nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒03‒26
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrant Women who Arrive as Dependants of Economic Immigrant Principal Applicants By Bonikowska, Aneta; Hou, Feng
  2. Language and Gender Roles among Immigrants to the US: A Historical Perspective By Gay, Victor; Hicks, Daniel L.; Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania
  3. How Immigrants Helped EU Labor Markets to Adjust during the Great Recession By Kahanec, Martin; Guzi, Martin
  4. The Role of Fees in Foreign Education: Evidence From Italy and the United Kingdom By Michel Beine; Marco Delogu; Lionel Ragot
  5. Mobility of Highly Skilled Retirees from Japan to the Republic of Korea and Taiwan By Byeongwoo KANG; Yukihito Sato; Yasushi UEKI
  6. Migration as a Window into the Coevolution between Language and Behavior By Gay, Victor; Hicks, Daniel L.; Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania
  7. Determinants of Migration in Pakistan By Anjum Aqeel; Anjum Aqeel
  8. Can International Migration Accelerate Development? A Global Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis By Dirk Willenbockel; S. Amer Ahmed - The World Bank; Delfin S. Go - The World Bank (Emeritus)
  9. Globalization Policies and Israel’s Brain Drain By Assaf Razin
  10. Fortunado’s, Desperado’s and Clandestino’s in Diaspora Labour Markets: The Circular 'Homo Mobilis' By Kourtit, Karima; Nijkamp, Peter; Gheasi, Masood

  1. By: Bonikowska, Aneta; Hou, Feng
    Abstract: Programs in the economic stream of immigration select immigrants for their perceived ability to integrate into the Canadian labour market. However, it is mainly the principal applicants, mostly men, who are assessed. They in turn bring with them spouses and dependent children. This study examines the characteristics and labour market outcomes of women who arrived as spouses of economic immigrant principal applicants. Their characteristics and outcomes are compared with those of other economic immigrants (male and female principal applicants and male spouses) and with married women who arrived in the family class. This study is based on data from the linked 2011 National Household Survey and the Immigrant Landing File database. The focus is on economic immigrants who arrived as skilled workers, provincial nominees, or in the Canadian experience class.
    Keywords: Education, training and skills, Ethnic diversity and immigration, Immigrants and non-permanent residents, Labour market and income
    Date: 2017–02–27
  2. By: Gay, Victor; Hicks, Daniel L.; Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania
    Abstract: Our paper investigates whether historical trends in the labor market participation of immigrant women in the U.S. can be explained in part by variation in the grammatical structure of their language spoken. Using individual-level census data on the labor market behavior of first generation immigrants to the U.S. from 1910 to the present, we show that the presence or absence of grammatical gender in the linguistic structure of a language spoken by an immigrant influences sex-specific behaviors. The originality of our approach is to consider language as a repository for accumulated ancestral culture in an epidemiological framework. Because female labor force participation has greatly increased, institutions have transformed, and motivations and compositions of immigrant flows have changed, studying a long time horizon allows us to more clearly isolate the role of linguistic structure as a cultural institution.
    Keywords: Culture, Immigrants, Female labor participation, Language structure, Grammar
    JEL: J16 J22 J61 N32 Z13
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Kahanec, Martin; Guzi, Martin
    Abstract: The economic literature starting with Borjas (2001) suggests that immigrants are more flexible than natives in responding to changing sectoral, occupational, and spatial shortages in the labor market. In this paper, we study the relative responsiveness to labor shortages by immigrants from various origins, skills and tenure in the country vis-à-vis the natives, and how it varied over the business cycle during the Great Recession. We show that immigrants in general have responded to changing labor shortages across EU member states, occupations and sectors more fluidly than natives. This effect is especially significant for low-skilled immigrants from the new member states or with the medium number of years since immigration, as well as with high-skilled immigrants with relatively few (1-5) or many (11+) years since migration. The relative responsiveness of some immigrant groups declined during the crisis years (those from Europe outside the EU or with eleven or more years since migration), whereas other groups of immigrants became particularly fluid during the Great Recession, such as those from new member states. Our results suggest immigrants may play an important role in labor adjustment during times of asymmetric economic shocks, and support the case for well-designed immigration policy and free movement of workers within the EU. The paper provides new insights into the functioning of the European Single Market and the roles various immigrant groups play for its stabilization through labor adjustment during times of uneven economic development across sectors, occupations, and countries.
