nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒03‒05
eighteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Stymied Ambition: Does a Lack of Economic Freedom Lead to Migration? By Renner, Laura; Meierrieks, Daniel
  2. International Family Migration and the Dual-Earner Model By Martin Munk; Till Nikolka; Panu Poutvaara
  3. Migrating Extremists By Ochsner, Christian; Roesel, Felix
  4. The Effect of Far Right Parties on the Location Choice of Immigrants: Evidence from Lega Nord Mayors By Emanuele Bracco; Colin Peter Green; Maria De Paola; Vincenzo Scoppa
  5. Transition from Temporary Foreign Workers to Permanent Residents, 1990 to 2014 By Hou, Feng; Lu, Yuqian
  6. The causal effect of age at migration on youth educational attainment By Lemmermann, Dominique; Riphahn, Regina
  7. Income disparities, population and migration flows over the 21st century By Frédéric Docquier; Joël Machado
  8. Migrant labor in the Norwegian petroleum sector By Bernt Bratsberg; Oddbjørn Raaum; Ole Rogeberg
  9. Punitive inclusion: the political economy of irregular migration in the margins of Europe By Leonidas K. Cheliotis
  10. Global integration and world migration By Stark, Oded
  11. Migration when social preferences are ordinal: Steady state population distribution, and social welfare By Stark, Oded
  12. The impact of China's WTO accession on internal migration By Giovanni Facchini; Maggie Y. Liu; Anna Maria Mayda; Minghai Zhou
  13. The Impact of Syrian Refugees on Natives' Labor Market Outcomes in Turkey: Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Design By Evren Ceritoglu; Hatice Burcu Gurcihan Yunculer; Huzeyfe Torun; Semih Tumen
  14. The Labor Market Consequences of Refugee Supply Shocks By George J. Borjas; Joan Monras
  15. Complex Factors Behind Misguided Policies in Socioeconomics: From Mass Migration and Persistent Alienation to Rampant Crime and Economic Malaise By Kim, Steven
  16. Minimum Wages and Spatial Equilibrium: Theory and Evidence By Joan Monras
  17. Migration, Labor Tasks and Production Structure in Europe By Stefania Borelli; Giuseppe De Arcangelis; Majlinda Joxhe
  18. Macroeconomic determinants of emigration from Kenya By Ombaire Birundu, William

  1. By: Renner, Laura; Meierrieks, Daniel
    Abstract: This contribution investigates the relationship between economic freedom and international migration. We argue that higher levels of economic freedom in the source countries of migration may discourage migration by generating more economic security, providing more economic opportunities and stimulating overall economic activity. Using a panel dataset on migration from 91 developing and emerging to the 20 most attractive OECD destination countries for the 1980-2010 period, we find that more economic freedom at home discourages high-skilled migration but does not matter to low-skilled migration. The negative association between economic freedom and skilled emigration also holds when we estimate dynamic-panel models that allow for endogeneity in the economic freedom-migration nexus. Our findings thus suggest that high-skilled individuals are especially responsive to the economic incentives arising from higher levels of economic freedom.
    JEL: F22 J61 J60
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Martin Munk (Aalborg University); Till Nikolka (Ifo Institute); Panu Poutvaara (Ifo Institute)
    Abstract: Gender differences in labor force participation are exceptionally small in Nordic countries. We investigate how couples emigrating from Denmark self-select and sort into different destinations and whether couples pursue the dual-earner model, in which both partners work, when abroad. Female labor force participation is slightly lower among couples that later emigrate, and drops considerably after migration outside the Nordic countries. Pre migration differences between couples subsequently migrating to different destinations are small. Our survey reveals that couple migration is usually driven by the male’s job opportunities. The results suggest that increasing international migration may reduce women’s career investments.
