nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2016‒09‒04
four papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Settling for Academia? H-1B Visas and the Career Choices of International Students in the United States By Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Furtado, Delia
  2. Family Migration and Relative Earnings Potentials By Foged, Mette
  3. The Changing Landscape of International Migration : Evidence from Rural Households in Bangladesh, 2000-2014 By Aiko Kikkawa; Keijiro Otsuka
  4. 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: Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (San Diego State University); Furtado, Delia (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: For the first time since the inception of the H-1B visa, yearly caps became binding in 2004, making it harder for most foreign-born students to secure employment in the United States. However, since the year 2000, institutions of higher education and related non-profit research institutes had been exempt from the cap. We explore how immigrant employment choices were impacted by the binding visa cap, exploiting the fact that citizens of five countries (Canada, Mexico, Chile, Singapore and Australia) had access to alternate work visas. Our estimates suggest that international students from H-1B dependent countries became more likely to work in academic institutions if they graduated after 2004 than immigrants from the five countries with substitute work visas. Within academia, foreign-born graduates affected by the visa cap became more likely to work in a job unrelated to their field of study, while no such change occurred in the private sector –a finding consistent with the notion of workers "settling for academia." We conclude with an analysis of workforce compositional changes in the academic versus private sectors as a result of the binding visa caps.
    Keywords: H-1B visas, foreign-born workers, academic market, United States
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2016–08
  2. By: Foged, Mette (University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: A unitarian model of family migration in which families may discount wives' private gains is used to derive testable predictions regarding the type of couples that select into migrating. The empirical tests show that gender neutral family migration cannot be rejected against the alternative of husband centered migration. Couples are more likely to migrate if household earnings potential is disproportionally due to one partner, and families react equally strongly to a male and a female relative advantage in educational earnings potential. These results are driven by households with a strong relative advantage to one of the partners while results are less clear for small dissimilarities within the couple, suggesting that gender identity norms may play a role when the opportunity costs of adhering to them are small.
    Keywords: international migration, family migration, gender identity norms, selection
    JEL: F22 D19 J16 J61
    Date: 2016–08
  3. By: Aiko Kikkawa (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Keijiro Otsuka (Kobe University, and National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: Using unique data on rural households in Bangladesh for the periond 2000-2014, this study aims to explore whether the socio-economic characteristics of the beneficiary households of international migration have changed over time. Our analysis shows that household education and asset levels are important determinants of international migration, particularly in earlier years. We also find that less educated and less wealthy households did take part in migration, albeit slowly, in recent time. In addition, social network facilitating migration within community is a key contributor to migration, but its predictive power declines over time. These findings suggest that entry barriers to international migration, resulting from paucity of financial, human and social capital endowment, have decreased over time. We also explore possible causes for such changes, including persistent demand for low-skilled workers in major destination countries, increasing domestic demand for educated workers, and increasing access to loans and grants to finance migration.
    Date: 2016–08
  4. 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 and 2013 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: 2016–08–01

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.