nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒03‒19
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The integration of migrants in OECD regions: A first assessment By Marcos Diaz Ramirez; Thomas Liebig; Cécile Thoreau; Paolo Veneri
  2. Are asylum seekers more likely to work with more inclusive labor market access regulations? By Michaela Slotwinski; Alois Stutzer; Roman Uhlig
  3. Risk and Refugee Migration By Géraldine Bocquého; Marc Deschamps; Jenny Helstroffer; Majlinda Joxhe
  4. Social Diversity and Bridging Identity By Maria D. C. Garcia­Alonso; Zaki Wahhaj
  5. Internal Immigrant Mobility in the Early 20th Century: Experimental Evidence from Galveston Immigrants By Aaronson, Daniel; Davis, Jonathan; Schulze, Karl
  6. Intention to Migrate Among International Muslim Students in Malaysia By Bik Kai Sia
  7. Return or Not Return? The Role of Home-Country Institutional Quality in Vietnamese Migrants’ Return Intentions By Ngoc Thi Minh Tran; Michael P. Cameron; Jacques Poot
  8. Migration and Servicification: Do Immigrant Employees Spur Firm Exports of Services? By Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas; Lodefalk, Magnus
  9. Return migration and socioeconomic mobility in MENA: Evidence from labour market panel surveys By Vladimir Hlasny; Shireen AlAzzawi
  10. The effect of Hukou registration policy on rural-to-urban migrants’ health By Marta Bengoa; Christopher Rick
  11. Inflated Expectations: More Immigrants Can’t Solve Canada’s Aging Problem on Their Own By William B.P. Robson; Parisa Mahboubi
  12. Segregation in Urban Areas: A Literature Review By Demetry, Marcos
  13. Anti-Migration as a Threat to Internationalization? By Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas; Lodefalk, Magnus
  14. Immigration and the Future of the Welfare State in Europe By Alberto Alesina; Johann Harnoss; Hillel Rapoport

  1. By: Marcos Diaz Ramirez (OECD); Thomas Liebig (OECD); Cécile Thoreau; Paolo Veneri (OECD)
    Abstract: This paper provides an assessment of the presence of migrants, their characteristics and integration outcomes across OECD regions, based on a new OECD database on immigrant integration at the regional level. It reveals the wide diversity of the presence of migrants within countries, as well as the specific patterns observed in the way migrants locate and integrate in society across regions. For example, migrants tend to be more spatially concentrated in capital-city and metropolitan regions than the native-born population. What is more, highly-educated migrants are more likely to locate in the same regions where the highly-educated natives concentrate, a trend that is not observed for the low-educated foreign-born. Integration outcomes of migrants, relative to the native-born, are measured through a variety of labour market and housing indicators. The paper also provides preliminary findings on public attitudes towards migrants across regions, which suggest that attitudes tend to be more positive in regions with larger shares of foreign-born population.
    Keywords: Integration, Migration, Regions
    JEL: F22 R10
    Date: 2018–03–14
  2. By: Michaela Slotwinski; Alois Stutzer; Roman Uhlig (University of Basel)
    Abstract: In the face of recent refugee migration, early integration of asylum seekers into the labormarket has been proposed as an important mechanism for easing their economic and social lotin the short as well as in the long term. However, little is known about the policies that fosteror hamper their participation in the labor market, in particular during the important initialperiod of their stay in the host country. In order to evaluate whether inclusive labor marketpolicies increase the labor market participation of asylum seekers, we exploit the variation inasylum policies in Swiss cantons to which asylum seekers are randomly allocated. During ourstudy period from 2011 to 2014, the employment rate among asylum seekers varied between 0% and 30.2% across cantons. Our results indicate that labor market access regulations areresponsible for a substantial proportion of these di erences, in which an inclusive regimeincreases participation by 11 percentage points. The marginal e ects are larger for asylumseekers who speak a language that is linguistically close to the one in their host canton.
    Keywords: Asylum policy, asylum seekers, economic integration, employment ban, labor market access regulation
    JEL: F22 J61 J15
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Géraldine Bocquého (Université de Lorraine, AgroParisTech-INRA, BETA); Marc Deschamps (Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, CRESE); Jenny Helstroffer (University of Lorraine, CNRS, BETA); Majlinda Joxhe (CREA, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: This paper uses the experimental setup of Tanaka et al. (2010) to measure refugees’ risk preferences. A sample of 206 asylum seekers was interviewed in 2017-18 in Luxembourg. Contrary to studies which focus on risk aversion in general, we analyze its components using a cumulative prospect theory (CPT) framework. We show that refugees exhibit particularly low levels of risk aversion compared to other populations and that CPT provides a better fit for modelling risk attitudes. Moreover, we include randomised temporary treatments provoking emotions and find a small significant impact on probability distortion. Robustness of the Tanaka et al. (2010) experimental framework is confirmed by including treatments regarding the embedding effect. Finally, we propose a theoretical model of refugee migration that integrates the insights from our experimental outcomes regarding the functional form of refugees’ decision under risk and the estimated parameter values. The model is then simulated using the data from our study.
