nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2016‒02‒04
six papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The Impact of Syrian Refugees on the Labor Market in Neighboring Countries: Empirical Evidence from Jordan By Ali Fakih; May Ibrahim (Sans nom)
  2. Urban Immigrant Diversity and Inclusive Institutions By Abigail Cooke; Thomas Kemeny
  3. Regional Shocks, Migration and Homeownership By Florian Oswald
  4. Does immigration crowd natives into or out of higher education? By Jackson, Osborne
  5. Breaking Out of Poverty Traps: Internal Migration and Interregional Convergence in Russia By Sergei Guriev; Elena Vakulenko
  6. Urban-Suburban Migration in the United States, 1955-2000 By Todd K. Gardner

  1. By: Ali Fakih; May Ibrahim (Sans nom)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes time-sensitive data on a humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. It aims to assess the impact of the steep influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan on the country’s labor market since the onset of the conflict in Syria (March 2011). As of August 2014, nearly 3 million registered Syrians have sought refuge in neighboring countries (Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey), according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Jordan and Lebanon are hosting the majority of them. This paper utilizes data regarding unemployment rates, employment rates, labor force participation, the number of refugees, and economic activity at the level of governorates. The Vector Autoregressive (VAR) methodology is used to examine time series data from the most affected governorates in Jordan. The empirical results of Granger causality tests and impulse response functions show that there is no relationship between the influx of Syrian refugees and the Jordanian labor market. Our results are verified through a set of robustness checks.
    Keywords: Forced refugees; Host country; Labor market; VAR model,
    JEL: J61 H56 N45
    Date: 2016–01–27
  2. By: Abigail Cooke; Thomas Kemeny
    Abstract: Recent evidence suggests that rising immigrant diversity in cities offers economic benefits, including improved innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity. One potentially important but underexplored dimension of this relationship is how local institutional context shapes the benefits firms and workers receive from the diversity in their midst. Theory suggests that institutions can make it less costly for diverse workers to transact, thereby catalyzing the latent bene ts of heterogeneity. This paper tests the hypothesis that the effects of immigrant diversity on productivity will be stronger in locations featuring more “inclusive" institutions. It leverages comprehensive longitudinal linked employer-employee data for the U.S. and two distinct measures of inclusive institutions at the metropolitan area level: social capital and pro- or anti-immigrant ordinances. Findings confirm the importance of institutional context: in cities with low levels of inclusive institutions, the benefits of diversity are modest and in some cases statistically insignificant; in cities with high levels of inclusive institutions, the benefits of immigrant diversity are positive, significant, and substantial. Moreover, natives residing in cities that have enacted laws restricting immigrants enjoy no diversity spillovers whatsoever, while immigrants in these cities continue to receive a diversity bonus. These results confirm the economic significance of urban immigrant diversity, while suggesting the importance of local social and economic institutions.
    Date: 2016–01
  3. By: Florian Oswald (University College of London [London] (UCL))
    Abstract: This paper estimates a lifecycle model of consumption, housing choice and migration in the presence of aggregate and regional shocks, using the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Using the model I estimate the value of the migration option and the welfare impact of policies that may restrict mobility. The option to move is equivalent to 4.4% of lifetime consumption. I also find that, were the mortgage interest-rate deduction to be eliminated, the aggregate migration rate would increase only marginally by 0.1%. Following a general equilibrium correction, house prices are reduced by 5%, which results in a 1% increase in home ownership. In a new steady state the elimination of the deduction is equivalent to an increase of 2.4% of lifecycle consumption.
    Keywords: Model of consumption; Housing choice; Migration
    Date: 2015–06
  4. By: Jackson, Osborne (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
    Abstract: Over the past several decades, the United States has experienced some of its largest immigrant inflows since the Great Depression. This higher level of immigration has generated significant debate on the effects of such inflows on receiving markets and natives. Education market studies have found that inflows of immigrant students can displace some natives from enrollment. Meanwhile, labor market studies have primarily examined the impact of immigrant labor inflows on the wages of similarly and dissimilarly skilled natives, with mixed results. The lack of consensus in the wage studies has spurred a growing line of research on whether natives respond endogenously to immigrant worker inflows. Yet, it remains unexplored whether native responses in the higher education market also contribute to the absorption of immigrants into the labor market and the effects on equilibrium in both markets. In a unified framework of the education and labor markets this paper addresses whether skill level via college enrollment is another margin on which natives endogenously adjust to immigrant inflows of students and labor. This study differs from previous research by separately identifying native human capital accumulation responses to both immigrant labor and student inflows at the college margin, where such responses may be strongest due to the high school-college wage gap. The analysis also contributes to our understanding of how local markets respond to immigrant inflows.
    JEL: H75 J22 J23 J24 J61
    Date: 2015–10–01
  5. By: Sergei Guriev (Département d'économie); Elena Vakulenko (Higher School of Economics (HSE))
    Abstract: We study barriers to labor mobility using panel data on gross region-to-region migration flows in Russia in 1996–2010. Using both parametric and semiparametric methods and controlling for region-to-region pairwise fixed effects, we find a non-monotonic relationship between income and migration. In richer regions, higher incomes result in lower migration outflows. However, in the poorest regions, an increase in incomes results in higher emigration. This is consistent with the presence of geographical poverty traps: potential migrants want to leave the poor regions but cannot afford to move. We also show that economic growth and financial development have allowed most Russian regions to grow out of poverty traps bringing down interregional differentials of wages, incomes and unemployment rates.
    Keywords: Labor mobility; Poverty traps; Liquidity constraints
    JEL: J61 R23
    Date: 2015–08
  6. By: Todd K. Gardner
    Abstract: This study uses census microdata from 1960 to 2010 to look at the rates of suburbanization in the 100 largest metro areas. Looking at the racial and ethnic composition of the population, and then further breaking down these groups by income, it’s clear that more affluent people were more likely to move to the suburbs. Also, the White non-Hispanic population has long been the most suburbanized group. A majority of the White population lived in suburbs by 1960 in the 100 largest metro areas, while most of the Black non-Hispanic population lived in urban core areas as late as 2000. The Hispanic and Asian populations went from majority urban to majority suburban during this period.
    Keywords: suburbanization, race, ethnicity
    Date: 2016–02

This nep-mig issue is ©2016 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.