    Keywords: immigrant worker,labor supply,skilled migration,labor shortage,wage regression,Great Recession
    JEL: J24 J61 J68
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Michel Beine; Marco Delogu; Lionel Ragot
    Abstract: This working paper studies the determinants of international students’ mobility at the university level, focusing specifically on the role of tuition fees. We derive a gravity model based on a Random Utility Maximization model of location choice for international students in the presence of capacity constraints of the hosting institutions. The last layer of the model is estimated using new data on student migration flows at the university level for Italy and the United Kingdom. The particular institutional setting of the two destination countries allows us to control for the potential endogeneity of tuition fees. We obtain evidence for a clear and negative effect of fees on international student mobility and confirm the positive impact of the quality of the education. The estimations also support the important role of additional destination-specific variables such as host capacity, the expected return of education and the cost of living in the vicinity of the university.
    Keywords: Foreign Students;Tuition Fees;Location Choice;University Quality
    JEL: F22 H52 I23 O15
    Date: 2017–03
  5. By: Byeongwoo KANG (Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University); Yukihito Sato (Inter-disciplinary Studies Center, Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO)); Yasushi UEKI (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA))
    Abstract: Attracting highly skilled workers is a major element in the economic development of many countries, especially developing ones. However, workers generally move from developing countries to developed ones. Historical evidence indicates that Korean and Taiwanese firms scout for highly skilled (retired or soon-to-retire) Japanese workers to accrue, and catch up on, knowledge. Therefore, this paper investigates how these firms scout for highly skilled Japanese workers. Aiming to produce evidence rather than testing hypotheses, this paper gives practical information on firms in developing countries in attracting highly skilled workers to drive future growth. In addition, this paper provides insights into the international mobility of highly skilled workers from a developed country to developing countries, which has not been examined in the previous literature.
    Keywords: Highly skilled, Mobility, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2017–02
  6. By: Gay, Victor; Hicks, Daniel L.; Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania
    Abstract: Understanding the causes and consequences of language evolution in relation to social factors is challenging as we generally lack a clear picture of how languages coevolve with historical social processes. Research analyzing the relation between language and socio-economic factors relies on contemporaneous data. Because of this, such analysis may be plagued by spurious correlation concerns coming from the historical co-evolution and dependency of the relationship between language and behavior to the institutional environment. To solve this problem, we propose migrations to the same country as a microevolutionary step that may uncover constraints on behavior. We detail strategies available to other researchers by applying the epidemiological approach to study the correlation between sex-based gender distinctions and female labor force participation. Our main finding is that language must have evolved partly as a result of cultural change, but also that it may have directly constrained the evolution of norms. We conclude by discussing implications for the coevolution of language and behavior, and by comparing different methodological approaches.
    Keywords: Culture, Immigrants, Female labor participation, Language structure, Grammar
    JEL: J16 J22 J61 Z13
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Anjum Aqeel; Anjum Aqeel
    Abstract: With an average population growth of more than 2.5 percent for decades, Pakistan is a labour surplus country. Therefore, like many developing countries, export of labour is one of its development strategies. It is one of the top 10 major emigration countries in the World. Export of labour reduces unemployment; increases wages and the remittances sent home improve the balance of payments and reduce poverty. However, much has been studied about remittances in the developing countries, their determinants and consequences because of their fiscal expediency and availability of data; little is known about determinants of international migration itself because of lack of data. The development of international data on migration during the last decade has led to a number of studies relating to either one-destination country like the US or for a few destination OECD countries. Moreover, these studies pool migrants from the developed and developing countries together. However, in Pakistan’s context studying only the determinants of migration in the OECD countries would be only a part of the story because majority of 60 percent of Pakistanis go to the Middle East countries. There is a huge difference in the structure and the quality of migrants in these two regions. The migrants to the Middle East/Gulf countries are mainly skilled or unskilled construction workers working on short contract periods, in response to the demand in these areas due to huge infrastructural development. In contrast, the migrants towards OECD countries are mainly educated people who go to these countries to get higher returns usually on permanent basis. These migrants are also selected by the immigration policies in the OECD countries, which prefer educated workers who could contribute in their economies. While workers in the non-OECD countries are comparatively from lower income groups who go without their families, the migrants to the OECD countries go with their families. Gulf countries are near and less costly to travel to and they have similar culture. The number and types of emigrants varies across destinations, reflecting differences in both their attractiveness and openness to international migrants. Given the broad diversity of migration patterns in Pakistan both with regard to the characteristics of migrants and of the countries of their destination, it would be interesting to identify the determinants of migration and to extend the literature on developing countries. The literature on international migration from developing countries is very limited. Some