    Keywords: Household production, Female labor force participation, Child care, International migration, Family migration
    JEL: D13 J12 J13 J16 F22
    Date: 2017–02
  3. By: Ochsner, Christian; Roesel, Felix
    Abstract: We show that migrating extremists shape political landscapes toward their ideology in the long run. We exploit the unexpected division of the state of Upper Austria into a US and a Soviet occupation zone after WWII. Zoning prompts large-scale Nazi migration to US occupied regions. Regions that witnessed a Nazi influx exhibit significantly higher voting shares for the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) throughout the entire post-WWII period, but not before WWII. We can exclude other channels that may have affected post-war elections, including differences in US and Soviet denazification and occupation policies, bomb attacks, Volksdeutsche refugees and suppression by other political parties. We show that extremism is transmitted through family ties and local party branches. We find that the surnames of FPÖ local election candidates in 2015 in the former US zone are more prevalent in 1942 phonebook data (Reichstelefonbuch) of the former Soviet zone compared to other parties.
    JEL: R23 D72 N94
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Emanuele Bracco; Colin Peter Green; Maria De Paola; Vincenzo Scoppa
    Abstract: Immigration has increasingly taken centre-stage in the political landscape. Part of this has been rise in far-right, anti-immigration parties in a range of countries. Existing evidence suggests that the presence of immigrants has a substantial effect on the political views of the electorate, generating an advantage to these parties with anti-immigration or nationalist platforms. This paper explores a closely related issue but overlooked issue: how immigrant behavior is influenced by these parties. We focus on immigrant location decisions in Northern Italy which has seen the rise of the anti-immigration party Lega Nord. We construct a dataset of mayoral elections in Italy for the years 2002-2014, and calculate the effect of electing a mayor belonging to, or supported by Lega Nord. To identify this relationship we focus on mayors who have been elected with narrow margins of victory in a Regression Discontinuity framework. The election of Lega Nord mayor discourages immigrants from moving into the municipality.
    Keywords: Immigration, Geographical Mobility, Voting Behavior, Political economy, Regression Discontinuity Design
    JEL: J15 J61 D72
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Hou, Feng; Lu, Yuqian
    Abstract: The number of temporary foreign workers in Canada increased considerably from the early 1990s. Temporary foreign workers over this period also became an increasingly important source of permanent residents admitted to Canada. Using the Temporary Residents file and the Immigrant Landing File, this article documents the changes in the levels and types of new temporary foreign workers who arrived in Canada from 1990 to 2014. It further examines the patterns of transition from temporary foreign workers to permanent residents, and the immigration classes through which temporary foreign workers obtained permanent residence.
    Keywords: Citizenship, Ethnic diversity and immigration, Immigrants and non-permanent residents, Labour market and income
    Date: 2017–02–21
  6. By: Lemmermann, Dominique; Riphahn, Regina
    Abstract: We investigate the causal effect of youths' age at immigration on subsequent educational attainment in the destination country. To identify the causal effect we compare the educational attainment of siblings at age 21, exploiting the fact that they typically migrate at different ages within a given family. We consider several education outcomes conditional on family fixed effects. We take advantage of long running and detailed data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, which entails an oversample of immigrants and provides information on language skills. We find significant effects of age at migration on educational attainment and a critical age of migration around age 6. We find that the educational attainment of female immigrants responds more strongly to a high age at immigration than that of males. We can exclude that the causal effect is determined only by language abilities.
    JEL: I21 J61 C21
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Frédéric Docquier (FNRS and IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain); Joël Machado (IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: This paper provides worldwide projections of population, educational attainment, international migration and income for the 21st century. We develop and parametrize a dynamic, stylized model of the world economy that accounts for the key interdependencies between demographic and economic variables. Our baseline scenario is in line with the ‘high-fertility’ population prospects of the United Nations, assumes constant education and migration policies, long-run absolute convergence in total factor productivity (TFP) between emerging and high-income countries, and the absence of economic takeoff in Africa. It predicts a rise in the income share of Asia (from 38 to 59 percent of the world income) and in the demographic share of Africa (from 10 to 25 percent of the world population). However, over the 21st century, the worldwide proportion of adult migrants will only increase by one percentage point (from 3.5 to 4.5 percent). Half of this change is explained by the increased attractiveness of China and India; and the remaining part is explained by the increased migration pressure from Africa to Western Europe. Keeping its immigration policy unchanged, the 15 members of the European Union will see their average immigration rate increase from 7.5 to 17.2 percent. On the contrary, immigration rates will remain stable in the other high-income countries. Then, we assess the sensitivity of our projections to changes in migration policies, TFP disparities, fertility and education. The evolution of productivity in emerging economies and in Africa will have a drastic impact on the worldwide population size, income disparities and the migration pressure to the European Union. The world economy will also be drastically affected if TFP convergence is accompanied by a fall in migration costs to China and India. However, a large increase in the average European immigration rate is obtained under all the scenarios. More than ever, the management of immigration will become a major societal challenge for Europe.
