nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒07‒16
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Immigration Enforcement and Foster Care Placements By Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Arenas-Arroyo, Esther
  2. Does Migrating with Children Influence Migrants’ Occupation Choice and Income? By Xing, Chunbing; Wei, Yinheng
  3. Are Immigrant and Minority Homeownership Rates Gaining Ground in the US? By Chakrabarty, Durba; Osei, Michael J.; Winters, John V.; Zhao, Danyang
  4. English Proficiency and Test Scores of Immigrant Children in the US By Aparicio Fenoll, Ainhoa
  5. Moving to Despair? Migration and Well-Being in Pakistan By Chen, Joyce J; Kosec, Katrina; Mueller, Valerie
  6. Do Refugees Impact Voting Behavior in the Host Country? Evidence from Syrian Refugee Inflows in Turkey By Altindag, Onur; Kaushal, Neeraj
  7. The Impact of Migration and Remittance on Household Welfare: Evidence from Vietnam By Nguyen, Cuong; Vu, Linh
  8. Bounding the Price Equivalent of Migration Barriers - Working Paper 428 By Michael Clemens; Claudio E. Montenegro; Lant Pritchett
  9. A critical comparison of migration policies: Entry fee versus quota By Stark, Oded; Byra, Lukasz; Casarico, Alessandra; Übelmesser, Silke
  10. Immigration, Occupations, and Local Labor Markets: Theory and Evidence from the U.S. By Lin Tian; Jonathan Vogel; Gordon Hanson; Ariel Burstein
  11. Minimum Wages and the Labor Market Effects of Immigration By Anthony Edo; Hillel Rapoport
  12. Losing Our Minds? New Research Directions on Skilled Migration and Development - Working Paper 415 By Michael Clemens
  13. Migration and Trade Ows: New Evidence from Spanish Regions By D'Ambrosio, Anna; Montresor, Sandro
  14. General Equilibrium Effects of Immigration in Germany: Search and Matching Approach By Zainab IFTIKHAR; Anna ZAHARIEVA

  1. By: Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (San Diego State University); Arenas-Arroyo, Esther (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: Tougher immigration enforcement has been responsible for approximately 1.8 million deportations between 2009 and 2013 alone. Children enter the foster care system when their parents are apprehended, deported and unable to care for them. We find that the average increase in interior immigration enforcement over the 2001 through 2015 period contributed to raising the share of Hispanic children in foster care anywhere between 15 and 21 percent. The effects appear to be driven by the implementation of police-based local initiatives linked to deportations, as in the case of the Secure Communities program. Given the revival of police-based immigration enforcement by President Donald Trump, further analyses of its consequences on families are well warranted.
    Keywords: immigration enforcement, unauthorized immigration, foster care, United States
    JEL: J13 J15 K37
    Date: 2017–06
  2. By: Xing, Chunbing (Asian Development Bank Institute); Wei, Yinheng (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: We study the impact of migrant children on their parents’ occupation choice and wage income using a dataset from a household survey conducted in 2011. We find that the heads of migrant households with school-age children earn significantly less than those who left them at their place of hukou registration. This result holds when we control for personal characteristics, migration duration, origin location, and family structure. Households migrating with school-age children have a higher probability of doing so within the prefecture/province of their hukou registration and are less likely to target coastal regions. After controlling for migration scope and destination location, the presence of children does not influence wages of migrant household heads. We also find that the presence of children below the age of six has no impact on the income of migrant household heads. Our results suggest that the hukou system still impedes labor mobility.
    Keywords: migrants; migration; occupation choice; education; hukou system
    JEL: I28 J12 J13 J18
    Date: 2017–01–26
  3. By: Chakrabarty, Durba (Oklahoma State University); Osei, Michael J. (Oklahoma State University); Winters, John V. (Oklahoma State University); Zhao, Danyang (Oklahoma State University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates post-2000 trends in homeownership rates in the US by immigrant status, race, and ethnicity. Homeownership rates for most groups examined rose during the housing boom of the early and mid-2000s but fell during and after the housing bust. By 2015 homeownership rates had fallen below year 2000 levels for most groups but not all. In particular, some Asian immigrant groups experienced sizable gains in overall homeownership rates and in regression-adjusted differences relative to white non-Hispanic natives. Some other immigrant and minority groups also made gains relative to white non- Hispanic natives. We document and discuss these trends.