    Keywords: "Refugee migration, risk preferences, experimental economics, cumulative prospect theory, psychological priming "
    JEL: C93 D74 D81 D91 F22
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Maria D. C. Garcia­Alonso; Zaki Wahhaj
    Abstract: We investigate within a model of cultural transmission the conditions under which increased social diversity within a population - e.g. due to the inflow of immigrants - raise the potential for conflict as opposed to harmonious social diversity. Drawing on evidence from psychological studies, we develop the concept of 'bridging identity', an individual trait that (i) directly affects utility in culturally diverse social groups but is immaterial in culturally homogeneous social groups; (ii) is fostered (probabilistically) in those born in culturally diverse social groups but not in those born in culturally homogeneous social groups. We find first, increased cultural diversity within a population can lead to more mixed social groups or increased segregation depending on the paceof change. This is in contrast to Schelling's models of residential segregation which would always predict increased segregation. Furthermore, a temporary negative shock to bridging identity can trigger a dynamic process of segregation in the form of outmigration from culturally diverse social groups. But, paradoxically, if the shock is severe enough, its effects are mitigated.
    JEL: D10 J13 J15 A14 Z1
    Date: 2018–02
  5. By: Aaronson, Daniel (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Davis, Jonathan (University of Chicago); Schulze, Karl (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: Between 1907 and 1914, the “Galveston Movement,” a philanthropic effort spearheaded by Jacob Schiff, fostered the immigration of approximately 10,000 Russian Jews through the Port of Galveston, Texas. Upon arrival, households were given train tickets to pre-selected locations west of the Mississippi River where a job awaited. Despite the program’s stated purpose to locate new Russian Jewish immigrants to the Western part of the U.S., we find that almost 90 percent of the prime age male participants ultimately moved east of the Mississippi, typically to large Northeastern and Midwestern cities. We use a standard framework for modeling location decisions to show destination assignments made cities more desirable, but this effect was overwhelmed by the attraction of religious and country of origin enclaves. By contrast, there is no economically or statistically significant effect of a place having a larger base of immigrants from other areas of the world and economic conditions appear to be of secondary importance, especially for participants near the bottom of the skill distribution. Our paper also introduces two novel adjustments for matching historical data – using an objective measure of match quality to fine tune our match scores and a deferred acceptance algorithm to avoid multiple matching.
    Keywords: Immigrants; Moving to Opportunity (MTO)
    JEL: J1 J6 J61
    Date: 2018–02–28
  6. By: Bik Kai Sia (Faculty of Accountancy and Management, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia Author-2-Name: Hirofumi Okai Author-2-Workplace-Name: Faculty of Human Sciences, Waseda University, Japan Author-3-Name: Sor Tho Ng Author-3-Workplace-Name: Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Malaysia Author-4-Name: Hirofumi Tanada Author-4-Workplace-Name: Faculty of Human Sciences, Waseda University, Japan Author-5-Name: Nai Peng Tey Author-5-Workplace-Name: Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Malaysia)
    Abstract: Objective – The primary objective of this study is to examine the association of the push-pull factors, perceived job prospects for students following graduation, religious considerations, and adaptability of international students with their intention to migrate. Methodology/Technique – A total of 373 international students, enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate university programs in Malaysia, participated in the study. An online self-assessment and questionnaire was used to collect the results, using a series of questions and responses from the students. Findings – The empirical findings of the study reveal that the intentions of international students to migrate to Malaysia are mainly aroused by the Muslim environment in Malaysia, and other religious factors. On the other hand, economics and development were the primary considerations of international students intending to migrate elsewhere (excluding Malaysia). Novelty – Malaysia should continue to promote and market itseld more efficiently to international students, especially those from Asia and Africa, to position itseld as an "Educational Hub" (eduhub) within South-east Asia. In addition, international students' intentions to migrate were perceived to be closely connected to the actual numbers for future migration to Malaysia, and mobility of skilled labour; this may be identified as an area for further study.
    Keywords: Transnational Migration, Intention, Migrants, Push-pull, Student Mobility, Religion.