    Date: 2017–02–23
  8. By: Bernt Bratsberg (Frisch Centre); Oddbjørn Raaum (Frisch Centre); Ole Rogeberg (Frisch Centre)
    Abstract: Drawing on comprehensive sets of administrative register data, we examine employment and pay structures in the Norwegian petroleum sector between 1992 and 2013, with a particular emphasis on foreign workers. The period covers a number of important changes taking place, with rising oil prices and growing investments during the 2000s and a large influx of labor migrants into Norwegian labor markets following the 2004 expansion of the European Union. Relative to foreign workers in other private†sector industries, we find that the petroleum sector is characterized by greater use of posted workers, a higher occupational skill mix of immigrants, and, for those in skilled occupations, wages on par with native workers. Migrant petroleum workers have shorter durations in the country than other migrants, and the data reveal only modest job mobility to other industries, particularly among high†skilled workers. Nonetheless, the evidence points to spillover effects from the petroleum sector as workers who move on to jobs in mainland industries earn a wage premium relative to those without petroleum experience.
    Date: 2017–02–23
  9. By: Leonidas K. Cheliotis
    Abstract: Focusing on the treatment irregular migrants have received in Greece since the early 1990s, this article seeks to advance critical scholarship on how European countries have responded to migration from impoverished or otherwise disadvantaged parts of the globe over recent decades. The article first draws attention to ways in which purportedly exclusionary approaches to irregular migration control may be imperfect by design, insofar as restrictions are imposed on outflows to secure an exploitable workforce that serves important labour market needs and, by extension, dominant political interests in the ‘host’ state. Moving on to address the precise ways in which labour exploitation of irregular migrants is brought into effect, the article demonstrates how seemingly unrelated state policies and practices regarding matters of migration, welfare, employment and criminal justice, as well as certain manifestations of anti-migrant violence by non-state actors, may act in combination with one another to this end.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2017–01–01
  10. By: Stark, Oded
    Abstract: This paper explores the following chain of conjectures: rising use of the internet, the widespread access to global information, and intensified communication between regions and countries brought about, for example, by intensified trade links bring about expansion of people's social space and their set of comparators; this expansion increases people's stress and strengthens their inclination to resort to migration as a means of reducing this heightened stress. Other things held constant, the expansion of people's social space intensifies their inclination to move across geographical space.
    Keywords: Expansion of social space,Relative deprivation,Migration
    JEL: A12 A14 B41 D01 F15 F22 J61 O15 Z13
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Stark, Oded
    Abstract: This paper adds three dimensions to the received literature: it models migration when the individuals’ preferences regarding their relative income are ordinal, it works out the resulting spatial steady state distribution of the individuals, and it shows that the aggregate of the individuals’ migration choices in the spatial steady state distribution sums up to the social optimum. This finding does not apply when the individuals’ preferences regarding their relative income are cardinal. We highlight the importance of the assumption about the nature of the individuals’ social preferences (whether ordinal or cardinal) to studying and predicting their migration behavior, and to elucidating the consequences of that behavior for social welfare.
