nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2015‒09‒11
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors and the Swedish Labour Market By Celikaksoy, Aycan; Wadensjö, Eskil
  2. Applications for Asylum in the Developed World: Modelling Asylum Claims by Origin and Destination By Timothy J Hatton; Joe Moloney
  3. Asylum provision: A review of economic theories By Anjali Suriyakumaran; Yuji Tamura
  4. Want Freedom, Will Travel: Emigrant Self-Selection According to Institutional Quality By Naghsh Nejad, Maryam; Young, Andrew T.
  5. Legal Entitlement and Bargaining Power of Marriage Immigrants in Korea By Dainn Wie; Hanol Lee
  6. Does E-Verify Discriminate against Hispanic Citizens? By Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Xing Jin; Susan Pozo
  7. The Value of H-1B Status in Times of Scarcity By Chad Sparber
  8. The ''Negative'' Assimilation of Immigrants - A Counter-example from the Canadian Labour Market By Gilles Grenier; Yi Zhang
  9. Risk sharing and internal migration By De Weerdt, Joachim; Hirvonen, Kalle
  10. How Do Native and Migrant Workers Contribute to Innovation? By Fassio, Claudio; Montobbio, Fabio; Venturini, Alessandra
  11. The Academic Progress of Hispanic Immigrants By Hull, Marie C.
  12. Labour Mobility and Labour Market Adjustment in the EU By Arpaia, Alfonso; Kiss, Aron; Palvolgyi, Balazs; Turrini, Alessandro
  13. Environmental tax reform in a federation with rent-induced migration By Jean-Denis Garon; Charles Séguin
  14. The U-Shaped Self-Selection of Return Migrants By Zachary Ward

  1. By: Celikaksoy, Aycan (SOFI, Stockholm University); Wadensjö, Eskil (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: More unaccompanied refugee children arrive to and get a residence permit in Sweden than in any other country in Europe. The number of children who arrives is increasing fast. The Swedish experiences are therefore of great interest also for other countries. In this paper we study the labour market situation in terms of employment and income for those who have arrived as unaccompanied minors and have been registered in Sweden. We compare them with those who also arrived as minors from the same countries but who have arrived together with their parents. After controlling for demographic and migration related variables we find that young adults who arrived as unaccompanied refugee children are more likely to be employed than those children who arrived accompanied from the same countries. Another result is that labour market participation is much lower for females than for males. We also compare the labour market situation of these children with that for those who were born in Sweden and are of the same age.
    Keywords: unaccompanied minors, refugee children, migration, employment, income
    JEL: J13 J15 J21 J31
    Date: 2015–08
  2. By: Timothy J Hatton; Joe Moloney
    Abstract: This paper outlines trends in asylum applications to 38 industrialized countries since 1989. Applications to Australia of onshore arrivals are just two percent of the total. While Australian applications are subject to many of the same influences, the source country composition is distinct and the time profile is somewhat different from that of the other countries. We also provide a survey of existing quantitative research on refugee displacement and asylum applications. In the light of existing studies we specify and estimate a model to explain asylum applications in 19 major destination countries from 48 source countries over the period from 1997 to 2012. Finally, we develop a quantitative index of asylum policies, which covers 15 components of asylum policy for 1997 to 2012. This shows that on average policies became tougher, especially between 2000 and 2006. Australian policy shifted more than average. It turned sharply restrictive in 2001 followed by a distinct easing from 2008 that was reversed after 2012.
    Date: 2015–05
  3. By: Anjali Suriyakumaran; Yuji Tamura
    Abstract: In recent years, using economic theories, a small number of researchers have examined asylum provision by non-persecutor countries. Unfortunately, the nature of their analyses makes the results inaccessible to many who are interested in understanding the topic from multidisciplinary perspectives but are unfamiliar with mathematical methods in economics. We communicate the findings of those studies in non-mathematical fashion, thereby contributing to a facilitation of interdisciplinary research on asylum policy.
    Keywords: asylum provision, asylum policy
    Date: 2015–06
  4. By: Naghsh Nejad, Maryam (IZA); Young, Andrew T. (West Virginia University)
    Abstract: We investigate emigrant self-selection according to institutional quality using up to 3,566 observations on bilateral migration flows from 77 countries over the 1990-2000 period. We relate these flows to differences in political and economic institutions. We improve and expand upon previous studies by (i) examining decade-long migration flows that (ii) include flows not only to OECD countries but also to non-OECD countries; also (iii) utilizing an estimation method that takes into account the information in zero value migration flows and (iv) examining not only total migration flows but also college-educated and non-college educated subsamples separately. We find that economic freedoms are a significant pull factor for potential migrants. Once economic freedoms are controlled for, measures of political institutions do not enter significantly into our estimations. Results are similar for college- and non-college-educated subsamples. Improvements in legal systems and property rights appear to be the strongest pull factor for potential migrants.