    JEL: A2 A29
    Date: 2017–12–22
  7. By: Ngoc Thi Minh Tran (University of Waikato); Michael P. Cameron (University of Waikato); Jacques Poot (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Previous research has shown that institutions matter in decisions regarding migration. This paper extends investigation of the role of institutional quality in migration to the return intentions of international migrants. Using data from a web-based survey that we conducted in OECD countries in 2016, we examine both micro-level and macro-level determinants of the intentions to repatriate among Vietnamese migrants. The results of our logistic regression analysis suggest that those migrants who attach greater importance to the institutional quality in Viet Nam are less likely to have the intention to return than other Vietnamese migrants. However, there is considerably heterogeneity by gender. The concern about institutional quality in Viet Nam is only statistically significant for males. Nonetheless, our findings underscore the necessity of institutional reforms in Viet Nam to encourage return migration for development.
    Keywords: institutional quality; international migration; return intentions; Viet Nam
    JEL: F22 O15
    Date: 2018–03–03
  8. By: Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas (The Ratio Institute); Lodefalk, Magnus (The Ratio Institute and Örebro University)
    Abstract: Many countries display remarkably high dependence on services for production and employment that is incommensurate with their level of services exports. One explanation is that trade in services is more sensitive to informal and behind-the-border trade barriers such as information friction and inadequate access to foreign networks. Immigrant employees may provide access to and appeal in foreign markets through their knowledge of—and contacts in—their former home countries. We develop a heterogeneous firm framework to guide our empirical analysis and draw on new employer-employee data for nearly 30,000 Swedish firms during the period 1998-2007. The results suggest that immigrant employees facilitate services exports. Hiring one additional foreign-born worker can increase services exports by approximately 2.5 percent, on average, with a stronger effect found for skilled and newly arrived immigrants.
    Keywords: Trade; firms; migration; services; networks
    JEL: D80 F10 F20
    Date: 2017–12–15
  9. By: Vladimir Hlasny; Shireen AlAzzawi
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of cross-border return migration on intertemporal and intergenerational transmission of socio-economic status across six new harmonized surveys from three Arab countries: Egypt (1998, 2006, 2012), Jordan (2010, 2016) and Tunisia (2014). We link individuals’ current outcomes to those in prior years and to their parents’ outcomes. We first isolate the outcomes of interest – income, employment status, household wealth based on both productive and non-productive assets, and residence status. Next, we evaluate individuals’ socioeconomic mobility over time and across generations as a function of their migration histories. Return migrants, current migrants, and (yet) non-migrants are distinguished. Transitions in individuals’ outcomes across years and generations are made functions of pre-existing socioeconomic status, demographics and migration status. Migration patterns are found to differ systematically between Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia, as well as across years. Migration destination is driven by economic, geographic but also historical considerations. Migrant flow from Egypt and Tunisia is highly concentrated, but that from Jordan is much more diffused, on account of job search methods and type of work sought. Egyptian migrants predominantly come from rural areas and disadvantaged governorates, and are less educated, while in Jordan the opposite is the case. Tunisia represents an intermediate case, with migrants slightly less educated but also less likely to be rural than non-migrants. Return migrants find employment in higher earning occupations and are more socially and inter-generationally mobile than non-migrants. However, they outperform non-migrants not only currently, but also in the previous occupation, occupation before previous, and eight years prior, suggesting that individual-level effects and demographics contribute more than migration experience per se. More research is needed to isolate the causal effects of migration spells on migrants’ lifetime outcomes.
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Marta Bengoa; Christopher Rick
    Abstract: Access to social services in China is connected to a system of household registration (Hukou system) determined by place of origin with difficult geographical transferability. As a consequence, a vast majority of rural-to-urban migrants do not have access to public health services in urban areas. This paper examines if restrictions on healthcare provisions—that are due to restrictions on migration and Hukou registration—are linked to poorer health for rural-to-urban migrants compared with non-migrant urban residents. We use data from two waves of the Longitudinal Survey on Rural Urban Migration in China that provide data on self-reported health and objectively measured health indicators – blood pressure and grip strength. Results indicate that even after accounting for migrant’s characteristics that have known impacts on health, such as income, education, sex, marital status, and being underweight, the effect of the Hukou restriction policy is large, significantly negative, and acts as a key predictor of why rural-to-urban migrants’ health deteriorates, especially during the early years since migration.
