nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒01‒01
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Between Life Cycle Model, Labor Market Integration and Discrimination: An Econometric Analysis of the Determinants of Return Migration By Eric Schuss
  2. International migration, return migration, and their effects. A comprehensive review on the Romanian case By Anghel, Remus Gabriel; Botezat, Alina; Cosciug, Anatolie; Manafi, Ioana; Roman, Monica
  3. Social ties for labor market access - Lessons from the migration of East German inventors By Dorner, Matthias; Harhoff, Dietmar; Hinz, Tina; Hoisl, Karin; Bender, Stefan
  4. Do Immigrants Spur Offshoring? Firm-Level Evidence By Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas; Karpaty, Patrik; Kneller, Richard; Lodefalk, Magnus
  5. Assessing selection patterns and wage differential of high-skilled migrants. Evidence from the AlmaLaurea dataset on Italian graduates working abroad By Gilberto Antonelli; Sara Binassi; Giovanni Guidetti; Giulio Pedrini
  6. Working Paper 10-16 - Projection of internal migration based on migration intensity and preferential flows By Marie Vandresse
  7. EU Blue Card: A promising tool among labour migration policies? A comparative analysis of selected countries By Bellini, Simona
  8. Ageing by feet? Regional migration, neighbourhood choice and local demographic change in German cities By Neumann, Uwe
  9. Immigration, trade and productivity in services: Evidence from U.K. firms By Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P.; Peri, Giovanni; Wright, Greg C.
  10. Does Information Change Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Representative Evidence from Survey Experiments By Alexis Grigorieff; Christopher Roth; Diego Ubfal
  11. Effect of Internal Migration on Air and Water Pollution in China By Shuddhasattwa Rafiq; Ingrid Nielsen; Russell Smyth
  12. The Migrant Health Gap and the Role of Labour Market Status: Evidence from Switzerland By Sara Rellstab; Marco Pecoraro; Alberto Holly; Philippe Wanner; Karine Renard
  13. A nonparametric analysis of the healthy immigrant effect By Antonio Fidalgo; Alberto Holly; Marco Pecoraro; Philippe Wanner

  1. By: Eric Schuss
    Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of return migration by applying the Cox hazard model to longitudinal micro data from 1996 to 2012, including immigrants of a wide range of nationalities. The empirical results reveal the validity of the life cycle model of Migration Economics and a strong return probability decreasing effect of labor market integration and societal integration. Modeling non-proportional effects of qualification and social benefits supports the human capital thesis and supplies new insights with regard to the supranational European labor market and to development policy. At the beginning of residence highly qualified immigrants as well as immigrants obtaining social benefits display a rather high hazard ratio that, however, decreases each additional year of residence afterwards. Via survivor functions further remarkable results about non-proportional adverse selection effects and about the interaction between qualification and labor market integration can be found. Finally, the paper derives important policy implications from the empirical analysis with a special focus on the interface between public economics and development policy and on combining classical guest worker approaches with modern concepts of brain gain and the human capital hypothesis.
    Keywords: cox hazard model, European development policy, migration behavior, human capital hypothesis
    JEL: C41 J61 O15
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Anghel, Remus Gabriel; Botezat, Alina; Cosciug, Anatolie; Manafi, Ioana; Roman, Monica
    Abstract: Romanian migration is today one of the biggest, complex, and dynamic migration to Western Europe. This paper is a comprehensive review of the existing literature that aims at providing a full picture of this dynamic migratory process and discusses its far-reaching consequences. It first presents and characterizes the Romanian migration through the different phases during and after state socialism. The second part of the paper is dedicated to unfolding the socio-economic effects of the Romanian migration addressing the remitting behavior and its development over the past years. The issue of return migration is also addressed stressing that return is not much developed, however it has significant impacts through the emergence of returnees’ entrepreneurship. Finally we address some of the consequences of the medical doctors’ migration which is today considered one of the main migration challenges the country is facing.
