nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒01‒08
eleven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Mobility Assistance Programmes for Unemployed Workers, Job Search Behaviour and Labour Market Outcomes By Caliendo, Marco; Künn, Steffen; Mahlstedt, Robert
  2. Is Occupational Licensing a Barrier to Interstate Migration? By Janna E. Johnson; Morris M. Kleiner
  3. Linguistic distance, networks and migrants' regional location choice By Bredtmann, Julia; Nowotny, Klaus; Otten, Sebastian
  4. Female Genital Mutilation And Migration In Mali. Do Migrants Transfer Social Norms? By Idrissa Diabate; Sandrine Mesplé-Somps
  5. Do Emigrants Self-Select Along Cultural Traits? Evidence from the MENA Countries By Frédéric Docquier; Aysit Tansel; Riccardo Turati
  6. Older People in Sweden Without Means: On the Importance of Age at Immigration for Being 'Twice Poor' By Gustafsson, Björn Anders; Mac Innes, Hanna; Österberg, Torun
  7. Skill Mismatch and Migration in Egypt and Tunisia By Anda Mariana David; Christophe Jalil Nordman
  8. Following the Poppy Trail: Causes and Consequences of Mexican Drug Cartels By Tomás E. Murphy; Martín Rossi
  9. Local integration as a durable solution? The case of Rwandan refugees in Uganda By Ahimbisibwe, Frank; Ingelaere, Bert; Vancluysen, Sarah
  10. Refugees and the Future World: Fuelling conflict of Ethnicities? By Md. Rajin Makhdum Khan; Faizah Imam
  11. Financing Education Abroad: A Developing Country Perspective By Gega Todua

  1. By: Caliendo, Marco (University of Potsdam); Künn, Steffen (Maastricht University); Mahlstedt, Robert (University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: The appealing idea of geographically relocating unemployed job seekers from depressed to prosperous regions and hence reducing unemployment leads to industrialised countries offering financial support to unemployed job seekers when searching for and/or accepting jobs in distant regions. In this paper, we investigate the impact of the existence of these mobility assistance programmes (MAPs) on the job search behaviour of unemployed workers and how this affects their labour market outcomes. While job search theory predicts a shift in individuals' search effort from local to distant labour markets, consequences for other dimensions of the search behaviour, e.g. reservation wages or the overall search effort, and job-finding probabilities remain theoretically ambiguous. We use survey data on German unemployed job seekers and apply an instrumental variable approach to empirically identify the causal impact of an increased search radius, due to the availability of MAPs, on job search strategies and subsequent labour market outcomes. The results show that the existence of MAPs shifts individuals' search effort from local to distant regions without affecting the total number of job applications. The increase in search radius causes a higher geographical mobility and hence higher employment probabilities and wages.
    Keywords: job search, active labour market policy, labour market mobility, instrumental variable approach
    JEL: J61 J68 D04 C21
    Date: 2017–11
  2. By: Janna E. Johnson; Morris M. Kleiner
    Abstract: Occupational licensure, one of the most significant labor market regulations in the United States, may restrict the interstate movement of workers. We analyze the interstate migration of 22 licensed occupations. Using an empirical strategy that controls for unobservable characteristics that drive long-distance moves, we find that the between-state migration rate for individuals in occupations with state-specific licensing exam requirements is 36 percent lower relative to members of other occupations. Members of licensed occupations with national licensing exams show no evidence of limited interstate migration. The size of this effect varies across occupations and appears to be tied to the state specificity of licensing requirements. We also provide evidence that the adoption of reciprocity agreements, which lower re-licensure costs, increases the interstate migration rate of lawyers. Based on our results, we estimate that the rise in occupational licensing can explain part of the documented decline in interstate migration and job transitions in the United States.
