nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2016‒02‒29
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Modeling and Measuring Information Asymmetry in the Context of Senegalese Migrants' Remittances By Marlon Seror
  2. Heterogeneous immigrants and foreign direct investment: The role of language skills By Lücke, Matthias; Stöhr, Tobias
  3. Rejected Afghan asylum seekers in the Netherlands: Migration experiences, current situations and future aspirations By Kuschminder, Katie; Siegel, Melissa
  4. From immigrants to fundamentalists: Changing portrayals of Muslim identities in Europe By Owers, Daphne
  5. Immigration and Innovation: Chinese Graduate Students in U.S. Universities By Patrick Gaule; Mario Piacentini
  6. Moving to Shanghai: The massive internal migration to the first Chinese megacity (1927-1937) By Lei Shi
  7. Intergenerational Persistence of Health in the U.S.: Do Immigrants Get Healthier as they Assimilate? By Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude; Kugler, Adriana D.
  8. Integration of Ethnic Minorities: Do They Divorce as Natives Do? By Schultz-Nielsen, Marie Louise; Bonke, Jens
  9. The New Economic Case for Migration Restrictions: An Assessment By Clemens, Michael A.; Pritchett, Lant
  10. Trade, Migration, and the Place Premium: Mexico and the United States - Working Paper 396 By Davide Gandolfi, Timothy Halliday, and Raymond Robertson
  11. Rural Bound: Determinants of Metro to Non-Metro Migration in the U.S. By Anil Rupasingha; Yongzheng Liu; Mark Partridge
  12. Commuting, migration and local employment elasticities By Ferninando Monte; Stephen J. Redding; Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
  13. Exchange Rate Fluctuations and Immigrants' Labour Market Outcomes: New Evidence from Australian Household Panel Data By Ha Trong Nguyen; Alan Duncan
  14. Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Home Countries and Immigrants’ Wellbeing: New Evidence from Down Under By Ha Trong Nguyen; Alan Duncan
  15. Migration and development policies in a phase of labor shortage. The case of San Marino By Michele Bruni

  1. By: Marlon Seror (Paris School of Economics, Ecole Normale Superieure and UMR DIAL IRD Paris)
    Abstract: Much optimism has been invested in the developmental role of migrants’ remittances as altruism and frequent interactions should facilitate investments by migrants in their countries of origin. But geographical dispersion can foster strategic behavior. We develop a model of transfers from the Senegalese diaspora based on socio– anthropological evidence of remittances earmarked by migrants for investments or expenditures by their households of origin, especially durable assets. The model allows for information asymmetry and monitoring by the migrant. It shows that it may be optimal for recipients to behave strategically and we may observe systematic discrepancies between recipients’ and senders’ reports of the goods to be financed by transfers. Novel matched data enable us to test and find support for the model’s predictions.
    Keywords: Asymmetric Information, International migration, Remittances, Senegal
    JEL: D82 F22 F24
    Date: 2015–12
  2. By: Lücke, Matthias; Stöhr, Tobias
    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
  3. By: Kuschminder, Katie (UNU-MERIT, MGSoG, Maastricht University); Siegel, Melissa (UNU-MERIT, MGSoG, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Afghans have been a central asylum seeking group in Europe, and specifically the Netherlands since the conflict in Afghanistan escalated in the 1990s. Many of the Afghan asylum seekers in the Netherlands since 2001 receive a negative decision on their asylum request, however, do not leave the Netherlands and continue to live irregularly. This paper provides a descriptive exploration of the experiences of Afghan migrants with regard to their journeys to the Netherlands and while living irregularly in the Netherlands. The paper is based on 47 interviews conducted with Afghans living irregularly in the Netherlands and 11 key stakeholder interviews, which were conducted from 2013-2014. The findings discuss the complexity of Afghan migration movements including root causes and transit experiences, the factors influencing the destination choice of the Netherlands, reception experiences and future aspirations.