    Keywords: emigration, institutions, democracy, economic freedom, brain drain
    JEL: O43 F22 P51
    Date: 2015–08
  5. By: Dainn Wie (GRIPS); Hanol Lee (Korea University, Seoul, Korea)
    Abstract: The fraction of marriages between South Korean males and brides from other Asian countries has sharply increased since 1990 reaching around 10% of new marriages in 2005. We employ a large data set collected in 2012 to investigate the impact of citizenship acquisition of these brides on their bargaining power in the household and labor market. We employ propensity score matching using detailed information of brides, their spouses, and households required for nationality application. Our results show that legal entitlement of marriage immigrants raises the chance of being hired as a regular worker and increases decision power in a household. The findings in this paper imply that a legal framework is an important determinant of the bargaining power of immigrants in the labor market and households.
    Date: 2015–08
  6. By: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Xing Jin; Susan Pozo
    Abstract: The ratcheting up of immigration enforcement has resulted in a number of unintended consequences featured in the news, such as family separations. We focus on, yet, another potentially unintended consequence –namely the possibility of employment discrimination against Hispanics legally authorized to work following the implementation of employment verification (E-Verify) mandates. Using data from the 2002-2012 National Latino Surveys, we exploit the temporal and spatial variation in the adoption of E-Verify mandates to assess how they have impacted perceptions of discrimination held by U.S.-born and naturalized Hispanics –all clearly authorized to work. While E-Verify mandates should not adversely impact their employment and other opportunities, these individuals could be hurt if some employers avoid hiring them for fear they may be undocumented. We find that E-Verify mandates raise perceptions of discrimination at work among all four groups of Hispanic citizens we distinguish in this research. Our findings point to the complex dynamics surrounding immigration policy.
  7. By: Chad Sparber (Colgate University)
    Abstract: For-profit firms are limited in their ability to hire new, foreign-born, highly-educated workers after quotas on H-1B work permits are met each year, though they are able to hire existing H-1B workers. Universities and other non-profit research institutions do not face the same restrictions. Using difference in- difference methodology, this paper estimates the marginal value of an accepted H-1B job offer — in the form of wages — at for-profit firms after quotas have been met. Lower-bound estimates suggest a 1% wage premium with the largest differences occurring in the first month after meeting the quota. At least some of these effects are attributable to wage increases within narrowly-defined groups of workers during years in which available H-1B permits are quickly exhausted. These results provide indirect evidence that H-1B workers are imperfectly substitutable with other labor sources.
    Keywords: Skilled Workers, H-1B Work Permit, Immigration, Difference-in-Difference
    JEL: J61 F22
    Date: 2015–09
  8. By: Gilles Grenier (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON); Yi Zhang
    Abstract: With Canadian data ranging from 1991 to 2011, this paper investigates the effects of the number of years since migration on the earnings of immigrants from the United States and the United Kingdom in Canada. The aim is to test whether the “negative assimilation” hypothesis proposed by Chiswick and Miller (2011) for immigrants to the United States is a universal finding for immigrants from countries with similar economic standing and skill transferability to those of the destination country. We also expand on Chiswick and Miller’s work by doing regressions for both males and females and by comparing to Chinese immigrants, a representative group from a less developed country. We find that the negative assimilation hypothesis does not hold for the Canadian labour market. Specifically, the assimilation rate is close to zero for U.K. immigrants and strictly positive for U.S. immigrants (although lower than that of a comparison group of Chinese immigrants). The assimilation rates are also higher for females than for males.
    Keywords: Immigrants, Negative Assimilation, Canada, Skill Transferability
    JEL: J15 J24 J61
    Date: 2015
  9. By: De Weerdt, Joachim; Hirvonen, Kalle
    Abstract: Over the past two decades, more than half the population in our sample of rural Tanzanians has migrated out of their home-communities. We hypothesize that this powerful current of internal migrants is changing the nature of traditional institutions such as informal risk sharing. Mass internal migration has created geographically disperse networks, on which we collected detailed panel data. By quantifying how shocks and consumption co-vary across linked households we show that, while both migrants and stayers insure negative shocks to stayers, there is no one in the network who insures the migrants’ negative shocks. While migrants do share some of their positive shocks, they ultimately end up nearly twice as rich as those at home by 2010, despite practically identical baseline positions in the early nineties prior to migration. Taken together, these findings point to migration as a risky, but profitable endeavour, for which the migrant will bear the risk and also reap most of the benefit. We interpret these results within the existing literature on risk-sharing and on the disincentive effects of redistributive norms.
