nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2016‒10‒02
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. This Morning's Breakfast, Last Night's Game: Detecting Extraneous Factors in Judging By Chen, Daniel L.
  2. An Analysis of Communicative Language Functions in the Speech Patterns of Bilingual Korean and Mexican Immigrant Children By Jin Sook Lee; Jane Y. Choi; Laura Marqués-Pascual
  3. The Workforce of Pioneer Plants By Hausmann, Ricardo; Neffke, Frank
  4. Access to and Disparities in Care among Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers (MSFWs) at U.S. Health Centers By Ruwei Hu; Leiyu Shi; De-Chih Lee; Geraldine Pierre Haile
  5. Reintegration upon return: insights from Ecuadorian returnees from Spain By Marion Mercier; Anda David; Ramón Mahia; Rafael De Arce
  6. To the New World and Back Again: Return Migrants in the Age of Mass Migration By Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Katherine Eriksson
  7. Migrants’ location choice: the role of migration experience By Chernina, Eugenia M.
  8. Immigration Policies, Labor Complementarities, Population Size and Cultural Frictions: Theory and Evidence By Thomas, Osang; Weber, Shlomo
  9. Does it pay to move? Returns to regional mobility at the start of the career for tertiary education graduates By Maier, Michael F.; Sprietsma, Maresa
  10. Remittances impact on youth labour supply: evidence from Kyrgyzstan By Kamalbek Karymshakov; Burulcha Sulaimanova; Kadyrbek Sultakeev; Raziiakhan Abdieva
  11. The Labor Supply of Undocumented Immigrants By Borjas, George J
  12. Why Family Matters: The Impact of Family Resources on Immigrant Entrepreneurs’ Exit from Entrepreneurship By Bird, Miriam; Wennberg, Karl
  13. The Wage Impact of the Marielitos: A Reappraisal By Borjas, George J.
  14. Self-Selection of Emigrants: Theory and Evidence on Stochastic Dominance in Observable and Unobservable Characteristics By Borjas, George J.; Kauppinen, Ilpo; Poutvaara, Panu
  15. Migration, poverty and equality By Andersen, Lykke E.

  1. By: Chen, Daniel L.
    Abstract: I detect intra-judge variation in judicial decisions driven by factors completely unrelated 5 to the merits of the case, or to any case characteristic for that matter. Concretely, I show that asylum 6 grant rates in U.S. immigration courts differ by the success of the court city’s NFL team on the night 7 before, and by the city’s weather on the day of, the decision. My data including half a million decisions 8 spanning two decades allows me to exclude confounding factors, such as scheduling and seasonal effects. 9 Most importantly, my design holds the identity of the judge constant. On average, U.S. immigration 10 judges grant an additional 1.5% of asylum petitions on the day after their city’s NFL team won, relative 11 to days after the team lost. Bad weather on the day of the decision has approximately the opposite effect. 12 By way of comparison, the average grant rate is 39%. In contrast, I do not find comparable effects in 13 sentencing decisions of U.S. District Courts, and speculate that this may be due to higher quality of the 14 federal judges, more time for deliberation, or the constraining effect of the federal sentencing guidelines.
    Date: 2016–09
  2. By: Jin Sook Lee; Jane Y. Choi; Laura Marqués-Pascual
    Abstract: For children from immigrant families, opportunities to develop additive bilingualism exist, yet bilingual attainment has varied widely.
    JEL: I
  3. By: Hausmann, Ricardo (Harvard University and Santa Fe Institute); Neffke, Frank (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Is labor mobility important in technological diffusion? We address this question by asking how plants assemble their workforce if they are industry pioneers in a location. By definition, these plants cannot hire local workers with industry experience. Using German social-security data, we find that such plants recruit workers from related industries from more distant regions and local workers from less-related industries. We also show that pioneers leverage a low-cost advantage in unskilled labor to compete with plants that are located in areas where the industry is more prevalent. Finally, whereas research on German reunification has often focused on the effects of east-west migration, we show that the opposite migration facilitated the industrial diversification of eastern Germany by giving access to experienced workers from western Germany.
    JEL: J23 J24 M13 M50 O15 O33 R11 R12
    Date: 2016–01
  4. By: Ruwei Hu; Leiyu Shi; De-Chih Lee; Geraldine Pierre Haile
    Abstract: This study describes the characteristics of migrant and seasonal farm workers (MSFWs) served by federally-funded health centers and examines disparities in access to primary and preventive care between migrant health center (MHC) and community health center (CHC) program patients.
