nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒04‒02
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. War, Migration and the Origins of the Thai Sex Industry By Abel Brodeur; Warn N. Lekfuangfu; Yanos Zylberberg
  2. The Workforce of Pioneer Plants By Ricardo Hausmann; Franke Neffke
  3. Ethnic Inventors: A Critical Survey of the Contribution of People of Middle Eastern Ethnic Backgrounds to the US Innovation System By Mahroum, Sami; Zahradnik, Georg; Dachs, Bernhard
  4. The Intergenerational Transmission of Math Culture By Gianna Giannelli; Chiara Rapallini
  5. The New Economic Case for Migration Restrictions: An Assessment By Michael A. Clemens; Lant Pritchett
  6. Bounding the Price Equivalent of Migration Barriers By Michael A. Clemens; Claudio Montenegro; Lant Pritchett
  7. Migrants and the Making of America: The Short and Long Run Effects of Immigration during the Age of Mass Migration By Nunn, Nathan; Qian, Nancy; Sequeira, Sandra
  8. Managing the Impact of Climate Change on Migration: Evidence from Mexico By Isabelle Chort; Maelys de la Rupelle
  9. The Effects of Immigration on Social Expenditure in Host Countries By Takuya Matsuyama; Tomomi Miyazaki
  10. A Sustainable Immigration Policy for the EU By Ritzen, Jo; Kahanec, Martin
  11. Global Skill-Based Immigration Policies and Israel's Brain Drain By Razin, Assaf
  12. The effect of news on the radicalization of public opinion towards immigration By Massimiliano Agovino; Maria Rosaria Carillo; Nicola Spagnolo
  13. International Migration and Regional Housing Markets: Evidence from France By Hippolyte D'Albis; Dramane Coulibaly; Ekrame Boubtane

  1. By: Abel Brodeur (University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON); Warn N. Lekfuangfu (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok); Yanos Zylberberg (Bristol University, Bristol)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants behind the spatial distribution of the sex industry in Thailand. We relate the development of the sex industry to an early temporary demand shock, i.e., U.S. military presence during the Vietnam War. Comparing the surroundings of Thai military bases used by the U.S. army to districts close to unused Thai bases, we find that there are currently 5 times more commercial sex workers in districts near former U.S. bases. The development of the sex industry is also explained by a high price elasticity of supply due to female migration from regions affected by an agricultural crisis. Finally, we study a consequence induced by the large numbers of sex workers in few red-light districts: the HIV outbreak in the early 1990s.
    Keywords: Persistence, Industry Location, Sex Industry, HIV/AIDS
    JEL: O17 O18 N15 J46 J47 I28
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Ricardo Hausmann (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Franke Neffke (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: Is labor mobility important in technological diffusion? We address this question by asking how plants assemble their workforce if they are industry pioneers in a location. By definition, these plants cannot hire local workers with industry experience. Using German social-security data, we find that such plants recruit workers from related industries from more distant regions and local workers from less-related industries. We also show that pioneers leverage a low-cost advantage in unskilled labor to compete with plants that are located in areas where the industry is more prevalent. Finally, whereas research on German reunification has often focused on the effects of east-west migration, we show that the opposite migration facilitated the industrial diversification of eastern Germany by giving access to experienced workers from western Germany.
    Date: 2016–01
  3. By: Mahroum, Sami; Zahradnik, Georg; Dachs, Bernhard
    Abstract: While the contributions of immigrants from Chinese, Indian and Latin American backgrounds to the US innovation system have been well documented, little exists on the contribution of people from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to the US innovation system. This paper provides a critical survey of the extent people from the MENA region contribute to the US innovation system. Matching 2,500 MENA specific first names with patent documents from the World International Property Organization (WIPO), we provide evidence of the role this community plays in the US innovation system. We find that the share of inventors in total inventive activity with a MENA background has increased considerably in the last 20 years. They concentrate in California and tend to specialize in computers, communication and software, as well as in medical and veterinary sciences. They are also active in technology areas that are core competencies for their employers.
