nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒04‒16
seventeen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Do emigrants self-select along cultural traits? Evidence from the MENA countries By Frédéric DOCQUIER; Aysit TANSEL; Riccardo TURATI
  2. The role of local voting rights for foreign citizens – a catalyst for integration? By Engdahl, Mattias; Lindgren, Karl-Oskar; Rosenqvist, Olof
  3. Sub-Saharan African Migration; Patterns and Spillovers By Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia; Ermal Hitaj; Montfort Mlachila; Arina Viseth; Mustafa Yenice
  4. Living Apart Together: The Economic Value of Ethnic Diversity in Cities By Jessie Bakens; Raymond Florax; Henri (H.L.F.) de Groot; Peter Mulder
  5. Optimal Education Policy and Human Capital Accumulation in the Context of Brain Drain By Slobodan DJAJIĆ; Frédéric DOCQUIER; S. Michael MICHAEL
  6. Birthplace Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US States in the Post-World War II Period By Frédéric DOCQUIER; Riccardo TURATI; Jérôme VALETTE; Chrysovalantis VASILAKIS
  7. Immigration and Electoral Support for the Far-Left and the Far-Right By Anthony Edo; Yvonne Giesing; Jonathan Öztunc; Panu Poutvaara
  8. Selective Immigration, Occupational Licensing, and Labour Market Outcomes of Foreign-Trained Migrants By Tani, Massimiliano
  9. Reforms That Keep You at Home: The Effects of Economic Transition on Migration By Guzi, Martin; Mikula, Stepan
  10. A woman's touch? Female migration and economic development in the United States By Viola von Berlepsch; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Neil Lee
  11. The Geography of Talent: Development Implications and Long-Run Prospects By Michal BURZYŃSKI; Christoph DEUSTER; Frédéric DOCQUIER
  12. Bi-Demographic Changes and Current Account using SVAR Modeling: Evidence from Saudi Economy By Hassan B. Ghassan; Hassan R. Al-Hajhoj; Faruk Balli
  13. Effects of Distance and Borders on International and Interregional Tourist Flows: A micro gravity analysis (Japanese) By MORIKAWA Masayuki
  14. International Migration in Russia: A Qualified Component By Florinskaya, Yulia; Mkrtchyan, Nikita
  15. Internal Migration in the United States: A Comparative Assessment of the Utility of the Consumer Credit Panel By DeWaard, Jack; Johnson, Janna; Whitaker, Stephan
  16. Impact of Migration on Income Levels in Advanced Economies By Florence Jaumotte; Ksenia Koloskova; Sweta Chaman Saxena
  17. Global Migration in the 20th and 21st Centuries: the Unstoppable Force of Demography By Thu Hien DAO; Frédéric DOCQUIER; Mathilde MAUREL; Pierre SCHAUS

  1. By: Frédéric DOCQUIER (Université Catholique de Louvain); Aysit TANSEL (Middle East Technical University (Turkey)); Riccardo TURATI (IRES - Université Catholique de Louvain)
    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: 2018–03
  2. By: Engdahl, Mattias (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Lindgren, Karl-Oskar (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Rosenqvist, Olof (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: We study the short- and long-term impact of local enfranchisement of foreign citizens born outside the EU on political integration outcomes. Local voting rights for foreigners were introduced in the Swedish electoral system in 1976. This right to vote is conditional on having spent at least three years in Sweden prior to the election. Until 1998 Swedish elections at all levels were held every three years; since then they have been held every four years. The wait time before the first opportunity to vote thus differs substantially for immigrants immigrating just before this cutoff date versus just after. Our analysis shows that immigrants whose timing of arrival makes them eligible to vote after slightly more than three years in the country are not more likely to naturalize or vote in later elections compared to immigrants whose timing of arrival means they must wait six or seven years to vote. The results suggest that earlier opportunities for political participation do not improve subsequent political integration of immigrants as measured by naturalization and voting.