of these studies look at the supply side determinant of migration and find that low income, population pressure on resources and increase in the cohort of young potential migrants -‘demographic supply side pressure’ are the main driving force of migration in less developed countries Hatton and Williamson (2001, 2011). Other studies (for example Mayda, 2010) which are mostly from OECD host countries’ perspectives consider the demand side determinants and use some exogenous measures of immigration policies of the host countries which are subjective in nature. However, these studies overlook the demographic characteristics of host countries that could be significant determinants of the migration process and are important in the making of the immigration policies in the host countries. The main emphasis of this study is to look on the impact of previous migrant stock on potential emigration rate from Pakistan. It is now well documented in the literature that family and friends reduce the cost of potential migrants in several ways, like by providing them cost of travel, food and shelter and information about jobs and opportunities in destination countries,. A few studies also relate to the influence of the previous stock of migrants on the immigration policies of the destination countries, which encourage families and friends to migrate. Given the poverty levels in Pakistan, the role of previous stock of migrants is important in determining the propensity to migrate of future emigrants. Therefore, it is useful to study the determinants of migration from Pakistan. We also explore whether these networks have different impacts in both OECD and non-OECD regions, which have diverse demographic, socio-political and economic features that affect the demand for, labour both in numbers and in their skill levels. A modified gravity model is used to study the emigration rate from Pakistan to 175 countries for the period 1980-2000 obtained from the global database of the Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty (Migration DRC). We explain the emigration rate (supply of migrants) from Pakistan by the income, population density, dependency rate and tertiary rate of education in the host countries (demand side determinants). Moreover to focus on the network effect on future migration, a lagged migrant stock variable has been used. The results of this study are consistent with the theory, which considers migration as a human capital investment, and imply that migration is more likely to get higher income. The coefficient on the income in the host country is positive and highly significant in all the specifications of regression models and thus an important determinant of migration from Pakistan. The results also support the view of the network theory of migration, the impact of lagged migrant stock on future emigration rate is positive and highly significant and these effects are positive in both OECD and the Middle East countries. Thus networks of family and friends previously migrated have a strong positive impact on current emigration rate. In addition, the coefficient on distance, which indicates the cost of migration, is negative in all regressions and significant. However, distance loses significance when lagged migration stock is included in the specifications, implying that these networks reduce the cost of migration. The findings of this study also indicate that high population density is a deterrent and an increase in the rate of tertiary education in the host country discourages emigrants. This study also finds mixed effects of traditional gravity variables on emigration rate like many earlier studies on migration. For example, the coefficient on common language is positive and significant as expected but the signs on the coefficients on Commonwealth and neighbouring country are mostly not according to the expectations. When Commonwealth countries are lumped together, their effect on emigration rate turned out to be unexpectedly negative. This may be due to the diverse nature of these countries as Commonwealth countries include both OECD and non-OECD countries. When a dummy variable is used for the UK, the effect turned out to be positive and significant as expected. This implies that migrants find UK more attractive than other Commonwealth countries. Similarly, the effect of China as a neighbouring country is not positive as is expected that it is less costly to travel to neighbouring countries. There are several other types of costs of mobility apart from distance in kilometres, like the type of border terrain and the policies of the neighbouring countries.
    Keywords: Pakistan, Developing countries, Labor market issues
    Date: 2015–07–01
  8. By: Dirk Willenbockel; S. Amer Ahmed - The World Bank; Delfin S. Go - The World Bank (Emeritus)
    Abstract: Policies to facilitate international migration and targets for reductions in remittance costs faced by migrant workers are set to be part of the emerging post-2015 development agenda. This is a recognition of significant linkages between international migration and the achievement of the post-2015 development goals, and is a response to the fact that total remittance flows to developing countries are already a multiple of international development assistance flows. Global demographic shifts over the coming decades are bound to magnify the economic incentives for South-North migration and reinforce the economic case for a reduction of existing barriers to international labor mobility. The domestic labor supply has already peaked in high-income countries as a whole. It is set to decline steadily over coming decades while hundreds of millions of new workers are projected to enter the labor force by 2030 in developing countries as a group. Moreover, given the considerable variety in demographic dynamics and labor productivity levels across developing regions, there is potentially also considerable scope for mutual gains from further South-South migration. Correspondingly, forward-looking assessments of the prospective economic impacts of future changes in policies toward cross-border migration flows deserve a high priority on the global development research agenda. Aims This study adopts a global dynamic computable general equilibrium simulation approach to provide a regionally differentiated quantitative assessment of the incremental economic benefits resulting from a marginal relaxation of existing restrictions on international migration flows. The simulation analysis will also assess the welfare impacts of a gradual reduction in remittance transaction costs to the