nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒05‒28
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. U.S. Immigration Reform and the Dynamics of Mexican Migration By Khulan Altangerel; Jan van Ours
  2. The Labor Market Effects of Refugee Waves: Reconciling Conflicting Results By Clemens, Michael A.; Hunt, Jennifer
  3. Migration for Development: From Challenges to Opportunities By Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  4. Macroeconomic Determinants of International Migration to the UK By Forte, Giuseppe; Portes, Jonathan
  5. Local Institutional Quality and Return Migration: Evidence from Vietnam By Ngoc Thi Minh Tran; Michael P. Cameron; Jacques Poot
  6. International stocks and flows of students and researchers reconstructed from ORCID biographies By Orazbayev, Sultan
  7. Electoral Systems and Immigration By Giuseppe Russo; Francesco Salsano
  8. Settling for Academia? H-1B Visas and the Career Choices of International Students in the United States By Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Delia Furtado
  9. Sun, Regulation and Local Social Networks By Antoine Bonleu
  10. Migration impact on left-behind women’s labour participation and time-use: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan By Kamalbek Karymshakov; Burulcha Sulaimanova
  11. Qualified immigration from India showing signs of success By Koppel, Oliver; Plünnecke, Axel
  12. The Education Motive for Migrant Remittances: Theory and Evidence from India By Delpierre, Matthieu; Dupuy, Arnaud; Tenikue, Michel; Verheyden, Bertrand
  13. Firm Dynamics and Immigration: The Case of High-Skilled Immigration By Michael E. Waugh
  14. Assessment of the Regulatory Impact of the Law on the Complex Exam: Results of a Case Study By Varshaver, Evgeni; Rocheva, Anna; Ivanova, Nataliya

  1. By: Khulan Altangerel (Tilburg university); Jan van Ours (Erasmus School of Economics and Tinbergen Institute)
    Abstract: The 1986 US Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was directed at tackling the problem of growing unauthorized migration through legalization of unauthorized immigrants, increasing border security and sanctioning employers who hired unauthorized immigrants. Our paper investigates how the IRCA affected the migration dynamics of Mexican immigrants focusing on their age of onset of migration and the duration of their first trip. We find that the IRCA had a positive effect in reducing unauthorized migration to the US. Although primarily aiming at unauthorized immigration, the IRCA had substantial effects on legal migration through its legalization program.
    Keywords: Immigration policy; migrant behavior
    JEL: J61 J68
    Date: 2016–12–02
  2. By: Clemens, Michael A.; Hunt, Jennifer
    Abstract: An influential strand of research has tested for the effects of immigration on natives' wages and employment using exogenous refugee supply shocks as natural experiments. Several studies have reached conflicting conclusions about the effects of noted refugee waves such as the Mariel Boatlift in Miami and post-Soviet refugees to Israel. We show that conflicting findings on the effects of the Mariel Boatlift can be explained by a sudden change in the race composition of the Current Population Survey extracts in 1980, specific to Miami but unrelated to the Boatlift. We also show that conflicting findings on the labor-market effects of other important refugee waves can be produced by spurious correlation between the instrument and the endogenous variable introduced by applying a common divisor to both. As a whole, the evidence from refugee waves reinforces the existing consensus that the impact of immigration on average native-born workers is small, and fails to substantiate claims of large detrimental impacts on workers with less than high school.
    Keywords: Immigration; instrumental variables; Refugees
    JEL: J61 O15 R23
    Date: 2017–05
  3. By: Zimmermann, Klaus F.
    Abstract: This contribution investigates the opportunities of migration for developing countries. The benefits of migration for sending countries are often undervalued. But migrants may foster trade, remittances, innovations, investments back home, and even return home at some time with better human capital. Functioning diasporas can lead to stable factors of development. Policies in receiving developed countries towards migrants can enhance the positive impact of migration for development. Among those are measures to support the early integration of migrants into the educational systems and in the labor markets, including jobs for asylees. Dual citizenships and circular migration contracts are possible instruments. Migration policy can be an effective development policy.