    Keywords: Asylum seekers, Migration, Irregular migration, Afghanistan, The Netherlands
    JEL: F22 J13 J15
    Date: 2016–01–26
  4. By: Owers, Daphne
    Abstract: This article aims to establish how Muslim identities in Germany have been constructed by others and how they differ from realities. Muslim communities have often been viewed with suspicion by majority ethnic groups in European nation states, but even more so since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Islamophobia has had negative consequences in European societies - people with MENA roots are often essentialised as a homogenous group of overtly religious Muslims. The simplistic nexus of failed integration, Islamic fundamentalism and home-grown extremism fails to question the discriminatory backdrop of integration policies in European nation states and does not explain why only a tiny minority of Muslims participate in Islamist groups. Hard multiculturalism has been used to essentialise Muslims and claim that they segregate themselves and are resistant to integrating into European societies. Those who advocate for stricter assimilation and anti-immigration policies exploit the supposed 'failure of multiculturalism'. A progressive form of multiculturalism could reconcile diversity with universal rights and gender equality and give political space to ethnic minorities. Mainstream portrayals of Muslim identities shape and perpetuate public attitudes and policies. This article explores the impacts that Orientalism, Islamophobia and assimilationist policies have had on shaping these portrayals. A more nuanced understanding of the diversity of Muslim communities is key for establishing an accurate picture of contemporary Muslim life in Europe, for unravelling Islamophobic myths, and for suggesting policy which could both recognize and accommodate diversity.
    Keywords: Muslim,Islam,Europe,Germany,immigrant,fundamentalism,identity,multiculturalism,integration,assimilation,Islamophobia
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Patrick Gaule; Mario Piacentini
    Abstract: Immigration is rapidly changing the composition of the R&D workforce in the United States. We study here Chinese chemists and chemical engineers who migrate to the United States for their graduate studies. We analyze productivity at the individual researcher level, thus bypassing the identification issues that earlier studies had to confront when analyzing the relationship between immigration and innovation at the university or firm level. Using new data and measurement techniques, we find robust evidence that Chinese students make disproportionate contributions to the scientific output of their advisors and departments. We attribute this result to a selection effect as it is relatively more difficult for Chinese students to gain admission to U.S. PhD programs. Our results strengthen the case for liberal student migration policies.
    Keywords: high-skilled migration; students; universities; China;
    JEL: F22 I23 O15 O33 J61
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: Lei Shi (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)
    Abstract: As a result of the massive rural-urban migration, Shanghai transformed from a small costal city into the largest metropolis in China. During Nanjing Government Era (1927-1937), more than one million immigrants flocked into Shanghai and formed almost 80% of its population. Relying on the official statistics published by Nanjing Government and the historical archives and surveys, this article is one of the first attempts to quantify the population of Shanghai and the internal migration during the Republican China, and to analyze the characteristics of the immigrants to Shanghai. The study shows that the majority of the immigrants were young males from nearby rural areas. There was a high geographical concentration of the immigrants and existed the segmentation in the labour market and social status. The Great Depression had a late influence to China’s economy, and after 1932 large number of rural workers lost jobs, and the rate of immigration to Shanghai reduced. The industrial development and employment opportunities brought by migrants are the most important reason to attract people to Shanghai.
    Keywords: rural-urban migration, industrialization, China, Great Depression.
    JEL: J61 N45
    Date: 2015–07
  7. By: Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude; Kugler, Adriana D.
    Abstract: It is well known that a substantial part of income and education is passed on from parents to children, generating substantial persistence in socio-economic status across generations. In this paper, we examine whether another form of human capital, health, is also largely transmitted from generation to generation, contributing to limited socio-economic mobility. Using data from the NLSY, we first present new evidence on intergenerational transmission of health outcomes in the U.S., including weight, height, the body mass index (BMI), asthma and depression for both natives and immigrants. We show that both native and immigrant children inherit a prominent fraction of their health status from their parents, and that, on average, immigrants experience higher persistence than natives in weight and BMI. We also find that mothers’ education decreases children’s weight and BMI for natives, while single motherhood increases weight and BMI for both native and immigrant children. Finally, we find that the longer immigrants remain in the U.S., the less intergenerational persistence there is and the more immigrants look like native children. Unfortunately, the more generations immigrant families remain in the U.S., the more children of immigrants resemble natives’ higher weights, higher BMI and increased propensity to suffer from asthma.
