjetil Telle
  8. Improving the Labour Market Integration of Immigrants in Belgium By Álvaro Pina; Vincent Corluy; Gerlinde Verbist
  9. Household Migration and Child Educational Attainment: The Case of Uganda By Ferrone, Lucia; Giannelli, Gianna Claudia
  10. Changes in the Regional Distribution of New Immigrants to Canada By Hou, Feng; Picot, Garnett; Bonikowska, Aneta
  11. Educational Attainment and Labor Market Performance: An Analysis of Immigrants in France By Akgüc, Mehtap; Ferrer, Ana
  12. The Winner Takes It All: Internal Migration, Education and Wages in Ethiopia By Blunch, Niels-Hugo; Laderchi, Caterina Cruggeri
  13. Migration Externalities in Chinese Cities By Combes, Pierre-Philippe; Démurger, Sylvie; Li, Shi
  14. Immigration and Wage Dynamics: Evidence from the Mexican Peso Crisis By Monras, Joan
  15. Immigration Policy and Macroeconomic Performance in France By Ekrame BOUBTANE; Dramane COULIBALY; Hippolyte D'ALBIS

  1. By: John Jerrim (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University College London)
    Abstract: Each year more than 300,000 individuals leave Great Britain to start a new life overseas. Indeed, recent estimates suggest that up to 4.7 million British nationals now live abroad. Yet, in contrast to the substantial literature on the economic and social welfare of immigrants into Great Britain, comparatively little is known about the lives of emigrants from this country. This report provides, to the author’s knowledge, the first quantitative study of this important issue. Labour market and social outcomes are compared between emigrants and individuals who choose to remain in Great Britain. I find a number of significant differences between these groups, along with notable variation by country of destination. This continues to hold true for certain outcomes even when differences in observable characteristics are taken into account.
    Keywords: Emigration, PIAAC, PISA
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2015–02–26
  2. By: Delia Furtado (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: While there is debate regarding the magnitude of the impact, immigrant inflows are generally understood to depress wages and increase employment in immigrant-intensive sectors. In light of the over-representation of the foreign-born in the childcare industry, this paper examines whether college-educated native women respond to immigrant-induced lower cost and potentially more convenient childcare options with increased fertility. An analysis of U.S. Census data between 1980 and 2000 suggests that immigrant inflows are indeed associated with increased likelihoods of having a baby, and responses are strongest among women who are most likely to consider childcare costs when making fertility decisions—namely, married women and women with a graduate degree. Given that woman also respond to immigrant inflows by working long hours, the paper ends with an analysis of the types of women who have stronger fertility relative to labor supply responses to immigration.
    Keywords: Fertility, child care, immigration, labor supply
    JEL: D10 F22 J13 J22 R23
    Date: 2015–03
  3. By: Adele Atkinson; Flore-Anne Messy
    Abstract: Money remitted by international migrants is a major source of income for many countries around the world, exceeding all international development funds combined. Yet individual migrants and their families are often amongst the most vulnerable people in society, and many face significant barriers to the access and use of appropriate financial products. Recognising their importance and vulnerability, some home and host countries are taking measures to support migrant workers and their families and improve their financial literacy; in some cases this occurs within the framework of a national strategy for financial education. In order to increase the extent of such support and to improve international co-operation, this paper seeks to illustrate the key challenges and suggest possible ways forward. The lessons learned will be used by the OECD and its International Network on Financial Education to develop a checklist for policy makers in order to increase the coverage of high-quality financial education for migrants.
    Keywords: remittances, immigrants, migrants, emigrants, financial education, financial inclusion
    JEL: D14 D18 F22 F36 G28 I28 J61 R23
    Date: 2015–03–30
  4. By: Falck, Oliver (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Lameli, Alfred (University of Marburg); Ruhose, Jens (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Ever since Sjaastad (1962), researchers have struggled to quantify the psychic costs of migration. We monetize psychic cost as the wage premium for moving to a culturally different location. We combine administrative social security panel data with a proxy for cultural difference based on historical dialect dissimilarity between German counties. Conditional on geographic distance and pre-migration wage profiles, we find that migrants demand a (indexed with respect to local rents) wage premium of about 1 (1.5) percent for overcoming one standard deviation in cultural dissimilarity. The effect is driven by males and those who earn above average occupational wages before migration, more pronounced for geographically short moves, and persistent over time.
    Keywords: migration costs, culture, internal migration, psychic cost
    JEL: D51 J61 R23
    Date: 2015–03
  5. By: Elena Agliari; Adriano Barra; Andrea Galluzzi; Francisco Requena-Silvente; Daniele Tantari
    Abstract: We consider extensive data on Spanish international trades and population composition and, through statistical-mechanics and graph-theory driven analysis, we unveil that the social network made of native and foreign-born individuals plays a role in the evolution and in the diversification of trades. Indeed, migrants naturally provide key information on policies and needs in their native countries, hence allowing firm's holders to leverage transactional costs of exports and duties. As a consequence, international trading is affordable for a larger basin of firms and thus results in an increased number of transactions, which, in turn, implies a larger diversification of international traded products. These results corroborate the novel scenario depicted by "Economical Complexity", where the pattern of production and trade of more developed countries is highly diversified. We also address a central question in Economics, concerning the existence of a critical threshold for migrants (within a given territorial district) over which they effectively contribute to boost international trades: in our physically-driven picture, this phenomenon corresponds to the emergence of a phase transition and, tackling the problem from this perspective, results in a novel successful quantitative route. Finally, we can infer that the pattern of interaction between native and foreign-born population exhibits small-world features as small diameter, large clustering, and weak ties working as optimal cut-edge, in complete agreement with findings in "Social Complexity".
