nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2015‒10‒25
twenty papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Female Migration and Native Marital Stability: Insights from Italy By Vignoli, Daniele; Venturini, Alessandra; Pirani, Elena
  2. Do E-Verify Mandates Improve Labor Market Outcomes of Low-Skilled Native and Legal Immigrant Workers? By Bohn, Sarah; Lofstrom, Magnus; Raphael, Steven
  3. Self-Selection of Emigrants: Theory and Evidence on Stochastic Dominance in Observable and Unobservable Characteristics By George J. Borjas; Ilpo Kauppinen; Panu Poutvaara
  4. Networks and Misallocation: Insurance, Migration, and the Rural-Urban Wage Gap By Kaivan Munshi; Mark Rosenzweig
  5. Fertility, Health and Education of UK Immigrants: The Role of English Language Skills By Yu Aoki; Lualhati Santiago
  6. Heterogeneous Immigrants and Foreign Direct Investment: The Role of Language Skills By Lücke, Matthias; Stöhr, Tobias
  7. The empirical analysis of the determinants of migration and remittances in Kenya and the impact on household expenditure patterns By Jena, Farai
  8. Human Resources and Innovation: Total Factor Productivity and Foreign Human Capital By Fassio, Claudio; Kalantaryan, Sona; Venturini, Alessandra
  9. Migration State and Welfare State: Competition vs. Coordination in Economic Unions By Razin, Assaf; Sadka, Efraim
  10. Immigration and the Gender Wage Gap By Anthony Edo; Farid Toubal
  11. Tradable Refugee-Admission Quotas (TRAQs), the Syrian Crisis and the New European Agenda on Migration By Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús; Rapoport, Hillel
  12. SEE 2020 Strategy: Study on Labour Mobility By Hermine Vidovic
  13. Integration policies and public opinion: in conflict or in harmony? By CALLENS Marie-Sophie
  14. Country-Specific Preferences and Employment Rates in Europe By Simone Moriconi; Giovanni Peri
  15. Risk Attitudes and Household Migration Decisions By Christian Dustmann; Francesco Fasani; Xin Meng; Luigi Minale
  16. Perceived Threat, Contact and Attitudes towards the Integration of Immigrants. Evidence from Luxembourg By CALLENS Marie-Sophie; MEULEMAN Bart; VALENTOVA Marie
  17. Intergenerational transmission and the effects of health on migration By Xiao, Mimi
  18. On Redistributive Taxation under the Threat of High-Skill Emigration By Alan Krause
  19. Effect of forced displacement on health By Ivan Zilic
  20. Building a Better H-1B Program By Chad Sparber

  1. By: Vignoli, Daniele; Venturini, Alessandra; Pirani, Elena (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In this paper, we argue that the size and the composition of the female migrant population in a given area can affect the marital stability of natives. We take Italy as a case-study and we offer discrete-time event history models predicting marital disruption on data from the nationally–representative 2009 Family and Social Subjects survey. We found that the increasing presence of first mover migrant women (coming from Latin America and Eastern Europe) is associated with higher separation risks among natives, especially for couples with lower human capital. Our findings add to our understanding of family formation and dissolution dynamics in recent immigration countries.
    Date: 2015–10
  2. By: Bohn, Sarah (Public Policy Institute of California); Lofstrom, Magnus (Public Policy Institute of California); Raphael, Steven (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of state level legislation against the hiring of unauthorized immigrants on employment opportunities among competing low-skilled workers. Our focus is on the role of E-Verify mandates and specifically, we test for effects of the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) on employment outcomes of low-skilled native-born and legal immigrant workers in Arizona. We use the synthetic control method developed by Abadie, Diamond and Hainmueller (2010) to select a group of states against which the labor market trends of Arizona can be compared. Our results suggest that contrary to its intent, the Legal Arizona Workers Act does not appear to have improved labor market outcomes of competing legal low-skilled workers. In fact, we find some evidence of diminished employment and increased unemployment among legal low-skilled workers in Arizona. These findings are concentrated on the largest demographic group of workers – non-Hispanic white men. While they are less likely to find employment, those who do have on average higher earnings as a result of LAWA. The pattern of results points to both labor supply and labor demand contractions due to LAWA, with labor supply dominating in terms of magnitude.