    Keywords: immigration; innovation; Middle East; Arab; patents
    JEL: F22 J6 J61 O30 O32
    Date: 2017–03
  4. By: Gianna Giannelli (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa); Chiara Rapallini (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: We provide evidence that parents’ beliefs about the value of math have a positive impact on children’s math scores. This result is robust to the reverse causality that characterizes the relationship between parental attitude and children’s performance. Our model is estimated on a sample drawn from PISA 2012 of second-generation students and first-generation students who mi- grated before starting primary education. We instrument parental attitude with the country of origin math performance. We find that one additional score point in the origin country performance in math increases student performance by 21 percent of one standard deviation of the student math score.
    Keywords: Parental beliefs, Math performance, Immigrant students.
    JEL: I21 J13 O15
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Michael A. Clemens; Lant Pritchett (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: For decades, migration economics has stressed the effects of migration restrictions on income distribution in the host country. Recently the literature has taken a new direction by estimating the costs of migration restrictions to global economic efficiency. In contrast, a new strand of research posits that migration restrictions could be not only desirably redistributive, but in fact globally efficient. This is the new economic case for migration restrictions. The case rests on the possibility that without tight restrictions on migration, migrants from poor countries could transmit low productivity ("A" or Total Factor Productivity) to rich countries—offsetting efficiency gains from the spatial reallocation of labor from low to high-productivity places. We provide a novel assessment, proposing a simple model of dynamically efficient migration under productivity transmission and calibrating it with new macro and micro data. In this model, the case for efficiency-enhancing migration barriers rests on three parameters: transmission, the degree to which origin-country total factor productivity is embodied in migrants; assimilation, the degree to which migrants’ productivity determinants become like natives’ over time in the host country; and congestion, the degree to which transmission and assimilation change at higher migrant stocks. On current evidence about the magnitudes of these parameters, dynamically efficient policy would not imply open borders but would imply relaxations on current restrictions. That is, the new efficiency case for some migration restrictions is empirically a case against the stringency of current restrictions.
    Date: 2016–02
  6. By: Michael A. Clemens; Claudio Montenegro; Lant Pritchett (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: Large international differences in the price of labor can be sustained by differences between workers, or by natural and policy barriers to worker mobility. We use migrant selection theory and evidence to place lower bounds on the ad valorem equivalent of labor mobility barriers to the United States, with unique nationally-representative microdata on both U.S. immigrant workers and workers in their 42 home countries. The average price equivalent of migration barriers in this setting, for low-skill males, is greater than $13,700 per worker per year. Natural and policy barriers may each create annual global losses of trillions of dollars.
    Date: 2016–03
  7. By: Nunn, Nathan; Qian, Nancy; Sequeira, Sandra
    Abstract: We study the effects of European immigration to the United States during the Age of Mass Migration (1850-1920) on economic prosperity today. We exploit variation in the extent of immigration across counties arising from the interaction of fluctuations in aggregate immigrant flows and the gradual expansion of the railway network across the United States. We find that locations with more historical immigration today have higher incomes, less poverty, less unemployment, higher rates of urbanization, and greater educational attainment. The long-run effects appear to arise from the persistence of sizeable short-run benefits, including greater industrialization, increased agricultural productivity, and more innovation.
    Keywords: economic development; historical persistence; Immigration
    JEL: B52 F22 N72 O10 O40
    Date: 2017–03
  8. By: Isabelle Chort (LEDa, UMR DIAL-Paris-Dauphine); Maelys de la Rupelle (THEMA, Université de Cergy-Pontoise)
    Abstract: This paper uses state-level migration flow data between Mexico and the U.S. from 1999 to 2011 to investigate the migration response to climate shocks and the mitigating impact of an agricultural cash-transfer program (PROCAMPO) and a disaster fund (Fonden). Our results suggest that droughts increase undocumented migration. Fonden amounts are found to mitigate the effect of climate shocks by lowering the undocumented migration response to precipitation anomalies. Similarly an increase in the share of PROCAMPO funds to the ejido sector decreases undocumented migration after a shock. By contrast, we find no robust evidence of a mitigating impact on documented migration.
    Keywords: International migration, Climate change, Public policies, Weather variability, Natural disasters, Mexico-U.S. migration.
    JEL: F22 Q54 Q18 J61
    Date: 2017–03
  9. By: Takuya Matsuyama (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University); Tomomi Miyazaki (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between immigration and social welfare expenditure in the host countries using OECD panel data. Particular focus is placed on the age structure and educational level of immigrants. Empirical results show that while unskilled immigrants including asylum seekers are not necessarily a burden to the host countries, medium and highly skilled immigrants contribute to a decrease in social expenditure. In particular, highly skilled immigrants mitigate the increase in social expenditure related to welfare for the elderly driven by the aging of immigrants.