    Keywords: Local election; voting rights; noncitizens; integration; naturalization; turnout;
    JEL: D02 D72 J15
    Date: 2018–04–06
  3. By: Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia; Ermal Hitaj; Montfort Mlachila; Arina Viseth; Mustafa Yenice
    Abstract: Amid rapid population growth, migration in sub-Saharan Africa has been increasing briskly over the last 20 years. Up to the 1990s, the stock of migrants—citizens of one country living in another country—was dominated by intraregional migration, but over the last 15 years, migration outside the region has picked up sharply. In the coming decades, sub-Saharan African migration will be shaped by an ongoing demographic transition involving an enlargement of the working-age population, and migration outside the region, in particular to advanced economies, is set to continue expanding. This note explores the main drivers of sub-Saharan African migration, focusing on migration outside the region, as this has greater global spillovers. It finds that the economic impact of migration for the region occurs mainly through two channels. First, the migration of young and educated workers—brain drain—takes a toll as human capital is already scarce in the region, although some recent studies suggest that migration may have also a positive effect—brain gain. Second, remittances represent an important source of foreign exchange and income in a number of sub-Saharan African countries, contribute to the alleviation of poverty, and help smooth business cycles.
    Keywords: Togo;Tanzania;Uganda;Swaziland;Spillovers;Sub-Saharan Africa;Rwanda;Senegal;Seychelles;Sierra Leone;South Africa;Niger;Income;Human capital;Kenya;Malawi;Mali;Lesotho;Liberia;Madagascar;Migration;Mauritius;Mozambique;Namibia;Nigeria;Central African Republic;Chad;Comoros;Benin;Botswana;Burkina Faso;Burundi;Cameroon;Guinea;Guinea-Bissau;Foreign exchange;Gabon;Gambia, The;Ghana;Equatorial Guinea;Eritrea;Ethiopia;Population growth;Remittances;Zambia;Zimbabwe;Congo, Democratic Republic of the;Congo, Republic of;Demographic transition;intraregional migration, extraregional migration, demographics, economic impact, brain drain, brain gain, working-age population, poverty, business cycles, migration patterns, refugees, displacement, poverty reduction, macroeconomic volatility
    Date: 2016–11–02
  4. By: Jessie Bakens (Maastricht University, The Netherlands); Raymond Florax (Purdue University, USA; Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Henri (H.L.F.) de Groot (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Peter Mulder (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: In consumer cities, the presence and location of immigrants impacts house prices through two channels, which both can be valued positively as well as negatively: (i) their presence and contribution to population diversity and (ii) the creation of immigrant-induced consumer amenities like those associated with ethnic restaurants in terms of both quantity as well as diversity. We hypothesize that these two mechanisms create a trade-off in which city dwellers want to live apart yet consume together. We derive a simple intra-city residential location model in which distance to immigrant amenities and the immigrant population in neighborhoods contribute to the explanation of differences in house prices. We use unique micro data of house prices and ethnic restaurants in the city of Amsterdam over the 1996-2011 period to estimate the trade-off between consumers' love for ethnic goods and its variety on the one hand, and ethnic residential composition on the other hand. Our results show the existence of a trade-off in which access to ethnic restaurants compensates for the negative effect of the presence of immigrants on house prices. Diversity of immigrant-induced amenities has an additional positive effect on house prices.
    Keywords: amenities; diversity; immigrants; hedonic pricing; propensity score matching
    JEL: D12 D62 J15 R10
    Date: 2018–03–23
  5. By: Slobodan DJAJIĆ (FERDI); Frédéric DOCQUIER (Université Catholique de Louvain); S. Michael MICHAEL (Departement of Economics - University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: This paper revisits the question of how brain drain affects the optimal education policy of a developing economy. Our framework of analysis highlights the complementarity between public spending on education and students’ efforts to acquire human capital in response to career opportunities at home and abroad. Given this complementarity, we .find that brain drain has conflicting effects on the optimal provision of public education. A positive response is called for when the international earning differential with destination countries is large, and when the emigration rate is relatively low. In contrast with the findings in the existing literature, our numerical experiments show that these required conditions are in fact present in a large number of developing countries; they are equivalent to those under which an increase in emigration induces a net brain gain. As a further contribution, we study the interaction between the optimal immigration policy of the host country and education policy of the source country in a game-theoretic framework.