    Keywords: Access to and Disparities in Care , Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers (MSFWs) , U.S. Health Centers
    JEL: I
  5. By: Marion Mercier (IRES – Université Catholique de Louvain; DIAL – IRD; IZA); Anda David (Agence Française de Développement; DIAL – IRD); Ramón Mahia (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Rafael De Arce (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: Using the ECM2 survey data on Ecuadorian migrants returning from Spain, we investigate the determinants of reintegration upon return. We study how the migration experience, but also the before- and after-migration characteristics, correlate with migrants’ outcomes upon return. We adopt a broad conception of reintegration, considering jointly labor market-related outcomes that proxy for structural reintegration and subjective indicators that provide insights on sociocultural reintegration. The determinants of these two types of outcomes appear to be different: reintegration indeed encompasses multiple dimensions which cannot be captured by a single indicator. Our results suggest that return assistance programs’ efficiency in helping reintegration could be improved by (i) targeting, ex-ante, returnees who plan to launch their own business, and, ex-post, the most vulnerable workers (women, older returnees, unemployed), and (ii) facilitating the labor market integration of foreign-educated returnees. They also call for further research to better understand the consequences of these programs. _________________________________ En utilisant les données de l'enquête ECM2 sur les migrants équatoriens de retour d'Espagne, nous étudions les déterminants de la réintégration à leur retour. Nous étudions comment l'expérience de la migration, mais aussi les caractéristiques avant et après la migration, sont corrélés avec les résultats des migrants en termes d’insertion à leur retour. Nous adoptons une conception large de la réintégration, qui englobe à la fois des indicateurs liés au marché du travail en tant que proxy pour la réintégration structurelle et des indicateurs subjectifs qui donnent un aperçu sur la réinsertion socio-culturelle. Les déterminants de ces deux types de résultats semblent être différents: la réintégration englobe en effet de multiples dimensions qui ne peuvent pas être capturées par un seul indicateur. Nos résultats suggèrent que l'efficacité des programmes d'aide au retour visant une meilleure intégration pourrait être améliorée par (i) le ciblage, ex-ante, des migrants de retour qui ont l'intention de lancer leur propre entreprise, et, a posteriori, les travailleurs les plus vulnérables (femmes, rapatriés âgés, chômeurs), et (ii) la facilitation de l'intégration sur marché du travail des migrants de retour ayant acquis l’éducation à l'étranger. Ces résultats soulignent également le besoin pour des recherches approfondies afin de mieux comprendre les conséquences de ces programmes.
    Keywords: Returnees, Integration, Satisfaction, Ecuador, Spain
    JEL: F22 O15 F15 J28
    Date: 2016–05
  6. By: Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Katherine Eriksson
    Abstract: We compile large datasets from Norwegian and US historical censuses to study return migration during the Age of Mass Migration (1850-1913). Return migrants were somewhat negatively selected from the migrant pool: Norwegian immigrants who returned to Norway held slightly lower-paid occupations than Norwegian immigrants who stayed in the US, both before and after moving to the US. Upon returning to Norway, return migrants held higher-paid occupations than Norwegians who never moved, despite hailing from poorer backgrounds. They were also more likely to get married after return. These patterns suggest that despite being negatively selected, return migrants were able to accumulate savings and improve their economic circumstances once they returned home.
    JEL: J61 N31
    Date: 2016–09
  7. By: Chernina, Eugenia M. (Centre for Labour Market Studies (CLMS) at Higher School of Economics, Moscow)
    Abstract: This paper studies how the previous destination choices by household members might affect current choice by labor migrants from Tajikistan in Russia. We use 2007 and 2009 waves of Tajikistan Living Standards Survey combined with Rosstat regional statistics to analyze the effect of 2007 household migration experience and receiving regions’ characteristics on 2008-2009 migrants’ location choice within Russia. Our results suggest that there exists inertia in migrants’ choices: previously chosen destinations largely define future ones. This inertia results in quickly weakening effect of labor market conditions on migrants’ choice with migration experience.