    JEL: H7 J01 J08 J1 J11 J18 J24 J44 J58 J6 J8 K0 K2 K31 L38 L51 L98
    Date: 2017–12
  3. By: Bredtmann, Julia; Nowotny, Klaus; Otten, Sebastian
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the interaction between migrant networks and linguistic distance in the location choice of migrants to the EU at the regional level. We test the hypothesis that networks and the ability to communicate in the host country language, proxied by linguistic distance, are substitutes in the location decision. Based on individual level data from a special evaluation of the European Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) and a random utility maximization framework, we find that networks have a positive effect on the location decisions while the effect of linguistic distance is negative. We also find a strong positive interaction effect between the two factors: networks are more important the larger the linguistic distance between the home country and the host region, and the negative effect of linguistic distance is smaller the larger the network size. In several extensions and robustness checks, we show that this substitutable relationship is extremely robust.
    Keywords: Location choice,ethnic networks,linguistic distance,EU migration,multilateral resistance
    JEL: F22 J61 R23
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Idrissa Diabate (Autre - non renseigné); Sandrine Mesplé-Somps (LEDa - Université Paris Dauphine (Paris 9))
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate how powerful a mechanism migration is in the transmission of socialnorms, taking Mali and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a case study. Mali has a strong FGMculture and a long-standing history of migration. We use an original household-level database coupledwith census data to analyze the extent to which girls living in villages with high rates of returnmigrants are less prone to FGM. Malians migrate predominantly to other African countries wherefemale circumcision is uncommon (e.g. Côte d’Ivoire) and to countries where FGM is totally banned(France and other developed countries) and where anti-FGM information campaigns frequently targetAfrican migrants. Taking a two-step instrumental variable approach to control for the endogeneity ofmigration decisions, we show that return migrants have a negative and significant influence on FGM.We also show that adults living in villages with return migrants are more in favor of legislation againstFGM.
    Abstract: Dans cet article, nous examinons dans quelle mesure la migration est un vecteur de transferts denormes sociales en étudiant le lien entre migration et excision au Mali. Alors que l’excision estfortement répandue au Mali, ce pays a une forte tradition migratoire vers les pays limitrophes et lespays du Nord où l’excision est soit moins pratiquée soit sanctionnée par la loi. Nous testonsl’hypothèse que les migrants acquièrent des opinions différentes en la matière dans les pays d’accueiloù l’excision est moins fréquente voire interdite et qu’une fois de retour ils induisent un changementde comportement dans leurs villages d’origine. Nous mobilisons une base originale de données surl’excision des filles de 0 à 14 ans couplée avec des données de recensement qui permettent de mesurerles taux de migration (courante et de retour) des villages de résidence des personnes interrogées etmettons en oeuvre une méthode instrumentale pour contrôler de l’endogénéité de la migration. Nousmontrons que les migrants de retour ont effectivement une influence négative et significative sur lerisque d’excision et que ce résultat provient essentiellement des migrants de Côte d’Ivoire. Nousmontrons également que les adultes vivant dans les villages avec des migrants de retour sont plus enfaveur de la législation contre les mutilations génitales.
    Keywords: social transfers,migration,Female Genital Excision,Mali,Excision,transferts sociaux
    Date: 2017–10–16
  5. By: Frédéric Docquier; Aysit Tansel; Riccardo Turati
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates whether emigrants from MENA countries self-select on cultural traits such as religiosity and gender-egalitarian attitudes. To do so, we use Gallup World Poll data on individual opinions and beliefs, migration aspirations, short-run migration plans, and preferred destination choices. We find that individuals who intend to emigrate to OECD, high-income countries exhibit significantly lower levels of religiosity than the rest of the population. They also share more gender-egalitarian views, although the effect only holds among the young (aged 15 to 30), among single women, and in countries with a Sunni minority. For countries mostly affected by Arab Spring, since 2011 the degree of cultural selection has decreased. Nevertheless, the aggregate effects of cultural selection should not be overestimated. Overall, self-selection along cultural traits has limited (albeit non negligible) effects on the average characteristics of the population left behind, and on the cultural distance between natives and immigrants in the OECD countries.