    Keywords: Romania, international migration, remittances, return migration, physicians migration
    JEL: F22 F24 J15 P36
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Dorner, Matthias; Harhoff, Dietmar; Hinz, Tina; Hoisl, Karin; Bender, Stefan
    Abstract: We study the impact of social ties on the migration of inventors from East to West Germany, using the fall of the Iron Curtain and German reunification as a natural experiment. We identify East German inventors via their patenting track records prior to 1990 and their social security records in the German labor market after reunification. Modeling inventor migration to West German regions after 1990, we find that Western regions with stronger historically determined social ties across the former East-West border attracted more inventors after the fall of the Iron Curtain than regions without such ties. However, mobility decisions made by inventors with outstanding patenting track records (star inventors) were not impacted by social ties. We conclude that social ties support labor market access for migrant inventors and determine regional choices while dependence on these ties is substantially reduced for star performers.
    JEL: J60 O30 P20 R23
    Date: 2016–12–06
  4. By: Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas (The Ratio Institute); Karpaty, Patrik (Örebro University); Kneller, Richard (GEP, University of Nottingham); Lodefalk, Magnus (The Ratio Institute and Örebro University)
    Abstract: Offshoring is an important aspect of firms’ internationalization. However, offshoring comes at a cost, especially where information or trust is lacking. Immigrant employees could reduce such offshoring costs through their knowledge of their former home countries and via access to foreign networks. We develop a framework of heterogeneous final-good firms to guide our empirical analysis and draw on new employer-employee data for approximately 12,000 Swedish firms during the time period 1998-2007. Our results support the hypothesis that immigrant employees spur offshoring activities by firms through lower offshoring costs. Hiring one additional foreign-born worker can increase offshoring up to three percent on average, with skilled migrants having the strongest effects.
    Keywords: Offshoring; migration; networks; trust; information; trade barriers
    JEL: D21 D83 F14 F22 F23
    Date: 2016–12–21
  5. By: Gilberto Antonelli (Department of Economics and SDIC, University of Bologna; AlmaLaurea Interuniverisity Consortium); Sara Binassi (AlmaLaurea Interuniversity Consortium); Giovanni Guidetti (Department of Economics and SDIC, University of Bologna); Giulio Pedrini (Interuniversity Research Centre on Public Services (CRISP) and SDIC, University of Bologna)
    Abstract: This paper aims at investigating the phenomenon of graduates’ migration from an OECD country at microeconomic level in order to offer an insight into the scholarly debate on migration decision of high-skilled workers living in a developed country. By merging data on working conditions on Italian graduates with the results of an ad-hoc survey on Italian graduates working abroad, the paper assesses the selectivity of migration choices, the wage premium associated to migration decision on their earnings, and the determinants of the earning function for those graduates that work abroad. Results partially confirms the applicability of the Borjas model on selectivity of migration choice. It also shows the existence of a substantial wage premium associated with the decision to work abroad in line with an extended human capital approach. However, it also suggests a greater complexity of both the selection and the earning function of high-skilled workers, due to their longer and differentiated educational career, the stronger weight attached to preference variables, the degree of skills’ portability attached to university’s location and fields of study, and, in general, to the capability of a tertiary education system to provide their graduates with the skills required by international labour markets.
    Keywords: higher education, migration, international labour markets, inequality
    JEL: J61 I26 J24
    Date: 2016–12
  6. By: Marie Vandresse
    Abstract: This Working Paper presents the projection methodology for internal migration, which is integrated from 2016 in the population projections published by the Federal Planning Bureau and Statistics Belgium. The methodology is based on migration intensity between districts, rather than on emigration rates from one district to another. With migration intensity, not only is the population of the departure district taken into account (population at risk of moving) but also the population of the destination district (as a proxy for attractiveness). The short-term evolution of migration intensity is in line with the most recent trends observed in a series of preferential migration flows between districts. In the long term, migration intensity is assumed to be constant.
    JEL: J11 C51
    Date: 2016–10–20
  7. By: Bellini, Simona
    Abstract: In 2007 the Commission proposed a Directive aimed exclusively at third-country nationals moving to Europe for the purpose of highly qualified employment that would set up a harmonized entry procedure, lay down common residence conditions and facilitate mobility through Europe. The Directive, named Blue Card, was meant to make Europe more attractive for highly qualified migrants by offering a fast-track entry procedure and social benefits in the EU. The Commission, despite the reluctance of Member States, managed to push through the Directive, which was finally approved in 2009. In the first three years since the Blue Card first entered into force in the majority of Member States in 2012, no more than 30,352 cards have been issued, of which about 26,200 by a single Member State. Why? Through a detailed analysis of the conditions set by the Directive and their comparison with the ones posed by the national labour migration schemes - in particular in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands -, this paper aims to demonstrate that the causes of failure are not to search in the Blue Card instrument per se, but rather in the ways this has been implemented in the single Member States.
