nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒04‒30
twenty papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Immigrants' Residential Choices and Their Consequences By Albert, Christoph; Monras, Joan
  2. Migrant women labor-force participation in Germany : Human capital, segmented labor market, and gender perspectives By Knize Estrada, Veronika J.
  3. Media Coverage and Immigration Worries: Econometric Evidence By Christine Benesch; Simon Loretz; David Stadelmann; Tobias Thomas
  4. The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States By Mayda, Anna Maria; Peri, Giovanni; Steingress, Walter
  5. Health and Mental Health Effects of Local Immigration Enforcement By Julia Shu-Huah Wang; Neeraj Kaushal
  6. Does Scientist Immigration Harm US Science? An Examination of Spillovers By Ajay Agrawal; John McHale; Alex Oettl
  7. The Pot Rush: Is Legalized Marijuana a Positive Local Amenity? By Zambiasi, Diego; Stillman, Steven
  8. Emigration, Remittances and the Subjective Well-Being of Those Staying Behind By Ivlevs, Artjoms; Nikolova, Milena; Graham, Carol Lee
  9. More Opportunity, More Cooperation? The Behavioral Effects of Birthright Citizenship on Immigrant Youth By Felfe, Christina; Kocher, Martin; Rainer, Helmut; Saurer, Judith; Siedler, Thomas
  10. Effects of Immigration on Native Entrepreneurship in the U.S. By Bulent Unel
  11. Bi-Demographic Changes and Current Account using SVAR Modeling: Evidence from Saudi Economy By Hassan Ghassan; Hassan Al-Hajhoj; Faruk Balli
  12. Immigrant Entrepreneurship in America: Evidence from the Survey of Business Owners 2007 & 2012 By Sari Pekkala Kerr; William R. Kerr
  13. Cultural Change and the Migration Choice By Lanati, Mauro; Venturini, Alessandra
  14. Optimal Education Policy and Human Capital - Accumulation in the Context of Brain Drain By Slobodan Djajić; Frédéric Docquier; Michael Michael
  15. The Geography of Talent: Development Implications and Long-Run Prospects By Michal Burzynski; Christoph Deuster; Frédéric Docquier
  16. Birthplace Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US States in the Post-World War II Period By Frédéric Docquier; Riccardo Turati; Jérome Valette; Chrysovalantis Vasilakis
  17. Conformism, Social Norms and the Dynamics of Assimilation By Olcina, Gonzalo; Panebianco, Fabrizio; Zenou, Yves
  18. Endogenous Selection, Migration and Occupation Outcomes for Rural Southern Mexicans By Quinones, Esteban J.; Barham, Bradford L.
  19. Migration and Online Job Search: A Gravity Model Approach By Tara Sinclair; Mariano Mamertino
  20. Do emigrants self-select along cultural traits? Evidence from the MENA countries By Frédéric Docquier; Aysit Tansel; Riccardo Turati

  1. By: Albert, Christoph; Monras, Joan
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causes and effects of the spatial distribution of immigrants across US cities. We document that: a) immigrants concentrate in large, high-wage, expensive cities, b) the earnings gap between immigrants and natives is higher in larger, more expensive cities, and c) immigrants consume less locally than natives. In order to explain these findings, we develop a quantitative spatial equilibrium model in which immigrants consume a fraction of their income in their countries of origin. Thus, immigrants care not only about local prices, but also about price levels in their home countries. This gives them a comparative advantage relative to natives for living in high-wage, high-price, high-productivity cities, where they also accept lower wages than natives. These incentives are stronger for immigrants coming from lower-price index countries of origin. We rely on immigrant heterogeneity to estimate the model. With the estimated model, we show that current levels of immigration have reduced economic activity in smaller, less productive cities by around 5 percent, while they have expanded it in large, productive cities by around 6 percent. This has increased total aggregate output per worker by around 0.3 percent. We also discuss the welfare implications of these results.