    Keywords: illegal, unauthorized, undocumented, immigration, E-Verify, Arizona
    JEL: J8 J15 J18 J21 J31 J61
    Date: 2015–10
  3. By: George J. Borjas (Harvard Kennedy School); Ilpo Kauppinen (VATT Institute for Economic Research); Panu Poutvaara (University of Munich and Ifo Institute)
    Abstract: We show that the Roy model has more precise predictions about the self-selection of migrants than previously realized. The same conditions that have been shown to result in positive or negative selection in terms of expected earnings also imply a stochastic dominance relationship between the earnings distributions of migrants and non-migrants. We use the Danish full population administrative data to test the predictions. We find strong evidence of positive self-selection of emigrants in terms of pre-emigration earnings: the income distribution for the migrants almost stochastically dominates the distribution for the non-migrants. This result is not driven by immigration policies in destination countries. Decomposing the self-selection in total earnings into self-selection in observable characteristics and self-selection in unobservable characteristics reveals that unobserved abilities play the dominant role.
    Keywords: International Migration, Roy model, Self selection
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2015–10
  4. By: Kaivan Munshi (University of Cambridge); Mark Rosenzweig (Yale University)
    Abstract: We provide an explanation for the large spatial wage disparities and low male migration in India based on the trade-off between consumption-smoothing, provided by caste-based rural insurance networks, and the income-gains from migration. Our theory generates two key empirically-verified predictions: (i) males in relatively wealthy households within a caste who benefit less from the redistributive (surplus-maximizing) network will be more likely to migrate, and (ii) males in households facing greater rural income-risk (who benefit more from the insurance network) migrate less. Structural estimates show that small improvements in formal insurance decrease the spatial misallocation of labor by substantially increasing migration.
    Date: 2015–10
  5. By: Yu Aoki (University of Aberdeen); Lualhati Santiago (Warwick University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper aims to identify the causal effect of English language skills on fertility, health and education outcomes of immigrants in England and Wales. To estimate this causal effect, we use the instrumental variable estimation strategy where age at arrival in the United Kingdom (UK) is exploited to construct an instrument for language skills. The idea of exploiting age at arrival is based on the phenomenon that a person who is exposed to a new language within the critical period of language acquisition (i.e., childhood) learns the language more easily. This implies that immigrants who arrive in the UK at a young age have on average better English language skills than those who arrive when they are older. Using a unique individual-level dataset that links census and life event records for the population living in England and Wales at the 2011 Census, we find that better English language skills significantly delay the age at which a woman has her first child, lower the likelihood that she has a child in her teens, and decrease the number of children she gives birth to, but do not affect her children’s birthweight and an individual’s self-reported health. The impact on educational achievement is also considerable: better English skills significantly raise the probability of obtaining academic degrees and significantly lower the probability of having no qualifications.
    Keywords: Language skills, fertility, health, education, natural experiment
    JEL: I10 I20 J13
    Date: 2015–08
  6. By: Lücke, Matthias (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Stöhr, Tobias (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
    Abstract: We investigate the interplay of language skills and immigrant stocks in determining bilateral FDI out-stocks of OECD reporting countries. Applying a Poisson panel estimator to 2004-2011 data, we find a robust positive effect of bilateral immigrants on bilateral FDI – provided that residents of the two countries have few language skills in common. We find a similar effect for immigrants from third countries that speak the language(s) of the FDI host country, making them potential substitutes for bilateral migrants. Our findings suggest that immigrants facilitate outgoing FDI through their language skills, rather than through other characteristics like cultural familiarity.
