nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2016‒12‒11
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The Geography of Linguistic Diversity and the Provision of Public Goods By Joseph Gomes; Klaus Desmet; Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín
  2. Predicting the rise of right-wing populism in response to unbalanced immigration By Boris Podobnik; Marko Jusup; H. Eugene Stanley
  3. Intended vs. unintended consequences of migration restriction policies: evidence from a natural experiment in Indonesia By Makovec, Mattia
  4. To Stay or Leave? Migration decisions of foreign students in Japan By LIU Yang
  5. The Economic Impact of East‐West Migration on the European Union By Kahanec, Martin; Pytlikova, Mariola
  6. Natives’ attitudes and immigrants’ unemployment durations By Sekou KEITA; Jérome VALETTE
  7. Relations between immigration and adult skills: findings based on PIAAC By Lind, Patrik; Mellander, Erik
  8. Foreign labour in agricultural sectors of some EU countries By Siudek, Tomasz; Zawojska, Aldona
  9. Immigrants and Legal Status: Do Personal Contacts Matter? By Simone Cremaschi; Carlo Devillanova
  10. Do migrants transfer productive knowledge back to their origin countries? By Jérome VALETTE
  11. Multiculturalism and Growth: Skill-Specific Evidence from the Post-World War II Period By Frédéric DOCQUIER; Riccardo TURATI; Jérome VALETTE; Chrysovalantis VASILAKIS
  12. Massive Migration and its Effect on Human Capital and Growth: The Case of Western Balkan and Central and Eastern European Countries By Michael Landesmann; Isilda Mara
  13. Opportunity to Move: Macroeconomic Effects of Relocation Subsidies By Parkhomenko, Andrii

  1. By: Joseph Gomes; Klaus Desmet; Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín
    Abstract: This paper theoretically analyzes and empirically investigates the importance of local interaction between individuals of different linguistic groups for the provision of public goods at the national level. Depending on whether local interaction mitigates or reinforces antagonism towards other groups, the micro-founded theory we develop predicts that a country's provision of public goods (i) decreases in its overall linguistic fractionalization, and (ii) either increases or decreases in how much individuals locally learn about other groups. After constructing a 5 km by 5 km geographic dataset on language use for 223 countries, we compute measures of overall fractionalization and local learning, and investigate their relation to public good provision at the country level. While overall fractionalization worsens outcomes, we find a positive causal relation between local learning and public goods. Local mixing therefore mitigates the negative impact of a country's overall linguistic fractionalization. An IV strategy shows that this result is not driven by the possible endogenous spatial distribution of language speakers within countries.
    JEL: H4 H5 J15 D7 D74
    Date: 2016–11
  2. By: Boris Podobnik; Marko Jusup; H. Eugene Stanley
    Abstract: Among the central tenets of globalization is free migration of labor. Although much has been written about its benefits, little is known about the limitations of globalization, including how immigration affects the anti-globalist sentiment. Analyzing polls data, we find that over the last three years in a group of EU countries affected by the recent migrant crisis, the percentage of right-wing (RW) populist voters in a given country depends on the prevalence of immigrants in this country's population and the total immigration inflow into the entire EU. The latter is likely due to the EU resembling a supranational state, where the lack of inner borders causes that "somebody else's problem" easily turns into "my problem". We further find that the increase in the percentage of RW voters substantially surpasses the immigration inflow, implying that if this process continues, RW populism may democratically prevail and eventually lead to a demise of globalization. We present evidence for tipping points in relation to the rise of RW populism. Finally, we model these empirical findings using a complex network framework wherein the success of globalization largely rests on the balance between immigration and immigrant integration.
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Makovec, Mattia
    Abstract: We study the consequences of a series of migration policies that restricted the migration of Indonesian female domestic workers towards traditional destinations, namely Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Our difference-in-differences specification exploits the differential impact across Indonesian villages of this unique natural experiment, intended to stop repeated cases of mistreatment of Indonesians working overseas. Our results suggest that the moratoria had negative effects on economic activity and households’ welfare, and worsened labor market conditions, especially for women, in the origin communities. Our results highlight the unintended effects that migration restrictions may have precisely on those they were intended to benefit.