    Keywords: Immigration; location choices; spatial equilibrium
    JEL: F22 J31 J61 R11
    Date: 2018–04
  2. By: Knize Estrada, Veronika J.
    Abstract: "This paper analyzes individual, structural, and cultural factors that influence the labor-force participation of migrant women in Germany. Considering the well-established evidence that immigrant women work less than natives, with statuses and earnings differing significantly between them, I investigate the economic activity of the former by examining the cross-sectional data from the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample 2013 with multiple linear regression techniques. This evaluation is supported by three approaches which offer explanations for their employment behavior: human capital theory, segmented labor market theory, and the less examined in German research cultural hypothesis. Migrant women's employment status is, in principle, one's decision as member of a household; nevertheless, it is embedded in cross-national cultural processes and also constrained by structures; e.g., by employers and institutions. The analysis shows that classic human capital elements appear to be less reliable predictors of women's labor supply: higher education attained abroad is only marginally related to women participating in the workforce. The Middle-Eastern and North African origin, the Muslim religion, and higher levels of religiosity are negatively associated to women's labor participation reflecting a traditional gendered work division. This effect is minimized when controlling for German education, however. I argue that the lower labor-force participation among migrant women is partially explained by the fact that immigrants are on average less educated and more traditional than natives, having skills that are only restrictively transferable into the German labor market." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: O15 J15 J70 Z12
    Date: 2018–04–23
  3. By: Christine Benesch; Simon Loretz; David Stadelmann; Tobias Thomas
    Abstract: This paper empirically explores the link between mass media coverage of migration and immigration worries. Using detailed data on media coverage in Germany, we show that the amount of media reports regarding migration issues is positively associated with concerns about immigration among the German population. The association is robust to the inclusion of time-variant individual control variables and individual fixed-effects. We employ media spillovers from the neighboring country of Switzerland, which occur due to referendum decisions on immigration as an instrumental variable to address endogeneity concerns. The IV estimates suggest that media coverage has a causal impact on immigration worries. Exploring heterogeneous effects between respondents, the results reveal that the link between media reports and immigration worries is particularly relevant for women and respondents active in the workforce.
    Keywords: media; migration; news spillovers; political attitudes
    JEL: L8 D7 F2
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: Mayda, Anna Maria; Peri, Giovanni; Steingress, Walter
    Abstract: In this paper we study the impact of immigration to the United States on the vote for the Republican Party by analyzing county-level data on election outcomes between 1990 and 2010. Our main contribution is to separate the effect of high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants, by exploiting the different geography and timing of the inflows of these two groups of immigrants. We find that an increase in the first type of immigrants decreases the share of the Republican vote, while an inflow of the second type increases it. These effects are mainly due to the local impact of immigrants on votes of U.S. citizens and they seem independent of the country of origin of immigrants. We also find that the pro-Republican impact of low-skilled immigrants is stronger in low-skilled and non-urban counties. This is consistent with citizens' political preferences shifting towards the Republican Party in places where low-skilled immigrants are more likely to be perceived as competition in the labor market and for public resources.
    Keywords: Economic and Fiscal Channels; Electoral Effects; Immigration; Republican Party
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2018–04
  5. By: Julia Shu-Huah Wang; Neeraj Kaushal
    Abstract: We study the effect of two local immigration enforcement policies – Section 287(g) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act and the Secure Communities Program (SC) – that have escalated fear and risk of deportation among the undocumented on the health and mental health outcomes of Latino immigrants living in the United States. We use the restricted-use National Health Interview Survey for 2000-2012 and adopt a difference-in-difference research design. Estimates suggest that SC increased the proportion of Latino immigrants with mental health distress by 2.2 percentage points (14.7 percent); Task Force Enforcement under Section 287(g) worsened their mental health distress scores by 15 percent (0.08 standard deviation); Jail Enforcement under Section 287(g) increased the proportion of Latino immigrants reporting fair or poor health by 1 percentage point (11.1 percent) and lowered the proportion reporting very good or excellent health by 4.8 to 7.0 percentage points (7.8 to 10.9 percent). These findings are robust across various sensitivity checks.
    JEL: I1 I14 I3 J15 J18
    Date: 2018–04
  6. By: Ajay Agrawal; John McHale; Alex Oettl
    Abstract: The recruitment of foreign scientists enhances US science through an expanded workforce but could also cause harm by displacing better connected domestic scientists, thereby reducing localized knowledge spillovers. We develop a model in which a sufficient condition for the absence of overall harm is that immigrant scientists generate at least the same level of localized spillovers as the domestic scientists they displace. To test this condition, we conduct an experiment in which each immigrant hypothetically displaces an appropriately matched domestic scientist. Overall, we do not find evidence that immigrant scientists harm US science by crowding out better-connected domestic scientists.
    JEL: F22 J61 O33 O34
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Zambiasi, Diego (University of the Basque Country); Stillman, Steven (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)
    Abstract: This paper examines the amenity value of legalized marijuana by analyzing the impact of marijuana legalization on migration to Colorado. Colorado is the pioneering state in this area having legalized medical marijuana in 2000 and recreational marijuana in 2012. We test whether potential migrants to Colorado view legalized marijuana as a positive or negative local amenity. We use the synthetic control methodology to examine in- and out-migration to/from Colorado versus migration to/from counterfactual versions of Colorado that have not legalized marijuana. We find strong evidence that potential migrants view legalized marijuana as a positive amenity with in-migration significantly higher in Colorado compared with synthetic- Colorado after the writing of the Ogden memo in 2009 that effectively allowed state laws already in place to be activated, and additionally after marijuana was legalized in 2013 for recreational use. When we employ permutation methods to assess the statistical likelihood of our results given our sample, we find that Colorado is a clear and significant outlier. We find no evidence for changes in out-migration from Colorado suggesting that marijuana legalization did not change the equilibrium for individuals already living in the state.