    Keywords: housing, homeownership, immigrants, minorities
    JEL: R21 J15
    Date: 2017–06
  4. By: Aparicio Fenoll, Ainhoa (Collegio Carlo Alberto)
    Abstract: Immigrant children in the US tend to perform worse in reading, mathematics, and science compared to native children. This paper explores how much of such differences in achievement can be accounted for by a lack of English proficiency. To identify the causal effect of English proficiency on cognitive test scores, I use the fact that language proficiency is closely linked to age at arrival, and that migrant children arrive at different ages from different countries of origin. In particular, I instrument English proficiency by comparing children from English-speaking countries to children from non-English-speaking countries who migrated to the US at different ages. Using data from the New Immigrant Survey, I find that speaking English very badly or badly can explain 27–33% of the achievement gap between native and immigrant children in standardized language-related tests. However, I find no significant language effects for applied maths problems or calculations.
    Keywords: standardized tests, English proficiency, immigrant children, age at arrival, English-speaking countries
    JEL: J13 J15 I20
    Date: 2017–06
  5. By: Chen, Joyce J (Ohio State University); Kosec, Katrina (IFPRI, International Food Policy Research Institute); Mueller, Valerie (IFPRI, International Food Policy Research Institute)
    Abstract: Internal migration has the potential to substantially increase income, especially for the poor in developing countries, and yet migration rates remain low. We explore the role of psychic costs by evaluating the impacts of internal migration on a suite of well-being indicators using a unique, 22-year longitudinal study in rural Pakistan. We account for selection into migration using covariate matching. Migrants have roughly 35 to 40 percent higher consumption per adult equivalent, yet are 12 to 14 percentage points less likely to report feeling either happy or calm. Our results suggest that deteriorating physical health coupled with feelings of relative deprivation underlie the disparity between economic and mental well-being. Thus, despite substantial monetary gains from migration, people may be happier and less mentally distressed remaining at home. If traditional market mechanisms cannot reduce psychic costs, it may be more constructive to address regional inequality by shifting production – rather than workers – across space.
    Keywords: internal migration, psychic costs, well-being, Pakistan
    JEL: J61 O15 I31
    Date: 2017–06
  6. By: Altindag, Onur (National Bureau of Economic Research); Kaushal, Neeraj (Columbia University)
    Abstract: We study the effect of an influx of approximately three million Syrian refugees on voting behavior in Turkey. The analysis is based on data from three recent general elections, 54 waves of a monthly survey on voter preferences as well as a unique field survey that directly measures voter attitude towards refugees. We exploit the substantial variation in the inflow of refugees, both over time and across provinces, and use a difference-in-differences approach, comparing the political outcomes in geographic areas with high and low intensity of refugee presence before and after the beginning of Syrian civil war. To address the endogeneity in refugees' location choices, we adopt an instrumental variables approach that relies on the historic dispersion of Arabic speakers across Turkish provinces, taking advantage of the fact that Syrians are more likely to settle in locations where the host population speaks Arabic. Empirical analyses of survey data documents strong polarization in attitudes towards refugees between the supporters and opponents of the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP). Regression analyses of political preferences, however, suggest that the massive inflow of refugees induced a modest and statistically significant drop in support for the ruling AKP. Leavers did not swing to the other major political parties but were more likely to become indecisive or absentee. We show similarly small, but statistically insignificant impact on actual election outcomes during the study period. Based on other questions in the survey data, we interpret our findings as suggestive that while partisanship is highly correlated with public opinion towards refugees, exposure to refugee has little impact on electoral outcomes.
