nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2016‒12‒04
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Quantitative Impact of Reducing Barriers to Skilled Labor Immigration: The Case of the US H-1B Visa By Hyun Lee
  2. Immigrants and Firms' Outcomes: Evidence from France By Cristina Mitaritonna; Gianluca Orefice; Giovanni Peri
  3. Social networks and the intention to migrate By Miriam Manchin; Sultan Orazbayev
  4. To leave or not to leave? Climate change, exit, and voice on a Pacific Island By Noy, Ilan
  5. To Migrate With or Without the Children—A Theoretical Note By Ywen Chen; Benteng Zou
  6. The Effect of State Taxes on the Geographical Location of Top Earners: Evidence from Star Scientists By daniel wilson; enrico moretti
  7. The Legacies of Slavery in and out of Africa By Bertocchi, Graziella
  8. Trade Liberalization and the Great Labor Reallocation By Yuan Zi
  9. Prejudice in Naturalization Decisions: Theory and Evidence By Dragan Ili?

  1. By: Hyun Lee (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: In this paper, I develop a novel two-country general equilibrium model of immigration and return migration with incomplete markets and heterogeneous agents. I use the model to quan-tify the short-run and the long-run macroeconomic impacts of permanently doubling the US H-1B visa quota. In the short-run, I find huge endogenous increase in visa application by less talented skilled foreigners, which increases the probability of obtaining the H-1B visa by only 11 percentage points. In the long-run, US experiences a modest gain in output per capita. Most importantly, I find that there exists a sizable mass of US native skilled workers who—despite the decrease in their equilibrium wage—gain in welfare because of their accumulated capital holdings. Furthermore, I highlight the importance of including return migration in a quantita-tive model of international labor mobility by showing that shutting down return migration in my model results in overestimating the magnitude of the welfare changes by more than sixfold for certain cohorts. JEL Classification: E13, E24, F22, O11, J61 Key words: Immigration, heterogeneous agent model, H-1B visa quota, welfare, transition path, human capital, return migration
    Date: 2016–11
  2. By: Cristina Mitaritonna; Gianluca Orefice; Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the impact of an increase in the local supply of immigrants on firms’ outcomes, allowing for heterogeneous effects across firms according to their initial productivity. Using micro-level data on French manufacturing firms spanning the period 1995-2005, we show that a supply-driven increase in the share of foreign-born workers in a French department (a small geographic area) increased the total factor productivity of firms in that department. Immigrants were prevalently highly educated and this effect is consistent with a positive complementarity and spillover effects from their skills. We also find this effect to be significantly stronger for firms with low initial productivity and small size. The positive productivity effect of immigrants was also associated with faster growth of capital, larger exports and higher wages for natives. Highly skilled natives were pushed towards firms that did not hire too many immigrants spreading positive productivity effects to those firms too. Because of stronger effects on smaller and initially less productive firms, the aggregate effects of immigrants at the department level on average productivity and employment was small.
    JEL: E25 F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2016–11
  3. By: Miriam Manchin (University College London); Sultan Orazbayev (University College London)
    Abstract: Using a large survey spanning several years and more than 150 countries, we examine the importance of social networks in influencing individuals’ intention to migrate domestically or internationally. We distinguish close social networks (composed of friends and family) and broad social networks (composed of same-country residents with intention to migrate), both at home and abroad. We find that social networks abroad are important driving forces of migration intentions, more important than work-related aspects or income. In addition, we find that close social networks abroad with remittances matter significantly more than those without remittances as the individuals become more educated, indicating that networks might work through different channels for individuals with different level of education. On other hand, we find that having stronger close social networks at home reduces the likelihood of migration intentions.
