nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒03‒19
eighteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Does International Migration Help Them Marry earlier? A Hazard Model for the Case of Egypt By Anda David; Rana Hendy
  2. Taxing high-income earners: tax avoidance and mobility By Alejandro Esteller; Amedeo Piolatto; Matthew D. Rablen
  3. Upward or Downward: Occupational Mobility and Return Migration By Nelly El-Mallakh; Jackline Wahba
  4. Identifying macroeconomic effects of refugee migration to Germany By Weber, Enzo; Weigand, Roland
  6. Outmigration and income assimilation during the first post-EU-enlargement migrants’ first decade in Sweden By Ruist, Joakim
  7. Immigration externalities, knowledge flows and brain gain By Ernest MIGUELEZ; Claudia NOUMEDEM TEMGOUA
  8. Who is Afraid of the Brain Drain? A Development Economist’s View By Hillel Rapoport
  9. Israel's Immigration Story: Globalization Lessons By Assaf Razin
  10. International Remittances, Migration, and Primary Commodities in FSGM By Stephen Snudden
  11. The “Migrant in the Market†: Migration and Care Work Across Six Liberal Welfare Regimes By Naomi Lightman
  12. Determinants of Emigration: Evidence from Egypt By Anda David; Joachim Jarreau
  13. Do International Remittances Affect the Performance of Labor Market in Jordan? An Impirical Investigation By Ghazi Ibrahim Al-Assaf
  14. Social Status and Public Expectations: Self-Selection of High-Skilled Migrants By Lumpe, Claudia; Lumpe, Christian
  15. Southwest As the New Internal Migration Destination in Turkey By Ali T. Akarca; Aysit Tansel
  16. Deciphering the Relationship between Internal Migration and Regional Disparities in Tunisia By Mohamed Amara; Hatem Jemmali
  17. Immigration and Income inequality in Sweden By Ronja Grundsten
  18. Global integration and world migration By Stark, Oded

  1. By: Anda David (Agence Française de Development, Paris, France); Rana Hendy
    Abstract: Marriage represents an important step of entering adulthood in the Egyptian society and its delay often results in tensions and frustration among youth. Considering migration as a predetermined strategy to reach a targeted level of savings, we question whether having migrated helps shorten the duration to marriage in the case of Egypt. To the best of our knowledge, the present study will be the first to link the timing of migration to the timing of marriage in the case of Egypt. We find no effect of migration on the timing of marriage, except within the migrant population.
    Date: 2016–01–09
  2. By: Alejandro Esteller (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB); Amedeo Piolatto (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB); Matthew D. Rablen (University of Sheeld)
    Abstract: The taxation of high-income earners is of importance to every country and is the subject of a considerable amount of recent academic research. Such high-income earners contribute substantial amounts of tax and generate significant positive spillovers, but are also highly mobile: a 1% increase in the top marginal income tax rate increases out-migrations by around 1.5 to 3%. We review research into taxation of high-income earners to provide a synthesis of existing theoretical and empirical understanding. We offer various avenues for potential future theoretical and empirical research.
    Keywords: High-income earners, mobility, tax avoidance
    JEL: H26 H31 K34 K42
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Nelly El-Mallakh; Jackline Wahba (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: We study the extent to which temporary overseas migration enables returnees to climb the occupational ladder. Using data from Egypt, we examine the occupational mobility of returnees relative to non-migrants for the same labor market entrants’ cohort. We rely on instrumental variable approach but also employ a Difference-in-Differences, as well as Difference-in-Differences matching techniques to control for the endogeneity and selection into migration. We find evidence that return migration increases the probability of upward occupational mobility. However, the results suggest that only highly educated returnees climb the occupational ladder after return. Our findings underscore the role played by temporary overseas work experience in dampening potential brain drain concerns through the human capital enhancement of high educated return migrants.
    Date: 2016–06
  4. By: Weber, Enzo; Weigand, Roland
    Abstract: This study investigates causal impacts of immigration on the German economy, explicitly distinguishing refugee and non-refugee migration. We propose a macroeconometric modelling approach complemented by IV techniques. We find that non-refugee migration has more beneficial medium-run effects on GDP and the labour market.
    JEL: F22 E24 C32
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Emanuele Bracco; Maria De Paola; Colin Green; Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    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 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: 2017–03
  6. By: Ruist, Joakim (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This study follows a random sample of 20% of the earliest post-EU-enlargement immigrants during their first decade in Sweden, studying their patterns of outmigration and income assimilation. The results show that outmigration is low: around 80% appear to be still present in Sweden during the full year 2013. Annual outmigration probabilities are near zero among migrants that earned an income that was at least high enough to live on in the previous year. Those leaving Sweden are thus mostly “failed migrants”, who did not manage to provide for themselves. Early income is far higher for male than for female migrants, with most females who live in couples initially earning zero income. Yet after less than one decade the gender gap in income is not larger than that in the total Swedish population of similar ages. Together with female migrants being better educated when migrating, this indicates strong male dominance in the migration decision, yet mostly so in the short term: For migration to happen, the short-term job opportunities of the male partner, and the longer-term prospects of the female, both needed to be favorable.