    Keywords: Syrian refugees, voting behavior in Turkey, attitudes towards refugees
    JEL: F22
    Date: 2017–06
  7. By: Nguyen, Cuong; Vu, Linh
    Abstract: This paper examines the pattern and the impact of migration and remittances on household welfare in Vietnam using fixed-effects regressions and panel data from Vietnam Household Living Standard Surveys 2010 and 2012. Overall, the effect of migration as well as remittances on employment of remaining members on home households is small. People in households with migration and remittances tend to work less than people in other households. There is no evidence that migration and remittances can help household members to work more on non-farm activities. Remittances, especially international remittances help receiving households increase per capita income and per capita expenditure. Although migration leads to an increase in remittances, it also leads to a reduction in income earned by migrants if they had not migrated. However, per capita consumption expenditure of migrant-sending households increases because of a reduction in household size
    Keywords: Migration, remittances, impact evaluation, household welfare, poverty, Vietnam.
    JEL: I3 O15 R23
    Date: 2017–03–10
  8. By: Michael Clemens; Claudio E. Montenegro; Lant Pritchett
    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 US 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.
    Keywords: migration, labor mobility, migrant selection theory, migration barriers, policy
    JEL: F22 J61 J71 O15
    Date: 2016–07
  9. By: Stark, Oded; Byra, Lukasz; Casarico, Alessandra; Übelmesser, Silke
    Abstract: We ask which migration policy a developed country will choose when its objective is to attain the optimal skill composition of the country's workforce, and when the policy menu consists of an entry fee and a quota. We compare these two policies under the assumptions that individuals are heterogeneous in their skill level as well as in their skill type, and that individuals of one skill type, say "scientists," confer a positive externality on overall productivity whereas individuals of the other skill type, say "managers," do not confer such an externality. We find that a uniform entry fee encourages self-selection such that the migrants are only or mostly highly skilled managers. The (near) absence of migrant scientists has a negative effect on the productivity of the country's workforce. Under a quota: the migrants are (a) only averagely skilled managers if the productivity externality generated by the scientists is weak, or (b) only averagely skilled scientists if the productivity externality generated by the scientists is strong. In (a), a uniform entry fee is preferable to a quota. In (b), a quota is preferable to a uniform entry fee. If, however, the entry fee for scientists is sufficiently below the entry fee for managers, then migrants will be only or mostly highly skilled scientists, rendering a differentiated entry fee preferable to a quota even when the productivity externality is strong. Instituting a differentiated fee comes, though, at a cost: the fee revenue is not as high as it will be when migrants are only or mostly managers. We conclude that if maximizing the revenue from the entry fee is not the primary objective of the developed country, then a differentiated entry fee is the preferred policy.
    Keywords: International migration,A quota,A uniform entry fee,A differentiated entry fee,Heterogeneous human capital,Optimal skill composition of the developed country's workforce,Total factor productivity
    JEL: D62 F22 J24
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Lin Tian (Columbia University); Jonathan Vogel (Columbia); Gordon Hanson (University of California, San Diego); Ariel Burstein (UCLA)
    Abstract: In this paper, we show that labor-market adjustment to immigration differs across tradable and nontradable occupations. Theoretically, we derive a simple condition under which the arrival of foreign-born labor crowds native-born workers out of (or into) immigrant-intensive jobs, thus lowering (or raising) relative wages in these occupations, and explain why this process differs within tradable versus within nontradable activities. Using data for U.S. commuting zones over the period 1980 to 2012, we find that consistent with our theory a local influx of immigrants crowds out employment of native-born workers in more relative to less immigrant-intensive nontradable jobs, but has no such effect within tradable occupations. Further analysis of occupation wage bills is consistent with adjustment to immigration within tradables occurring more through changes in output (versus changes in prices) when compared to adjustment within nontradables, thus confirming the theoretical mechanism behind differential crowding out between the two sets of jobs. We then build on these insights to construct a quantitative framework to evaluate the consequences of counterfactual changes in U.S. immigration. Reducing inflows from Latin America, which tends to send low-skilled immigrants to specific U.S. regions, raises local wages for native-born workers in more relative to less-exposed nontradable occupations by much more than for similarly differentially exposed tradable jobs. By contrast, increasing the inflow of high-skilled immigrants, who are not so concentrated geographically, causes tradables and nontradables to adjust in a more similar fashion. For the nontradable-tradable distinction in labor-market adjustment to be manifest, as we find to be the case in our empirical analysis, regional economies must vary in their exposure to an immigration shock.