    Keywords: internal migration; risk; insurance; institutions; Africa; tracking data
    JEL: O12 O15 O17 R23
    Date: 2015–04
  10. By: Fassio, Claudio; Montobbio, Fabio; Venturini, Alessandra (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper uses the French and the UK Labour Force Surveys and German Microcensus to estimate the effects of the different components of the labour force on innovation at the sectoral level between 1994 and 2005, focusing in particular on the contribution of migrant workers. We adopt a production function approach in which we control for the usual determinants of innovation, such as R&D investments, stock of patents and openness to trade. To address for the possible endogeneity of migrants we implement instrumental variable strategies using both two-stage least squares with external instruments and GMM-SYS with internal ones. In addition we also account for the possible endogeneity of native workers and instrument them accordingly. Our results show that highly educated migrants have a positive effect on innovation even if the effect is smaller relative to the one of the educated natives. Moreover this positive effect seems to be confined to the high tech sectors and among highly educated migrants from other European countries.
    Date: 2015–05
  11. By: Hull, Marie C. (University of North Carolina, Greensboro)
    Abstract: Past research has shown that Hispanic students make test score gains relative to whites as they age through school; however, this finding stands in contrast to the experience of blacks, who show little change in their relative position over the same time frame. Distinguishing Hispanic students by immigrant generation, I find that the children of immigrants (first- and second-generation Hispanics) drive the improvement in Hispanic test scores. Later-generation Hispanics consistently perform slightly below whites, perhaps due to negative selection into ethnic identification. Thus, previous estimates vastly understate the progress of first- and second-generation Hispanic immigrants. From a negative gap in 3rd grade, these students surpass socioeconomically similar whites in math and reading by middle school and end 8th grade as much as a quarter of a standard deviation ahead. Assimilation alone cannot explain this progress; a potential explanation is that immigrant parents create a home environment that fosters achievement.
    Keywords: human capital, achievement gap, Hispanic immigrants
    JEL: J24 I24 J15
    Date: 2015–08
  12. By: Arpaia, Alfonso (European Commission); Kiss, Aron (European Commission, Directorate Economic and Financial Affairs); Palvolgyi, Balazs (European Commission); Turrini, Alessandro (European Commission)
    Abstract: This paper assesses macroeconomic determinants of labour mobility and its role in the adjustment to asymmetric shocks. First, the paper develops stylised facts of mobility at the national and sub-national levels in the EU. Then, it explores the macroeconomic determinants of bilateral migration flows. Econometric evidence suggests that labour mobility increases significantly when a country joins the EU. While euro area membership seems not to be associated with an overall rise in the magnitude of mobility flows, workers do appear more ready to move from countries where unemployment is high to those where it is lower. Thirdly, the paper looks at mobility as a channel of economic adjustment by means of a VAR analysis in the vein of Blanchard and Katz (1992). Results indicate that mobility absorbs about a quarter of an asymmetric shock within 1 year. Movements in response to shocks have almost doubled since the introduction of the euro. Real wages have also become more responsive to asymmetric shocks during the same period.
    Keywords: labour mobility, geographic mobility, migration, gravity, adjustment, asymmetric shocks, optimal currency areas, European Union
    JEL: J61 J64
    Date: 2015–08
  13. By: Jean-Denis Garon (ESG-UQAM, CESIfo and CIRPEE); Charles Séguin (ESG-UQAM and CIREQ)
    Abstract: We study the welfare effects of a revenue-neutral green tax reform in a federation. The reform consists of increasing a tax on a polluting input and reducing that on labor income. Households are fully mobile within the federation. Regions are unequally endowed with a nonrenewable natural resource. Resource rents are owned by regions and are redistributed to citizens on a residence basis, which generates a motive for inefficiently relocating to the resource-rich jurisdiction. Since the resource-poor region has a higher marginal product of labor than does the resource-rich region, the tax reform mitigates the scope of inefficient migration. This positive welfare effect may significantly reduce abatement costs of pollution and calls for higher environmental tax, as compared with a model where migration is assumed away.
    Keywords: Federalism, Environment, Taxation, Equalization, Mobility
    JEL: D62 H21 H23 H77
    Date: 2015–09
  14. By: Zachary Ward
    Abstract: Return migrants often come from either the top or bottom part of the foreign-born income distribution, leading to a U-shaped pattern of self-selection. A common explanation for the U-shape is that the low-earners return home because they fail in the labor market, while the high-earners return home because they quickly hit savings targets. However, a simple model demonstrates that the self-selection of return migrants is U-shaped if the costs of migration are higher for low-skilled individuals. I test this model using data on migrants' intentions to return home, which are formed prior to potentially failing in the labor market. In addition to proposing that this model explains the U-shape found in many contemporary datasets, I show that the U-shape exists for a sample of migrants entering Ellis Island during the early 20th century.
    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.
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