    Keywords: international migration, self-selection, cultural traits, gender-egalitarian attitudes, religiosity, MENA region
    JEL: F22 O15 J61 Z10
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Gustafsson, Björn Anders (University of Gothenburg); Mac Innes, Hanna (University of Gothenburg); Österberg, Torun (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: This paper examines immigrant poverty at an older age in Sweden with an emphasis on late-in-life immigrants. We analyse tax data for the entire Swedish-born and non-Swedish-born population. The poverty status of a household is assessed using two criteria. First, the disposable income of the household in which the person lived in 2007 must be below 60 per cent of the median equivalent in-come in Sweden as a whole. Second, to be classified as 'twice poor' a household net assets must be below SEK 10,000. The results indicate that three out of four Swedish-born older persons were not classified as poor by either of the criteria, and only one per cent by both criteria. In contrast, among older persons born in low-income countries almost three out of four were classified as poor according to one of the criteria and not fewer than one in three according to both. Results of estimating logistic models indicate that the risk of being considered poor according to both criteria is strongly positively related to one's age at immigration. Our results indicate that it is crucial that migrants, particularly those who arrive after age 40, be better integrated into the Swedish labour market. To alleviate pov-erty among those migrants who are already of older age, increased transfers are probably the only possible alternative.
    Keywords: older people, poverty, immigrants, Sweden
    JEL: I32 J14 J15
    Date: 2017–11
  7. By: Anda Mariana David (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine); Christophe Jalil Nordman (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to shed light on the issue of skill mismatch in the context of return migration in Egypt and Tunisia. Using data on both return and potential migrants in Egypt and Tunisia, we analyze the skills that migrants acquire before and during migration and the way these skills are used upon return. We find evidence of skill mismatch, especially in Tunisia. The undereducation phenomenon is more prevalent among return migrants, indicating that they make up for their lower education using their migration experience. Finally, we estimate the determinants of skill mismatch on the Egyptian and Tunisian labour markets and find a significant negative effect of return migration on the probability of being undereducated.
    Abstract: L'objectif de cet article est d’apporter un éclairage sur la question de l'inadéquation des qualifications dans le cadre de la migration de retour en Egypte et en Tunisie. En utilisant à la fois des données sur les migrants de retour et sur les migrants potentiels en Egypte et en Tunisie, nous analysons les qualifications que les migrants acquièrent avant et pendant la période de migration et la façon dont ces compétences sont utilisées à leur retour. Nos résultats confirment l’existence d’un fort degré d'inadéquation des qualifications, en particulier en Tunisie. Le phénomène de la sous-éducation est plus présent pour les migrants de retour, indiquant qu'ils compensent leur faible niveau d'éducation en utilisant leur expérience migratoire. Enfin, nous examinons les déterminants de l'inadéquation des qualifications sur les marchés du travail égyptien et tunisien et trouvons en effet une corrélation négative et significative de la migration de retour sur la probabilité d'être sous-éduqué.
    Keywords: Tunisia,Egypt,labor market,skill mismatch,Return migration,Migration de retour,inadéquation des qualifications,marché du travail,éducation,Tunisie,Egypte
    Date: 2017–10–19
  8. By: Tomás E. Murphy (Università Bocconi); Martín Rossi (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)
    Abstract: We study the historical origins and consequences of Mexican cartels. We first trace the location of current cartels to the location of Chinese migration at the beginning of the XX century, and document that both events are strongly connected. We then use Chinese presence in 1930 as an instrument for cartel presence today. We find a positive link between cartel presence and good socioeconomic outcomes, such as lower marginalization rates, lower illiteracy rates, higher salaries, and better public services. We also report that municipalities with cartel presence have higher tax revenues and more political competition. Given that Chinese immigration at the end of the century was driven by elements largely exogenous to the drug trade, the link between cartel presence and good socioeconomic outcomes can be interpreted in a causal way. Previous research has shown that the presence of organized crime is associated with bad outcomes at the macro level (Pinotti, 2015) and has deep effects at individual level, making children more likely to be criminals in adulthood (Sviatschi, 2017a; 2017b). Our paper reconciles this previous literature with the fact that drug lords, the leaders of this particular form of organized crime, have great support in the local communities in which they operate.
