nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2016‒11‒27
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Remittances and the Brain Drain: Evidence from Microdata for Sub-Saharan Africa By Bredtmann, Julia; Martínez Flores, Fernanda; Otten, Sebastian
  2. The European refugee crisis and the natural rate of output By Heinisch, Katja; Wohlrabe, Klaus
  3. Scholarship, the Law and Immigration Policy By DeVoretz, Don J.
  4. The Rise of the Free Movements: How Posting Shapes a Hybrid Single European Labour Market By Mussche, Ninke; Corluy, Vincent; Marx, Ive
  5. The Costs and Benefits of Migration into the European Union: Debunking Contemporary Myths with Facts By Asongu, Simplice; Leke, Ivo
  6. The Economic Contribution of Unauthorized Workers: An Industry Analysis By Ryan Edwards; Francesc Ortega
  7. The Autocratic Root of Social Distrust By Xin Jin; Xu Xu
  8. Birthright citizenship and parental labor market integration By Sajons, Christoph
  9. The baraccati of Rome: internal migration, housing, and poverty in fascist Italy (1924-1933) By Stefano Chianese
  10. The Optimal Distribution of Population across Cities By David Albouy; Kristian Behrens; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud; Nathan Seegert
  11. The EU Internal Market Needs Much Better Governance of the Schengen Sysem By Dusan Soltes
  12. Growth-enhancing effect of openness to trade and migrations: What is the effective transmission channel for Africa? By Dramane Coulibaly; Blaise Gnimassoun; Valérie Mignon

  1. By: Bredtmann, Julia (RWI); Martínez Flores, Fernanda (RWI); Otten, Sebastian (RWI)
    Abstract: Research on the relationship between high-skilled migration and remittances has been limited by the lack of suitable microdata. We create a unique cross-country dataset by combining household surveys from five Sub-Saharan African countries that enables us to analyze the effect of migrants' education on their remittance behavior. Having comprehensive information on both ends of the migrant-origin household relationship and employing household fixed effects specifications that only use within-household variation for identification allows us to address the problem of unobserved heterogeneity across migrants' origin households. Our results reveal that migrants' education has no significant impact on the likelihood of sending remittances. Conditional on sending remittances, however, high-skilled migrants send significantly higher amounts of money to their households left behind. This effect holds for the sub-groups of internal migrants and migrants in non-OECD countries, while it vanishes for migrants in OECD destination countries once characteristics of the origin household are controlled for.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, skill level, brain drain, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F22 F24 O15
    Date: 2016–11
  2. By: Heinisch, Katja; Wohlrabe, Klaus
    Abstract: The European Commission follows a harmonized approach for calculating structural (potential) output for EU member states that takes into account labor as an important ingredient. This paper shows how the recent huge migrants inflow to Europe affects trend output. Due to the fact that the immigrants immediately increase the working population but effectively do not enter the labor market, we illustrate that the potential output is potentially upward biased without any corrections. Taking Germany as an example, we find that the average medium-term potential growth rate is lower if the migration flow is modeled adequately compared to results based on the unadjusted European Commission procedure.
    Keywords: migration,refugee crisis,natural rate of output,filtering,EU-commission
    JEL: F22 J11 J61
    Date: 2016
  3. By: DeVoretz, Don J. (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: The legal system has entered the immigration policy framework via class action suits which force immigrant receiving countries to address shortfalls in their immigration and citizenship ascension policies. This paper addresses the role of class action lawsuits in the Canadian context.