    Keywords: migration of skilled workers, immigration policy, education policy
    JEL: F22 J24 O15
    Date: 2018–03
  6. By: Frédéric DOCQUIER (Université Catholique de Louvain); Riccardo TURATI (IRES - Université Catholique de Louvain); Jérôme VALETTE (CERDI Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS); Chrysovalantis VASILAKIS (FERDI)
    Abstract: This paper empirically revisits the impact of birthplace diversity on economic growth. We use panel data on US states over the 1960-2010 period. This rich data set allows us to better deal with endogeneity issues and to conduct a large set of robustness checks. Our results suggest that diversity among college-educated immigrants positively affects economic growth. We provide converging evidence pointing at the existence of skill complementarities between workers trained in different countries. These synergies result in better labor market outcomes for native workers and in higher productivity in the R&D sector. The gains from diversity are maximized when immigrants originate from economically or culturally distant countries (but not both), and when they acquired part of their secondary education abroad and their college education in the US. Overall, a 10% increase in high-skilled diversity raises GDP per capita by about 6%. On the contrary, low-skilled diversity has insignificant effects.
    Keywords: Immigration, Culture, Birthplace Diversity, growth
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2018–03
  7. By: Anthony Edo; Yvonne Giesing; Jonathan Öztunc; Panu Poutvaara
    Abstract: Immigration has become one of the most divisive political issues in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and several other Western countries. We estimate the impact of immigration on voting for far-left and far-right candidates in France, using panel data on presidential elections from 1988 to 2017. To derive causal estimates, we instrument more recent immigration flows by past settlement patterns in 1968. We find that immigration increases support for far-right candidates and has no robust effect on far-left voting. The increased support for far-right candidates is driven by low educated immigrants from non-Western countries.
    Keywords: voting, immigration, political economy
    JEL: D72 F22 J15 P16
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Tani, Massimiliano (University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: This paper studies occupational licensing as a possible cause of poor labour market outcomes among economic migrants. The analysis uses panel data from Australia, which implements one of the world's largest selective immigration programmes, and applies both cross-sectional and panel estimators. Licensing emerges as acting as an additional selection hurdle, mostly improving wages and reducing over-education and occupational downgrade of those working in licensed jobs. However, not every migrant continues working in a licensed occupation after settlement. In this case there is substantial skill wastage. These results do not change over time, after employers observe migrants' productivity and migrants familiarise with the workings of the labour market, supporting the case for tighter coordination between employment and immigration policies to address the under-use of migrants' human capital.
    Keywords: skilled immigration, over-education, occupational downgrade, immigration policy, occupational licensing
    JEL: J8 J24 J61
    Date: 2018–02
  9. By: Guzi, Martin (Masaryk University); Mikula, Stepan (Masaryk University)
    Abstract: Theory asserts that individuals' migration decisions depend more on their expectations about future income levels than on their current income levels. We find that the implementation of market-oriented reforms in post-communist countries, by forming good economic prospects, has reduced emigration as predicted by theory. Our estimates show that migration flows are highly responsive to reforms supporting private enterprises and financial services, which provide individuals with strong signals about their future prospects. Reforms that improve the management of infrastructure services are shown to have no link with migration patterns and this may be an important lesson for government policy.
    Keywords: EBRD transition indicators, emigration, post-communist countries, multilateral resistance
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2018–02
  10. By: Viola von Berlepsch; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Neil Lee
    Abstract: Does the economic effect of immigrant women differ from that of immigrants in general? This paper examines if gender has influenced the short- and long-term economic impact of mass migration to the US, using Census microdata from 1880 and 1910. By means of ordinary least squares and instrumental variable estimations, the analysis shows that a greater concentration of immigrant women is significantly associated with lower levels of economic development in US counties. However, immigrant women also shaped economic development positively, albeit indirectly via their children. Communities with more children born to foreign mothers and that successfully managed to integrate female immigrants experienced greater economic growth than those dominated by children of foreign-born fathers or American-born parents.
