nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2017‒10‒22
seventeen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Electoral cycles, partisan effects and U.S. immigration policies By Drometer, Marcus; Méango, Romuald
  2. What Are You Voting For? Proximity to Refugee Reception Centres and Voting in the 2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum By Bratti, Massimiliano; Deiana, Claudio; Havari, Enkelejda; Mazzarella, Gianluca; Meroni, Elena Claudia
  3. Welfare Chauvinism? Refugee Flows and Electoral Support for Populist-right Parties in Industrial Democracies By Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya; Kelly, Grace
  4. Acculturation, Education, and Gender Roles: Evidence from Canada By Kessler, Anke; Milligan, Kevin
  5. Luxembourg: reaping the benefits of a diverse society through better integration of immigrants By Álvaro Pina
  6. The Effect of Migration on Terror - Made at Home or Imported from Abroad? By Axel Dreher; Martin Gassebner; Paul Schaudt
  7. The Healthy Immigrant Paradox and Health Convergence By Constant, Amelie F.
  8. Where Are Migrants from? Inter- vs. Intra-Provincial Rural-Urban Migration in China By Su, Yaqin; Tesfazion, Petros; Zhao, Zhong
  9. The Role of Fees in Foreign Education: Evidence From Italy. By Lionel Ragot; Michel Beine; Marco Delogu
  10. Informal Search, Bad Search? The Effects of Job Search Method on Wages among Rural Migrants in Urban China By Chen, Yuanyuan; Wang, Le; Zhang, Min
  11. The Impact of Ethnic Communities on Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Sweden By Tavassoli, Sam; Trippl, Michaela
  12. Foreign Peer Effects and STEM Major Choice By Massimo Anelli; Kevin Shih; Kevin Williams
  13. Immigration and Rental Prices of Residential Housing: Evidence from the Fall of the Berlin Wall By Kürschner, Kathleen
  14. The Effect of the H-1B Quota on Employment and Selection of Foreign-Born Labor By Anna Maria Mayda; Francesc Ortega; Giovanni Peri; Kevin Shih; Chad Sparber
  15. Escaping from Hunger before WW1: Nutrition and Living Standards in Western Europe and USA in the Late Nineteenth Century By Gazeley, Ian; Holmes, Rose; Newell, Andrew T.; Reynolds, Kevin; Gutierrez Rufrancos, Hector
  16. Organized interests and foreign-educated professionals: The case of the associations for physicians and nurses in Sweden By Jansson, Olle
  17. Preschool child care and child well-being in Germany: Does the migrant experience differ? By Kaiser, Micha; Bauer, Jan M.

  1. By: Drometer, Marcus; Méango, Romuald
    Abstract: Using a panel of naturalizations in U.S. states from 1965 to 2012, we empirically analyze the impact of elections on immigration policy. Our results indicate that immigration policy is (partly) driven by national elections: there are more naturalizations in presidential election years and during the terms of Democratic incumbents. Further, the partisan effects are more pronounced in politically contested states, in states with higher levels of immigration and driven by immigrants from Latin America.
    JEL: H11 D72 F22
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Bratti, Massimiliano (University of Milan); Deiana, Claudio (University of Essex); Havari, Enkelejda (European Commission, Joint Research Centre); Mazzarella, Gianluca (University of Padova); Meroni, Elena Claudia (European Commission, Joint Research Centre)
    Abstract: In December 2016, in the middle of the "European refugee crisis", the Italian electorate voted for a referendum on crucial constitutional reform promoted by the governing party. The official aims of the reform were both to improve the country's governability and stability and to simplify the institutional setup. Despite not strictly being a political vote, as in the case of Brexit, the referendum was largely perceived as an assessment of the Prime Minister's work and the activity of his government. Using Italian municipality data, we provide novel empirical evidence on the impact of geographical proximity to refugee reception centres on voting behaviour. Our analysis demonstrates that being closer to refugee centres increased (1) the referendum turnout and (2) the proportion of anti-government votes. This evidence is consistent with the fact that the main opposition parties exploited the anti-immigration sentiments that were mounting in the population to influence people's voting. It also casts doubts on the political choice to put key decisions, such as changes in the Constitution of the Italian Republic (or leaving the European Union, as in the case of Brexit), to the popular vote at times when there are significant political emergencies to be faced.