target levels envisaged in the current draft proposal for the post-2015 sustainable development goals. This latter simulation scenario will take account of recent empirical estimates of the elasticity of remittances with respect to remittance costs reviewed in McKenzie and Yang (2014). The existing previous global CGE-model-based studies of gains from further international labor migration (e.g. Walmsley and Winters, 2005; World Bank, 2006; Walmsley et al., 2007) focus predominantly on South-North migration impacts. However, in terms of absolute headcount figures, the present observed extent of South-South migration is nearly as large as that of South-North migration (UNESA, 2012; Ratha and Shaw, 2007; Bakewell, 2009). Heterogeneity in demographic trends, as well as wage differentials across regions within the “Global South,” suggests non-trivial potential gains from further South-South migration. Thus, the present study includes a quantification of the potential gains from an incremental increase in South-South migration flows, starting from observed South-South migration patterns. The analytical framework is a modified version of the recursive dynamic global CGE model LINKAGE. An earlier version of this model has been used in an assessment of potential gains from further international migration reported in the World Bank Global Economic Prospects Report 2006. The new extended version of the model will be calibrated to the recent GMig2 extension of the GTAP 8.1 database, which contains the latest available model-consistent estimates of bilateral migration stocks, labor earnings and remittance flows at GTAP 8.1 regional aggregation level as described in Walmsley et al (2013). The construction of a dynamic baseline up to 2030 under the assumption of no changes in the stance of international migration policies will be based on the latest World Bank global economic projections including UNDESA population and labour force growth projections. As the latter already contain assumptions about the evolution of migration flows over the simulation horizon, it is important to back out these assumptions at the dynamic model calibration stage to arrive at a methodologically clean separation of changes in migration implicitly built into the baseline and changes in migration due to deviations from the baseline migration policy path. Attention to this important detail appears to have been neglected in respective previous modelling work. The existing CGE studies capture remittance effects and direct wage effects on origin countries, but largely ignore other sending country impact channels identified in the literature. These channels include in particular potential productivity impacts associated with return migration and potential brain gain effects arising from incentives to invest in human capital formation in the presence of expected future migration opportunities. As Kerr and Kerr (2011) emphasize, proper accounting for return migration is essential for determining the economic impacts for both origin and host countries, given the available evidence on the extent of return migration from the main host regions and existing empirical estimates of possible associated benefits for the home country (e.g. Mayr and Peri, 2008; Dustmann and Weiss, 2007, De Vreyer, Gubert and Robilliard, 2010). With respect to brain gain effects, recent econometric evidence seems to point to a “robust, positive and sizeable effect of skilled migration prospects on human capital formation in developing countries” (Beine, Docquier and Rapoport, 2010; see Docquier and Rapoport, 2012 for qualifications). The present study aims to incorporate these additional impact channels in a stylized form. In each case, the calibration of the respective new model parameters that govern the size orders of these effects will be based on a review of the pertinent recent empirical literature, so that the model-based simulation results can credibly inform ongoing controversial debates about the relative importance of these impact channels. Back-of-the-envelope calculations as well as previous model-based simulation studies suggest that the potential net benefits from reducing barriers to international labor mobility are large. As Clemens (2011) has put it, “(r)esearch on this question has been distinguished by its rarity and obscurity, but the few estimates we have should make economists’ jaws hit their desks”., as these benefits “may be much larger than those available through any other shift in a single class of global economic policy”. We do not expect that our new results - which will be based on more recent and better data and incorporates a wider range of impact channels – will overturn this broad conclusion. However, the attention to factors that could qualify the development impact of migration, such as the cost of remittances, will help marry the literature on the overall gains of migration to specific interventions.
    Keywords: Global, Developing countries, General equilibrium modeling
    Date: 2015–07–01
  9. By: Assaf Razin
    Abstract: The paper links Israel’s brain drain to skill-based immigration policies, prevailing in the advanced economies.
    JEL: F22 H1 J11
    Date: 2017–03
  10. By: Kourtit, Karima; Nijkamp, Peter; Gheasi, Masood
    Abstract: Demographic patterns in our world (e.g., aging processes, birth and death rates) are increasingly influenced by migration movements. A rising number of people is ‘on the move’, in search of a better fortune elsewhere. It is noteworthy that nowadays many migration movements do not show anymore stable patterns, but reflect a high degree of dynamics, for instance, in the form of return migration, circular and temporary migration, or chain migration. There is also a great heterogeneity in the motivations of many migrants that may have significant impacts on the migration choice, the destination place, the migrant’s status, and the duration of stay. Consequently, return migration, temporary migration and circular migration have in recent years become important research and policy issues. This note offers a short review of the dilemma’s and assessment issues inherent in the effects of non-structural or temporary migrants (so-called ‘movers’) on host economies. Particular attention will be paid to circular migration policy in Europe as a vehicle to both mitigate temporary tensions on regional labor markets of host economics and to provide a solid base for sustainable growth in the sending countries. Various research and policy challenges are outlined as well.
    Date: 2017

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