    Keywords: migration, FDI, foreign languages, globalization
    JEL: F21 F22 O14
    Date: 2015–10
  7. By: Jena, Farai
    Abstract: This thesis conducts empirical analysis on the determinants of migration and remittance sending decisions in Kenya and the impact on the expenditure patterns of households using cross-sectional household survey data. The first empirical chapter explores the factors that influence the subsequent migration decisions of Kenyan siblings using binary logit models. The findings reveal that preceding sibling migrants have a strong negative effect on the probability of migration for other siblings. Evidence in support of migration as a joint household level decision is obtained as preceding sibling and non-sibling migrants are found to exhibit similar effects. Conditional on migrating, siblings are shown to utilize existing sibling networks by moving to the same internal or external destination as preceding migrants. Discrete failure time models are also employed so as to account for any neglected heterogeneity at the household level. Controlling for neglected heterogeneity, the overall effect of preceding sibling migrants is found to be statistically insignificant. However, non-sibling migrants are found to decrease the probability of migrating. The second empirical chapter examines the remittance behaviour of multiple compared to sole sibling migrants, and the motivations of Kenyan siblings in sending remittances to their household of origin. No evidence of selection bias in the decision to remit is detected when a Heckman selection model is estimated. Using probit and OLS models, the presence of other siblings is found to decrease the probability of remitting but to have no effect on the amount of remittances sent. The amount of remittances sent by other siblings is also found to have no statistically significant effect on the remittances sent by a sibling using IV regression methods. In the third empirical chapter, the expenditure patterns of Kenyan households are investigated according to whether the household is a migrant or non-migrant household, and whether a migrant household is in receipt of remittances or not using an Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) approach. The analysis reveals that remitters who are spouses and siblings of the household have higher bargaining power towards the allocation of remittances to physical investments and durable goods, respectively. The expenditure patterns also show that remittances are not pooled together with general income when allocating the household budget towards durable goods and physical investments. In addition, the findings reveal that the reported uses of remittances by Kenyan households contrast with their actual uses. In the fourth chapter, the uses of remittances for the acquisition of physical investments and durable goods are analysed in more detail using IV and bivariate probit models. Remittances are found to be exogenous for the durable goods category but endogenous for physical investments. The evidence obtained is supportive of remittances being used by households to purchase these categories of commodities
    Date: 2015–05
  8. By: Fassio, Claudio (Lund University); Kalantaryan, Sona (Migration Policy Centre); Venturini, Alessandra (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to analyse the role of migrants in innovation in Europe. We use Total Factor Productivity as a measure of innovation and focus on the three largest European countries – France, Germany and the United Kingdom – in the years 1994-2007. Unlike previous research, which mainly employs a regional approach, we analyse the link between migration and innovation at the sectoral level. This allows us to measure the direct contribution of migrants in the sector in which they are actually employed. Moreover, it allows a distinction between the real contribution of migrants to innovation from possible inter-sectoral complementarities, which might as well foster innovation. We control for the different components of human-capital, such as age, education and diversity of origin. To address the possible endogeneity of migration we draw on an instrumental variable strategy originally devised by Card (2001) and adapt it at the sector level. The results show that overall migrants are relevant in all sectors, but some important differences emerge across sectors: highly-educated migrants show a larger positive effect in the high-tech sectors, while middle- and low-educated ones are more relevant in manufacturing. The diversity of countries of origin contributes to innovation only in the services sectors, confirming that in empirical analyses at the regional or national level the diversity measure might capture the complementarity between sectors rather than the contribution of different national skills.
    Keywords: migration, innovation, highly skilled migrants, low skilled migrants
    JEL: F22 O31 O32
    Date: 2015–10
  9. By: Razin, Assaf; Sadka, Efraim
    Abstract: We develop a model of an economic union with income redistribution, facing upward supplies of immigrants of various skills and wealth. We compare the policy competition equilibrium of the model to the coordination equilibrium. The model predicts that the completion equilibrium will be with a more generous welfare state (higher taxes) with more low skilled immigrants than the coordination equilibrium. The explanation is based on fiscal externalities due to income differences in the native born and immigrant populations. We argue that this type of a difference between the U.S. and the EU - the degree of coordination among the member states – contributes to our understanding of observed policy differences between these two otherwise similar unions: the generosity of the welfare state and the skill composition of migration.
    Keywords: Fiscal externality; Generosity of the welfare state; skill composition of immigration
    JEL: F2 H1
    Date: 2015–10
  10. By: Anthony Edo; Farid Toubal
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of immigration on the gender wage gap. Using a detailed individual French dataset, we shed lights on the strong feminization of the immigration workforce from 1990 to 2010. Our theoretical model predicts that a shift in the supply of female workers increases gender wage inequality when men and women are imperfect substitute in production. Our structural estimate shows an imperfect substituability between men and women workers of similar education and experience. Our econometric analysis shows that a 10% increase in immigrant female labor supply relative to immigrant male labor supply in a given education-experience group lowers the relative earnings of female native workers of that group by 4%. We finally use a structural model to account for the cross-group effects induced by immigration and show that the rise in the relative number of female immigrants has decreased the relative wage of female native workers, thereby contributing to a widening native gender wage gap.