    Keywords: proximity, voting, refugee reception centres, referendum, Constitution, Italy
    JEL: P16 R23 D72
    Date: 2017–09
  3. By: Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya; Kelly, Grace
    Abstract: In this paper we examine whether refugee flows are associated with an increase in electoral support for populist-right parties. The empirical evidence on this so far remains mixed. We argue that refugee inflows alone are an inaccurate predictor of the success of populist-right parties. Rather, refugee inflows can lead to a rise in electoral support for populist-right parties where traditional welfare states are expansive —the so called ‘welfare chauvinism’ argument, wherein natives already dependent on high levels of social welfare are likely to see refugees as interlopers who free-ride on welfare and thereby threaten the welfare of locals. Using panel data on 27 OECD countries during 1990–2014 period (25 years), we find no evidence to suggest that refugee inflows per se increase electoral support for populist-right parties. However, a positive effect of refugee inflows on electoral support for populist-right parties is conditional upon a higher degree of social welfare and unemployment benefit spending, which supports the propositions of 'welfare chauvinism.' Moreover, support for populist-right parties increase when the degree of labor market regulations and welfare spending is high. Our results are robust to alternative data, sample and estimation techniques.
    Keywords: Refugee flows, welfare state, and populist-right.
    JEL: F22 H24 H41
    Date: 2017–09–20
  4. By: Kessler, Anke; Milligan, Kevin
    Abstract: This paper studies the influence of cultural norms on economic outcomes. We combine detailed information on second-generation female immigrants with historical data from their ancestral source country to see how the cultural endowment received from their fathers affects current decisions. Our results show that education plays a critical role in cultural transmission: lower-educated women exhibit a strong influence of cultural variables while higher-educated women show no influence at all.
    JEL: J16 J22 J61
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Álvaro Pina (OECD)
    Abstract: Luxembourg’s large foreign-born population is a pillar of the country’s prosperity: they have brought skills and knowledge to many sectors of the economy. They also tend to successfully find jobs, with a higher employment rate than natives. However, not all immigrants have done well. The minority from non-EU origin (about 10% of the country’s population) suffers from high unemployment, large gender gaps in activity and below-average incomes. Refugees are particularly vulnerable. Other integration shortcomings go beyond disadvantaged minorities. Pervasive labour market segmentation is well illustrated by the marked under-representation of the foreign-born in public sector jobs. Political participation of immigrants at local level is modest. At school, their children are often put at a disadvantage by an education system which tends to perpetuate socio-economic inequality. The diversity of Luxembourg’s society contributed by immigrants should be seen as an asset for economic growth and well-being. Initiatives such as the diversity charter can help private and public organisations to reap the benefit of diversity through the inclusion of outsiders and the strengthening of social cohesion. Learning the languages of Luxembourg, developing social capital and having foreign qualifications validated are key preconditions for successful integration. Education requires both general equity-enhancing reforms, starting at early childhood, and targeted support to disadvantaged students, including upgraded vocational studies. Furthermore, job matching and social cohesion would benefit from greater immigrant participation in public sector employment and civic life. Avoiding that asylum seekers undergo protracted inactivity is also a concern. This Working Paper relates to the 2017 OECD Economic Survey of Luxembourg ( y-luxembourg.htm).
    Keywords: asylum seekers, early childhood education and care, equity in education, labour market segmentation, public employment, school tracking
    JEL: H52 I24 I28 J15 J45 J48 J61
    Date: 2017–10–11
  6. By: Axel Dreher; Martin Gassebner; Paul Schaudt
    Abstract: We analyze the causal effect of the stock of foreigners residing in a country on the probability of a terrorist attack in that country. Our instrument for the stock of foreigners relies on the interactions of two sets of variables. Variation across host-origin-dyads results from structural characteristics between the country of origin and the host, while variation over time makes use of changes in push and pull factors between host and origin countries resulting from natural disasters. Using data for 20 OECD host countries and 183 countries of origin over the 1980- 2010 period we show that the probability of a terrorist attack increases with a larger number of foreigners living in a country. However, this scale effect is not larger than the effect domestic populations have on domestic terror. We find scarce evidence that terror is systematically imported from countries with large Muslim populations or countries where terror prevails. Policies that exclude foreigners already living in a country increase rather than reduce the risk that foreign populations turn violent, and so do terrorist attacks against foreigners in their host country. High skilled migrants are associated with a significantly lower risk of terror compared to low skilled ones, while there is no significant difference between male and female migrants.
    Keywords: terrorism, migration, migration policy
    JEL: D74 F22 F52 P48
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Constant, Amelie F.