    Date: 2016–11–24
  4. By: LIU Yang
    Abstract: This study examines the determinants of binary choice with respect to the migration decisions of foreign students in Japan (i.e., whether they choose to remain in the country following graduation). A binary choice model of qualitative choice analysis was employed based on individual-level data obtained from a survey that was distributed to seven Japanese universities. Four groups of determinants regarding migration decisions among foreign students were examined; these addressed economic factors, culture and language, motivation to study abroad, and personal characteristics. Significant effects were not identified for economic factors (i.e., income, living conditions); in contrast, culture contributed significantly to students' migration decisions. Moreover, low levels of Japanese language proficiency proved to be a barrier to retaining foreign students.
    Date: 2016–11
  5. By: Kahanec, Martin (Central European University); Pytlikova, Mariola (CERGE-EI)
    Abstract: This study contributes to the literature on destination‐country consequences of international migration with investigations on the effects of immigration from new EU member states and Eastern Partnership countries on the economies of old EU member states over the years 1995‐2010. Using a rich international migration dataset and an empirical model accounting for the endogeneity of migration flows we find positive and significant effects of post‐enlargement migration flows from new EU member states on old member states' GDP, GDP per capita, and employment rate and a negative effect on output per worker. We also find small, but statistically significant negative effects of migration from Eastern Partnership countries on receiving countries' GDP, GDP per capita, employment rate, and capital stock, but a positive significant effect on capital‐to‐labor ratio. These results mark an economic success of the EU enlargements and EU's free movement of workers.
    Keywords: EU enlargement, free mobility of workers, migration impacts, European Single Market, east‐west migration, Eastern Partnership
    JEL: J15 J61 J68
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: Sekou KEITA; Jérome VALETTE
    Abstract: Which factors determine the performance of immigrants in the destination country labor market? Evidence in the literature suggests that discrimination may be a barrier to the economic assimilation of immigrants. However, depending on their country of origin, immigrants are heterogeneous with respect to the discrimination they face. This paper investigates how the attitude of natives affects immigrants’ unemployment duration in Germany. Using individual level panel data from the German Socio Economic Panel from 1984 to 2012, we employ survival analysis methods to model immigrants’ unemployment duration. We find that lower trust levels of natives towards the citizens of a given country, measured using Eurobarometer surveys, positively influence the unemployment duration of immigrants originating from this country. We show that this result is not driven by origin-specific unobserved heterogeneity, and that it is robust to different definitions of unemployment and different specifications. The results of our paper highlight the fact that immigrants face different obstacles depending on their origin when it comes to integrating destination country labor markets.
    Keywords: Immigrant workers, Unemployment duration, Discrimination.
    JEL: J71 J64 J61
    Date: 2016–12
  7. By: Lind, Patrik (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Mellander, Erik (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: The international survey of adult skills, PIAAC, records large differences in numeracy and literacy skills between immigrants and non-immigrants. We examine how these differences relate to the countries’ average skills and skill rankings. Immigrants are defined by country of birth or in terms of languages spoken. For almost all countries, the differences in average skills between non-immigrants and the country’s entire population are significant but small. Regarding skill rankings significant differences are found only for Sweden and these are found to be sensitive to the treatment of individuals that could not conduct the skill tests due to language difficulties.
    Keywords: PIAAC; migration; language skills; average scores; rank uncertainty
    JEL: C15 I24 J15 O15
    Date: 2016–11–23
  8. By: Siudek, Tomasz; Zawojska, Aldona
    Abstract: The majority of studies on rural migration in the EU have tended to focus rather on the scale and implications of exodus from rural societies than on rural areas as receivers of migrants, especially foreign ones. This research examines the foreign employment in the agricultural sectors of the selected countries as well as ‘pull’ and ‘push’ factors of foreign labour supply. It presents both positive and negative views on the process of rising inflow of foreign workers into rural areas that leads or can lead to reshaping the rural job markets, economies and communities. The theoretical background lies in economic, social and integrated theories and concepts of migration (political economy of migration, dual labour market theory, network theories, human capital models, relative deprivation theory etc.). The study is mainly devoted to migrant agricultural workers from Poland (being the largest source of post-accession migrants) in the UK (being second, after Germany, the most popular migrant destination for Polish-born citizens).
