nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2016‒08‒07
seventeen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Return Plans and Migrants' Behavior By Chabé-Ferret, Bastien; Machado, Joel; Wahba, Jackline
  2. Migration and Globalization: What's in it for Developing Countries? By Rapoport, Hillel
  3. "Tongue Tide": The Economics of Language Offers Important Lessons for How Europe Can Best Integrate Migrants By Chiswick, Barry R.
  4. Natives and Migrants in Home Production: The Case of Germany By Emanuele Forlani; Elisabetta Lodigiani; Concetta Mendolicchio
  5. The Impact of Immigrant Peers on Native Students' Academic Achievement in Countries Where Parents of Immigrants Are Relatively Skilled By Seah, Kelvin
  6. The Long-Term Impact of International Migration on Economic Decision-Making: Evidence from a Migration Lottery and Lab-in-the-Field Experiments By Gibson, John; McKenzie, David; Rohorua, Halahingano; Stillman, Steven
  7. Stymied ambition: Does a lack of economic freedom lead to migration? By Meierrieks, Daniel; Renner, Laura
  8. Ethnic Attrition and the Observed Health of Later-Generation Mexican Americans By Antman, Francisca M.; Duncan, Brian; Trejo, Stephen
  9. Migration and Urbanisation in Post-Apartheid South Africa By Bakker, Jan David; Parsons, Christopher; Rauch, Ferdinand
  10. Can Immigrants Insure against Shocks as Well as the Native-born? By Islam, Asadul; Stillman, Steven; Worswick, Christopher
  11. State dependence and unobserved heterogeneity in a double hurdle model for remittances: evidence from immigrants to Germany By Giulia Bettin; Riccardo Lucchetti; Claudia Pigini
  12. Returns to Schooling among Immigrants in Spain: A Quantile Regression Approach By Budría, Santiago; Swedberg, Pablo; Fonseca, Marlene
  13. Are migrants more productive than stayers? Some evidence for a set of highly productive academic economists By Ruiz-Castillo, Javier; Carrasco, Raquel; Albarrán, Pedro
  14. Impact of Ethnic Civil Conflict on Migration of Skilled Labor By Christensen, Julie; Onul, Darius; Singh, Prakarsh
  15. How Do Pre-School and/or School-Age Children Affect Parents' Likelihood of Migration and Off-Farm Work in Rural China's Minority Regions? By Ding, Sai; Dong, Xiao-Yuan; Maurer-Fazio, Margaret
  16. Migration and Tax Yields in a Devolved Economy By Foreman-Peck, James; Zhou, Peng
  17. "Unemployed, Now What? The Effect of Immigration on Unemployment Transitions of Native-born Workers in the United States" By Fernando Rios-Avila; Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza

  1. By: Chabé-Ferret, Bastien (Université catholique de Louvain); Machado, Joel (University of Luxembourg); Wahba, Jackline (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: This paper studies how return migration intentions affect immigrants' behavior. Using a unique French data set, we analyze the relationship between return plans and several immigrants' behavior in the host and origin countries addressing the potential endogeneity between return plans and different investment decisions. We also investigate the potential trade-off and complementarities between various immigrants' investment behaviors. We find that temporary migrants are more likely to remit and invest in the country of origin, but less likely to invest in the host country. Moreover, our results show that there is no trade-off between immigrants' investment in the home and in the host country. In turn, we find substantial heterogeneity in behavior across migrants of different origins.
    Keywords: temporary migration, return intention, remittances
    JEL: F22 F24 D14
    Date: 2016–07
  2. By: Rapoport, Hillel (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper reviews a growing literature on migration and globalization, focusing on its relevance for developing and emerging economies. It documents the role of diaspora networks in enhancing cross-border flows of goods, capital, and knowledge, eventually contributing to efficient specialization, investment, and productivity growth in the migrants' home-countries. Particular attention is paid to the role of skilled migrants, and to information imperfections reduction as the main channel for the documented effects. Overall, the evidence suggests that migrants contribute to the integration of their home-countries into the global economy.
    Keywords: migration, globalization, trade, FDI, financial flows, knowledge diffusion, development
    JEL: F21 F22 F63 J61 O11 O15
    Date: 2016–07
  3. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (George Washington University)
    Abstract: This policy analysis discusses issues regarding the migration to Europe of large numbers of immigrants and refugees who, on arrival, do not know their host country's language. It reviews problems of economic integration into the labor market, the consequences of the formation of immigrant enclaves divorced from the host country labor market, and considers public policies to facilitate their linguistic and economic integration.