    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: I00 I10 I12 I14 I18 J00 F22 J11 J14 J15 J24 J61 O15
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Su, Yaqin (Hunan University); Tesfazion, Petros (Central College); Zhao, Zhong (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: Using a representative sample of rural migrants in cities, this paper investigates where the migrants in urban China come from, paying close attention to intra-provincial vs. inter-provincial migrants, and examining the differences in their personal attributes. We find that migrants who have come within the province differ significantly from those who have come from outside of the province. Using a nested logit model, we find that overall, higher wage differentials, larger population size, higher GDP per capita, and faster employment growth rate are the attributes of a city that attract migrants from both within and outside province. In addition, moving beyond one's home province has a strong deterrent effect on migration, analogous to the "border effect" identified in international migration studies. We also explore the role of culture, institutional barrier, and dialect in explaining such a pronounced "border effect".
    Keywords: rural-urban migration, inter- vs. intra-provincial migration, border effect, China
    JEL: J62 O15
    Date: 2017–09
  9. By: Lionel Ragot; Michel Beine; Marco Delogu
    Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of international students' mobility at the university level, focusing specifically on the role of tuition fees. We derive a gravity model from a Random Utility Maximization model of location choice for international students in the presence of capacity constraints of the hosting institutions. The last layer of the model is estimated using new data on student migration flows at the university level for Italy. We control for the potential endogeneity of tuition fees through a classical IV approach based on the status of the university. We obtain evidence for a clear and negative effect of fees on international student mobility and confirm the positive impact of the quality of the education. The estimations also support the important role of additional destination-specific variables such as host capacity, the expected return of education and the cost of living in the vicinity of the university.
    Keywords: Foreign students; Tuition fees; Location choice; University Quality.
    JEL: F22 H52 I23 O15
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Chen, Yuanyuan (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics); Wang, Le (University of Oklahoma); Zhang, Min (East China Normal University)
    Abstract: The use of informal job search method is prevalent in many countries. There is, however, no consensus in the literature on whether it actually matters for wages, and if it does, what are the underlying mechanisms. We empirically examine these issues specifically for rural migrants in urban China, a country where one of the largest domestic migration in human history has occurred over the past decades. We find that there exists a significant wage penalty for those migrant workers who have conducted their search through informal channels, despite their popularity. Our further analysis suggests two potential reasons for the wage penalty: 1) the informal job search sends a negative signal (of workers' inability to successfully find a job in a competitive market) to potential employers, resulting in lower wages; and 2) there exists a trade-off between wages and search efficiency for quicker entry into local labor market. We also find some evidence that the informal job search may lead to low-skilled jobs with lower wages. We do not find strong evidence supporting alternative explanations.
    Keywords: social network, rural-urban migrants, wage, search friction, information asymmetry, chinese economy
    JEL: J31 J64 P2 P5
    Date: 2017–09
  11. By: Tavassoli, Sam (RMIT University); Trippl, Michaela (University of Vienna)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to provide novel insights into the effects of ethnic communities on immigrants’ entrepreneurial activities. We investigate to what extent the decision of an employed immigrant to become an entrepreneur is associated with his or her embeddedness in ethnic networks in the host region. We capture such embeddedness through various mechanisms. Using longitudinal registered-data from Sweden and employing a Logit model, we find that merely being located in an ethnic community does not have an influence on immigrant entrepreneurship; rather what matters is being located in ethnic communities that have a high share of entrepreneurs themselves.
    Keywords: Immigrants; entrepreneurship; ethnic communities; embeddedness; social capital
    JEL: D83 J61 M13
    Date: 2017–10–12
  12. By: Massimo Anelli; Kevin Shih; Kevin Williams
    Abstract: Since the 1980s the United States has faced growing disinterest and high attrition from STEM majors. Over the same period, foreign-born enrollment in U.S. higher education has increased steadily. This paper examines whether foreign-born peers affect the likelihood American college students graduate with a STEM major. Using administrative student records from a large public university in California, we exploit idiosyncratic variation in the share of foreign peers across introductory math courses taught by the same professor over time. Results indicate that a 1 standard deviation increase in foreign peers reduces the likelihood native-born students graduate with STEM majors by 3 percentage points–equivalent to 3.7 native students displaced for 9 additional foreign students in an average course. STEM displacement is offset by an increased likelihood of choosing Social Science majors. However, the earnings prospects of displaced students are minimally affected as they appear to be choosing Social Science majors with equally high earning power. We demonstrate that comparative advantage and linguistic dissonance may operate as underlying mechanisms.