    Keywords: EU enlargement; migration; outmigration; income assimilation; family migration
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2017–03
    Abstract: This paper documents the influence of networks of highly-skilled migrants on international knowledge flows. It adds to the growing literature on highly-skilled international migration and its contribution to international knowledge diffusion, in migrants’ home as well as host countries. In particular, it first explores knowledge feedbacks to home countries generated by migrant inventors, a representative category of high-skilled migrants, most of them scientists and engineers. Second, it investigates the knowledge inflows to host countries brought by inventors. We test our hypothesis of a positive relationship between knowledge flows and highly skilled migration in a country-pair gravity model setting, for the period 1990-2010, using patent citations across countries as a measure of international knowledge diffusion. Our results confirm our initial assumption on the positive impact of highly skilled migrants on knowledge flows to their homelands as well as to their host countries. We find doubling the number of inventors of a given nationality at a destination country, leads to an 8.3% increase in knowledge outflows to their home economy from that same host land; while a similar increase in the number of migrant inventors produces a 6% increase in the knowledge inflows to the host economy.
    Keywords: migration, brain gain, diaspora, diffusion, inventors, patents, PCT patents
    JEL: C8 J61 O31 O33
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Hillel Rapoport
    Abstract: In “Debating Brain Drain”, Brock and Blake (2015) discuss the pros and cons of high-skill mobility prevention to curb the brain drain from developing countries from a legal and political perspective. I complement this discussion with the insights from recent economic research on brain drain, globalization and development. Two main results are emphasized: the fact that educational investments are higher when high-skill migration is not constrained, and the role of skilled diasporas in promoting the integration of migrants’ home countries into the global economy. Both results strengthen the rationale for letting skilled people go.
    Keywords: Brain Drain;Migration;Globalization;Development
    JEL: F21 F22 F63 J61 O11 O15
    Date: 2017–02
  9. By: Assaf Razin
    Abstract: The exodus of Soviet Jews to Israel in the 1990s was a unique event. The extraordinary experience of Israel, which has received migrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) at the rate of 17 percent of its population, within a short time, is also relevant for the current debate about migration and globalization. The immigration wave was distinctive for its large high skilled cohort, and its quick integration into the domestic labor market. Among various ethnic groups the FSU immigrants ranked at the top of intergenerational upward mobility. Immigration also changed the entire economic landscape: it raised productivity, underpinning technological prowess, and had significant impact on income inequality and the level of redistribution in Israel’s welfare state.
    JEL: F02 F22 J1
    Date: 2017–03
  10. By: Stephen Snudden
    Abstract: This paper adds international migration and remittances into the IMF’s Flexible System of Global Models (FSGM). FSGM is a global general equilibrium model with endogenous primary commodity markets. A method to estimate the structural dynamics of major remitter regions is proposed. The dynamics of remittances and migration in FSGM are calibrated to be consistent with the main stylized facts of the empirical estimates. Structural disturbances pertinent to current global remittance flows are examined. These disturbances include disruptions to oil supply, output variation in Europe and the United States, labor nationalization policies in Saudi Arabia, and a global reduction in the cost to remit. The multilateral framework illustrates how remittance inflows need not originate from the region with the underlying economic disturbance but can arise from third party remitter regions affected by global commodity markets. The results also illustrate that the correlation of remittance inflows and the real GDP of labor-exporting economies can be either positively or negatively correlated. The evidence suggests that the behavioral incentive to migrate and remit cannot be deduced from correlations of real GDP and remittance inflows.
    Keywords: Remittances;Migrations;Labor demand;Commodities;Oil;Commodity markets;Structural vector autoregression;General equilibrium models;International Migration; Remittances; Macroeconomic Interdependence; Oil Price.
    Date: 2017–01–30
  11. By: Naomi Lightman
    Abstract: This article disaggregates high and low status care work, based on the degree of “social closure†in a given caring occupation, across six liberal welfare regimes: Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Bolstering the argument that there is a “migrant in the market†model of employment unique to liberal welfare regimes, the data demonstrate that foreign-born individuals are more likely to perform low status, precarious care work within each country than the native-born and that migrant workers experience an overall wage penalty in the labour force, as well as there being an additional penalty for those who perform service work in the realms of education and health.