    Keywords: Ordinal preferences, Distaste for low relative income, An ordinal measure of income relative deprivation, Interregional migration, Steady state spatial distribution, Social Welfare, Labor and Human Capital, C61, C62, D50, D60, D62, I31, R13, R23, Z13,
    Date: 2017–02
  12. By: Giovanni Facchini (University of Nottingham, CEPR, CES-Ifo, CReAM, GEP, and LdA); Maggie Y. Liu (Georgetown University); Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University, CEPR, IZA and LdA); Minghai Zhou (University of Nottingham, Ningbo China)
    Abstract: In this paper we focus on the changes in internal migration flows triggered by China’s 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). We use a difference-in-difference empirical specification based on variation across Chinese prefectures before and after 2001. We relate changes in internal migration rates to the reduction in trade policy uncertainty faced by Chinese exporters to the U.S., as measured by the normal-trade relations (NTR) gap (Handley and Limao 2013, Pierce and Schott 2015). We find that Chinese prefectures facing a larger decline in their average NTR-gap experience a greater increase in internal migration. Our results also show that the impact on skilled and unskilled internal migration rates is consistent with the average skill intensity of export industries of a prefecture.
    Keywords: Immigration Policy, Trade Policy, Political
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2017–02–24
  13. By: Evren Ceritoglu; Hatice Burcu Gurcihan Yunculer; Huzeyfe Torun; Semih Tumen
    Abstract: Civil conflict in Syria, started in March 2011, led to a massive wave of forced immigration from the Northern Syria to the Southeastern regions of Turkey, which later had serious economic/political repercussions on the MENA region and most of the Europe. This paper exploits this natural experiment to estimate the impact of Syrian refugees on the labor market outcomes of natives in Turkey. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, we find that immigration has somewhat affected the employment outcomes of natives, while its impact on wage outcomes has been negligible. We document some employment losses among informal workers as a consequence of refugee inflows. Formal employment increased slightly potentially due to increased social services in the region. The majority of those who lost their informal jobs have either left the labor force or remained unemployed. Formal employment and unemployment rates have increased, while labor force participation, informal employment, and job finding rates have declined among natives. Disadvantaged groups – i.e., women, younger workers, and less-educated workers – have been affected the most. The prevalence of informal employment in the Turkish labor markets has amplified the negative impact of Syrian refugee inflows on natives’ labor market outcomes. Overall, the impact of Syrian refugee inflows on the Turkish labor markets has been limited, which suggests that the potential costs on the European and other affected labor markets might also be limited.
    Keywords: Syrian civil conflict, Immigration, Turkey, Labor market, Informality, Difference in differences
    JEL: J15 J21 J46 J61 C21
    Date: 2017
  14. By: George J. Borjas (Harvard University); Joan Monras (CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros)
    Abstract: The continuing inflow of hundreds of thousands of refugees into many European countries has ignited much political controversy and raised questions that require a fuller understanding of the determinants and consequences of refugee supply shocks. This paper revisits four historical refugee shocks to document their labor market impact. Specifically, we examine: The influx of Marielitos into Miami in 1980; the influx of French repatriates and Algerian nationals into France at the end of the Algerian Independence War in 1962; the influx of Jewish émigrés into Israel after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s; and the exodus of refugees from the former Yugoslavia during the long series of Balkan wars between 1991 and 2001. We use a common empirical approach, derived from factor demand theory, and publicly available data to measure the impact of these shocks. Despite the differences in the political forces that motivated the various flows, and in economic conditions across receiving countries, the evidence reveals a common thread that confirms key insights of the canonical model of a competitive labor market: Exogenous supply shocks adversely affect the labor market opportunities of competing natives in the receiving countries, and often have a favorable impact on complementary workers. In short, refugee flows can have large distributional consequences.
    Keywords: Immigration, refugees, supply shocks, labor demand.
