nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2016‒05‒08
seven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Environmental Taxes and Rural-Urban Migration - A Study from China By Jing Cao
  2. Migration and deforestation in Indonesia By Darmawan, Rivayani; Klasen, Stephan; Nuryartono, Nunung
  3. Does Climate Change Drive Migration? A Study from the Philippines By Flordeliza H. Bordey; Cheryll C. Launio; Eduardo Jimmy P. Quilang; Charis Mae A. Tolentino; Nimfa B. Ogena
  4. Rural-Urban Migrants in Vietnam: Should we Stay in the Cities or Return Home? By Nguyen, Duc Loc; Grote, Ulrike
  5. How Migration Can Change Income Inequality? By Assaf Razin; Efraim Sadka
  6. How do regional labor markets adjust to immigration? A dynamic analysis for post-war Germany By Braun, Sebastian Till; Weber, Henning
  7. Effects of the Alabama HB 56 Immigration Law on Crime: A Synthetic Control Approach By Zhang, Yinjuejie; Palma, Marco; Xu, Zhicheng

  1. By: Jing Cao (Harvard China Project, Harvard University Center for the Environment and School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University, Beijing)
    Abstract: This study investigates the potential impact of two environmental tax regimes on the movement of rural people to China's cities. The study models the impact of a fuel tax and an output tax on the country's economy to get a full picture of how they would affect people's livelihoods and welfare, and how this would, in turn, affect rural-urban migration. The study sheds light on the implications of future environmental taxes and how they would affect urbanization and "rural-urban" migration in China. The study finds that both proposed taxes would discourage the flow of migrants from China's countryside to its cities. This would therefore exacerbate the current distortions in the country's labour market, where there is a surplus of rural labour. A comparison of the impact of the two taxes shows the fuel tax to be more efficient in terms of reducing pollution emissions and their associated environmental and health impacts. It also produces less distortion in the rural-urban migration process than the output tax. The study therefore recommends that this would be the preferable policy.
    Keywords: environmental taxation, rural-urban, China
    Date: 2016–04
  2. By: Darmawan, Rivayani; Klasen, Stephan; Nuryartono, Nunung
    Abstract: Indonesia now has the highest deforestation rate in the world, with an average increase of about 47,600 ha per year. As a result, the nation is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world and is putting its rich biodiversity at risk. Although the literature discussing the political economy of Indonesia commercial's logging is growing, only a small amount focuses on the relation-ship between migration and deforestation. Migration may contribute to the forest cover change, as migrants often face serious constraints from the local residents in claiming the land, and thus tend to find new forest land which can be used as a means of living or converted into an agricultural planta-tion. This paper empirically investigates the relationship between recent in-migration and deforestation in Indonesia. By combining available population census data with the satellite image data MODIS, we find a significant positive relationship between migration and deforestation at the district level using a fixed effects panel econometric framework. The results also suggest that the expanding oil palm production is one significant driver for the fast disappearance of Indonesia's forest.
    Keywords: deforestation,migration,oil palm,Indonesia
    JEL: Q23 R14 J61
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Flordeliza H. Bordey (Philippine Rice Research Institute); Cheryll C. Launio (Philippine Rice Research Institute); Eduardo Jimmy P. Quilang (Philippine Rice Research Institute); Charis Mae A. Tolentino (University of the Philippines); Nimfa B. Ogena (University of the Philippines)
    Keywords: Climate change, migration, Philippines
    Date: 2016–04
  4. By: Nguyen, Duc Loc; Grote, Ulrike
    Abstract: This paper investigates the factors determining the length of migration and return plans of rural migrants within Vietnam. The findings shows that migrants coming from rural households that faced a higher number of idiosyncratic shocks increase their stays in the cities, while those from original households that experienced transient shocks shorten the length of their stays in the cities. An increased length of migration is also observed among migrants and households with higher human capital. A decreased income gap between destination and original provinces due to the higher economic growth of original places also increases the duration of migration. The results of the analysis on the migration intensity imply that the plans of migrants to return not only increase in case they face shocks in the cities, but also with the improvement of the living conditions at their original places.
    Keywords: Migration Intensity, Length of Migration, Random-Effect Tobit Regression, Vietnam, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Labor and Human Capital, D13, J28, J61, O15, O18, Z13,
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Assaf Razin; Efraim Sadka
    Abstract: Motivated by the unique experience of Israel of a supply-side shock of skilled migration, and the concurrent rise in disposable income inequality, this paper develops a model which can explain the mechanism through which a supply-side shock of skilled migration can reshape the political-economy balance and the redistributive policies. First, it depresses the incentives for unskilled migrants to flow in, though they are still free to do so. Second, tax-transfer system becomes less progressive. Nonetheless, the unskilled native-born may well become better-off, even though they lose their political clout.
    JEL: F22 H0 J0
    Date: 2016–04
  6. By: Braun, Sebastian Till; Weber, Henning
    Abstract: We draw on two decades of historical data to analyze how regional labor markets in West Germany adjusted to one of the largest forced population movements in history, the mass inflow of eight million German expellees after World War II. The expellee inflow was distributed very asymmetrically across two West German regions. A dynamic two-region search and matching model of unemployment, which is exposed to the asymmetric expellee inflow, closely fits historical data on the regional unemployment differential and the regional migration rate. Both variables increase dramatically after the inflow and decline only gradually over the next decade. We show that despite the large and long-lasting dynamics following the expellee inflow, native workers experience only a modest loss in expected discounted lifetime labor income of 1.38%. Per-period losses in native labor income, however, are up to four times as large. The magnitude of income losses also depends on the initial location and labor market status of native workers. In counterfactual analyses, we furthermore show that economic policy interventions that affect the nature of the immigration inflow can effectively reduce native income losses and dampen adjustment dynamics in regional labor markets. One such intervention is to distribute the inflow more evenly over time. Smaller immigration inflows, similar in magnitude to the refugee inflow that Germany is experiencing today, also reduce native income losses markedly but decrease the duration of labor market adjustment only modestly.
    Keywords: immigration,labor market adjustments,dynamic search and matching model of unemployment,asymmetric labor supply shock,post-war Germany
    JEL: J61 F22
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Zhang, Yinjuejie; Palma, Marco; Xu, Zhicheng
    Abstract: The act of Alabama HB 56, passed in 2011 is considered to be the strictest anti-illegal immigration bill in the United States. This paper evaluates the impact of this policy on crime, by using the synthetic control method to create a counterfactual Alabama. The results provide suggestive evidence of heterogeneous causal effects of Alabama HB 56 on crime. Compared to the synthetic group, the violent crime rate increased as a response to Alabama HB 56, while there was no significant change in property crime rate after the act. A placebo test was also performed to demonstrate the robustness of the results.
    Keywords: anti-illegal immigrant law, Alabama, crime, synthetic control, Labor and Human Capital, Public Economics, J15, J61, K37,
    Date: 2016–02–09

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