    Keywords: European Blue Card,labour migration,third-country migrants,labour shortage,high-skilled migrants,European economic competitiveness,free movement of labour,harmonization,knowledge economy,reallocation of workers,single market,sovereignty,shared competences
    JEL: K37 J20 J23 J31 J61 J88
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Neumann, Uwe
    Abstract: In countries with an ageing population, regional migration may accentuate local progress in demographic change. This paper investigates whether and to what extent diversity in ageing among urban neighbourhoods in Germany was reinforced by regional migration during the past two decades. The old-industrialised Ruhr in North Rhine- Westphalia serves as a case study representing an advanced regional stage in ageing. The analysis proceeds in two steps. First, variation in the pace of neighbourhood-level demographic change over the period 1998-2008 is examined using KOSTAT, an annual time series compiled by municipal statistical offices. Second, a discrete choice model of household location preferences is applied to study the underlying demographic sorting process. The second step draws on microdata from a representative population survey carried out in 2010. During the 1990s and 2000s, in contrast to earlier decades, age differentials in location preferences became more profound and city centres became more popular as residential location. Rapid "ageing by feet" now affects neighbourhoods, where the influx is low, particularly low-density housing areas of the outer urban zone. Neighbourhood-level demographic sorting proceeds at a somewhat slower pace in the Ruhr than in the more prosperous cities of the nearby Rhineland (Bonn, Cologne and Dusseldorf). In the process of regional adaptation to demographic change, greater diversity in the age structure of neighbourhood populations may turn out to be an advantage in the long-run competition over mobile households.
    Keywords: ageing,segregation,neighbourhood sorting,discrete choice
    JEL: C21 C25 O18 R23
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P.; Peri, Giovanni; Wright, Greg C.
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of immigrants on the imports, exports and productivity of service- producing firms in the U.K. Immigrants may substitute for imported intermediate inputs (offshore production) and they may impact the productivity of the firm as well as its export behavior. The first effect can be understood as the re-assignment of offshore productive tasks to immigrant workers. The second can be seen as a productivity or cost cutting effect due to immigration, and the third as the effect of immigrants on specific bilateral trade costs. We test the predictions of our model using differences in immigrant inflows across U.K. labor markets, instrumented with an enclave-based instrument that distinguishes between aggregate and bilateral immigration, as well as immigrant diversity. We find that immigrants increase overall productivity in service-producing firms, revealing a cost cutting impact on these firms. Immigrants also reduce the extent of country-specific offshoring, consistent with a reallocation of tasks and, finally, they increase country-specific exports, implying an important role in reducing communication and trade costs for services.
    Keywords: Immigration,Services Trade
    JEL: F16 F10 F22 F23
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Alexis Grigorieff; Christopher Roth; Diego Ubfal
    Abstract: We study whether providing information about immigrants affects people’s attitude towards them. First, we use a large representative cross-country experiment to show that, when people are told the share of immigrants in their country, they become less likely to state that there are too many of them. Then, we conduct two online experiments in the U.S., where we provide half of the participants with five statistics about immigration, before evaluating their attitude towards immigrants with self-reported and behavioral measures. This more comprehensive intervention improves people’s attitude towards existing immigrants, although it does not change people’s policy preferences regarding immigration. Republicans become more willing to increase legal immigration after receiving the information treatment. Finally, we also measure the same self-reported policy preferences, attitudes, and beliefs in a four-week follow-up, and we show that the treatment effects persist. Keywords: Biased Beliefs, Survey Experiment, Immigration, Policy Preferences, Persistence. JEL classification: C90, J15, Z1, Z13
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Shuddhasattwa Rafiq; Ingrid Nielsen; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: We examine the effect of inter-provincial migration on air and water pollution for a panel of Chinese provinces over the period 2000-2013. To do so, we employ linear and non-linear panel data models in a Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence and Technology (STIRPAT) framework. Our findings from both the linear and non-linear models suggest that inter-provincial migration has contributed to air and water pollution. Results from the second-generation linear panel data models suggest that for every additional 10,000 inter-provincial migrants, chemical oxygen demand (COD) increases 0.33-0.58 per cent and sulphur dioxide (SO2) increases 0.15-0.33 per cent. Our results from the non-linear threshold panel model are that for every additional 10,000 inter-provincial migrants, COD increases 0.2-0.5 per cent and SO2 increases 0.10-0.20 per cent. These estimates mean that over the period 2000-2013 average interprovincial migration was responsible for 7-12.4 per cent of wastewater discharge and 3.2-7 per cent of SO2 emissions in China based on the second-generation linear panel data models and 4.3-10.7 per cent of wastewater discharge and 2.1-4.3 per cent of SO2 emissions based on the non-linear threshold panel model.
