nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒04‒09
eight papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The effect of land inheritance on youth employment and migration decisions: Evidence from rural Ethiopia: By Kosec, Katrina; Ghebru, Hosaena; Holtemeyer, Brian; Mueller, Valerie; Schmidt, Emily
  2. Remain single or live together: Does culture matter? By Marcén, Miriam; Morales, Marina
  3. Decomposing culture: An analysis of gender, language, and labor supply in the household By Gay, Victor; Hicks, Daniel L.; Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania; Shoham, Amir
  4. Validating the Immigration Policies in Comparison (IMPIC) dataset By Schmid, Samuel D.; Helbling, Marc
  5. The Earnings of Undocumented Immigrants By George J. Borjas
  6. Labour market impact of internal in-migration: A district level analysis of South Africa By Umakrishnan Kollamparambil
  7. Recent Development of Labor Mobility in the EU: Comparative Study on the British and German Cases By Kang, Yoo-Duk; Lim, You-Jin
  8. Transnational migration of domestic and care workers in Asia Pacific By Peng, Ito.

  1. By: Kosec, Katrina; Ghebru, Hosaena; Holtemeyer, Brian; Mueller, Valerie; Schmidt, Emily
    Abstract: In Ethiopia, there are two binding forces (push and pull) that deserve attention when it comes to youth occupational and spatial mobility choices and the national land use and transfer policy. On the one hand, the fact that the land rental market in Ethiopia is supply constrained due to market and policy distortions marginalizes youth and serves as a push factor leading them to look elsewhere for a livelihood strategy. On the other hand, the regulatory conditions and restrictions attached to land use and inheritance rights may serve as a pull factor and force youth to be tied to the rural and/or farming sector. Our study thus aims to explore how youth land access (both inheritance and market-based) affects their migration and employment decisions. We explore this question in the context of rural Ethiopia using panel data from 2010 and 2014. We find that larger expected land inheritances significantly lower the likelihood of long-distance permanent migration and of permanent migration to urban areas during this time. Inheriting more land is also associated with a significantly higher likelihood of employment in agriculture and a lower likelihood of employment in the nonagricultural sector. Conversely, the decision to attend school is unaffected. These results appear to be most heavily driven by males and by the older half of our youth sample. We also find several mediating factors matter. Land inheritance plays a much more pronounced role in predicting rural-to-urban permanent migration and nonagricultural-sector employment in areas with less vibrant land markets and in relatively remote areas (those far from major urban centers). Overall, the results reaffirm the notion that push factors dominate pull factors in dictating occupational and migration decisions in Ethiopia and highlight youth preferences to use migration or non-agricultural employment as a last resort after exhausting other means of accessing land, such as temporary land rental.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA, agriculture; employment; migration; youth, land inheritance,
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Marcén, Miriam; Morales, Marina
    Abstract: This paper studies the role of culture in determining the decision to live together (as married or unmarried couples). To examine this issue, we utilize data on first-generation immigrants who arrived to the United States at or before the age of 5. We follow the epidemiological approach, indicating that the dissimilarities in the behavior of young-arrival immigrants originating from different countries, who grew up and live in the same country, can be interpreted as evidence of the existence of a cultural effect. Results show a positive and statistically significant relationship between the cultural proxy, that is, the proportion of individuals living together by country of origin, and the immigrant choice of living with a partner. We extend this analysis to the examination of both married and unmarried cohabitation, separately, and to an exploration of the formation of same- or different-origin couples. In all cases, our findings suggest an important role of culture. The results are robust after controlling for several home-country observable and unobservable characteristics, and to the use of different subsamples. With respect to the transmission of culture, we show empirical evidence of horizontal transmission of culture.
    Keywords: Culture, Immigrants, Live together, Marriage, Cohabitation
    JEL: J12 J15 Z13
    Date: 2017–03–17
  3. By: Gay, Victor; Hicks, Daniel L.; Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania; Shoham, Amir
    Abstract: Despite broad progress in closing many dimensions of the gender gap around the globe, recent research has shown that traditional gender roles can still exert a large influence on female labor force participation, even in developed economies. This paper empirically analyzes the role of culture in determining the labor market engagement of women within the context of collective models of household decision making. In particular, we use the epidemiological approach to study the relationship between gender in language and labor market participation among married female immigrants to the U.S. We show that the presence of gender in language can act as a marker for culturally acquired gender roles and that these roles are important determinants of household labor allocations. Female immigrants who speak a language with sex-based grammatical rules exhibit lower labor force participation, hours worked, and weeks worked. Our strategy of isolating one component of culture reveals that roughly two thirds of this relationship can be explained by correlated cultural factors, including the role of bargaining power in the household and the impact of ethnic enclaves, and that at most one third is potentially explained by language having a causal impact.
