nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒07‒30
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Conformism, Social Norms and the Dynamics of Assimilation By Olcina, Gonzalo; Panebianco, Fabrizio; Zenou, Yves
  2. Understanding Cultural Persistence and Change By Paola Giuliano; Nathan Nunn
  3. Measuring Social Connectedness By Michael Bailey; Ruiqing (Rachel) Cao; Theresa Kuchler; Johannes Stroebel; Arlene Wong
  4. Immigrant Concentration at School and Natives’ Achievement: Does the Type of Migrants and Natives Matter? By Bossavie, Laurent
  5. A Joint Hazard-Longitudinal Model of the Timing of Migration, Immigrant Quality, and Labor Market Assimilation By Jain, Apoorva; Peter, Klara Sabirianova
  6. Europe’s role in North Africa: development, investment and migration By Uri Dadush; Maria Demertzis; Guntram Wolff
  7. Quantifying Determinants of Immigration Preferences By Hansen, Ole-Petter Moe; Legge, Stefan
  8. Demographic Change and Labor Mobility By Marius Bickmann
  9. Limits to Wage Growth: Understanding the Wage Divergence between Immigrants and Natives By Jain, Apoorva; Peter, Klara Sabirianova

  1. By: Olcina, Gonzalo; Panebianco, Fabrizio; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We consider a model where each individual (or ethnic minority) is embedded in a network of relationships and decides whether or not she wants to be assimilated to the majority norm. Each individual wants her behavior to agree with her personal ideal action or norm but also wants her behavior to be as close as possible to the average assimilation behavior of her peers. We show that there is always convergence to a steady-state and characterize it. We also show that different assimilation norms may emerge in steady state depending on the structure of the network. We then consider an optimal tax/subsidy policy which aim is to reach a certain level of assimilation in the population. We believe that our model sheds light on how the pressure from peers, communities and families affect the long-run assimilation decisions of ethnic minorities.
    Keywords: Assimilation; networks; peer pressure.; Social norms
    JEL: D83 D85 J15 Z13
    Date: 2017–07
  2. By: Paola Giuliano; Nathan Nunn
    Abstract: When does culture persist and when does it change? We examine a determinant that has been put forth in the anthropology literature: the variability of the environment from one generation to the next. A prediction, which emerges from a class of existing models from evolutionary anthropology, is that following the customs of the previous generation is relatively more beneficial in stable environments where the culture that has evolved up to the previous generation is more likely to be relevant for the subsequent generation. We test this hypothesis by measuring the variability of average temperature across 20-year generations from 500–1900. Looking across countries, ethnic groups, and the descendants of immigrants, we find that populations with ancestors who lived in environments with more stability from one generation to the next place a greater importance in maintaining tradition today. These populations also exhibit more persistence in their traditions over time.
    JEL: N10 Q54 Z1
    Date: 2017–07
  3. By: Michael Bailey; Ruiqing (Rachel) Cao; Theresa Kuchler; Johannes Stroebel; Arlene Wong
    Abstract: We introduce a new measure of social connectedness between U.S. county-pairs, as well as between U.S. counties and foreign countries. Our measure, which we call the "Social Connectedness Index" (SCI), is based on the number of friendship links on Facebook, the world's largest online social networking service. Within the U.S., social connectedness is strongly decreasing in geographic distance between counties: for the population of the average county, 62.8% of friends live within 100 miles. The populations of counties with more geographically dispersed social networks are generally richer, more educated, and have a higher life expectancy. Region-pairs that are more socially connected have higher trade flows, even after controlling for geographic distance and the similarity of regions along other economic and demographic measures. Higher social connectedness is also associated with more cross-county migration and patent citations. Social connectedness between U.S. counties and foreign countries is correlated with past migration patterns, with social connectedness decaying in the time since the primary migration wave from that country. Trade with foreign countries is also strongly related to social connectedness. These results suggest that the SCI captures an important role of social networks in facilitating both economic and social interactions. Our findings also highlight the potential for the SCI to mitigate the measurement challenges that pervade empirical research on the role of social interactions across the social sciences.
    JEL: D1 E0 F1 I1 J6 O3
    Date: 2017–07
  4. By: Bossavie, Laurent
    Abstract: Using a rich dataset of primary school students in the Netherlands, this paper investigates the hetero- geneous effects of immigrant concentration in the classroom on the academic achievement of natives. To identify the treatment effect, it takes advantage of some features of the Dutch primary school system and uses cohort-by-cohort deviations in immigrant concentration within schools. While we report an insignificant impact of the share of immigrant classmates overall, we show that effects are heterogeneous, both in the type of immigrant classmates, and in the type of native students that are affected. Only immigrants that have been living in the country for a short period of time are found to negatively impact natives’ performance. This negative impact is stronger among natives with low parental education. We also report a negative effect of the concentration of migrants with low parental education, while migrants with high parental education are found to have no impact. The importance of taking into account heterogeneity could explain the mixed findings reported by previous literature on the topic.