    Date: 2016–11
  12. By: Anda David (PSL Université Paris Dauphine); Joachim Jarreau
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of emigration at the individual and household level, using three waves of the Egyptian labor market panel survey (ELMPS) covering the 1998-2012 period. Exploiting the panel structure of the data allows us to reduce the risk of reverse causality, and to estimate the effect of migrant networks more accurately than in existing studies based on cross-sectional data. We confirm, in the Egyptian context, that migrants abroad are positively selected on the wealth of the origin household, due to migration costs; and that the growth of a network of past emigrants from the same community mitigates this positive selection, increasing the propensity to migrate among poorer households. We also offer a novel insight on the linkages between emigration decision and home country’s labor market conditions. We show that unemployment and informal employment appear as the main incentives to emigrate. This suggests that the scarcity of “quality jobs”, in particular on the skilled labor market, is one important factor driving emigration flows in Egypt.
    Date: 2016–04
  13. By: Ghazi Ibrahim Al-Assaf (Business Economics Department, University of Jordan)
    Abstract: The current study examines the effect of international remittances on labor supply decisions of women and men left behind in Jordan. The study draws on micro-data from the Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey in 2010, a nationally representative survey, and addresses the endogeneity of receiving remittances through an Instrumental Variable (IV) approach. The empirical results indicate that remittances are found to have a negative and significant impact on the labor supply of both women and men. On average, women who live in remittance-receiving households are about 5% points less likely to perform any market work, 3% points less likely to be in wage employment and about 8% points less likely to be engaged in own work. On the other hand, men who live in remittance receiving household are about 25% points less likely to perform any market work, 5% points less likely to be in wage employment and about 10% points less likely to be engaged in own work. When we instrument for remittance receipt of the household, the effect of remittances on likelihood to work is found larger for both women and men.
    Date: 2016–06
  14. By: Lumpe, Claudia; Lumpe, Christian
    Abstract: We analyze public expectations about migrants' provision of work effort as a driving force in the self-selection process of high-skilled migrants. We adopt and extend Piketty's (1998) theoretical framework of social status and work out how country-specific public expectations affect the migrants' choice about their country of destination. As a result, we relate Germany's attested low attractiveness for high-skilled immigrants to its society's attitudes towards immigrants. We develop measures to increase Germany's attractiveness in the competition about talents.
    JEL: F22 F16 F66
    Date: 2016
  15. By: Ali T. Akarca; Aysit Tansel (Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: Antalya and Mugla provinces located in southwestern Turkey have emerged as new magnets for internal migration in the country. Socio-economic, demographic and labor market characteristics of immigrants coming to these two provinces from various regions are studied to uncover the reasons fueling their moves. This is accomplished through an analysis of descriptive statistics, and an analysis of a gravity model estimated. Differences and similarities between immigrants coming to these two provinces and those going to other migrant magnets, between immigrants and natives in Antalya and Mugla, and among immigrants coming to the two provinces from various origins are noted. What distinguishes Antalya and Mugla from other migrant-drawing provinces is that they attract some retirees and university students as well and their immigrants participating in the labor force are attracted mainly by jobs created in the sectors related to tourism, either directly or indirectly, rather than industry. Immigrants from different origins exhibit different characteristics and tend to specialize in different types of jobs. However, as other migrant flows, those directed at Antalya and Mugla are affected by distance adversely and by unemployment differential, past migration and population size at origin, favorably.
    Date: 2016–05
  16. By: Mohamed Amara; Hatem Jemmali (University of Sousse)
    Abstract: This paper analysis the key factors that shape inter-governorates migration in Tunisia, focusing mainly on the role of distance, labor market characteristics, human capital and per capita expenditure in driving migration flows. It uses basic and extended gravity model as well as the Poisson pseudo-maximum-likelihood model for modelling migration data extracted from the 2004 census. The main findings reveal that, as expected, inter-governorate migrations in Tunisia are affected by high population size at the origin and destination, high unemployment rate at the origin, low unemployment rate at the destination. The paper’s results suggest as well that migrations flows are affected negatively by high job vacancies availability and per capita expenditure at the origin. However, the contribution of wage and human capital variables in the explanation of migration was not significant.
    Date: 2016–01–09
  17. By: Ronja Grundsten
    Abstract: Income inequality has been on the rise in many industrialised countries since around the 1980’s. In Sweden the increase of income inequality has been particularly large. This in spite of Sweden’s extensive redistribution system and public policy that prioritize equality among its population. This paper investigates a potential factor for the rise in inequality that is yet fairly unexplored, namely immigration. As inequality has increased in Sweden, so has also immigration. Sweden experienced large refugee inflows after the 1970’s, the largest flow consisting of circa 100 000 Yugoslavs during the Bosnian war. This study provides indications on what way immigration shapes the income distribution and lays the ground for prospective studies. Results show that the inflow of new migrants during the early 1990’s in Sweden raises income inequality and it is almost entirely due to increased dispersion in the lower tail of the income distribution.
    Keywords: income inequality, disposable income, immigration, political refugee, demographic shifts, Sweden
    Date: 2015–07
  18. 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, Labor and Human Capital, A12, A14, B41, D01, F15, F22, J61, O15, Z13,
    Date: 2017–02

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.