    Keywords: Gender, migration, economic growth, development, counties, US
    JEL: F22 J16 J61 O15 R23
    Date: 2018–04
  11. By: Michal BURZYŃSKI (CREA - University of Luxembourg); Christoph DEUSTER (IRES - Université Catholique de Louvain); Frédéric DOCQUIER (Université Catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: This paper characterizes the recent evolution of the geographic distribution of talent, and studies its implications for development inequality. Assuming the continuation of recent educational and immigration policies, it produces integrated projections of income, population, urbanization and human capital for the 21st century. To do so, we develop and parameterize a two-sector, two-class, world economy model that endogenizes education decisions, population growth, labor mobility, and income disparities across countries and across regions/sectors (agriculture vs. nonagriculture). We find that the geography of talent matters for global inequality, whatever the size of technological externalities. Low access to education and the sectoral allocation of talent have substantial impacts on inequality, while the effect of international migration is small. We conclude that policies targeting access to all levels of education and sustainable urban development are vitalto reduce demographic pressures and global inequality in the long term.
    Keywords: human capital, migration, Urbanization, growth, inequality.
    JEL: E24 J24 O15
    Date: 2018–03
  12. By: Hassan B. Ghassan; Hassan R. Al-Hajhoj; Faruk Balli
    Abstract: The paper aims to explore the impacts of bi-demographic structure on the current account and growth. We use a Structural VAR modeling to track the dynamic impacts between the underlying variables of Saudi economy. New insights are developed in studying the relation between population growth, current account and economic growth inside the neoclassical theory of population. The long-run net impact on economic growth of the bi-source of population growth is negative due to lower skills of the immigrant labor endowment. This empirical outcome also confirmed in some previous papers. Besides, the negative long-run contribution of immigrant workers to the current account growth largely exceeds that of the native population because of the increasing levels of remittance outflows. We find that a positive shock in the migration flows leads to a negative impact on native active age ratio. Thus, the immigrants appear to be more substitutes than complements for native workers.
    Date: 2018–03
  13. By: MORIKAWA Masayuki
    Abstract: This study measures the effects of geographical distance and national borders on tourist flows. Although there has been a large number of studies applying the gravity model to migration and tourist flows, analysis covering both international and intranational movements of people has been scarce. This study, using unique official statistics for accommodation facilities in Japan, empirically analyzes the determinants of both international and intranational tourist flows. According to the gravity model estimations, physical distance has a large negative effect on tourist flows, but the quantitative magnitude of the effects is not much different between foreign tourists visiting Japan and domestic interprefectural tourists. The border effect on tourist flow is large, and the number of tourists from foreign countries is more than 60% smaller than that of domestic ones. These results suggest that policies to mitigate border barriers may contribute to increasing the number of foreign tourists.
    Date: 2018–03
  14. By: Florinskaya, Yulia (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Mkrtchyan, Nikita (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: Based on all available data of state statistics and surveys, the level of education of long-term and temporary labor international migrants in Russia is analyzed and compared with the level of education of the country's population. The composition of long-term international migrants by education varies according to age, as well as from countries with which migration is carried out. The level of education of long-term migrants is quite close to the population of Russia, but in general the country lost more educated migrants than acquired. The distribution of international migrants by education depends on a change in the methodology for recording migration, which makes comparisons over a long period difficult. Regarding temporary labor migration, the statistical sources used are not so detailed, and cover not the entire population of migrants in Russia. However, the data from sample surveys make possible to conclude that the educational potential of migrants is used, and to analyze specially selected categories of highly skilled migrants.