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Anthony Edo; Hillel Rapoport
    Abstract: This paper exploits the non-linearity in the level of minimum wages across U.S. States created by the coexistence of federal and state regulations to investigate how the prevalence of minimum wages affects the labor market impact of immigration. We find that the effects of immigration on the wages and employment of native workers within a given state-skill cell are more negative in U.S. States with low minimum wages (i.e., where the federal minimum wage is binding). The results are robust to instrumenting immigration and state effective minimum wages, and to implementing a difference-in-differences approach comparing U.S. States where effective minimum wages are fully determined by the federal minimum wage over the whole period considered (2000-2013) to U.S. States where this is never the case. This paper thus underlines the important role played by minimum wages in mitigating any adverse labor market effects of low-skill immigration.
    Keywords: immigration;minimum wages;labor markets
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2017–07
  12. By: Michael Clemens
    Abstract: This paper critiques the last decade of research on the effects of high-skill emigration from developing countries, and proposes six new directions for fruitful research. The study singles out a core assumption underlying much of the recent literature, calling it the Lump of Learning model of human capital and development, and describes ?ve ways that research has come to challenge that assumption. It assesses the usefulness of the Lump of Learning model in the face of accumulating evidence. The axioms of the Lump of Learning model have shaped research priorities in this literature, but many of those axioms do not have a clear empirical basis. Future research proceeding from established facts would set different priorities, and would devote more attention to measuring the effects of migration on skilled-migrant households, rigorously estimating human capital externalities, gathering microdata beyond censuses, and carefully considering optimal policy—among others.
    JEL: F22 J24 O15
    Date: 2015–09
  13. By: D'Ambrosio, Anna; Montresor, Sandro (University of Turin)
    Abstract: We analyze migrants' pro-trade e ects through a theory-consistent gravity model augmented with migration variables - both immigration and emigration. We take subnational units, i.e. Spanish NUTS3 regions and allow for subnationally heterogeneous multilateral resistance terms, implying diversified exporting capacity of provinces. We implement an econometric strategy based on Head and Mayer (2014), which leads us to selecting the Gamma PML estimator. Comparing the Gamma with OLS estimator we highlight some shortcomings of previous literature. In particular, language commonality is found to magnify the pro-trade effect of immigrants, differently from previous literature; both emigrants' and immigrants' networks are found to exert a positive and significant pro-trade effect, but in different ways: immigrants affect trade through their local networks, whereas emigrants affect trade through their national networks. security programs.
    Date: 2017–06
  14. By: Zainab IFTIKHAR (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Anna ZAHARIEVA (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: In this study we develop and calibrate a search and matching model of the German labour market and analyze the impact of recent immigration. Our model has two production sectors (manufacturing and services), two skill groups and two ethnic groups of workers (natives and immigrants). Moreover, we allow for the possibility of self-employment, endogenous price and wage setting and fiscal redistribution policy. We find that search frictions are less important for wages of the low skilled, especially in manufacturing, whereas wages of the high skilled are more sensitive to their outside opportunities. Furthermore, employment chances of immigrant workers are up to four times lower than employment chances of native workers, especially in the high skill segment. Our results show that recent immigration to Germany, including refugees, has a moderate negative effect on the welfare of low skill workers in manufacturing (-0.6%), but all other worker groups are gaining from immigration, with high skill service employees gaining the most (+4.3%). This is because the productivity of high (low) skill workers is increasing (decreasing) and there is a higher demand for services. The overall effect of recent immigration is estimated at +1.6%. Finally, we observe that productive capacities of immigrant workers are underutilized in Germany and a policy implementing equal employment opportunities can generate a welfare gain equal to +0.9% with all worker groups (weakly) gaining due to the redistribution.
    Keywords: search frictions, immigration, general equilibrium, redistribution, welfare
    JEL: J23 J31 J38 J64
    Date: 2016–09–22

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.
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