nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒06‒25
seven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The Legacies of Slavery in and out of Africa By Graziella Bertocchi
  2. Mobility of highly skilled retirees from Japan to Korea and Taiwan By Kang, Byeongwoo; Sato, Yukihito; Ueki, Yasushi
  3. How Restricted is the Job Mobility of Skilled Temporary Work Visa Holders? By Jennifer Hunt
  4. Is London really the engine-room? Migration, opportunity hoarding and regional social mobility in the UK By Sam Friedman; Lindsey Macmillan
  5. International Emigrant Selection on Occupational Skills By Patt, Alexander; Ruhose, Jens; Wiederhold, Simon; Flores, Miguel
  6. Immigration and the Dutch disease. A counterfactual analysis of the Norwegian resource boom 2004-2013 By Ådne Cappelen; Torbjørn Eika
  7. Public Opinion on Immigration in Europe: Preference versus Salience By Hatton, Timothy J.

  1. By: Graziella Bertocchi
    Abstract: The slave trades out of Africa represent one of the most significant forced migration experiences in history. In this paper I illustrate their long-term consequences on contemporaneous socio-economic outcomes, drawing from my own previous work on the topic and from an extensive review of the available literature. I first consider the influence of the slave trade on the “sending” countries in Africa, with attention to their economic, institutional, demographic, and social implications. Next I evaluate the consequences of the slave trade on the “receiving” countries in the Americas. Here I distinguish between the case of Latin America and that of the United States. Overall, I show that the slave trades exert a lasting impact along several contemporaneous socio-economic dimensions and across diverse areas of the world.
    Keywords: slavery, development
    JEL: J15
    Date: 2016–11
  2. By: Kang, Byeongwoo; Sato, Yukihito; Ueki, Yasushi
    Abstract: Attracting highly skilled workers is a major element for the economic development of many countries, especially developing countries. However, the general international mobility of workers is from developing countries to developed ones. Historical evidence has indicated that Korean and Taiwanese firms scout for highly skilled Japanese workers (either retired or soon-to-retire) to accrue knowledge and achieve catch-up. Therefore, this paper investigates how the highly skilled Japanese workers were scouted by firms in Korea and Taiwan. Aiming at producing evidence rather than testing hypotheses, the findings of this paper shed practical information for firms in developing countries to attract highly skilled workers for their 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 previous literature.
    Keywords: Labor market,Human resources,Highly skilled,Mobility,Japan,Korea,Taiwan
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: Jennifer Hunt
    Abstract: Using the National Survey of College Graduates, I investigate the degree to which holders of temporary work visas in the United States are mobile between employers. Holders of temporary work visas either have legal restrictions on their ability to change employers (particularly holders of intra-company transferee visas, L-1s) or may be reluctant to leave an employer who has sponsored them for permanent residence (particularly holders of specialty worker visas, H-1Bs). I find that the voluntary job changing rate is similar for temporary visa holders and natives with similar characteristics. For the minority of temporary workers who receive permanent residence, there is a considerable spike in voluntary moving upon receipt of permanent residence, suggesting mobility is reduced during the application period by about 20%. My analysis of reasons for moving suggests that applicants are prepared to pay a small but not large professional price for permanent access to the U.S. labor market.
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2017–06
  4. By: Sam Friedman; Lindsey Macmillan
    Abstract: In this paper we explore for the first time regional differences in the patterning of occupational social mobility in the UK. Drawing on data from Understanding Society (US), supported by the Labour Force Survey (LFS), we examine how rates of absolute and relative intergenerational occupational mobility vary across 19 regions of England, Scotland and Wales. Our findings somewhat problematise the dominant policy narrative on regional social mobility, which presents London as the national ‘engine-room’ of social mobility. In contrast, we find that those currently living in Inner London have experienced the lowest regional rate of absolute upward mobility, the highest regional rate of downward mobility, and a comparatively low rate of relative upward mobility into professional and managerial occupations. This stands in stark contrast to Merseyside and particularly Tyne and Wear where rates of both absolute and relative upward mobility are high, and downward mobility is low. We then examine this Inner London effect further, finding that it is driven in part by two dimensions of migration. First, among international migrants, we find strikingly low rates of upward mobility and high rates of downward mobility. Second, among domestic migrants, we find a striking overrepresentation of those from professional and managerial backgrounds. These privileged domestic migrants, our results indicate, are less likely to experience downward mobility than those from similar backgrounds elsewhere in the country. This may be partly explained by higher educational qualifications, but may also be indicative of a glass floor or opportunity hoarding.
    Keywords: social mobility; regions; London; upward mobility; downward mobility; glass floor
    JEL: J61 P25 Z13
    Date: 2017–05
  5. By: Patt, Alexander (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt); Ruhose, Jens (Leibniz University of Hannover); Wiederhold, Simon (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Flores, Miguel (EGAP Tecnológico de Monterrey CEM)
    Abstract: We present the first evidence that international emigrant selection on education and earnings materializes through occupational skills. Combining novel data from a representative Mexican task survey with rich individual-level worker data, we find that Mexican migrants to the United States have higher manual skills and lower cognitive skills than non-migrants. Conditional on occupational skills, education and earnings no longer predict migration decisions. Differential labor-market returns to occupational skills explain the observed selection pattern and significantly outperform previously used returns-to-skills measures in predicting migration. Results are persistent over time and hold within narrowly defined regional, sectoral, and occupational labor markets.
    Keywords: international migration, selection, skills, occupations
    JEL: F22 O15 J61 J24
    Date: 2017–06
  6. By: Ådne Cappelen; Torbjørn Eika (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: The EU-enlargement in 2004 increased labour migration and affected the Norwegian labour market in particular. We study how this modified the Dutch disease effects during the resource boom 2004- 2013. In the Norwegian case the resource movement effect of the petroleum industry has historically dominated the spending effect. One reason is the introduction of the fiscal policy rule in 2001 that limited spending. We find that economic growth in Norway was roughly doubled during this period due to the resource boom while total population increased by 2 percent. Moreover, both the resource movement and spending effects on Mainland GDP were roughly unaffected by immigration while employment increased, real wages fell and so did productivity.
    Keywords: Dutch disease; Immigration
    JEL: B22 J11 Q33
    Date: 2017–06
  7. By: Hatton, Timothy J. (University of Essex)
    Abstract: There is growing interest among economists in public opinion towards immigration, something that is often seen as the foundation for restrictive immigration policies. Existing studies have focused on the responses to survey questions on whether the individual would prefer more or less immigration but not on his or her assessment of its importance as a policy issue. Here I distinguish between preference and salience. Analysis of data from the European Social Survey and Eurobarometer indicates that these are associated with different individual-level characteristics. At the national level these two dimensions of public opinion move differently over time and in response to different macro-level variables. The results suggest that both dimensions need to be taken into account when assessing the overall climate of public opinion towards immigration. Finally, there is some evidence that both preference and salience are important influences on immigration policy.
    Keywords: public opinion, salience, attitudes to immigration
    JEL: D72 F22 J61
    Date: 2017–06

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.