    Keywords: immigration policy, class action lawsuits, Canada
    JEL: K37
    Date: 2016–11
  4. By: Mussche, Ninke (University of Antwerp); Corluy, Vincent (University of Antwerp); Marx, Ive (University of Antwerp)
    Abstract: Intra‐EU mobility has been the subject of debate from its very inception. Some scholars argue that intra‐EU labour migration improves the allocation of human capital in the EU and contend that the level of permanent‐type labour mobility is still too low to talk of a single European labour market. Others point to the social downside of both free labour mobility and free service mobility, such as the increased precariousness of industrial relations, and problems of wage dumping. Since the downsides are acute and demand attention, less attention has been given to the origins, destinations and nature of the posting flows more generally. One of the reasons for this is the fact that data on posting are still scarce. This article aims to fill this gap by exploring unique posting data for Belgium. Based on these data we argue that while the free movement of labour and a single European labour market has been a policy goal for decades, it is the free movement of services that is well on its way to shape a hybrid single European labour market. Permanent type mobility is greatly complemented with high levels of short term service mobility. Service mobility/posting is as much a phenomenon of intra‐EU15 mobility, than it is of EU12 mobility. Moreover, posting is set to remain more popular than classical free movement of labour among EU12 citizens. Service workers circumvent the most important linguistic, cultural, institutional and social hurdles that classical mobile workers face in a diverse EU. The free movement of services is developing to such an extent that it complements permanent type free labour mobility in shaping a single but typically European labour market that is driven by diversity and circular mobility.
    Keywords: posting, migration, labor mobility
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2016–11
  5. By: Asongu, Simplice; Leke, Ivo
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to dispel some myths associated with migrants in order to improve socio-economic appraisal of the consequences of the recent surge of migrants into Europe. We argue that: (i) the concern about loss of Christian cultural values is lacking in substance because compared to a relatively near historical epoch or era, very few European citizens do go to Church in contemporary Europe; (ii) the threat to European liberal institutions is falsifiable and statistically fragile because it is not substantiated with significant evidence; (iii) the insignificant proportion of the Moslem population that is aligned with Islamic fundamentalism invalidates the hypothesis on importation of radical Islamic fundamentalism and (iv) the concern about social security burden is relevant only in the short-term because of Europe’s ageing population.
    Keywords: Migration; the European Union; Development
    JEL: F20 J61 J83 K31 O15
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: Ryan Edwards; Francesc Ortega
    Abstract: This paper provides a quantitative assessment of the economic contribution of unauthorized workers to the U.S. economy, and the potential gains from legalization. We employ a theoretical framework that allows for multiple industries and a heterogeneous workforce in terms of skills and productivity. Capital and labor are the inputs in production and the different types of labor are combined in a multi-nest CES framework that builds on Borjas (2003) and Ottaviano and Peri (2012). The model is calibrated using data on the characteristics of the workforce, including an indicator for imputed unauthorized status (Center for Migration Studies, 2014), and industry output from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Our results show that the economic contribution of unauthorized workers to the U.S. economy is substantial, at approximately 3% of private-sector GDP annually, which amounts to close to $5 trillion over a 10-year period. These effects on production are smaller than the share of unauthorized workers in employment, which is close to 5%. The reason is that unauthorized workers are less skilled and appear to be less productive, on average, than natives and legal immigrants with the same observable skills. We also find that legalization of unauthorized workers would increase their contribution to 3.6% of private-sector GDP. The source of these gains stems from the productivity increase arising from the expanded labor market opportunities for these workers which, in turn, would lead to an increase in capital investment by employers.
    JEL: F22 J15 J31 J61
    Date: 2016–11
  7. By: Xin Jin (Department of Economics, University of South Florida); Xu Xu (Department of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University)
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence that autocratic culture adversely affects social trust and civic engagement. Using a measure of individuals’ inherited autocratic culture from their country of origin, we find that individuals whose ancestors migrated from countries with higher autocracy levels are less likely to trust others or to vote in presidential elections in the U.S. The impact of autocratic culture on generalized trust can last for three generations while the impact on voting disappears after one generation. These findings are consistent across the U.S. and Europe and are not driven by selection into migration.
    Keywords: Trust, Autocracy, Elections, Immigration
    JEL: P16 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: Sajons, Christoph
    Abstract: Do migrant parents change their labor market behavior when their children are born with the citizenship of the host country? In this study, I implement a difference-in-discontinuities approach to examine possible adjustments in employment and working hours following the introduction of birthright citizenship for immigrant children in Germany in 2000. In particular, I compare the changes in labor market outcomes between the parents of migrant children born before and after the enactment date with those of children of mixed couples (migrants and Germans) who were unaffected by the law change. The analysis of data from the Microcensus from 2001 to 2008 suggests that mothers and fathers react differently to having a German-citizen child: While fathers' labor force participation is unaffected, I find mothers to be more likely to stay at home. By contrast, there seems to be no effect on the number of hours in the job.
