nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒10‒15
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Dual Job Search and Migration By Christine Braun; Charlie Nusbaum; Peter Rupert
  2. Location Choices of Graduate Entrepreneurs By Larsson, Johan P; Wennberg, Karl; Wiklund, Johan; Wright, Mike
  3. Husbands' return migration and wives' occupational choices By Mahe, Clotilde
  4. The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills on Migration Decisions By Aline Bütikofer; Giovanni Peri
  5. Immigrants' Residential Choices and their Consequences By Christoph Albert; Joan Monras
  6. Commuting, Migration and Local Employment Elasticities By Ferdinando Monte; Stephen Redding; Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
  7. What drives migration moves across urban areas in Spain? Evidence from the Great Recession By Celia Melguizo; Vicente Royuela
  8. The Import of “cultural goods” and emigration: an unexplored relation By Mauro Lanati; Alessandra Venturini
  9. Occupational choice of return migrants: Is there a 'Jack-of-all-trades' effect? By Mahe, Clotilde
  10. The Employment Effects of Mexican Repatriations: Evidence from the 1930's By Jongkwan Lee; Giovanni Peri; Vasil Yasenov
  11. Chronic Low Income Among Immigrants in Canada and its Communities By Lu, Yuqian; Picot, Garnett
  12. The healthy immigrant paradox and health convergence By Constant, Amelie
  13. Liberalization of European migration and the immigration of skilled people to Sweden By Ejermo, Olof; Zheng, Yannu
  14. Do immigrants’ funds affect the exchange rate? By Nusrate Aziz; Arusha Cooray; Wing Leong Teo
  15. Educational Choice, Rural-urban Migration and Economic Development: The Role of Zhaosheng in China By Yin-Chi Wang; Ping Wang; Chong Yip; Pei-Ju Liao
  16. Democratic Involvement and Immigrants’ Compliance with the Law By Slotwinski, Michaela; Stutzer, Alois; Gorinas, Cédric
  17. Electoral Cycles, Partisan Effects and U.S. Naturalization Policies By Markus Drometer; Romuald Méango
  18. Local Shocks, Discrete Choice and Optimal Policy By Christopher Sleet
  19. Asylum providers: Hawks or Doves? By Yuji Tamura

  1. By: Christine Braun (University of California Santa Barbara); Charlie Nusbaum (University of California, Santa Barbara); Peter Rupert (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: From 1964-1990, the aggregate intercounty migration rate remained largely unchanged, after which it began to decrease. During this same period, however, the intercounty mi- gration rate of married couples steadily declined while the migration rate of single indi- viduals concurrently increased. These differential trends suggest important differences in how multi-member households and individuals make decisions. This paper builds on the extensive demography and labor literature by asking how much of the decline in the mo- bility of married couples can be accounted for by the rapid increase in female labor force participation from 1960 to 2000?
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Larsson, Johan P (Jönköping International Business School); Wennberg, Karl (The Ratio Institute); Wiklund, Johan (Whitman School of Management); Wright, Mike (Imperial College London South Kensington Campus)
    Abstract: We review complementary theoretical perspectives on location choices of university graduate entrepreneurs derived from the individual-opportunity nexus and local embeddedness perspectives on entrepreneurship. Analysis of the full population of 215,388 graduates from Swedish institutions of higher education between 2002 and 2006 provides support for both location choice perspectives. Overall, 63 % of graduate entrepreneurs start businesses locally in their region of graduation while 37 % start businesses elsewhere. The likelihood of starting locally is substantially higher in metropolitan regions, if the graduate was born locally or has university peer entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial family members in the region of graduation. Implications for theory and public policy are discussed.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Location choice; Universities
    JEL: J61 M13 O18
    Date: 2017–08–07
  3. By: Mahe, Clotilde (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Exploiting the documented effect of migration on occupational choice upon return to their origin country with data from Egypt, we establish a link between return migration of men and their wives' time use through within-couple occupational interdependence. Seemingly Unrelated Regression model estimates suggest that being married to a migrant who opted for self-employment upon return decreases a woman's likelihood to engage in paid work, and increases her likelihood to engage in family work and subsistence farming, at both the extensive and intensive margins. This is pronounced for rural families, and when husbands work in agriculture. Results differ by education level, illiterate wives engaging significantly more in paid as well as unpaid work compared to more educated women. Findings are consistent with theoretical models of occupational interdependence between spouses and assortative mating; they highlight the need to buffer potentially depriving migration-induced effects on women's time use, even once migration is complete.