    Date: 2015–03
  6. By: Andri Chassamboulli; Giovanni Peri
    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
    Date: 2015–03
  7. By: Nina Drange; Kjetil Telle (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Proficiency in the language spoken by the majority population may be crucial for the cognitive development of children from immigrant families. High-quality child care is believed to promote such language skills, and it is thus of concern that children from immigrant families are underrepresented in formal child care across OECD countries. How can we increase their participation, and can such participation improve family integration? We study an intervention in some districts of Oslo where children aged four and five were eligible for twenty hours of free childcare weekly. Taking advantage of the intervention being available in some city districts and not in others, we estimate the effect of the intervention on the enrollment of children and on their parents' employment and education, using outcomes measured for the same family before and after the child's age of eligibility. We find that the intervention increased the participation for children from immigrant families by 15 percent. However, we do not find support for effects on parental employment or education. The performance in tests at school entry (age six) for children from immigrant families in city districts with free child care is better than that of similar children in comparison districts. Overall, our results suggest that subsidizing center based child care can improve the cognitive development of children from immigrant families.
    Keywords: child care; education; immigrant children; integration; assimilation
    JEL: J13 J15 H52 I28
    Date: 2015–02
  8. By: Álvaro Pina; Vincent Corluy; Gerlinde Verbist
    Abstract: Immigrants make up one fifth of the Belgian working age population, but their labour market integration is poor. Employment rates of non-EU immigrants, in particular, are very low, and the problem extends to their native-born offspring. Further, with more precarious jobs and lower wages, immigrants are heavily exposed to poverty. This is explained by low educational attainment and correspondingly high vulnerability to disincentives to work and relatively high minimum wages, but also by more diffuse handicaps, like discrimination and imperfect knowledge of the languages of Belgium. Improving the labour market performance of immigrants requires a two-fold strategy. First, policies specific to migrants need to be enhanced. To improve job matching, immigrants need more support to develop and validate their human capital, and employers, both public and private, need stronger incentives to hire a more diverse workforce. Second, general reforms to improve the functioning of the economy, desirable in any case, could also have a significant positive impact on immigrants. There is vast scope to reduce labour costs and increase work incentives for low-skilled workers. Also, the education system needs to become more equitable and responsive to the needs of the children of immigrants. This Working Paper relates to the 2015 OECD Economic Survey of Belgium (<P>Améliorer l'insertion des immigrés sur le marché du travail en Belgique<BR>Si les personnes immigrées représentent un cinquième de la population en âge de travailler de la Belgique, leur intégration au marché du travail reste faible. En particulier, le taux d’emploi des ressortissants de pays extérieurs à l’UE est très bas, de même que celui de leurs enfants nés en Belgique. Par ailleurs, les immigrés sont très exposés au risque de pauvreté dans la mesure où les emplois qu’ils occupent sont plus précaires et moins bien rémunérés. Ce phénomène s’explique par leur faible niveau de scolarité, et en conséquence une forte sensibilité aux facteurs dissuasifs pour le travail et à des salaires minimums relativement élevés, mais aussi par des handicaps répandus et ancrés tel que la discrimination et la maîtrise insuffisante des langues nationales de la Belgique. Une stratégie en deux volets est indispensable pour améliorer la situation des immigrés sur le marché du travail. D’une part, il convient d’optimiser les mesures ciblées sur les immigrés. Pour améliorer l’appariement de l’offre et de la demande d’emplois, les immigrés doivent être mieux accompagnés pour développer et faire valider leur capital humain, tandis que les employeurs, dans le secteur public comme dans le secteur privé, doivent être davantage incités à diversifier leurs effectifs. D’autre part, des réformes générales visant à améliorer le fonctionnement de l’économie, au demeurant bienvenues en tant que telles, pourraient aussi avoir des retombées positives significatives sur les immigrés. Des marges importantes existent pour réduire les coûts de main-d’oeuvre et accroître les incitations au travail pour les travailleurs peu qualifiés. Il faut aussi renforcer l’équité dans le système éducatif, qui doit mieux répondre aux besoins des enfants d’immigrés. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Belgique, 2015 ( ique-belgique.htm)
    Keywords: Belgium, minimum wage, integration policies, early tracking, vocational education, school choice, immigrants, equity in education, labour tax wedge, orientation précoce, choix des établissements scolaires, enseignement professionnel, équité dans l’éducation, coin fiscal sur le travail, immigrés, Belgique, politiques d'intégration, salaire minimum
    JEL: I24 J15 J31 J32 J45 J61
    Date: 2015–03–25
  9. By: Ferrone, Lucia (UNICEF); Giannelli, Gianna Claudia (University of Florence)
    Abstract: In many Sub-Saharan African countries, a large number of people migrate internally or abroad because of demographic, economic and political factors. This pronounced mobility is likely to have consequences for child education, which is still a matter of concern in the region. We study this issue for Uganda, investigating whether the migration of household members affects child primary education and in what direction. Using the Uganda National Panel Survey for 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011, we estimate conditional fixed effects logit models of school attendance and primary school completion. We find that migration of children has a significant positive impact on child school attendance rates while that of adults has a significantly negative effect, and that remittances have no influence. These findings suggest that migration of children is indeed beneficial, since it may contribute to matching the demand and supply of schooling. The absence of adults, instead, has controversial effects when children are left behind. In fact, lack of supervision and children working substituting adults in their tasks might reduce the rate of school attendance. However, the migration of neither children nor adults seem to increase the rate of primary school completion, evidence that points to the problem of the low quality of primary education in developing countries.