    Keywords: Birthright citizenship,Integration,Naturalization,Labor force participation
    JEL: J15 J22 J61
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Stefano Chianese
    Abstract: Newly discovered archival material is used to document the standard of living of slum dwellers in fascist Rome. As part of the regime's effort to suppress growing shanty towns in the capital, the Governorate of Rome conducted a census in 1933, gathering information on the identity and living conditions of their inhabitants, the "baraccati". The paper analyzes the mostly migrant families of the shanty towns, identifying their social and demographic characteristics.
    Keywords: fascism, household budgets, housing, internal migration, poverty, slum dwellers
    JEL: N01 R23
    Date: 2016–11–10
  10. By: David Albouy; Kristian Behrens; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud; Nathan Seegert
    Abstract: The received economic wisdom is that cities are too big and that public policy should limit their sizes. This wisdom assumes, unrealistically, that city sites are homogeneous, migration is unfettered, land is given freely to incoming migrants, and federal taxes are neutral. Should those assumptions not hold, large cities may be inefficiently small. We prove this claim in a system of cities with heterogeneous sites and either free mobility or local governments, where agglomeration economies, congestion, federal taxation, and land ownership create wedges. A quantitative version of our model suggests that cities may well be too numerous and underpopulated for a wide range of plausible parameter values. The welfare costs of free migration equilibria appear small, whereas they seem substantial when local governments control city size.
    JEL: H73 J61 R12
    Date: 2016–11
  11. By: Dusan Soltes (Faculty of Management, Comenius University)
    Abstract: The paper is dealing with one of the currently most controversial issues in the EU regarding the protection of the external borders of the EU and thus also the EU internal market in the form of the so-called Schengen external border of the Union. On the one hand it is very difficult for the EU new member states to become a part of the Schengen border protection system like it is still the case of Romania or Bulgaria as it requires a lot of effort and investments into the latest smart ICT technology and all various other technical but also organizational and personnel requirements. But on the other hand, right now we have been witnessing a real disastrous situation on the southern and to some extent still also on the eastern flanks of the Schengen border where thousands of illegal immigrants especially from Africa and Asia are daily illegally entering the territory of the EU in spite of all protection provided by the latest smart surveillance and controlling ICT technology. However, by a certain paradox in many cases these illegal immigrants are entering the EU territory on the principles of International law on humanitarian assistance to people in life threatening situation at open seas. But at the same time the Frontex costal guards are not taking any action against the human traffickers who as human smugglers made huge money collected from those illegal immigrants. Thus they are on both sides of these illegal immigration to the EU violating any elementary principles of the other kind of the International laws i.e. on the fight against human trafficking as a part of the international crime. The paper in more details will be dealing with this evident paradox between the utilization of the latest ICT technology vis-a-vis humanitarian aspects of International humanitarian law, but also the International law on the fight against the human trafficking as an act of the international crime. .:
    Keywords: the Schengen area, the Schengen external border of the EU, Smart ICT, SIS – SCHENGEN Information System
    JEL: F02 F15 F22
  12. By: Dramane Coulibaly; Blaise Gnimassoun; Valérie Mignon
    Abstract: This paper investigates the growth-enhancing effect of openness to trade and to migration by focusing on African countries. Relying on robust estimation techniques dealing with both endogeneity and omitted variables issues, our results put forward the importance of accounting for the type of the partner country. We find evidence that while trade between Africa and industrialized countries has a clear and robust positive impact on Africa's standards of living, trade with developing countries fails to be growth-enhancing. Moreover, our findings show that migration has no significant effect on per capita income in Africa regardless of the partner. Finally, exploring the trade openness transmission channel, we establish that the growth-enhancing effect of Africa's trade with industrialized countries mainly occurs through an improvement in total factor productivity.
    Keywords: Trade, International migration, Income per person, Africa.
    JEL: F22 F4 O4 O55
    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.