    Keywords: immigrants, refugees, language, enclaves, Europe, discrimination
    JEL: F22 J15 J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2016–07
  4. By: Emanuele Forlani (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia); Elisabetta Lodigiani (Department of Economics, University of Venice Ca' Foscari); Concetta Mendolicchio (Institute for Employment Research, IAB)
    Abstract: In this paper, we assess the impact of international migration, and the induced home-care service labour supply shock, on fertility decisions and labour supply of native females in Germany. Specifically, we consider individual data of native women from the German Socio-Economic Panel and we merge them with the data on the share of female immigrants and other regional labour market characteristics. We find that an increase of the share of female immigrants at the local level induces women to work longer hours and positively affects the probability to have a child. This effect strengthens for (medium) skilled women and, among them, for women younger than 35 years of age. The negative change in household work attitude confirms the behavioural validity of our results.
    Keywords: Female labour, time allocation, fertility, international migration
    JEL: J13 J22 J61
    Date: 2016–07
  5. By: Seah, Kelvin (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: This study examines how exposure to immigrant students affects the academic achievement of native students in the three largest immigrant-receiving countries – United States, Australia, and Canada. Using a large cross-country dataset, variation in the share of immigrant children between different grade levels within schools is exploited to identify the impact of immigrant peers. I find that exposure to immigrant children has dissimilar effects on native students' achievements across the three countries. While exposure has a positive impact on Australian natives, it has a negative impact on Canadian natives. Exposure has no effect on U.S. natives. More importantly, I find that institutional factors, such as the way in which countries organise their educational systems, have a crucial bearing on how immigrant students affect their peers.
    Keywords: academic achievement, immigrant children, peer effects, within-school estimation
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2016–07
  6. By: Gibson, John (University of Waikato); McKenzie, David (World Bank); Rohorua, Halahingano (University of Waikato); Stillman, Steven (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)
    Abstract: We study how migration from a poor to a rich country affects key economic beliefs, preference parameters, and transnational household decision-making efficiency. Our setting is the migration of Tongans to New Zealand through a migration lottery program. In a ten-year follow-up survey of individuals applying for this program we elicit risk and time preferences and pro-market beliefs. We also link migrants and potential migrants to a partner household consisting of family members who would stay behind if they moved. We play lab-in-the-field games designed to measure the degree of intra-family trust and the efficiency of intra-family decision-making. Migration provides a large and permanent positive shock to income, a large change in economic institutions, and a reduction in interactions with partner household members. Despite these changes, we find no significant impacts of migration on risk and time preferences, pro-market beliefs, or in the decision-making efficiency of transnational households. This stability in the face of such a large and life-changing event lends credence to economic models of migration that treat these determinants of decision-making as time-invariant, and contrasts with recent evidence on preference changes after negative shocks.
    Keywords: migration, economic beliefs, preferences, household efficiency, transnational household
    JEL: O12 F22 D13 D81 P1
    Date: 2016–07
  7. By: Meierrieks, Daniel; Renner, Laura
    Abstract: This contribution investigates the relationship between economic freedom and international migration. We argue that higher levels of economic freedom in the source countries of migration may discourage migration by generating more economic security, providing more economic opportunities and stimulating overall economic activity. Using a panel dataset on migration from 91 developing and emerging to the 20 most attractive OECD destination countries for the 1980-2010 period, we find that more economic freedom at home discourages high-skilled migration but does not matter to low-skilled migration. The negative association between economic freedom and high-skilled emigration also holds when we estimate (dynamic) panel models that allow for endogeneity in the economic freedom-migration nexus. Our findings suggest that high-skilled individuals are especially responsive to the economic incentives arising from economic freedom. This is especially true for those components of economic freedom associated with the provision of economic security in the form of wellprotected property rights, sound money and limited government involvement in the economic life.
    Keywords: economic freedom,international migration,low-skilled and high-skilled migration
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Antman, Francisca M. (University of Colorado, Boulder); Duncan, Brian (University of Colorado Denver); Trejo, Stephen (University of Texas at Austin)
    Abstract: Numerous studies find that U.S.-born Hispanics differ significantly from non-Hispanic whites on important measures of human capital, including health. Nevertheless, almost all studies rely on subjective measures of ethnic self-identification to identify immigrants' U.S.-born descendants. This can lead to bias due to "ethnic attrition," which occurs whenever a U.S.-born descendant of a Hispanic immigrant fails to self-identify as Hispanic. This paper shows that Mexican American ethnic attritors are generally more likely to display health outcomes closer to those of non-Hispanic whites. This biases conventional estimates of Mexican American health away from suggesting patterns of assimilation and convergence with non-Hispanic whites.