    Keywords: agriculture, rural areas, labour market, foreign workers, migration, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Labor and Human Capital, Political Economy, Public Economics,
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Simone Cremaschi (European University Institute); Carlo Devillanova (Università Bocconi)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the effect of personal contacts on immigrants’ legal status by focusing particularly on the contacts’ direct links to legal status and indirect associations with the labor market. The overall effect of these contacts is theoretically unsigned and likely to vary across contact type and contextual factors. Our empirical analysis, based on unique Italian survey data on both documented and undocumented immigrants, tests two hypotheses regarding native contacts: (i) that they are more likely to be associated with a higher immigrant documentation probability and (ii) that they are more likely to introduce immigrants to jobs that facilitate access to employment-based legalization initiatives. Our results indicate that contacts with both natives and family members have a direct, positive, and quantitatively large effect on immigrant documentation probability, whereas contacts with members of the same ethnic group only indirectly increase documentation probability by raising the probability of employment. Our findings also support the hypothesis that native contacts connect immigrants with better jobs.
    Keywords: Immigrant integration; legal status; personal contacts; networks; labor market outcomes
    Date: 2016–12
  10. By: Jérome VALETTE
    Abstract: This paper analyses whether international migrants contribute to foster innovation in developing countries by inducing a transfer of productive knowledge from destination to the migrants’ home countries. Using the Economic Complexity Index as a proxy for the amount of productive knowledge embedded in each countries, and bilateral migrant stocks to 20 OECD destination countries, we show that international emigration is a strong channel of technological transmission. Diasporas foster the local adoption of new technologies by connecting high technology countries with low ones, reducing the uncertainty surrounding their profitability. Our empirical results support the fact that technological transfers are more likely to occur out of more technologically advanced destinations and when emigration rates particularly high.
    Keywords: International migration, Technology transfer, Export sophistication, Diaspora externalities.
    JEL: F63 O33 F22
    Date: 2016–12
  11. By: Frédéric DOCQUIER; Riccardo TURATI; Jérome VALETTE; Chrysovalantis VASILAKIS
    Abstract: This paper empirically revisits the impact of multiculturalism (as proxied by indices of birthplace diversity and polarization among immigrants, or by epidemiological terms) on the macroeconomic performance of US states over the 1960-2010 period. We test for skill-specific effects of multiculturalism, controlling for standard growth regressors and a variety of fixed effects, and accounting for the age of entry and legal status of immigrants. To identify causation, we compare various instrumentation strategies used in the existing literature. We provide converging and robust evidence of a positive and significant effect of diversity among college-educated immigrants on GDP per capita. Overall, a 10% increase in high-skilled diversity raises GDP per capita by 6.2%. On the contrary, diversity among less educated immigrants has insignificant effects. Also, we find no evidence of a quadratic effect or a contamination by economic conditions in poor countries.
    Keywords: Birthplace diversity, Growth.
    JEL: J61 F22
    Date: 2016–12
  12. By: Michael Landesmann (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Isilda Mara (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: Abstract We analyse the effect of massive migration particularly from the Western Balkans and the Central and Eastern European countries on human capital and growth. In our analysis, we use a system of three equations to estimate simultaneously the effect of migration on human capital and on growth. An important driver of migration is chain migration, as well as the unemployment and income differentials between developing and developed countries. Overall, our findings suggest that migration of highly skilled from the Western Balkan and Central Eastern European countries has been beneficial to economic growth and income convergence of these countries. Our analysis supports the positive impact of low-skilled migration on the composition of human capital in the source countries.
    Keywords: migration, brain drain, brain gain, economic growth, human capital
    JEL: F22 J24 O15 O40
    Date: 2016–08
  13. By: Parkhomenko, Andrii
    Abstract: The unemployment insurance system in the U.S. does not provide incentives to look for jobs outside local labor markets. In this paper I introduce relocation subsidies as a supplement to unemployment benefits, and study their effects on unemployment, productivity and welfare. I build a job search model with heterogeneous workers and multiple locations, in which migration is impeded by moving expenses, cross-location search frictions, borrowing constraints, and utility costs. I calibrate the model to the U.S. economy, and then introduce a subsidy that reimburses a part of the moving expenses to the unemployed and is financed by labor income taxes. During the Great Recession, a relocation subsidy that pays half of the moving expenses would lower unemployment rate by 0.36 percentage points (or 4.8%) and increase productivity by 1%. Importantly, the subsidies cost nothing to the taxpayer: the additional spending on the subsidies is offset by the reduction in spending on unemployment benefits. Unemployment insurance which combines unemployment benefits with relocation subsidies appears to be more effective than the insurance based on the benefits only.
    Keywords: unemployment insurance, relocation subsidies and vouchers, local labor markets, moving costs, geographic mobility, internal migration
    JEL: E24 J61 J64 J65 R23
    Date: 2016–11–24

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