    Keywords: health status; immigrants; intergenerational mobility
    JEL: I12 I14 J61 J62
    Date: 2016–02
  8. By: Schultz-Nielsen, Marie Louise (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit); Bonke, Jens (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit)
    Abstract: We investigate the divorce patterns among non‐Western immigrants and natives in Denmark. We focus on marriages entered on or after arrival to Denmark and analyze whether inter‐ethnic marriages result in higher divorce rates and whether divorce behavior differs between first- and second‐generation immigrants and native couples. We show that inter‐ethnic couples (one native, one immigrant) in general are more likely to divorce than native couples (two natives), while co-ethnic couples (two immigrants) are less likely to divorce, when controlling for differences in socioeconomic characteristics. In particular, co‐ethnic couples composed of a first‐ and second‐generation immigrant are less likely to divorce, while the divorce probability is the highest among inter‐ethnic couples composed of a native woman and a first-generation immigrant man. The analyses are based on register information from Statistics Denmark for the years 1990–2014.
    Keywords: inter‐ and co‐ethnic marriage and divorce
    JEL: J12 J15 D13
    Date: 2016–02
  9. By: Clemens, Michael A. (Center for Global Development); Pritchett, Lant (Harvard Kennedy School)
    Abstract: For decades, migration economics has stressed the effects of migration restrictions on income distribution in the host country. Recently the literature has taken a new direction by estimating the costs of migration restrictions to global economic efficiency. In contrast, a new strand of research posits that migration restrictions could be not only desirably redistributive, but in fact globally efficient. This is the new economic case for migration restrictions. The case rests on the possibility that without tight restrictions on migration, migrants from poor countries could transmit low productivity ("A" or Total Factor Productivity) to rich countries – offsetting efficiency gains from the spatial reallocation of labor from low to high-productivity places. We provide a novel assessment, proposing a simple model of dynamically efficient migration under productivity transmission and calibrating it with new macro and micro data. In this model, the case for efficiency-enhancing migration barriers rests on three parameters: transmission, the degree to which origin-country total factor productivity is embodied in migrants; assimilation, the degree to which migrants' productivity determinants become like natives' over time in the host country; and congestion, the degree to which transmission and assimilation change at higher migrant stocks. On current evidence about the magnitudes of these parameters, dynamically efficient policy would not imply open borders but would imply relaxations on current restrictions. That is, the new efficiency case for some migration restrictions is empirically a case against the stringency of current restrictions.
    Keywords: immigration, migration, migrant, wages, impact, globalization, labor, GDP, productivity
    JEL: F22 J61 O11
    Date: 2016–02
  10. By: Davide Gandolfi, Timothy Halliday, and Raymond Robertson
    Abstract: TLarge wage differences between countries (“place premiums”) are well documented. Theory suggests that factor price convergence should follow increased migration, capital flows, and commercial integration. All three have characterized the relationship between the United States and Mexico over the last 25 years. This paper evaluates the degree of wage convergence between these countries during the period 1988 and 2011. We match survey and census data from Mexico and the United States to estimate the change in wage differentials for observationally identical workers over time. We find very little evidence of convergence. What evidence we do find is most likely due to factors unrelated to US-Mexico integration. While migration and trade liberalization may reduce the US-Mexico wage differential, these effects are small when compared to the overall wage gap.