    Keywords: China, internal migration, air pollution, water pollution.
    JEL: J10 Q20 Q25 R11 R23
    Date: 2016–11
  12. By: Sara Rellstab (TI, Erasmus University Rotterdam); Marco Pecoraro (SFM, University of Neuchatel); Alberto Holly (IEMS, University of Lausanne); Philippe Wanner (I-Demo, University of Geneva); Karine Renard (SFM, University of Neuchatel)
    Abstract: With more than a fifth of the population being foreign citizens, Switzerland offers an ideal case to study the migrant health gap and the role of labour market status on the migrants' health. This paper examines the potential health gaps between Swiss nationals and different migrant groups (from the permanent foreign resident population), and how alternative types of labour market status affect health among each selected groups. Using a sample of working-age males from the Swiss Labour Force Survey for the years 2003-2009, we estimate a model with a dichotomic dependent variable and test the potential endogeneity of labour market status. Our empirical strategy avoids inconsistencies incurred by unobserved heterogeneity and simultaneity of the choice of labour market status. We observe a health gap in terms of chronic illness between Swiss nationals and all considered migrant groups. Compared to the Swiss, nationals from former Yugoslavia and Turkey have a worse health status whereas Germans have a lower prevalence of chronic illness. Our findings show a negative influence of part-time work, unemployment, and inactivity on health for all groups under study. Labour market status and standard individual characteristics (human capital, demographic attributes, etc.) explain the health disadvantage for migrants from Italy and Portugal/Spain entirely, whereas it does not for migrants from Turkey and former Yugoslavia. We provide insights on the unconditional health gap between migrants and Swiss nationals and estimate the causal effect of labour market status on chronic illness for different groups of the permanent resident population in Switzerland. The results show a negative correlation between non-employment (i.e. unemployment and inactivity) and health but this effect is reduced when taking into account the endogeneity of this variable. The same conclusion applies when labour market status is subdivided into three types: part-time work, unemployment, and inactivity.
    Keywords: Migration, Health, Labour Market, Latent Variable Models, Simultaneous Equation, Panel Data Analysis
    Date: 2016–12
  13. By: Antonio Fidalgo (SFM, University of Neuchatel and I-Demo, University of Geneva); Alberto Holly (IEMS, University of Lausanne); Marco Pecoraro (SFM, University of Neuchatel); Philippe Wanner (I-Demo, University of Geneva)
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the Swiss Labour Force Survey to evaluate the existence of the healthy immigrant effect (HIE) which would translate in i. a health advantage of immigrants upon their arrival in Switzerland compared to individuals with similar characteristics but Swiss-born and ii. an erosion of that advantage over the time of residence until convergence in the levels of health between these two groups. Our original contribution is to address this issue by taking a nonparametric approach in order overcome any potential danger of misspecification that would preclude valid inference. We find little empirical support for the HIE: i. no initial advantage and ii. no convergence but the health status of immigrants is shown to deteriorate more than Swiss-born individuals with similar characteristics. Significant differences appear when disaggregating among immigrants' country of origin. Interestingly, we show that a standard parametric approach, in contrast to our findings, would fully confirm the existence of the HIE with the same data set.
    Keywords: Migration, Health, Labour Market
    Date: 2016–12

This nep-mig issue is ©2017 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.