    Keywords: Immigration, social welfare expenditure
    JEL: J15 J61 H55
    Date: 2017–03
  10. By: Ritzen, Jo (IZA and Maastricht University); Kahanec, Martin (Central European University)
    Abstract: A sustainable EU Immigration Policy aims to contribute to a vibrant European society through more effectively and selectively managed immigration from outside the EU, more attention to integration of immigrants, more rooting out of discrimination, more asylum centres close to areas of conflict, and more attention to education and training in areas where refugees have settled. Immigration from outside the EU is often opposed, mainly because of sluggish integration combined with tensions in actual and perceived values between immigrants and native populations. These divisions affect not only the first generation of immigrants, but also those that follow. We propose a sustainable, win-win policy fostering the benefits of immigration and in line with the preferences of EU citizens holding not only positive but also more sceptical views on immigration while relying on adherence to human rights. The proposed policy is directed towards more effectively and selectively managed immigration based on the employability potential of the immigrant, combined with more attention to integration and stricter measures to fight discrimination. We also acknowledge the need for a robust policy framework to cope with asylum and abrupt large-scale waves of refugees wanting to enter the EU, resulting from conflicts, natural catastrophes, and other sudden or violent events. We propose screening of asylum-seekers close to for refugee camps surrounding countries they have fled to determine migrants' refugee status, channelling them either as economic migrants, selected on their employability, or through a humanitarian scheme that respects the EU's multilateral and bilateral commitments. Such a humanitarian scheme would be embedded into education-cooperation policies, to provide better opportunities to qualify for admission and substantially greater support for refugees.
    Keywords: migration, EU, migration policy, humanitarian migration, refugees, economic migrants, immigrant integration, asylum policy
    JEL: F22 J15 J61 J68
    Date: 2017–03
  11. By: Razin, Assaf
    Abstract: US attracts more high skill immigrants than Europe. One key factors is US research centers. US universities and research centers, funded directly and indirectly by the US federal and state governments, attract talented researchers from all over the world. Many of them remained in the US after completing their original term of education, training or research. Many became citizens. In the confines of the generous welfare state, low skill immigrants impose fiscal burden on the native born. In contrast, high-skill immigrants help in relieving the burden. This is the economic rationale behind skill-based immigration policies. The other side of the skill bias in immigration policy is that the international migration of skilled workers (the so-called brain drain) deprives the origin country from its scarce resource - human capital. Israel supply of high skill workers is unique. Today, Israel ranks third in the world in the number of university graduates per capita, after the United States and the Netherlands. It possesses the highest per capita number of scientists in the world, The paper links Israel's brain drain to skill-based immigration policies, prevailing in the advanced economies. The paper links Israel's brain drain to skill-based immigration policies, prevailing in the advanced economies.
    JEL: F22 H10 J1
    Date: 2017–03
  12. By: Massimiliano Agovino; Maria Rosaria Carillo; Nicola Spagnolo (-)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of newspaper coverage and the tone of news on immigration on the attitude of natives towards immigration in 19 countries (World Values Survey Database) for the period 2005-2009. The results can be summarised as follows: coverage and the negative tone of news have a significant effect in reducing the attitudes towards immigration for people with high trust in the media; for those with low trust in the media, news on immigration has no significant effects. In the latter case coverage and the negative tone of news radicalizes individuals’ prior preferences and prejudices on immigration, where the latter are proxied by individual political orientations.
    Keywords: Fuzzy analysis, Immigration, News
    JEL: H89 J15 Z19
    Date: 2016–09–01
  13. By: Hippolyte D'Albis (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Dramane Coulibaly (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Ekrame Boubtane (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article examines the causal relations between non-European immigration and the characteristics of the housing market in host regions. We constructed a unique database from administrative records and used it to assess annual migration flows into France’s 22 administrative regions from 1990 to 2013. We then estimated various panel VAR models, taking into account GDP per capita and the unemployment rate as the main regional economic indicators. We find that immigration has no significant effect on property prices, but that higher property prices significantly reduce immigration rates. We also find no significant relationship between immigration and social housing supply.
    Keywords: immigration, property prices, social housing, panel VAR
    Date: 2017–02–16

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