    Keywords: migration, schooling, panel data models with fixed effects, Uganda
    JEL: I25 J13 J61 O15
    Date: 2015–03
  10. By: Hou, Feng; Picot, Garnett; Bonikowska, Aneta
    Abstract: Canada and the United States have recently experienced an increase in the regional dispersion of entering immigrants. American research suggests that a mixture of economic push factors (away from states like California) and pull factors (toward states with growth of low-wage jobs), as well as changing government policies and regulations contributed to the development of the `New Gateways.? Very few studies have been conducted to determine why the regional dispersion of entering immigrants occurred in Canada. This paper assesses the relative importance of immigrant selection programs and immigrant source regions in accounting for changes in the regional dispersion of entering immigrants during the 2000s.
    Keywords: Ethnic diversity and immigration, Immigrants and non-permanent residents, Income, pensions, spending and wealth, Labour, Labour market and income, Low income and inequality, Wages, salaries and other earnings
    Date: 2015–03–18
  11. By: Akgüc, Mehtap (Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS)); Ferrer, Ana (University of Waterloo)
    Abstract: Using a recent survey of immigrants to France, we provide a detailed analysis of the educational attainment and labor market performance of various sub-population groups in France. Our results indicate that immigrants to France are less educated than the native born and that these differences can be tracked down to differences in socioeconomic background for most groups of immigrants. Similarly, there is a significant wage gap between immigrant and native-born workers, but this is reduced and sometimes disappears after correcting for selection into employment. In most cases the remaining differences in education and labor market outcomes seem related to the area of origin of the immigrant as well as where the education of the immigrant is obtained.
    Keywords: immigration, France, labor market performance of immigrants, educational attainment
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2015–03
  12. By: Blunch, Niels-Hugo (Washington and Lee University); Laderchi, Caterina Cruggeri (World Bank)
    Abstract: Previous studies of migration have mainly examined international dynamics. Yet, internal migration is an important issue, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using the 2001 Ethiopia Child Labor Survey, a nationally representative household survey, this paper examines internal migration in Ethiopia, focusing on the linkages among internal migration, education and wages. The results suggest that migrants are better educated and obtain higher wages than non-migrants, controlling for other factors (including education), and also obtain higher returns to their education. In other words, the more educated reap higher returns from their education as a main effect, as well as higher returns to their education from migration than non-migrants – that is, "the winner takes it all." This result should be of concern to policy makers in Ethiopia and elsewhere – especially in Sub-Saharan Africa – since individuals with low levels of education already are in a vulnerable group. The study therefore also discusses the policy implications of these results.
    Keywords: internal migration, wages, education, Ethiopia
    JEL: J24 J31 O15
    Date: 2015–03
  13. By: Combes, Pierre-Philippe (GREQAM, University of Aix-Marseille); Démurger, Sylvie (CNRS, GATE); Li, Shi (Beijing Normal University)
    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
    JEL: O18 J61 R23 J31 O53
    Date: 2015–03
  14. By: Monras, Joan (Sciences Po, Paris)
    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
    JEL: F22 J20 J30
    Date: 2015–03
  15. By: Ekrame BOUBTANE (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International); Dramane COULIBALY; Hippolyte D'ALBIS
    Abstract: This paper quantitatively assesses the interaction between permanent immigration into France and France's macroeconomic performance as seen through its GDP per capita and its unemployment rate. It takes advantage of a new database where immigration is measured by the flow of newly- issued long-term residence permits, categorized by both the nationality of the immigrant and the reason of permit issuance. Using a VAR model estimation of monthly data over the period 1994-2008, we find that immigration flow significantly responds to France's macroeconomic performance: positively to the country's GDP per capita and negatively to its unemployment rate. At the same time, we find that immigration itself increases France's GDP per capita, particularly in the case of family immigration. This family immigration also reduces the country's unemployment rate, especially when the families come from developing countries.
    Keywords: immigration, Female and Family Migration, growth, Unemployment, VAR Models
    JEL: J61 F22 E20
    Date: 2015–03

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