    Keywords: labor migration, international migration, destination choice, location choice, Tajikistan, Russia
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2016–08
  8. By: Thomas, Osang; Weber, Shlomo
    Abstract: In this paper we consider a simple model of international migration developed in Fujita and Weber (2010). There are two countries A and B, that differ in population size, degree of labor complementarity between natives and immigrants, as well as cultural attitudes towards immigrants. The countries select immigration quotas for the world population of immigrants. We apply the existence result of Fujita-Weber and show that in equilibrium the larger country attracts more immigrants, while choosing a lower quota than its smaller counterpart. It also turns out that higher degree of labor complementarity between natives and immigrants and a lower degree of cultural friction between two groups yield higher immigration quota. Finally, we test the empiricalvalidity of the model using time-series country-level data and demonstrate that both cross-section and panel data approaches support several of the key theoretical findings.
    Keywords: cultural frictions; fixed effects; Immigration quotas; labor complementarity; Nash equilibrium; panel data
    JEL: C72 F22 O3 R1
    Date: 2016–09
  9. By: Maier, Michael F.; Sprietsma, Maresa
    Abstract: Decisions taken at the start of one's career have long-term consequences and one important decision graduates have to make is whether to be regionally mobile when looking for the first job. We investigate whether being regionally mobile for the first job following graduation rather than to stay in the place of graduation pays off. Existing research on regional mobility mostly focuses on job-to-job mobility. We analyse the determinants of early career mobility and estimate a bivariate probit model to account for the dependency between the migration decisions for tertiary education and for the first job. In order to account for self-selection with respect to migration decisions, we exploit variation in the availability of university places at the regional level. Our results show that there is significant dependency between migration decisions made before and after tertiary education. Secondly, using an IV estimation strategy, we find significantly positive wage returns to regional mobility for the first job.
    Keywords: regional mobility,wages,university education,early career
    JEL: J31 J61
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Kamalbek Karymshakov; Burulcha Sulaimanova; Kadyrbek Sultakeev; Raziiakhan Abdieva
    Abstract: This research aims to investigate the impact of remittances from international migration on leftbehind youth occupational choice. Labour supply choice of youth is grouped as employee, family contributing worker, own-account worker and unemployment. Labour supply is analysed both at the extensive margin – participation of youth labour across these occupational choices, and at the intensive margins – working hours within each occupational choices. The analysis use “Life in Kyrgyz Republic” survey cross-sectional data for 2011. To overcome endogeneity concerns instrumental variable approach is used. Given the multinomial dependent variable and discrete endogenous variable “conditional mixed process” estimation technique is applied. Empirical results show that remittances impact on left-behind youth in Kyrgyzstan is mainly reflected as labour substitution effect. Unlike findings of some previous studies, we did not find any strong evidence of remittance-dependency behavior of left behind youth. However, increase of likelihood for youth as family contributing worker does not necessarily imply increase of productivity of labour force. There is no sufficient evidence of the fact that return from migration as the job creating activities and efficient utilization of remittances for own-account works exist. Moreover, female youth are more inclined to family contributing works both at the extensive and intensive margins. Results are robust to inclusion of other variables on individual characteristics. Given these empirical evidences, priority for the youth employment policy should be a channeling remittances into productive use. Moreover, educational programs with the emphasis on female youth and special programs on youth entrepreneurship and access to financial resources will be important for youth self-employment activities.
    Keywords: youth, employment, remittances, migration, labour supply, Kyrgyzstan.
    JEL: E24 F24 F22 J21 O53
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Borjas, George J (Harvard University)
    Abstract: The Department of Homeland Security estimates that 11.4 million undocumented persons reside in the United States. Congress and President Obama are considering a number of proposals to regularize the status of the undocumented population and provide a "path to citizenship." Any future change in the immigration status of this group is bound to have significant effects on the labor market, on the number of persons that qualify for various government-provided benefits, on the timing of retirement, on the size of the population receiving Social Security benefits, and on the funding of almost all of these government programs. This paper provides a comprehensive empirical study of the labor supply behavior of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Using newly developed methods that attempt to identify undocumented status for foreign-born persons sampled in the Current Population Surveys, the empirical analysis documents a number of findings, including the fact that the work propensity of undocumented men is much larger than that of other groups in the population; that this gap has grown over the past two decades; and that the labor supply elasticity of undocumented men is very close to zero, suggesting that their labor supply is almost perfectly inelastic.