    Keywords: Immigration, education, peer effects
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2017–07–20
  5. By: Jain, Apoorva (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Peter, Klara Sabirianova (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
    Abstract: This paper develops and estimates a joint hazard-longitudinal (JHL) model of the timing of migration and labor market assimilation – two processes that have been assumed to be independent in the existing literature. The JHL model accounts for the endogenous age of entry in estimating the returns to years since migration by allowing cross-equation correlations of random intercepts with individual rates of wage assimilation. Commonly ignored sample selection issues due to non-random survey attrition and missing wages are also addressed. Using German household panel surveys from 1984 to 2014 and home country-level data from 1961, we find large upward bias in the OLS-estimated average rate of wage assimilation. Our estimates suggest that immigrants with lower unobserved skills and with a higher unobserved propensity to migrate early have a faster assimilation rate.
    Keywords: migration, joint hazard-longitudinal model, mixed effects, random slope, individual-specific wage assimilation, unobserved skills, survival analysis, timing of migration, maximum likelihood, selection due to endogenous entry, Germany
    JEL: J24 J31 J61 N30 C41
    Date: 2017–07
  6. By: Uri Dadush; Maria Demertzis; Guntram Wolff
    Abstract: Africa’s population is projected to reach almost 2.5 billion by 2050. Migration from Africa to the EU is relatively stable, at around 500,000 migrants per year, or 0.1 percent of the EU population, yet irregular immigration into the EU has increased recently. Development is often seen as the way to reduce migration but the development-migration nexus is complex. At low levels of development, migration might increase with rising GDP per capita. This applies to most of sub-Saharan Africa. By contrast, North African countries are among the continent’s more developed economies. Their geographical positions make them natural partners for the EU. The region is diverse but political instability has been a common feature that in recent years has hindered economic development. Cyclical factors and deep-rooted structural weaknesses have also contributed to weak economic performance. Conditions for business are relatively poor and trade barriers in some sectors have prevented integration either between these countries or into global value chains. We propose five ways in which EU policymakers can contribute to development in North Africa and build partnerships on trade, investment and migration.
    Date: 2017–05
  7. By: Hansen, Ole-Petter Moe; Legge, Stefan
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the relative importance of determinants of individual-level immigration preferences. We develop and estimate a new latent-factor model using survey data on eighteen countries from the European Social Survey from 2014 and 2015. On a metho-dological level, we address several potential problems causing biased estimates. Identifying individual-level economic concerns about immigration, worries about compositional amenities, racism, and altruism as drivers of immigration-related preferences, the estimation results show that racism is quantitatively the most important factor. It is about as important as the joint effect of worries about the economic and non-economic effects of immigration. Furthermore, we document that altruism raises significantly the support for immigration, although it is quantitatively less important than the other factors.
    Keywords: Altruism, Compositional Amenities, Economic Concerns, Immigration Preferences, Racism
    JEL: F22 H2 O15
    Date: 2017–07
  8. By: Marius Bickmann (TU Dortmund)
    Abstract: This paper provides a quantitative analysis of intra-European migration flows between Germany, Southern Europe and Poland along the demographic transition. Migration movements evolve endogenously as a reaction to changes in relative prices induced by population aging. Immigration from Southern Europe and Poland reduces wages in Germany slightly, but alleviates the distortions from social security significantly. This lower elasticity of wages is caused by a large inflow of capital accompanying immigration which counteracts the downward pressure on wages due to a higher labor supply. Welfare effects of endogenous migration flows depend crucially on the policy scenario. If contribution rates remain constant and the burden of adjustment lies on benefits, the negative wage effect dominates leading to moderate welfare losses for future generations in Germany. On the contrary, if tax rates adjust, welfare effects are both positive and larger since immigration serves to stabilize net wages. However, these positive welfare effects in Germany come at the expense of significant welfare losses in the sending regions.
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Jain, Apoorva (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Peter, Klara Sabirianova (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
    Abstract: This study finds evidence of wage divergence between immigrants and natives in Germany using a country-wide household panel from 1984 to 2014. We incorporate the possibility of wage divergence into a two-period model of economic assimilation by modeling the differences in the efficiency of human capital production and prices per unit of human capital between immigrants and natives. Individual rates of wage convergence are found to be higher for immigrants who fled warfare zones, belong to established ethnic networks, and acquired more years of pre-migration schooling. Using a doubly robust treatment effect estimator and the IV method, the study finds that the endogenous post-migration education in the host country contributes substantially to closing the wage gap with natives. The treatment effect is heterogeneous, favoring immigrants who are similar to natives. This paper also addresses the commonly ignored sample selection issue due to non-random survey attrition and employment participation. Empirical evidence favors the "efficiency" over the "discrimination" channels of wage divergence.
    Keywords: migration, assimilation, divergence, wage growth, skill prices, post-migration human capital, discrimination, doubly robust estimator, instrumental variables, panel, Germany
    JEL: J15 J24 J31 J61 F22 I26
    Date: 2017–07

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