    Keywords: drug trade, Chinese migration, Mexico, illegal markets, organized crime
    JEL: N36 O15
    Date: 2017–12
  9. By: Ahimbisibwe, Frank; Ingelaere, Bert; Vancluysen, Sarah
    Abstract: Despite multiple attempts over the last 15 years, Uganda has been unable to find a durable solution for a group of approximately 17,000 Rwandan refugees living on its soil. The cessation of their refugee status has been repeatedly postponed and is about to come into effect at the end of December 2017. If invoked, Rwandan refugees will become illegal immigrants under Ugandan law and can face deportation. This paper argues instead that a policy facilitating local integration in the host country, even if not perfect, offers the best outlook for many Rwandan refugees currently residing in Uganda. In addition, taking into account the voices of these Rwandan refugees themselves, the paper analyses which obstacles still need to be overcome before local integration can be a real durable solution. Two suggestions are made. First, it is needed to move towards a situation of inclusive development for both refugee and host populations in order to guarantee socio-economic integration and avoid potential xenophobia and resentment. Second, Uganda’s conflicting laws need to be addressed in order for refugees to acquire citizenship, an essential dimension of local integration as a durable solution.
    Keywords: Rwanda; Uganda; refugees
    Date: 2017–12
  10. By: Md. Rajin Makhdum Khan (Bangladesh University of Professionals); Faizah Imam (Bangladesh University of Professionals)
    Abstract: This dissertation focuses on identifying the nature of the future world in respect to the advent of extended number of refugees. Refugee migration and crisis in outside the original countries owing to a deluge of refugees is an important phenomenon happening throughout the world currently. With the case study analysis of current refugee migration events in Asia, Middle East, Africa and the Americas, the paper tries to find out the future nature of the smallest unit of analysis for a long time – nation state. All features of economic, religious, ethnic and cultural aspects taking into account, the core argument centers around whether the influx of refugees into outer or neighbor countries is increasing the possibility of ethnic conflict throughout the world making the future world a world full of feuds and conflicts. The dissertation also tries to find out the true aspects of Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations theory and if the theory is going to be signified in a future world full of feuds and conflicts. With historical and contemporary analysis of the various cases of refugee influx, the paper also tries to measure the economic consequences of refugee migration and influx. Do globalization and liberal economies tend to survive or does the refugee influx prevent cooperation among ethnicities and states? The dissertation also attempts to find out whether refugee crisis would instigate ethnic nationalism and if the neoliberal world order would fall apart owing to the problems originated by huge refugee influx and migration.
    Keywords: Refugees, Influx, Ethnicity, Migration, Conflict, Nations, Clash
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Gega Todua
    Abstract: Developing countries intensively promote education abroad through financial aid policies. While some financially support students with scholarships, other countries prefer to provide loans. This paper provides a novel data-set containing characteristics of world-wide government-funded scholarship and loan programs supporting education abroad. The data allows us to identify unique stylized facts on these financing policies for middle and low income countries. We find that scholarship programs more frequently select students based on merit criteria, target graduate and postgraduate study level, and require recipients to return after studies than loan programs do. We build a two-country student migration model with government intervention to qualitatively account for the observed patterns. In our model, government intervention is justified for two reasons. First, students from a developing country are financially constrained and cannot afford education abroad. Second, the government values the productivity of ”returnees” higher than the market does. We argue that when students are uncertain about their future productivity and may fail at their studies, scholarship programs can insure them against potential default. Consequently, if students differ in their expected ability, under certain conditions a government with a tight budget will prioritize ex-ante high-ability students and support them with scholarships with the return requirement, and support ex-ante low-ability students with loans without the return requirement.
    Keywords: student migration; international migration; higher education policy; social welfare
    JEL: F22 H52 O15
    Date: 2017–12

This nep-mig issue is ©2018 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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