    Keywords: immigration, peer effects, higher education, college major, STEM
    JEL: I21 I23 I28 J21 J24
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Kürschner, Kathleen
    Abstract: This paper exploits the natural experiment provided by the unexpected disintegration of socialist East Germany to study the impact that immigration has on residential housing rents in recipient regions. Using a spatial correlation approach, annual district-level migration data and rental price indicators, we find strong evidence for a positive and sizeable effect of immigration on housing rents. An exploration of exogenous origin-region push factors yields IV estimates of even larger magnitude.
    JEL: J61 R21 R23 R31
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Anna Maria Mayda; Francesc Ortega; Giovanni Peri; Kevin Shih; Chad Sparber
    Abstract: The H-1B program allows skilled foreign-born individuals to work in the United States. The annual quota on new H-1B visa issuances fell from 195,000 to 65,000 for employees of most firms in fiscal year 2004. However, this cap did not apply to new employees of colleges, universities, and non-profit research institutions. Additionally, existing H-1B holders seeking to renew their visa were also exempt from the quota. Using a triple difference approach, this paper demonstrates that cap restrictions significantly reduced the employment of new H-1B workers in for-profit firms relative to what would have occurred in an unconstrained environment. Employment of similar native workers in for profit firms did not change, however, consistently with a low degree of substitutability between H1B and native workers. The restriction also redistributed H-1Bs toward computer-related occupations, Indian-born workers, and firms using the H-1B program intensively.
    JEL: F22 J61 O33 R10
    Date: 2017–10
  15. By: Gazeley, Ian (University of Sussex); Holmes, Rose (University of Sussex); Newell, Andrew T. (University of Sussex); Reynolds, Kevin (University of Sussex); Gutierrez Rufrancos, Hector (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: We estimate calories available to workers' households in the USA, Belgium, Britain, France and Germany in 1890/1. We employ data from the United States Commissioner of Labor survey (see Haines, 1979) of workers in key export industries. We estimate that households in the USA, on average, had about five hundred daily calories per equivalent adult more than their French and German counterparts, with Belgian and British workers closer to the USA levels. We ask if that energy bonus gave the US workers more energy for work, and we conclude that, if stature is taken into account, workers in the US and UK probably had roughly the same level energy available for work, whereas the German and French workers most likely had significantly less. Finally we ask economic migration leads to taller children. To answer that we estimate the influence of children on calorie availability among ethnically British workers in the USA and, separately, among British workers in Britain. We find that US-based British households are at least as generous in terms of the provision of calories to their children as their Britain-based counterparts. Other things equal, this means that US-based British children would grow taller.
    Keywords: living standards, nutrition, international comparisons, migration
    JEL: J11 J61 N30
    Date: 2017–09
  16. By: Jansson, Olle (Department of Economic History, Uppsala University)
    Abstract: The role and importance of employee organizations (i.e., unions) on policies concerning international migration have been studied extensively for decades. However, we know very little about the strategies of the organized interests of health care professionals. This paper will contribute to previous research, both internationally and in the Swedish context, on issues concerning the (re-)action of professional organizations towards migration reforms that might endanger the profession's control over their segment of the labor market. Through a study of the associations representing the two largest licensed health care professions in Sweden – physicians and nurses – the study investigates if, and how, they try to limit the competition in the labor market against reforms that are promoting increased mobility and international migration. The conclusions are mixed, suggesting that the long-term goals of professional associations are more important than strategies that might reduce the competition of foreign-educated practitioners in the short run.
    Keywords: international migration; regulated occupations; physicians; nurses; professionalism; migration policy; Sweden
    JEL: J44 J48 J51 J61
    Date: 2017–09–20
  17. By: Kaiser, Micha; Bauer, Jan M.
    Abstract: Because the value of preschool child care is under intensive debate among both policymakers and society in general, this paper analyzes the relation between preschool care and the well-being of children and adolescents in Germany. It also examines differences in outcomes based on child socioeconomic background by focusing on the heterogeneous effects for migrant children. Our findings, based on data from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey of Children and Adolescents, suggest that children who have experienced child care have a slightly lower well-being overall. For migrant children, however, the outcomes indicate a positive relation.
    Keywords: child care,migrants,preschool,well-being,education inequality
    JEL: J13 J15 I28
    Date: 2017

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