    Keywords: Migration;labor supply;gender wage gap
    JEL: F22 J16 J21 J31 J61
    Date: 2015–10
  11. By: Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Rapoport, Hillel (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: The Syrian Civil War gave rise to the largest refugee flight reaching Europe since the Yugoslavian wars in the 1990s. The crisis evidenced the deficiencies of the European Union Asylum Policy, which struggled both to offer solutions to Syrian refugees and to efficiently allocate costs across Member States. We draw on previous theoretical work to simulate how a system of tradable refugee-admission quotas coupled with a matching mechanism assigning refugees to their preferred destinations and destinations to their preferred types of refugees would give more flexibility to Member States while respecting refugee rights and preferences.
    Keywords: immigration policy, EU policy, tradable quotas, refugee resettlement, asylum seekers, international public goods
    JEL: F22 F5 H87 I3 K33
    Date: 2015–10
  12. By: Hermine Vidovic (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: Summary The study focuses on cross-border mobility in the Western Balkans, which has been identified in the SEE 2020 Strategy as contributing positively to generating employment, reducing the skills mismatch and increasing the productivity of the countries of the region. So far labour market liberalisation in the Western Balkans has made little progress; almost all countries rely on quota regimes. With the exception of Montenegro and Croatia, the majority of labour migrants come from outside the region, a significant share of them with higher education. Regional migrants are generally lower skilled than workers from outside. Montenegro attracts the major part of regional migrants, while Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are the biggest sending countries. Potential migration/labour flows of the Western Balkan countries within the region and into the EU-14 and the new EU Member States-10 are analysed by adopting a gravity modelling approach. Accordingly, lifting restrictions on labour market access increases strongly both migration flows to EU-14 as well as intra-regional flows. If macroeconomic indicators (employment rates and GDP per capita) improve further in the Western Balkans then this causes a certain amount of redirection of mobility from extra-regional mobility (i.e. less migration to EU-14) to more intra-regional mobility.
    Keywords: mobility Western Balkans, migration projections, gravity model
    JEL: J11 J61 F22
    Date: 2015–10
  13. By: CALLENS Marie-Sophie
    Abstract: This paper investigates the statistical relationship between integration policies and public opinion toward immigrants. Overall, the eighteen reviewed studies indicate that integration policies are strongly associated with the general public?s level of perceived threat from immigrants and, perhaps, to their level of anti-immigrant attitudes. Inclusive policies can be said to reduce the level of perceived threat while exclusionary policies tend to reinforce perceptions of threat. Since most studies could not establish a causal link, further research is needed to corroborate the impact of integration policies on public opinion.
    Keywords: integration policies; public opinion; anti-immigrant sentiment
    JEL: J15 Z19
    Date: 2015–10
  14. By: Simone Moriconi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: European countries exhibit significant differences in employment rates of adult males. Differences in labor-leisure preferences, partly determined by cultural values that vary across countries, can be responsible for part of these differences. However, differences in labor market institutions, productivity, and skills of the labor force are also crucial factors and likely correlated with preferences. In this paper we use variation among first- and second-generation cross-country European migrants to isolate the effect of culturally transmitted labor-leisure preferences on individual employment rates. If migrants maintain some of their country of origin labor-leisure preferences as they move to different labor market conditions, we can separate the impact of preferences from the effect of other factors. We find country-specific labor-leisure preferences explain about 24% of the top-bottom variation in employment rates across European countries.
    Keywords: Labor-Leisure Preferences, Cultural Transmission, Employment, Europe, Migrants.
    JEL: J22 J61 Z10
    Date: 2015–09
  15. By: Christian Dustmann (University College London); Francesco Fasani (Queen Mary University); Xin Meng (Australian National University); Luigi Minale (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relation between individual migrations and the risk attitudes of other household members when migration is a household decision. We develop a simple model that implies that which members migrate depends on the distribution of risk attitudes among all household members, and that the risk diversification gain to other household members may induce migrations that would not take place in an individual framework. Using unique data for China on risk attitudes of internal (rural-urban) migrants and the families left behind, we empirically test three key implications of the model: (i) that conditional on migration gains, less risk averse individuals are more likely to migrate; (ii) that within households, the least risk averse individual is more likely to emigrate; and (iii) that across households, the most risk averse households are more likely to send migrants as long as they have at least one family member with sufficiently low risk version. Our results not only provide strong evidence that migration decisions are taken on a household level but also that the distribution of risk attitudes within the household affects whether a migration takes place and who will emigrate.