    Keywords: intention to migrate, social networks, local migration, international migration, remittances
    JEL: F22 F24 R23 O15
    Date: 2016–12–01
  4. By: Noy, Ilan
    Abstract: Observers repeatedly predict that climate change will lead and is already causing massive migration with very large numbers of people forced to leave their homes in cataclysmic waves of climate refugees. Yet, most of the empirical research on the contemporary link between climate change and migration fails to find much evidence of this migration. As climate change has been progressively intensifying for decades, should we not expect these migrations to already be happening? Here, we focus on Tuvalu, a small atoll nation in the South Pacific, that in many respects can serve as the Canary-in-the-Mine for climate change research. If migration driven by climate change is not happening today, Tuvalu may explain why. One plausible reason for this lack of migration is the desire by Tuvaluans to Voice. ‘Voicing’, a concept borrowed from Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, is the advocacy expressing one’s wish for change. We present evidence that the atoll nations have decided that their best policy at this point in time is to stay and Voice. If it is not unique to the Pacific atolls, this present choice to prefer Voice to Exit may explain why the evidence on climate-induced migration is so fragile. Tuvalu may be using Voice to attempt to avert dire outcomes, or to strengthen its bargaining position for the inevitable discussions about compensation. Still, the biggest risk may be that the equilibrium mix between Voice and Exit is unstable and that the transition from one strategy to the other may be abrupt—probably in response to a catastrophic natural disaster. In the long-term, sudden and unplanned displacement are always less successful, so advance planning is necessary now, including the financing of alternatives from funding through the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. Keynote Paper: Migration and Climate Change CESifo Workshop – Venice 2016
    Keywords: Climate change, Migration, Tuvalu, South Pacific,
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Ywen Chen (CREA, Université du Luxembourg); Benteng Zou (CREA, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: Tens of millions of young children were left behind by their migrant parents who left to find a job elsewhere to gain a better income and improve their families’ living standards. Many studies suggest that migrant parents should bring their children rather than leave them behind, especially EU internal migrants. In this short note, we give an economic reasoning for the choice of migrant parents. Our finding shows that emotionally, bringing the children makes both children and parents better off; however, economically, that may not be the case. The ambiguity depends on the forgone opportunity cost, relocation cost of children, children’s motivation, and the quality of the public school at the origin and destination
    Keywords: Migrant children; left-behind children; migration
    JEL: O15 I31 I30
    Date: 2016
  6. By: daniel wilson (Federal Reserve Bank); enrico moretti
    Abstract: We quantify how sensitive is migration by star scientist to changes in personal and business tax differentials across states. We uncover large, stable, and precisely estimated effects of personal and corporate taxes on star scientists’ migration patterns. The long run elasticity of mobility relative to taxes is 1.8 for personal income taxes, 1.9 for state corporate income tax and -1.7 for the investment tax credit. While there are many other factors that drive when innovative individual and innovative companies decide to locate, there are enough firms and workers on the margin that state taxes matter
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Bertocchi, Graziella
    Abstract: The slave trades out of Africa represent one of the most significant forced migration experiences in history. In this paper I illustrate their long-term consequences on contemporaneous socio-economic outcomes, drawing from my own previous work on the topic and from an extensive review of the available literature. I first consider the influence of the slave trade on the"sending" countries in Africa, with attention to their economic, institutional, demographic, and social implications. Next I evaluate the consequences of the slave trade on the "receiving" countries in the Americas. Here I distinguish between the case of Latin America and that of the United States. Overall, I show that the slave trades exert a lasting impact along several contemporaneous socio-economic dimensions and across diverse areas of the world.
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: Yuan Zi (IHEID, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: The extent to which a country can benefit from trade openness crucially depends on its ease of reallocating resources. However, we know little about the role of domestic frictions in shapingthe effects of trade policies. I address this question by analyzing the impact of tariff reductions on the spatial allocation of labor in China, and how this impact depends on migration frictions that stem from China's household registration system (hukou). I first provide reduced-form evidence that input trade liberalization has induced significant spatial labor reallocation in China, with a stronger effect in regions with less hukou frictions. Then, I construct and estimate a quantitative spatial model with input-output linkages and hukou frictions to examine the general equilibrium effects of tariff reductions and perform counterfactuals. The quantitative exercise shows that trade liberalization increases China's welfare by 0.63%. Abolishing the hukou system leads to a direct welfare improvement of 1.51%. Additionally, it increases gains from tariff reductions by 2% and alleviates its negative distributional consequences. In this process, I develop a novel measure of migration frictions associated with the hukou system.
    Keywords: input trade liberalization, spatial labor reallocation, hukou frictions, migration
    JEL: F11 F13 F16 R23 O15
    Date: 2016–11–08
  9. By: Dragan Ili? (University of Basel)
    Abstract: Immigrant groups that are marginalized in their host countries are disproportionately more likely to have their citizenship applications rejected. It is not readily obvious whether this disparity is due to prejudice on the part of decisionmakers or due to applicant differences in meeting naturalization standards. To address this question, I develop a simple model of a council deciding whether to grant applicants citizenship. The model implies an empirical test for relative prejudice using average applicant group rejection rates. Using Switzerland as a case study, I apply the test to newly collected data from six large municipalities. In five municipalities, the test cannot reject the hypothesis of no relative prejudice with respect to country of origin. The rejection pattern of the sixth municipality is consistent with prejudice. The model illustrates that the underlying mechanism in the decisionmaking process has bearing on the inference of prejudice from empirical data.
    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.
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