    Keywords: assimilation, ethnic attrition, identity
    JEL: J15 J12 I14
    Date: 2016–07
  9. By: Bakker, Jan David (University of Oxford); Parsons, Christopher (University of Western Australia); Rauch, Ferdinand (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: Under apartheid, black South Africans were severely restricted in their choice of location and many were forced to live in homelands. Following the abolition of apartheid they were free to migrate. Given gravity, a town nearer to the homelands can be expected to receive a larger inflow of people than a more distant town following the removal of mobility restrictions. Exploting this exogenous variation, we study the effect of migration on urbanisation and the distribution of population. In particular, we test if migration inflows led to displacement, path dependence, or agglomeration in destination areas. We find evidence for path dependence in the aggregate, but substantial heterogeneity across town densities. An exogenous population shock leads to an increase of the urban relative to the rural population, which suggests that exogenous migration shocks can foster urbanisation in the medium run.
    Keywords: economic geography, migration, urbanisation, natural experiment
    JEL: R12 R23 N97 O18
    Date: 2016–07
  10. By: Islam, Asadul (Monash University); Stillman, Steven (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano); Worswick, Christopher (Carleton University)
    Abstract: The impact that an unforeseen event has on household welfare depends on the extent to which household members can take actions to mitigate the direct impact of the shock. In this paper, we use nine years of longitudinal data from the Household Income Labour Dynamics of Australia (HILDA) survey to examine the impact of job displacement and serious health problems on: individual labour supply and incomes, household incomes and food expenditure. We extend on the previous literature by examining whether mitigation strategies and their effectiveness differs for the native-born and immigrants. Immigrants make up nearly one-quarter of the Australian population and there are a number of reasons to suspect that they may be less able to mitigate adverse shocks than the native-born.
    Keywords: job loss, income, consumption, labour supply, disability
    JEL: J65 I31 J15
    Date: 2016–07
  11. By: Giulia Bettin (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali, MoFiR); Riccardo Lucchetti (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali); Claudia Pigini (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: The empirical modelling of remitting behaviour has been the object of a considerable amount of micro-level literature. The increasing availability of panel datasets makes it possible to explore the persistence in transfer decisions as a result of intertemporal choices, that may be consistent with several motivations to remit. Building a dynamic model with panel data poses the additional problem of dealing properly with permanent unobserved heterogeneity; moreover, the specific censored nature of international transfers has to be accounted for as well. In this paper, we propose a dynamic, random-effects double hurdle model for remittances: we combine the Maximum Likelihood estimator of the traditional double hurdle model for cross-section data (Jones, 1989) with the approach put forward by Heckman (1981b) for dealing with state dependence and unobserved heterogeneity in a non-linear setting. Our empirical evidence based on the German SOEP dataset suggests that there is significant state dependence in remitting behaviour consistent with migrants. intertemporal allocation of savings; at the same time, transaction costs are likely to affect the steadiness of transfers over time.
    Keywords: Migration, Remittances, State dependence, Double hurdle, Intertemporal choices
    JEL: F22 F24 C23 C34 C35
    Date: 2016–07
  12. By: Budría, Santiago (Universidad Pontificia Comillas); Swedberg, Pablo (St. Louis University); Fonseca, Marlene
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of educational attainment on immigrant earnings in Spain using a Quantile Regression approach. Most of the previous research on the impact schooling on earnings has focused on the mean effect neglecting the discrepancies that arise from unobserved heterogeneity. This paper uses the Spanish National Immigrant Survey (NIS), a large-scale immigration survey published by the Spanish National Statistics Institute in 2008. We find that the return to higher education is on average roughly 17%. Interestingly, the impact is twice as strong (20.7%) for immigrants at the top two quintile(s) of the conditional earnings distribution than for those at the bottom of the distribution (10%). This result suggests that the benefits derived from higher education are particularly relevant for individuals with stronger unobserved abilities and marketable skills. By contrast, individuals in the middle and particularly lower quintiles fail to reap a significant return. The large degree of heterogeneity for the returns to schooling found in our research suggests that higher education may be less effective among specific population groups.
    Keywords: returns to education, quantile regression, wage inequality
    JEL: C29 D31 I21
    Date: 2016–07
  13. By: Ruiz-Castillo, Javier; Carrasco, Raquel; Albarrán, Pedro
    Abstract: This paper compares the average productivity of migrants (who work in a country different from their country of origin) and stayers (whose entire academic career takes place in their country of origin) in a set of 2,530 highly productive economists that work in 2007 in a selection of the top 81 Economics departments worldwide. The main findings are the following two. Firstly, productivity comparisons between migrants and stayers depend on the cohort and the type of department where individuals work in 2007. For example, in the top U.S. departments, foreigners are more productive than stayers only among older individuals; in the bottom U.S. departments, foreigners are more productive than stayers for both cohorts, while in the other countries with at least one department in the sample the productivity of foreigners and stayers is indistinguishable for both cohorts. Secondly, when we restrict our attention to an elite consisting of economists with above average productivity, all productivity differences between migrants and stayers in the U.S. vanish. These results are very robust. However, our ability to interpret these correlations is severely limited by the absence of information on the decision to migrate.
