nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2015‒05‒16
five papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Political Bias in Court? Lay Judges and Asylum Appeals By Martén, Linna
  2. Immigrant Student Performance in Math: Does It Matter Where You Come From? By Giannelli, Gianna Claudia; Rapallini, Chiara
  3. Happy Moves? Assessing the Link Between Life Satisfaction and Emigration Intentions By Ivlevs, Artjoms
  4. Are China's Ethnic Minorities Less Likely to Move? By Gustafsson, Björn Anders; Yang, Xiuna
  5. Wage Discrimination in Urban China: How Hukou Status Affects Migrant Pay By Xiaogang Wu; Zhuoni Zhang

  1. By: Martén, Linna (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Several countries practice a system where laymen, who lack legal education, participate in the judicial decision making. Yet, little is known about their potential influence on the court rulings. In Sweden lay judges (namndeman) are affiliated with the political parties and appointed in proportion to political party representation in the last local elections. This paper investigates the influence of their partisan belonging when ruling in asylum appeals in the Migration Courts, where laymen are effectively randomly assigned to cases. The results show that the approval rate is affected by the policy position of the laymen's political parties. In particular, asylum appeals are more likely to be rejected when laymen from the anti-immigrant party the Swedish Democrats participate, and less likely to be rejected when laymen from the Left Party, the Christian Democrats or the Green Party participate. This indicates that asylum seekers do not receive an impartial trial, and raises concerns that laymen in the courts can compromise the legal security in general.
    Keywords: Political attitudes; Decision making; Court; Immigration; Legal system
    JEL: D72 D79 K10 K40
    Date: 2015–05–05
  2. By: Giannelli, Gianna Claudia (University of Florence); Rapallini, Chiara (University of Florence)
    Abstract: The performance gap in math of immigrant students is investigated using PISA 2012. The gap with respect to non-immigrant schoolmates is first measured. The hypotheses that first (second) generation students coming from (whose parents come from) countries with a higher performance in math fare better than their immigrant peers coming from lower-ranked countries are then tested on a sample of about 13,000 immigrant students. The estimated average immigrant-native score gap in math amounts to -12 points. The results show that immigrant students coming from higher-ranked origin countries have a significantly lower score gap, and are thus relatively less disadvantaged. For example, coming from a country in the top quintile for math and having attended school there for one year improves the absolute score gap by nearly 39 points, the highest coefficient among the variables that reduce the gap, such as parental education and socio-economic status.
    Keywords: mathematical skills, migration, countries of origin
    JEL: I25 J15 O15
    Date: 2015–04
  3. By: Ivlevs, Artjoms (University of the West of England, Bristol)
    Abstract: It has been shown that higher levels of subjective well-being lead to greater work productivity, better physical health and enhanced social skills. Because of these positive externalities, policymakers across the world should be interested in attracting and retaining happy and life-satisfied migrants. This paper studies the link between life satisfaction and one's intentions to move abroad. Using survey data from 35 European and Central Asian countries, I find a U-shaped association between life satisfaction and emigration intentions: it is the most and the least life-satisfied people who are the most likely to express intentions to emigrate. This result is found in countries with different levels of economic development and institutional quality. The instrumental variable results suggest that higher levels of life satisfaction have a positive effect on the probability of reporting intentions to migrate. The findings of this paper raise concerns about possible 'happiness drain' in migrant-sending countries.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, life satisfaction, emigration, transition economies
    JEL: F22 O15 P2
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Gustafsson, Björn Anders (University of Gothenburg); Yang, Xiuna (Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: This study uses China's Inter-Census Survey 2005 to analyse the extent migration behaviour among 14 large ethnic minority groups and the Han majority. Results show that the probability to migrate to all types of destinations varies by province of origin, decreases by age, and in most cases, by expected income at the origin. Furthermore the probability to migrate is found to typically increase by length of education and decrease for females by the number of children. In most cases investigated, a minority ethnicity reduces migration probabilities for people registered in rural China. This is particularly the case for persons belonging to the Uyghur and Tibetan ethnic groups, but also for the Mongolian, Bai, Yao and Tujia groups. In contrast, Korean and Hui have a higher probability of migration than the majority. For people with an urban hukou there are fewer examples that minority ethnicity affects probability to migrate.
    Keywords: China, ethnic minorities, Uighur, Tibetan, Korean, Hui
    JEL: J15 J61 J7 P23
    Date: 2015–04
  5. By: Xiaogang Wu (Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Zhuoni Zhang (Department of Applied Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: Prof. Xiaogang Wu, an HKUST Faculty Associate and Professor of Social Science at HKUST, investigates the earnings disadvantages faced by rural Chinese migrants in urban cities as compared to their local urban counterparts, and uses empirical evidence to conclude that such disadvantages are largely attributable to occupational segregation based on workers' hukou (residency) status. Prof. Wu's findings carry important implications for hukou-related reform policies aimed at better assimilating rural migrants into urban Chinese cities. These findings are particularly important now, as both the Chinese central government as well as local urban governments throughout the country scramble to fix the socioeconomic difficulties faced by the ever-growing influx of rural migrants to urban areas.
    Keywords: Hukou, China, Chinese employment, Chinese rural migrants, Chinese residency status, Chinese socioeconomics, Hukou reform
    JEL: E24 J31 J41
    Date: 2015–03

This nep-mig issue is ©2015 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.