    Date: 2018–02
  15. By: DeWaard, Jack (University of Minnesota); Johnson, Janna (University of Minnesota); Whitaker, Stephan (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates that credit bureau data, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax (CCP), can be used to study internal migration in the United States. It is comparable to, and in some ways superior to, the standard data used to study migration, including the American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) county-to-county migration data. CCP-based estimates of migration intensity, connectivity, and spatial focusing are similar to estimates derived from the ACS, CPS, and IRS data. The CCP can measure block-to-block migration and it is available at quarterly rather than annual frequencies. Migrants’ precise origins are not available in public versions of the ACS, CPS, or IRS data. We report measures of migration from the CCP data at finer geographies and time intervals. Finally, we disaggregate migration flows into first-, second-, and higher-order moves. Individual-level panels in the CCP make this possible, giving the CCP an additional advantage over the ACS, CPS, or publicly available IRS data.
    Keywords: Migration measurement; Credit history; Credit report; Gini index; Crude migration probability; Index of migration connectivity; Migration progression ratio;
    JEL: C81 J61 O15 R23
    Date: 2018–03–23
  16. By: Florence Jaumotte; Ksenia Koloskova; Sweta Chaman Saxena
    Abstract: The recent refugee surge has brought attention to the macro-critical policy issue of migration, including speculations that migration can be an unfavorable phenomenon for the receiving economies. A careful examination of the impact of migration on host economies is thus critical. Focusing on the economic impact, most of the academic discussion has centered on the effect of migration on labor markets and public finances. Much less is known about the long-term impact of immigration on the GDP per capita (or the standard of living) of host economies. This note makes three contributions to estimating this impact: it uses a restricted sample of advanced economies rather than a mixed sample of higher- and lower-income host countries, it examines whether the GDP per capita impact varies for different skill levels of migrants, and it goes beyond the aggregate impact of migration on GDP per capita to examine how broadly gains in this regard are shared across the population. In particular, it examines whether migration impacts the income levels of those both at the top and at the bottom of the earnings distribution, or whether gains are instead concentrated in a small group of high earners. It finds that immigration significantly increases GDP per capita in advanced economies, that both high- and lower-skilled migrants can raise labor productivity, and that an increase in the migrant share benefits the average income per capita of both the bottom 90 percent and the top 10 percent of earners, suggesting the gains from immigration are broadly shared.
    Keywords: Income;Labor productivity;Migration;Employment;GDP, advanced economies, migrant skill levels, regional migration, host economies, working-age population, old-age dependency ratio
    Date: 2016–10–24
  17. By: Thu Hien DAO (IRES - Université Catholique de Louvain); Frédéric DOCQUIER (Université Catholique de Louvain); Mathilde MAUREL (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne CNRS - Université Paris 1); Pierre SCHAUS (Department of Computer Science and Engineering - Université catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: This paper sheds light on the global migration patterns of the past 40 years, and produces migration projections for the 21st century, for two skill groups, and for all relevant pairs of countries. To do this, we build a simple model of the world economy, and we parameterize it to match the economic and socio-demographic characteristics of the world in the year 2010. We conduct a backcasting exercise which demonstrates that our model fits the past trends in international migration very well, and that historical trends were mostly governed by demographic changes. We then describe a set of migration projections for the 21st century. In line with backcasts, our world migration prospects and emigration rates from developing countries are mainly governed by socio-demographic changes: they are virtually insensitive to the technological environment. As far as OECD countries are concerned, we predict a highly robust increase in immigration pressures in general (from 12 in 2010 to 17-19% in 2050 and 25-28% in 2100), and in European immigration in particular (from 15% in 2010 to 23-25% in 2050 and 36-39% in 2100). Using development policies to curb these pressures requires triggering unprecedented economic takeoffs in migrants countries of origin. Increasing migration is therefore a likely phenomenon for the 21st century, and this raises societal and political challenges for most industrialized countries.
    Keywords: international migration, migration propects, world economy, Inequality
    JEL: F22 F24 J11 J61 O15
    Date: 2018–03

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