    Date: 2018
  11. By: William B.P. Robson (C.D. Howe Institute); Parisa Mahboubi (C.D. Howe Institute)
    Abstract: Higher immigration can ease, but not entirely mitigate, the impacts of demographic change on the workforce, according to a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Inflated Expectations: More Immigrants Can’t Solve Canada’s Aging Problem on Their Own” authors William B.P. Robson and Parisa Mahboubi encourage governments to adopt policies to complement immigration that are necessary for Canada to meet its demographic challenge.
    Keywords: Demographics and Immigration; Population Trends
    JEL: J11 J18
  12. By: Demetry, Marcos (The Ratio Institute)
    Abstract: This literature review outlines research on how individual preferences can lead to segregation, even in the absence of discriminatory policy and other constraints. From Schelling’s (1971) Spatial Proximity model comes the theoretical conclusion that moderate preferences for own-group neighbors (e.g. immigrants or natives) may lead to complete segregation between the two groups over time. Schelling’s Bounded Neighborhood model provides the theoretical conclusion that the stable equilibrium reached (e.g. an ‘all immigrant’ or ‘all native’ neighborhood) ultimately depends on the initial distribution of agents and their relative speeds of movement. This is because in the unstable, integrated, equilibrium an apparently insignificant event can set in motion an irreversible process toward segregation by tipping the distribution one way or another. Both models highlight how well-intentioned individual preferences may result in undesirable aggregate outcomes, whereby good intentions and some level tolerance toward others are not enough to prevent the self-segregation mechanism. The review also covers several key empirical applications and limitations in research in this field.
    Keywords: Neighborhoods; Segregation; Schelling model; Urban Area
    JEL: J15 O15 P25 R23
    Date: 2017–12–30
  13. By: Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas (The Ratio Institute); Lodefalk, Magnus (The Ratio Institute and Örebro University)
    Abstract: Do anti-migration sentiments threaten internationalization? One major argument of the pro-Brexit campaign in the UK was that Brexit would allow greater control over immigration. The most recent US presidential election also focused on the issue of immigration. Anti-migration sentiments could constitute a threat to internationalization considering that migrants can help lower costs associated with internationalization. Despite the vast literature on the migration-trade nexus and its important implications for policy, however, there are very few examples where governments and policymakers have highlighted the role of migration for trade and other aspects of internationalization. One explanation could be the lack of an accessible and comprehensive survey of the available theory and evidence on the nexus between migration and internationalization. This article intends to bridge this gap. We review and discuss over 100 published papers on the subject, from the pioneering country-level studies to the nascent firm-level studies that exploit employeremployee data. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to provide a wide-ranging review of both the different strands of theory related to the relationship between migration and internationalization, as well as early and new empirical results on this nexus. We find substantial support in the literature of an internationalization facilitating influence of migration. The evidence can be found in various settings, from individual small countries to groups of large countries, in both developed and less developed economies, and for regions and firms. Although the evidence suggests that migration can help to increase confidence and facilitate the flow of information between countries, which reduces the costs of—and improves the prospects for—internationalization, we also find substantial gaps and inconsistencies in the previous literature. More research is therefore needed. The theory is still incomplete and does not provide a coherent framework for explaining the interlinkages between migration and internationalization. Furthermore, a large part of the empirical literature has been based on aggregate data, which has stood in the way of robust evidence on the direction of causation and the main mechanisms at play. The nascent firm-level approach has the potential to bridge several of the existing knowledge gaps, but the research is still in its initial stages. Our aim is that this article will encourage future research, which will fill in the missing pieces. In addition, we hope the article can help policymakers formulate better policies for the promotion of internationalization.
    Keywords: Migration; networks; information; trade; foreign direct investment
    JEL: D20 D80 F14 F16 F22 F23 J61
    Date: 2017–12–22
  14. By: Alberto Alesina (Harvard University [Cambridge], IGIER); Johann Harnoss (UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne); Hillel Rapoport (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of immigration on attitudes to redistribution in Europe. Using data for 28 European countries from the European Social Survey, we .nd that native workers lower their support for redistribution if the share of immigration in their country is high. This effect is larger for individuals who hold negative views regarding immigration but is smaller when immigrants are culturally closer to natives and come from richer origin countries. The effect also varies with native workers’ and immigrants’ education. In particular, more educated natives (in terms of formal education but also job-specic human capital and ocupation task skill intensity) support more redistribution if immigrants are also relatively educated. To address endogeneity concerns, we restrict identification to within country and within country-occupation variation and also instrument immigration using a gravity model. Overall, our results show that the negative .First-order effect of immigration on attitudes to redistribution is relatively small and counterbalanced among skilled natives by positive second-order effects for the quality and diversity of immigration.
    Date: 2018–01

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