    Keywords: Migration, Labor-market Integration, Factor Price Equalization
    JEL: F15 F16 J31 F22
    Date: 2015–03
  11. By: Anil Rupasingha (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); Yongzheng Liu (Renmin University of China); Mark Partridge (Ohio State University)
    Abstract: A general global precept is that agglomeration forces lead to migration from rural to urban areas. Yet, for much of the period since the early 1970s, more people moved from metro to nonmetro U.S. counties. The underlying causes of this pattern have changed over time with economic shocks and changing household preferences. For instance, the post 2000 period has seen a significant decline in domestic migration rates, significant increase in commodity prices that favor rural areas, and potential changes in the valuation of natural amenities that would affect migration. This study investigates the determinants of U.S. gross migration from metro to nonmetro counties and nonmetro to metro counties for the 1995-2000 and 2005-2009 periods in order to compare the differences in rural to urban and urban to rural migration as well as compare the 1990s to the 2005 to 2009 periods. The paper uses (1) extensive county-to-county migration flows and (2) uses the utility maximization theory that extends the framework of discrete choice model. The results show that population density, distance to urban areas, industry mix employment growth, natural amenities, and percent of older people are key factors underlying these migration patterns. We also find a slight fading of effects of natural amenities and population density and slight increase in the effects of wage and employment growth during 2005 to 2009 period.
    Keywords: metro to nonmetro migration, urban to rural migration, county-to-county migration, natural amenities
    Date: 2014–06–28
  12. By: Ferninando Monte; Stephen J. Redding; Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
    Abstract: Many changes in the economic environment are local, including policy changes and infrastructure investments. The effect of these changes depends crucially on the ability of factors to move in response. Therefore a key object of interest for policy evaluation and design is the elasticity of local employment to these changes in the economic environment. We develop a quantitative general equilibrium model that incorporates spatial linkages between locations in goods markets (trade) and factor markets (commuting and migration). We find substantial heterogeneity across locations in local employment elasticities. We show that this heterogeneity can be well explained with theoretically motivated measures of commuting flows. Without taking into account this dependence, estimates of the local employment elasticity for one location are not generalizable to other locations. We also find that commuting flows and their importance cannot be accounted for with standard measures of size or wages at the county or commuting zone levels.
    Keywords: commuting; migration and local employment elasticities
    JEL: F16 J6 J61 R0
    Date: 2015–11
  13. By: Ha Trong Nguyen (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin University); Alan Duncan (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin University)
    Abstract: We present new and robust evidence that, unlike immigrants in the US, those in Australia as a whole do not reduce their yearly labour market utcomes when the local currency appreciates. While female immigrants don’t adjust their actual labour activities, they do desire to work more when the Australian dollar appreciates. By contrast, male immigrants reduce their weekly work intensity by participating less in full-time employment in response to an Australian dollar appreciation. We also present significant and heterogeneous impacts of exchange rates by gender and socio-economic backgrounds of immigrants and labour market outcomes.
    Keywords: Exchange rate, Labour supply, Immigrants, Australia
    JEL: F31 J22 J61
    Date: 2015–03
  14. By: Ha Trong Nguyen (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin University); Alan Duncan (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin University)
    Abstract: In this paper we provide the first solid empirical evidence that improvements in home countries’ macroeconomic conditions, as measured by a higher GDP per capita and lower price levels, increase immigrants’ subjective well-being. We demonstrate this using 12 years of data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia panel, as well as macroeconomic indicators for 59 countries of origin, and exploiting exogenous changes in macroeconomic conditions across home countries over time. Controlling for immigrants’ observable and unobservable characteristics we also find the positive GDP impact is statistically significant and economically large in size. Furthermore, the GDP and price impact erodes when immigrants get older, or when they stay in the host country beyond a certain period of time. However, home countries’ unemployment rates and exchange rate fluctuations have no impact on immigrants’ well-being.
    Keywords: GDP, Unemployment, Inflation, Exchange Rate, Well-being, Immigrants, Australia
    JEL: I31 J15
    Date: 2015–03
  15. By: Michele Bruni
    Abstract: The paper provides a stock-flow analysis of San Marino labor market in the framework of the demographic evolution of the country. The research covers the period 2003-2013 during which WAP was declining under the impact of the Demographic transition, while the economy of the country was first affected by a notable economic expansion and then by a deep crisis. After presenting jointly build labor market and demographic scenarios, the paper outlines some demographic and development policies that could be of interest in the incoming dialogue with EU.
    Keywords: San Marino, demographic transition, migration, labor market, stock-flow analysis, scenarios, migration policy, development policy
    JEL: J11 J2 J61 O14 O15
    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.
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