    JEL: J22
    Date: 2016–03
  12. By: Bird, Miriam (Center for Family Business, University of St. Gallen); Wennberg, Karl (Stockholm School of Economics, Institute of Analytical Sociology (IAS) and the Ratio Institute)
    Abstract: We integrate insights from the social embeddedness perspective with research on immigrant entrepreneurship to theorize on how family resources influence exit from entrepreneurship among previously unemployed immigrant entrepreneurs. Results from a cohort study of immigrant entrepreneurs in Sweden reveal that family resources are important for immigrants to integrate economically into a country. We find that having family members in geographical proximity increases immigrant entrepreneurs’ likelihood of remaining in entrepreneurship. Further, family financial capital enhances immigrant entrepreneurs’ likelihood of remaining in entrepreneurship as well as their likelihood of exiting to paid employment. Although often neglected in immigrant entrepreneurship studies, resources accruing from spousal relationships with natives influence entrepreneurs’ exit behavior. We discuss contributions for research on entrepreneurial exit, entrepreneurs’ social embeddedness, and immigrant entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: Immigrant entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial exit; family resources; social embeddedness; relational embeddedness
    JEL: J60 L26
    Date: 2016–09–26
  13. By: Borjas, George J. (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper brings a new perspective to the analysis of the Mariel supply shock, revisiting the question and the data armed with the accumulated insights from the vast literature on the economic impact of immigration. A crucial lesson from this literature is that any credible attempt to measure the wage impact of immigration must carefully match the skills of the immigrants with those of the pre-existing workforce. The Marielitos were disproportionately low-skill; at least 60 percent were high school dropouts. A reappraisal of the Mariel evidence, specifically examining the evolution of wages in the low-skill group most likely to be affected, quickly overturns the finding that Mariel did not affect Miami's wage structure. The absolute wage of high school dropouts in Miami dropped dramatically, as did the wage of high school dropouts relative to that of either high school graduates or college graduates. The drop in the relative wage of the least educated Miamians was substantial (10 to 30 percent), implying an elasticity of wages with respect to the number of workers between -0.5 and -1.5. In fact, comparing the magnitude of the steep post-Mariel drop in the low-skill wage in Miami with that observed in all other metropolitan areas over an equivalent time span between 1977 and 2001 reveals that the change in the Miami wage structure was a very unusual event. The analysis also documents the sensitivity of the estimated wage impact to the choice of a placebo. The measured impact is much smaller when the placebo consists of cities where pre- Mariel employment growth was weak relative to Miami.
    Date: 2015–09
  14. By: Borjas, George J. (Harvard University); Kauppinen, Ilpo (VATT Institute for Economic Research); Poutvaara, Panu (Ifo Institute and University of Munich)
    Abstract: We show that the Roy model has more precise predictions about the self-selection of migrants than previously realized. The same conditions that have been shown to result in positive or negative selection in terms of expected earnings also imply a stochastic dominance relationship between the earnings distributions of migrants and non-migrants. We use the Danish full population administrative data to test the predictions. We find strong evidence of positive self-selection of emigrants in terms of pre-emigration earnings: the income distribution for the migrants almost stochastically dominates the distribution for the non-migrants. This result is not driven by immigration policies in destination countries. Decomposing the self-selection in total earnings into self-selection in observable characteristics and self-selection in unobservable characteristics reveals that unobserved abilities play the dominant role.
    Date: 2015–10
  15. By: Andersen, Lykke E.
    Abstract: The scale of inequality around the world is almost unfathomable. The average inhabitant of Norway, Qatar and Switzerland earns more in one day than what the average inhabitant of Malawi and Burundi earns in an entire year1. If you get pregnant in Sierra Leone, you are 300 times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes than if you get pregnant in Sweden2. If you are born in Angola or the Central African Republic, you are 50 times more likely to die within your first year of life than if you are born in Singapore. Currently, about 60% of the variation in income across the globe is explained by country citizenship alone, while parental income class within the country where you were born explains another 20% (Milanovic, 2011). This means that at least 80% of the variation in income (and other income related factors) is already determined by birth, leaving less than 20% to be determined by a person's own effort, ingenuity, planning, determination, risk-taking and passion. Thus, the world is not just a place of huge inequality of outcomes, but also of huge inequality of opportunity. Inequality is becoming an increasingly concerning issue and recently 176 countries agreed that one of the Sustainable Development Goals for the next 15 years should be to "reduce inequality within and among countries." One of the specific targets associated with this goal is to "facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies."
    Date: 2016

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.