    Keywords: risk aversion, internal migration, risk diversification, China
    JEL: J61 R23 D81
    Date: 2015–10
  16. By: CALLENS Marie-Sophie; MEULEMAN Bart; VALENTOVA Marie
    Abstract: This paper examines the relation between immigration-related threat perceptions and the attitudes towards the integration (i.e. assimilation and multiculturalism) of immigrants by natives. Additionally it explores how that relationship interplays with intense contact with foreigners. The analysis is performed on a sample of natives in Luxembourg ? the country with the highest proportion of immigrants in Europe. The European Value Study from 2008 for Luxembourg and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is used to conduct the analyses. The outcomes of our analyses reveal that feelings of threat are associated with less support for multicultural attitudes, whereas the opposite can be found with respect to support for assimilation attitudes. Furthermore, it was found that more intense contact with immigrant friends is negatively correlated with threat perceptions and support for assimilation and positively correlated with support for multicultural attitudes. Lastly, more contact with immigrants is also directly related to integration preferences.
    Keywords: intergroup relations; assimilation; multiculturalism; perceived threat; contact; Luxembourg
    JEL: Z19
    Date: 2015–10
  17. By: Xiao, Mimi
    Abstract: This thesis conducts empirical analysis on the intergenerational transmission of adiposity, using various types of data from various countries; the same intergenerational transmission in China and how it varies with the family socioeconomic factors and age levels; the way in which health impinges on the decision to migrate in China. In the first empirical chapter we find that the intergenerational elasticity of adiposity is relatively constant – at 0.2 per parent, and this elasticity is comparable across time and countries. Quantile estimates suggest that this intergenerational transmission mechanism is more than double for the fattest children as it is for the thinnest children. The second empirical chapter examines the intergenerational transmission of adiposity in China: we use BMI z-score as another measure of adiposity, the longitudinal structure of CHNS data (1993-2009) allows us to control for individual fixed effects or family fixed effects and focus on changes in BMI z-score over the life cycle. We report patterns of the intergenerational relationship of BMI z-score varying by family socio-economic factors and the age of the child, the magnitude of this relationship reaches the peak over the stage between childhood and later adolescence. In the third empirical chapter, which also uses the CHNS data, we examine whether migrants are healthier than those who do not migrate in the places of origin in the context of internal migration in China. Based on the relative wage rates, costs of migration and the assumption of optimization, we set up a theoretical model and estimate the effects of health on the migration probability, we find that people self-evaluating as having “good” or “excellent” health are more likely to migrate, this health effects vary with the type of occupation, we also find evidence on the indirect health effects which operates through the education attainment.
    Date: 2015–06
  18. By: Alan Krause
    Abstract: The increasing international mobility of high-skill individuals is often seen as posing a threat to domestic social welfare, by limiting the ability of governments to tax these individuals and redistribute to the poor. In this note, we examine a simple dynamic nonlinear income tax model without commitment. In this setting, it is shown that the threat of emigration by high-skill individuals facilitates redistribution and increases social welfare in the short run, and has no effect on social welfare over the long run.
    Keywords: nonlinear taxation; migration; commitment.
    JEL: H21 H24 F22
    Date: 2015–10
  19. By: Ivan Zilic (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes health consequences of forced civilian displacement that occurred during the War in Croatia 1991-1995 which accompanied the demise of Yugoslavia. Using the Croatian Adult Health Survey 2003 we test whether displacement is relevant in explaining various dimensions of measured and self assessed health. We adopt an instrumental variable approach where civilian casualties per county are used as an instrument for displacement. We find robust significant adverse effects on self assessed health, on probability of suffering from systolic and diastolic hypertension, and on mental health and role emotional SF-36 dimensions. We also address possible channels of adverse effect, and find that displacement did not induce a change in healthy behaviors, and that the negative effect of displacement is channeled through adverse economic conditions that the displaced individuals face.
    Keywords: Conflict, Migration, Health
    JEL: I10 O12 O15
    Date: 2015–07
  20. By: Chad Sparber (Colgate University)
    Abstract: The H-1B program allows highly-educated foreign-born labor to temporarily work in the United States. Quotas restrict the number of labor force entrants, however. In many years, all available work permits were allocated by random lottery. This paper argues that an alternative distribution method based upon ability would increase output, output per worker, and wages paid to less-educated workers. Baseline estimates suggest that a change in allocation policy could result in a $26.5 billion gain for the economy over a six year period. This estimate grows when H-1B demand rises.
    Keywords: Skilled Workers, H-1B Work Permit, Immigration
    JEL: J61 F22
    Date: 2015–10

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