nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒01‒29
five papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  2. Self-Employment Differentials among Foreign-Born STEM and Non-STEM Workers By Zhengyu Cai; John V. Winters
  3. International knowledge flows and the administrative barriers to mobility By Sultan Orazbayev
  4. Open Borders in the European Union and Beyond: Migration Flows and Labor Market Implications By John Kennan
  5. Migration in Kenya : Beyond Harris-Todaro By Cem Oyvat; Mwangi wa Githinji

  1. By: Frank T Denton; Byron G Spencer
    Abstract: Immigrants can mix with the population of a receiving country in various ways. We consider demographic mixing by which we mean cross-mating, and more particularly the bearing of children where one parent is of immigrant descent and the other is not – cross parenting as we term it. We consider a hypothetical country with an initial stable population and introduce immigration. The results of cross-parenting are taken into account by identifying three separate populations within the overall total: non-immigrant population, immigrant population (immigrants and their descendants), and mixed population. We develop a stylized model to track the three populations, with interest focusing in particular on how the proportion of mixed population changes through time as it moves toward a steady state. The model has a stable projection (Leslie) matrix that holds for all three populations and moves them forward from generation to generation as each evolves in its own way. As cross-parenting occurs the resulting progeny are transferred from the other populations to the mixed population. The pattern of cross-parenting is determined in the first instance by a matrix representing preferences among the three populations and alternative preferential patterns are experimented with, ranging from complete isolation to indifference as to cross-parenting choices. However the matrix must be modified to recognize supply constraints imposed by the sizes of the available populations and a restricted leastsquares procedure is employed to effect the modification while remaining as close as possible to the original preference pattern. Alternative rates of immigration are experimented with also.
    Keywords: immigration, population mixing, cross-parenting, demographic modeling, parenting preferences
    JEL: F22
    Date: 2016–10
  2. By: Zhengyu Cai (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics); John V. Winters (Oklahoma State University)
    Abstract: This paper uses the American Community Survey to examine the previously overlooked fact that foreign STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates have much lower self-employment rates than their non-STEM counterparts, with an unconditional difference of 3.3 percentage points. We find empirical support for differing earnings opportunities as a partial explanation for this self-employment gap. High wages in STEM paid-employment combined with reduced earnings in self-employment make self-employment less desirable for STEM graduates. High self-employment rates among other foreign-born workers partially reflect weak paid-employment opportunities. Public policy should encourage efficient use of worker skills rather than low-value business venture creation.
    Keywords: self-employment, immigration, foreign-born, college major, STEM, earnings
    JEL: F22 J15 J31 L26
    Date: 2017–01
  3. By: Sultan Orazbayev
    Abstract: Face-to-face contact, even temporary one, helps researchers form personal ties and transfer tacit knowledge. The ability of researchers to colocate, including attendance at international conferences, workshops and seminars, is affected by the administrative barriers to international mobility. This paper uses a gravity-style empirical framework to examine the link between international knowledge flows and immigration policies. The results suggest that the paper walls erected by such policies reduce not just the mobility of individuals, but also the diffusion of knowledge. A moderately restrictive mobility barrier reduces incoming and outgoing knowledge flows by about 0.8-1.3% per year. The effect of knowledge-exporting country's policy persists for nearly 10 years. There is also a short-term asymmetry: diffusion of recent knowledge is affected more by the immigration policy of a knowledge-exporter rather than a knowledge-importer.
    Keywords: diffusion of knowledge; academic mobility; immigration policy; visa policy; migration
    JEL: F10 F29 O33 R10
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: John Kennan
    Abstract: In 2004, the European Union admitted 10 new countries, and wages in these countries were generally well below the levels in the existing member countries. Citizens of these newly-admitted countries were subsequently free to take jobs anywhere in the EU, and many did so. In 2015, a large number of refugees from Syria and other broken countries sought to migrate to EU countries (along very dangerous routes), and these refugees were met with fierce resistance, at least in some places. This paper seeks to understand the labor market implications of allowing free migration across borders, with particular reference to the EU. The aim is to quantify the migration flows associated with EU enlargement, and to analyze the extent to which these flows affected equilibrium wages. The main conclusion is that the real wage effects are small, and the gains from open borders are large.
    JEL: E25 F22 J61
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Cem Oyvat (University of Greenwich, International Business and Economics Department); Mwangi wa Githinji (University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Economics Department)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of agrarian structures on the migration behavior and destination of rural household heads and individuals in Kenya. To explore the complexity of migration we extend the standard Harris-Todaro framework to account for land inequality and size. In addition, we disaggregate urban destination into different types of urban centers and also consider rural-to-rural migration. Using logistic regressions, we show that Kenyan household heads born in districts with higher land inequality, smaller per capita land and lower per capita rural income are more likely to migrate. Hence, poverty and inequality in Kenyan rural districts are transmitted to other areas over time. Our estimates also show that, for peasants whose incomes are squeezed by larger land inequality, migration from villages to suburban Nairobi, smaller cities, and villages in different districts could be a preferable strategy to migrating to Metro Nairobi. The impact of land inequality is more significant for male migration than female migration. Moreover, the level of education, age, marital status, gender, religion and distance to Nairobi play a role in the migration behavior of rural dwellers. Classification-JEL: O15, Q15, O12, O55
    Keywords: migration, distribution, agrarian structures
    Date: 2017–01–24

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