    Keywords: International migration, Return migration, Gender, Time use, Entrepreneurship, North Africa, Egypt
    JEL: F22 J16 J22 J24 L26 O12 O15
    Date: 2017–08–10
  4. By: Aline Bütikofer; Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: There is growing evidence that cognitive and noncognitive skills affect the economic and social outcomes of individuals. In this paper, we analyze how they affect the migration decisions of individuals during their lifetimes. We use data that combine military enlistment and administrative records for the male population born in 1932 and 1933 in Norway. Records of interviews with a psychologist at age 18 allow us to construct an index of `sociability' and `adaptability' for each individual, as well as an index of cognitive ability, the intelligence quotient. We find that adaptability and cognitive ability have significant and positive impacts on the probability of an individual migrating out of his area, whether this involves rural--urban, long distance, or international migration. Adaptability has a particularly strong impact on migration for individuals with low cognitive skills, implying a strong positive selection of less educated migrants with respect to the (previously unobserved) adaptability skill. We also show that cognitive skills have a strong positive effect on the pre- and post-migration wage differential, whereas adaptability has no significant effect. Moreover, individuals with high cognitive ability migrate to areas with large wage returns to cognitive abilities, whereas this is not true for individuals with high adaptability. This evidence suggests that adaptability reduces the psychological cost of migrating, whereas cognitive skills increase the monetary returns associated with migration.
    JEL: J24 J61 R23
    Date: 2017–09
  5. By: Christoph Albert (UPF); Joan Monras (CEMFI and CEPR)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causes and effects of the spatial distribution of immigrants across US cities. We document that: a) immigrants concentrate in large, high-wage, and expensive cities, b) the earnings gap between immigrants and natives is higher in larger and more expensive cities, and c) immigrants consume less locally than natives. In order to explain these findings, we develop a simple quantitative spatial equilibrium model in which immigrants consume (either directly, via remittances, or future consumption) a fraction of their income in their countries of origin. Thus, immigrants not only care about local prices, but also about price levels in their home country. Hence, if foreign goods are cheaper than local goods, immigrants prefer to live in high-wage, high-price, and high-productivity cities, where they also accept lower wages than natives. Using the estimated model we show that current levels of immigration have reduced economic activity in smaller, less productive cities by around 3 percent while they have expanded the activity in large and productive cities by around 4 percent. This has increased total aggregate output per worker by around .15 percent.
    Keywords: Immigration, location choices, spatial equilibrium
    JEL: F22 J31 J61 R11
    Date: 2017–10
  6. By: Ferdinando Monte (Georgetown University); Stephen Redding (Princeton University); Esteban Rossi-Hansberg (Princeton University)
    Abstract: We provide theory and evidence that the elasticity of local employment to a labor demand shock is heterogeneous depending on the commuting openness of the local labor market. We develop a quantitative general equilibrium model that incorporates spatial linkages in goods markets (trade) and factor markets (commuting and migration). We quantify this model to match the observed gravity equation relationships for trade and commuting. We find that empirically-observed reductions in commuting costs generate welfare gains of around 3.3 percent. We provide separate evidence in support of the model's predictions using decompositions of employment changes, million dollar plants, and trade shocks.
    Keywords: labor supply elasticity, shocks, general equilibrium, spatial linkages
    JEL: F12 F14 R13 R23
    Date: 2017–10
  7. By: Celia Melguizo (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona. Diagonal Av. 690, 08034, Barcelona, Spain.); Vicente Royuela (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona. Diagonal Av. 690, 08034, Barcelona, Spain.)
    Abstract: In Spain, economic disparities between regions have traditionally played a relevant role in migration. Nevertheless, during the previous high-instability period, analyses provided conflicting results about the effect of these variables. In this work, we aim to determine the role that labour market factors play in internal migration during the Great Recession, paying special attention to the migration response of the heterogeneous population groups. To do so, we resort to an extended gravity model and we consider as a territorial unit the 45 Spanish Functional Urban Areas. Our results point to real wages as having a significant influence on migration motivations.
    Keywords: Migration, Spanish urban areas, Labour market factors
    JEL: C23 J61 R23
    Date: 2017–10
  8. By: Mauro Lanati; Alessandra Venturini
    Abstract: The paper examines the effect of the import of cultural goods as defined by UNESCO (2009): cultural heritage, performance, visual arts, books, audio-visual material and design on emigration decisions. The import of cultural goods, by affecting individual preferences, reduces the cost of any migration move and favors outflows towards exporting countries. A gravity model for 33 OECD destination countries and 184 sending ones has been estimated for the period 2009-2013. The issue of identification and endogeneity has been addressed through the inclusion of a comprehensive set of fixed effects and by instrumenting cultural imports with past flows and an imputed share of cultural imports à la Card (2001). The positive relationship is robust across different classifications for cultural goods, areas of destination and alternative econometric techniques
    Keywords: Migration, trade in cultural goods, gravity model
    JEL: F16 F22 Z10
    Date: 2017–04
  9. By: Mahe, Clotilde (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Although it has been found that return migrants are more likely to be self-employed than non-migrants, the role of migration episodes per se remains unclear. With reference to Lazear's Jack-of-all-trades hypothesis, this paper examines whether migrants are more likely to choose self-employment upon return because of the diverse work experience they gained abroad. Using the 2012 Egypt Labour Market Panel Survey, seemingly unrelated regression model estimates show that return migrants' greater propensity to be self-employed, to survive or to generate jobs as self-employed might proceed from participating in significantly more occupations, sectors and jobs over their work history than non-migrants. Results hold for non-agricultural activities, rural areas, and controlling for financial resources. In line with Lazear's framework, they confirm that entrepreneurship can be learnt, and that exposure to multiple occupations and industries matters for entering into and persisting in self-employment.