    JEL: J2 J15
    Date: 2016–12
  15. By: Kim, Steven
    Abstract: In a complex and chaotic world, people often gloss over the facts and jump to conclusions. Unfortunately, the hasty approach usually yields deficient and even harmful results. The domains affected range from migration and poverty to alienation and crime. According to the Myth of Boon, for instance, immigrants always benefit the host society. In this light, many people envisage the great migrations of the 19th century from Europe to America. However, the United States at that stage was itself a developing country; moreover the Civil War showed that clashing cultures cannot co-exist. Meanwhile the Myth of Multiculturalism asserts that a mashup of mores is always desirable; but the reality is otherwise. When immigrants in their millions pour into sparsely populated districts, they end up replicating the cultures that caused them to flee their homelands in the first place. The upshot is disruptive and distressing for all parties be they newcomers or incumbents. In addition, the Myth of Virtue declares that migrants of all backgrounds are equally upright. Yet comprehensive studies in Sweden have shown that violent crimes can be traced to immigrants at rates which are at least four times those for natives. From another angle, a drove of migrants is a godsend for criminals. For instance, a terrorist ring struck in France in 2015 and again in Belgium the following year. The perpetrators – who grew up in Belgium, France and Sweden – displayed immigrant backgrounds and included part of the cohort that traveled to the Mideast to receive training from militants then returned to Europe by posing as refugees. Since socioeconomic problems are intertwined rather than independent, a piecemeal approach will not fill the bill. Instead, a coherent grasp of the issues and their tie-ups is a prerequisite for devising a wholesome solution.
    Keywords: Socioeconomics, Policy, Migration, Poverty, Alienation, Crime, Society, Culture, Multiculturalism
    JEL: A14 D10 E10 E66 F5 H1 I3 J1 K42 N3 N4 O1
    Date: 2016–09
  16. By: Joan Monras (CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros)
    Abstract: This paper introduces a spatial equilibrium model that relates earnings, employment, and internal migration responses to minimum wage increases. Population moves to or away from regions that increase minimum wages depending on the labor demand elasticity and on the financing of unemployment benefits. The empirical evidence shows that increases in minimum wages lead to increases in average wages and decreases in employment among the low-skilled. The labor demand elasticity is estimated to be above 1, in the model a necessary condition for the migration responses observed in the data. Low-skilled workers tend to leave the regions that increase minimum wages.
    Keywords: Minimum wages, spatial equilibrium, internal migration.
    JEL: J08 J23 J38 J61 R12
    Date: 2016–12
  17. By: Stefania Borelli (Sapienza University of Rome); Giuseppe De Arcangelis (Sapienza University of Rome); Majlinda Joxhe (CREA, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the effect of the immigration on the production structure in a selection of European countries in 2001-2009 with a task-based approach. The inflow of immigrants represents an increase in the relative supply of manual-physical (or simple) tasks, hence favoring simple-task intensive sectors. We use a new OECD dataset, PIAAC, to calculate the index of simple-task intensity at the country-industry level. The analysis confirms that the increase in migration stocks caused a positive impact on the value added of sectors that use more intensively simple tasks. These effects are more intense when considering countries as Italy and Spain characterized by a recent, rapid and intense inflow of migrants. Endogeneity issues are discussed and instruments based on a gravity approach are used in estimation.
    Keywords: Rybczynski Effect, International Migration, PIAAC, Gravity Equation
    JEL: F22 C25
    Date: 2017
  18. By: Ombaire Birundu, William
    Abstract: The study examined the economic determinants of migration from Kenya to USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and United Kingdom by applying a unilateral migration gravity model during the period 2000-2015.The study applied the Least Square Dummy Variable specification technique to estimate the gravity model. The pull factors from Kenya were high inflation, exchange rate appreciation, high population and a rise in Kenyan GDP per capita.In considering the relative attractiveness of the destination countries in increasing order the finding showed Australia, Canada, UK and Germany were the prominent migration destinations. When emigration was considered overtime there was generally a positive trend except for 2007.Finallythe findings showed that if all the macroeconomic factors were held constant there will be a significant decline in migration from Kenya thus we conclude that besides other factors influencing migration, economic factors play a key role too.
    Keywords: Emigration, Least Square Dummy Variable, Gravity Model, Kenya, Macroeconomic factors
    JEL: F22
    Date: 2016–11–11

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