    Keywords: Remittances,circular migration,social remittances,diaspora economics,development,refugees,forced migration,dual citizenships,jobs for development,brain drain,brain gain
    JEL: F22 F24 F66 J61 O15
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Forte, Giuseppe; Portes, Jonathan
    Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of long-term international migration to the UK; we explore the extent to which migration is driven by macroeconomic variables (GDP per capita, unemployment rate) as well as law and policy (the existence of “free movement” rights for EEA nationals). We find a very large impact from free movement within the EEA. We also find that macroeconomic variables – UK GDP growth and GDP at origin – are significant drivers of migration flows; evidence for the impact of the unemployment rate in countries of origin, or of the exchange rate, however, is weak. We conclude that, while future migration flows will be driven by a number of factors, macroeconomic and otherwise, Brexit and the end of free movement will result in a large fall in immigration from EEA countries to the UK.
    Keywords: Brexit,EU,Immigration,UK
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Ngoc Thi Minh Tran (University of Waikato); Michael P. Cameron (University of Waikato); Jacques Poot (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: This paper examines the link between local institutional quality in the home country and locational choices of international return migrants. We scrutinize the locational choices of Vietnamese return migrants to the south central and the south regions in 2014. Binary and multinomial regression models are fitted to identify the influence of migrants’ individual attributes and the characteristics of regional destinations within Vietnam, with the main focus placed on regional institutional quality. Our analysis reveals that both individual-specific and region-specific variables are significantly related to Vietnamese return migrants’ choices when registering for permanent residency back in their home country. Older migrants are more likely to return to regions other than the central city, as are male migrants. More remarkably, we provide compelling evidence of the positive role of institutional quality at the local level in these migration decisions. Moreover, the effect of institutional quality differs by the characteristics of migrants: regions with better institutional quality are more attractive to younger return migrants, and to those who returned from host countries with better institutional quality. Our findings are strongly robust across different econometric specifications and alternative measures of host country institutional quality at the national level.
    Keywords: return migration; institutional quality; locational choice; Vietnam
    JEL: F22 O15 R23
    Date: 2017–05–15
  6. By: Orazbayev, Sultan
    Abstract: This document describes a dataset of estimated bilateral flows and stocks of students and researchers (including some other types of high-skilled workers) for more than 200 countries (and territories) since 1990. The data is derived by analysing education and employment histories of more than 650 thousand individuals registered with ORCID. Comparison with independent data sources supports technical validity and representativeness of this data. The dataset provides new measures of the geography of a subset of high-skilled labour and opens opportunities for exploring hypotheses related to migration and agglomeration, impact of immigration policy, scientific production and development, academic mobility, and brain drain.
    Keywords: high-skilled migration; high-skilled diasporas; student mobility; scientific mobility; ORCID
    JEL: F2 F20 F22 O15
    Date: 2017–04–06
  7. By: Giuseppe Russo (Università di Salerno and CSEF); Francesco Salsano (Università di Milano)
    Abstract: Unexplored stylized facts on OECD countries suggest that plurality electoral systems are associated with higher openness to immigration. We propose an explanation based on a retrospective voting model where immigration hurts voters but benefits a rent-seeking policymaker who appropriates part of the income generated by immigrants.To be reappointed, the policymaker must distribute compensation. With respect to proportional systems, plurality systems make it possible to compensate only a few decisive districts and leave higher after-compensation rents, producing therefore higher immigration. In our model, non-decisive districts receive no compensation at all under both electoral systems, providing a rationale for widespread anti-immigration attitudes. Notably, our results also help to explain why governments often seem more pro-immigration than voters. Finally, our model suggests that proportional systems may incentivize the enfranchisement of immigrants with voting rights and that opposition to immigration is more territorially dispersed in plurality systems. Basic evidence supports both predictions.
    Keywords: electoral systems, rent extraction, retrospective voting, immigration
    JEL: D72 D78 F22 H00 H40
    Date: 2017–05–15
  8. By: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (San Diego State University); Delia Furtado (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: The yearly cap on H-1B visas became binding for the first time in 2004, making it harder for college-educated foreigners to work in the United States. However, academic institutions are exempt from the cap and citizens of five countries (Canada, Mexico, Chile, Singapore, and Australia) have access to alternative work visas. We exploit those exemptions to gauge how immigrant career choices are affected by the binding visa cap. Among other impacts, the binding cap raises international students’ likelihood of employment in academia, even outside of their field of study, a result consistent with the notion of “settling for academia.â€
    Keywords: H-1B visas, high-skilled immigration, academic labor market, United States
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2017–05
  9. By: Antoine Bonleu (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explain over-regulation and local social capital as barriers to immigration. The interest of social networks is that conflict resolution is independent of the law. Hence, if local individuals develop local social capital and regulation, foreigners without social networks are disadvantaged and can less easily migrate. We develop a two-country search-theoretic model where we endogenize the choice of procedural formalism (PF) and the network size. This model features two different equilibria: a Mediterranean equilibrium with PF and dense local social network and a Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon equilibrium without PF and local social networks.