    Keywords: International migration, Return migration, Entrepreneurship, Human capital, North Africa, Egypt
    JEL: F22 J24 L26 O12 O15
    Date: 2017–09–18
  10. By: Jongkwan Lee; Giovanni Peri; Vasil Yasenov
    Abstract: During the period 1929-34 a campaign forcing the repatriation of Mexicans and Mexican Americans was carried out in the U.S. by states and local authorities. The claim of politicians at the time was that repatriations would reduce local unemployment and give jobs to Americans, alleviating the local effects of the Great Depression. This paper uses this episode to examine the consequences of Mexican repatriations on labor market outcomes of natives. Analyzing 893 cities using full count decennial Census data in the period 1930-40, we find that repatriation of Mexicans was associated with small decreases in native employment and increases in native unemployment. These results are robust to the inclusion of many controls. We then apply an instrumental variable strategy based on the differential size of Mexican communities in 1930, as well as a matching method, to estimate a causal "average treatment effect." Confirming the OLS regressions, the causal estimates do not support the claim that repatriations had any expansionary effects on native employment, but suggest instead that they had no effect on, or possibly depressed, their employment and wages.
    JEL: J15 J21 J61 N32
    Date: 2017–09
  11. By: Lu, Yuqian; Picot, Garnett
    Abstract: Rates of low income among immigrants continue to be high relative to the Canadian-born population. This paper examines the rate of chronic low income among immigrants aged 25 or older in Canada during the 2000s. Chronic low income is defined as having a family income under a low income cut-off for five consecutive years or more. A regionally adjusted low-income measure is used for the analysis.
    Keywords: Ethnic diversity and immigration, Ethnic groups and generations in Canada, Immigrants and non-permanent residents, Income, pensions, spending and wealth, Labour, Low income and inequality, Wages, salaries and other earnings
    Date: 2017–09–29
  12. By: Constant, Amelie (Princeton University, GLO, UNU-MERIT, and CESifo)
    Abstract: The health status of people is a precious commodity and central to economic, socio-political, and environmental dimensions of any country. Yet it is often the missing statistic in all general statistics, demographics, and presentations about the portrait of immigrants and natives. In this paper we are concerned with international migration and health outcomes in the host countries. Through a general literature review and examination of specific immigration countries, we provide insights into the Healthy Immigrant Paradox and the health assimilation of immigrants as we also elucidate selection and measurement challenges. While health is part of human capital, health assimilation is the mirror image of earnings assimilation. Namely, immigrants arrive with better health compared to natives and their health deteriorates with longer residence in the host country, converging to the health of natives or becoming even worse. A deeper understanding of immigrant health trajectories, and disparities with natives and other immigrants is of great value to societies and policymakers, who can design appropriate policy frameworks that address public health challenges, and prevent the health deterioration of immigrants.
    Keywords: Health status, Healthy Immigrant Paradox, International migration, Assimilation, Age-Cohort-Period effects, Selection, Aging
    JEL: I10 I12 I14 I18 F22 J11 J14 J15 J24 J61 O15
    Date: 2017–09–26
  13. By: Ejermo, Olof (CIRCLE, Lund University); Zheng, Yannu (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: Migration policies can have a strong impact on the selection of immigrants, who in turn can affect the host country’s innovation development. This paper examines the effects of the liberalization of migration on the skill composition of immigrants from the EU-15 to Sweden after the inception of the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1994. We examine its effect on immigrants’ education levels and probability of becoming an inventor, comparing immigrants from the EU-15 with those from other developed regions in difference-in-differences regressions. The results show that, the liberalization of migration had a negative effect on the educational profile of new EU-15 immigrants in the short run, but there is no such effect in the long run. Moreover, the liberalization of migration has no systematic effect on the EU-15 immigrants’ probability of becoming an inventor neither in the short nor the long run. These patterns are consistent with the theoretical implication that reduction in migration costs associated with the EEA mainly stimulated migration from the lower end of the education distribution.