    Keywords: Culture, Female labor force participation, Immigrants, Language structure, Grammar
    JEL: J16 J22 J61 Z13
    Date: 2017–03–18
  4. By: Schmid, Samuel D.; Helbling, Marc
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to discuss the external and internal validity of the newly created Immigration Policies in Comparison (IMPIC) dataset. After presenting its theoretical conceptualization, we compare the IMPIC to other datasets in this policy field. Next, using a variant of principal component analysis, we empirically analyze its sub-dimensions. Among other things, and contrary to some expectations in the extant literature, we find that there appears to be a comprehensive and consistent dimension comprising immigration policies for the fields of labor migration, family reunification, and asylum seekers. We also offer two typologies, which can be used to map the most important dimensions of variation. These validity tests allow us to better understand what the IMPIC dataset measures, what its main dimensions are, and how it can be compared to other indices that measure immigration policies.
    Keywords: immigration policy,open borders,internal validity,external validity,principal component analysis,index-building
    Date: 2016
  5. By: George J. Borjas
    Abstract: Over 11 million undocumented persons reside in the United States, and there has been a heated debate over the impact of legislative or executive efforts to regularize the status of this population. This paper examines the determinants of earnings for undocumented workers. Using newly developed methods that impute undocumented status for foreign-born persons sampled in microdata surveys, the study documents a number of findings. First, the age-earnings profile of undocumented workers lies far below that of legal immigrants and of native workers, and is almost perfectly flat during the prime working years. Second, the unadjusted gap in the log hourly wage between undocumented workers and natives is very large (around 40 percent), but half of this gap disappears once the calculation adjusts for differences in observable socioeconomic characteristics, particularly educational attainment. Finally, the adjusted wage of undocumented workers rose rapidly in the past decade. As a result, there was a large decline in the wage penalty associated with undocumented status. The relatively small magnitude of the current wage penalty suggests that a regularization program may only have a modest impact on the wage of undocumented workers.
    JEL: J31 J61 J68
    Date: 2017–03
  6. By: Umakrishnan Kollamparambil
    Abstract: Despite the lack of clarity in literature with regards to the question of whether internal in-migration is a desirable phenomenon for the labor market outcomes, in-migration is often resisted under the premise that it leads to tighter job markets for the locals. This study therefore attempts an empirical verification of the impact of in-migration on labour market outcomes in South Africa. The results of dynamic system GMM regression analysis indicate that in-migration decreases the labour market participation rate of the migrant receiving districts, highlighting migration for non-economic purposes as well as discouraged migrants not seeking work post-migration. While In-migration is not found to alter significantly the employment rate of the receiving areas, indications are that the employment rate is maintained through an expansion of the informal wage employment. There is evidence of non-linear relationship between in-migration and the labour markets of the receiving areas. While initial migration results in the expansion of the formal sector employment, sustained increase in in-migration leads to informalisation of the labour markets. There is hence little evidence of positive self-selection among internal migrants in South Africa. Our results corroborate the Harris-Todaro model’s prediction that in-migration leads to increased informal sector share of the labour markets.
    Keywords: internal migration, labour markets, unemployment, informal sector, Self-employment
    JEL: J61 O17 R23
    Date: 2017–02
  7. By: Kang, Yoo-Duk (Korea Institute for International Economic Policy); Lim, You-Jin (Korea Institute for International Economic Policy)
    Abstract: A new trend of labor mobility has been emerging amid the varying economic conditions among EU members. Since the global financial crisis there have been diverging trends in labor market conditions in Europe. The unemployment rate in Southern Europe still remains at its record high, while Northern Europe maintains a relatively stable employment figure. Such diverging labor market conditions have been reflected on the labor movement within the EU. Countries such as Germany and the UK attract more immigrants to their job markets, while southern countries become 'net exporters' of their labor to other parts of Europe. A number of studies conclude that labor mobility within the EU is determined by income differences between the migrant departing and hosting countries. The distinctive business cycles between countries (i.e. unemployment gaps) are insufficient for explaining the intra-European labor movement. These empirical facts were well spotlighted under the arguments of an optimal currency area (OCA); the lack of labor mobility within the Euro area suggests that it is far from being qualified as an OCA. It was hardly expected that labor mobility would work as an 'absorber' in the face of asymmetric shocks. However, recent observations show that internal migration within the EU has been increasingly affected by the difference in unemployment rates between countries.
    Keywords: Labor Mobility; EU; Migration; British; German
    Date: 2016–03–23
  8. By: Peng, Ito.
    Keywords: international migration, migrant worker, domestic worker, care worker, migration policy, East Asia, South East Asia
    Date: 2016

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