    Date: 2016–07–01
  14. By: Christensen, Julie (Amherst College); Onul, Darius (Amherst College); Singh, Prakarsh (Amherst College)
    Abstract: We reevaluate the hypothesis and empirical result that ethnic civil wars lead to higher skilled emigration (Bang and Mitra, 2013). We develop a simple conceptual framework that predicts contrasting results depending upon if the economy is assumed to be agglomerating in skilled labor or non-agglomerating with network effects. In the latter case, non-ethnic wars may lead to higher skilled emigration. A regression model that accounts for the time-varying definition of migration and includes important explanatory variables shows that non-ethnic wars as opposed to ethnic wars may lead to more skilled emigration.
    Keywords: civil war, emigration, brain drain, ethnic war, agglomeration, high-skilled migration
    JEL: J1 F2 O1
    Date: 2016–07
  15. By: Ding, Sai (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences); Dong, Xiao-Yuan (University of Winnipeg, Manitoba); Maurer-Fazio, Margaret (Bates College)
    Abstract: In this paper we explore the intersectionality of religious and ethnic norms and gender relations across the domestic and public spheres of work in post-reform rural, minority-concentrated China. We focus on the role that children play in their parents' off-farm work decisions for three aggregated ethnic groups (majority Han, Muslim minorities, and non- Muslim minorities). We control for households' composition and economic characteristics and individuals' human capital and as well as local economic conditions. Children generally decrease women's willingness to work away from/outside the home and increase men's willingness to do so. When we focus specifically on the effects of pre-school children, our results suggest it is more socially acceptable for non-Muslim than Muslim women to work away from home. When we turn our attention to school-age children, the gender of the child becomes as important to the analysis as the gender of the parent. With regard to household composition, we find that in Muslim households the presence of extra adult men (of any age between 15 and 70) in the household reduces the likelihood that women engage in off-farm work. The presence in the household of a woman of grandmotherly age (between 46 and 70) supports Muslim minority women's ability to migrate for work. For non-Muslim households, grandfathers and grandmothers alike, facilitate the ability of parents (male and female) to migrate for work.
    Keywords: off-farm work, ethnicity, household composition, children, migration, China
    JEL: J14 J15 J16 J26 D13 O53
    Date: 2016–07
  16. By: Foreman-Peck, James (Cardiff Business School); Zhou, Peng (Cardiff Business School)
    Abstract: Households may migrate between jurisdictions to secure preferred mixes of collectively sup-plied services and taxation. But devolution of taxes to sub-national jurisdictions could reduce expected tax revenue if some move to lower tax regimes, constraining devolved government policy. This paper develops an indirect approach to establish lower bound tax revenue impacts of possible tax changes by devolved governments. We estimate and aggregate migration responses to existing tax differentials between smaller, component administrative areas of the devolved jurisdictions. Because such existing taxes may have different bases from proposed devolved taxes, appropriate corrections are made in a model of the devolved economy. This model also establishes how the tax base and therefore the tax yield of the devolved economy, as well as the output per capita, would be changed by implementing different tax rates, given the migration responses estimated. The model is used to assess the fiscal possibilities for Wales created by the UK Government of Wales Act 2014.
    Keywords: Migration; Fiscal Decentralisation; Tax Revenue
    JEL: R23 J61 H11 H22 H71 H72 H77
    Date: 2016–07
  17. By: Fernando Rios-Avila; Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza
    Abstract: Although one would expect the unemployed to be the population most likely affected by immigration, most of the studies have concentrated on investigating the effects immigration has on the employed population. Little is known of the effects of immigration on labor market transitions out of unemployment. Using the basic monthly Current Population Survey from 2001–13 we match data for individuals who were interviewed in two consecutive months and identify workers who transition out of unemployment. We employ a multinomial model to examine the effects of immigration on the transition out of unemployment, using state-level immigration statistics. The results suggest that immigration does not affect the probabilities of native-born workers finding a job. Instead, we find that immigration is associated with smaller probabilities of remaining unemployed, but it is also associated with higher probabilities of workers leaving the labor force. This effect impacts mostly young and less educated people.
    Keywords: Immigration; Unemployment Duration; Labor Force Transition
    JEL: J1 J6
    Date: 2016–08

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.