    Keywords: Human capital; Immigration; Innovation; Selection; Skill level
    JEL: J15 J24 N30 O31
    Date: 2017–10–05
  14. By: Nusrate Aziz; Arusha Cooray; Wing Leong Teo
    Abstract: Using annual data over 1966-2014 from the Citizenship and Immigration statistics archives of Canada, we investigate how the funds brought into Canada by immigrants, affects the real effective exchange rate (REER) of Canada. We employ the ARDL bounds testing (Pesaran, Shin and Smith, 1999) and Dynamic OLS (Stock and Watson, 1993) approaches to cointegration. Both estimation methods indicate a long run relation between immigrants’ funds and exchange rate with immigrants' funds leading to a significant appreciation of the exchange rate in Canada. These results are robust to different estimation methods and an alternative proxy measure for the funds brought into Canada by immigrants.
    Keywords: Immigration, immigrants’ money, exchange rate, Canada
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Yin-Chi Wang (Chinese University of Hong Kong); Ping Wang (Washington University in St. Louis); Chong Yip (Chinese University of Hong Kong); Pei-Ju Liao (Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica)
    Abstract: Observing China's rapid skill-enhanced development and urbanization process accompanied by continual reforms of the household registration system, we explore the underlying drivers, highlighting the channel of rural to urban migration. In addition to conventional work-based migration, we incorporate education-based migration by constructing a dynamic spatial equilibrium model of migration decisions with educational choice. We then calibrate our model to fit the data from China over the 1980--2007 period. We find that the effects of education-based migration on total per capita output cannot be ignored. There also exist rich interactions between the two migration channels. Furthermore, our results suggest that the increase in the college admission selectivity for rural students seriously depresses China's development. Policy experiments on migration and labour-market regulations are also conducted to assess their quantitative significance.
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Slotwinski, Michaela; Stutzer, Alois; Gorinas, Cédric
    Abstract: In the face of migration and concerns about integration, we investigate how the right to vote in local elections affects immigrants’ compliance with the law. In our study for Denmark, we exploit an institutional regulation that grants foreigners local voting rights after three years of stay. Relying on register data, we find causal evidence that the first possibility to vote considerably reduces the number of legal offenses of non-Western male immigrants in the time after elections.
    JEL: D02 K42 J15
    Date: 2017
  17. By: Markus Drometer; Romuald Méango
    Abstract: Using a panel of naturalizations in U.S. states from 1965 to 2012, we empirically analyze the impact of elections on naturalization policy. Our results indicate that naturalization policy is (partly) driven by national elections: there are more naturalizations in presidential election years and during the terms of Democratic incumbents. We then investigate the dynamics of an incumbent’s behavior over the course of the his term in detail, finding that the effects are more pronounced in politically contested states and for immigrants originating from Latin America.
    Keywords: Electoral cycles, naturalization policy
    JEL: H11 D72 F22
    Date: 2017
  18. By: Christopher Sleet (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: Economic opportunities and wages are unevenly dispersed across locations. The risk of being born in and having personal attachment to a low wage location creates a motive for social insurance. Policymakers must trade this motive off against its adverse impact on location choice and migration. Our paper develops the theory of optimal geographic social insurance. We provide new formulas that characterize optimal location-conditioned transfers and a quantitative analysis of such transfers for the US. We model workers as solving dynamic discrete choice location problems and embed these problems into an optimal policy framework. The policy maker is assumed to observe and condition transfers on the locational choices of workers, but not their private locational preferences. In the simplest environment, optimal policy is characterized by a generalized multidimensional version of formulas originally derived by Bailey (1978), Saez (2002) and Chetty (2006) in the context of unemployment insurance. This formula equates the marginal benefit of a transfer to the recipient with the marginal resource cost where the latter incorporates behavioral sufficient statistics describing the elasticities of migration with respect to transfers. The discrete choice framework allows us to connect these sufficient statistics to structural primitives and quantitatively evaluate optimal policy. We extend the model to a rich dynamic setting with endogenous wage determination. This complicates optimal policy formulas through the introduction of terms capturing the option value of future relocations and the impact of relocations on the wage distribution. We use the approach of Hotz and Miller (1993) to estimate the migration costs and other structural parameters. We then quantitatively evaluate optimal geographic policy at steady state and under various adjustment scenarios.
    Date: 2017
  19. By: Yuji Tamura
    Abstract: I examine the subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium of an asylum provision game in pure strategies, assuming that asylum is an international public good. An equilibrium does not necessarily exist because the players. payo¤s are not quasiconcave. When an equilibrium exists, it is either unique or multiple. When multiple equilibria arise, the game is a variant of hawk-dove game. Multiple equilibria suggest the counter-intuitive possibility that the more popular destination is more open to refugees even though openness is not modeled to boost popularity.
    Keywords: asylum seekers, refugee protection, international public goods, chicken game
    JEL: F22 F53 H87 O15
    Date: 2017–10

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