    Keywords: housing market regulation,mobility,local social capital,climate amenities,social networks
    Date: 2017–04
  10. By: Kamalbek Karymshakov; Burulcha Sulaimanova
    Abstract: This paper aims to study the impact of migration on labour supply and time-use of women left behind in Kyrgyzstan. Using the household survey data for 2011, labour supply is measured by occupational choices and working hours. Apart from the labour supply data, this study uses detailed information on daily time-use, which is analysed within women’s occupations. This approach makes it possible to indicate the impact of migration not only through the labour supply analysis, which may be limited by reflecting labour market behaviour only, but also through the measure of allocation of time among different activities at home. To address the issue of endogeneity, the instrumental variable approach is applied. Results show that the migration of a household member increases the choice of left-behind women to be unpaid family workers. Most of the left-behind women choose unpaid family work and work more hours in this occupation. Although in the labour supply analysis wage-employment is not affected by migration, time-use model estimations reveal that wage-employed women are mostly affected through increases in the time for housework.
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Koppel, Oliver; Plünnecke, Axel
    Abstract: In recent years, qualified immigration has started to play a significant role for the German labour market, especially for securing skilled STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) employment. Efforts made to attract STEM immigrants from India are starting to show signs of success - both the number of employees in academic STEM jobs and the number of students in STEM disciplines have increased significantly in recent times. From a strategic viewpoint, this immigration from demographically strong non-European countries is particularly important for the future.
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Delpierre, Matthieu (IWEPS, Belgium); Dupuy, Arnaud (University of Luxembourg); Tenikue, Michel (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD)); Verheyden, Bertrand (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of anticipated old age support, provided by children to parents, on intra-family transfers and education. We highlight an education motive for remittances, according to which migrants have an incentive to invest in their siblings' education via transfers to parents, in order to better share the burden of old age support. Our theory shows that in rich families, selfish parents invest optimally in children education, while in poor families, liquidity constraints are binding and education is fostered by migrant remittances. We test these hypotheses on Indian panel data. Identification is based on within variation in household composition. We find that remittances received from migrants significantly increase with the number of school age children in the household. Retrieving the effects of household characteristics shows that more remittances tend to be sent to poorer and older household heads, confirming the old age support hypothesis.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, education, old age support
    JEL: D13
    Date: 2017–05
  13. By: Michael E. Waugh
    Abstract: This paper shows how the dynamics of the firm yield new insights into the short- and long-run economic outcomes from changes in immigration policy. I quantitatively illustrate these insights by evaluating two policies: an expansion of and the elimination of the H-1B visa program for skilled labor. A change in policy changes firms’ entry and exit decisions as they dynamically respond to changes in market size. The dynamic response of firms amplifies changes in relative wages as labor demand shifts with the distribution of firms. Firms’ responses also lead to the rapid accrual of aggregate gains/losses in output and consumption. The welfare implications of policy changes depend critically on who bears the burden of creating new firms.
    JEL: A1 D92 F22 J61
    Date: 2017–05
  14. By: Varshaver, Evgeni (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Rocheva, Anna (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Ivanova, Nataliya (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: In this paper, the results of the study are presented, during which a methodology for assessing the regulatory impact of legislation in the field of migration was developed and tested, in particular, conclusions on the impact of the federal law on the complex exam. According to this exam, to obtain documents for legal labor activity, a foreign citizen must confirm his knowledge of Russian language, the history of the Russian Federation and the bases of legislation. Based on a survey that included an Internet survey of migrants, a series of quality interviews and observations, and an analysis of documents, it was demonstrated that the law does not achieve its goal: it did not become neither a filter that stopped migrants who do not speak Russian from coming to Russia, nor a motivation for improving the knowledge of Russian language.
    Date: 2017–04

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.