    Keywords: marijuana legalization, interstate migration, synthetic controls
    JEL: I18 R23 K42 C22
    Date: 2018–03
  8. By: Ivlevs, Artjoms (University of the West of England, Bristol); Nikolova, Milena (University of Groningen); Graham, Carol Lee (Brookings Institution)
    Abstract: Despite growing academic and policy interest in the subjective well-being consequences of emigration for those left behind, existing studies have focused on single origin countries or specific world regions. Our study is the first to offer a global perspective on the well-being consequences of emigration for those staying behind using several subjective well-being measures (evaluations of best possible life, positive affect, stress, and depression). Drawing upon Gallup World Poll data for 114 countries during 2009-2011, we find that both having family members abroad and receiving remittances are positively associated with evaluative well-being (evaluations of best possible life) and positive affect (measured by an index of variables related to experiencing positive feelings at a particular point in time). Our analysis provides novel results showing that remittances are particularly beneficial for evaluative well-being in less developed and more unequal contexts; in richer countries, only the out-migration of family members is positively associated with life evaluations, while remittances have no additional association. We also find that having household members abroad is linked with increased stress and depression, which are not offset by remittances. The out-migration of family members appears more traumatic in contexts where migration is less common, such as more developed countries, and specific world regions, such as Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as among women. Relying on subjective well-being measures, which reflect both material and non-material aspects of life and are broad measures of well-being, allows us to provide additional insights and a more well-rounded picture of the possible consequences of emigration on migrant family members staying behind relative to standard outcomes employed in the literature, such as the left-behind's consumption, income or labor market responses.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, depression, stress, Cantril ladder of life, happiness, Gallup World Poll
    JEL: F22 F24 I3 J61
    Date: 2018–03
  9. By: Felfe, Christina (University of St. Gallen, CESifo); Kocher, Martin (University of Vienna, IHS Vienna, University of Gothenburg); Rainer, Helmut (University of Munich, ifo Institute, CESifo); Saurer, Judith (ifo Institute); Siedler, Thomas (Universitaet Hamburg)
    Abstract: Inequality of opportunity, particularly when overlaid with racial, ethnic, or cultural differences, increases the social distance between individuals, which is widely believed to limit the scope of cooperation. A central question, then, is how to bridge such divides. We study the effects of a major citizenship reform in Germany — the introduction of birthright citizenship on January 1, 2000 — in terms of inter-group cooperation and social segregation between immigrant and native youth. We hypothesize that endowing immigrant children with citizenship rights levels the playing field between them and their native peers, with possible spill-overs into the domain of social interactions. Our unique setup connects a large-scale lab-in-the-field experiment based on the investment game with the citizenship reform by exploiting the quasi-random assignment of citizenship rights around its cut-off date. Immigrant youth born prior to the reform display high levels of cooperation toward other immigrants, but low levels of cooperation toward natives. The introduction of birthright citizenship caused male, but not female, immigrants to significantly increase their cooperativeness toward natives. This effect is accompanied by a near-closure of the educational achievement gap between young immigrant men and their native peers.
    Keywords: Citizenship, immigration, trust, experiment
    JEL: C93 D90 J15
    Date: 2018–04
  10. By: Bulent Unel
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal impact of immigration on the likelihood of entry and exit of entrepreneurs among U.S.-born individuals. Using Current Population Survey data from the U.S. Census over the 2000-2016 period, I find that immigration had a negative effect on entry of native entrepreneurs, while having no impact on their exit. Exploring heterogeneity across individuals, I find that immigration had a negative and statistically significant effect on both entry and exit of female entrepreneurs, but has no effects on male entrepreneurs. Specifically, a 10-percent increase in the share of immigrants in the population lowers the entry and exit rates of female entrepreneurs by 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively, relative to the sample mean. Estimates imply that the net effect of immigration on female entrepreneurship is negative, but economically small.
    Date: 2018–01
  11. By: Hassan Ghassan (Umm Al-Qura University); Hassan Al-Hajhoj (King Faisal University- Saudi Arabia); Faruk Balli (Massey University at Albany)
    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 as Dolado et al. (1994), Ortega and Peri (2009). 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. Discordantly to previous literature conducted at level country as Dustmann et al. (2005) or at panel data level as Boubtane et al. (2013), 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.
    Keywords: J15, J23, F41, F22,JEL Class C51,Current Account Balance,SVAR Model,Growth,Bi-population,Hybrid population, Current account, Growth, Structural modeling,2
    Date: 2018–03–25
  12. By: Sari Pekkala Kerr; William R. Kerr
    Abstract: We study immigrant entrepreneurship and firm ownership in 2007 and 2012 using the Survey of Business Owners (SBO). The survival and growth of immigrant-owned businesses over time relative to native-founded companies is evaluated by linking the 2007 SBO to the Longitudinal Business Database (LBD). We quantify the dependency of the United States as a whole, as well as individual states, on the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs in terms of firm formation and job creation. We describe differences in the types of businesses started by immigrants and the quality of jobs created by their firms. First-generation immigrants create about 25% of new firms in the United States, but this share exceeds 40% in some states. In addition, Asian and Hispanic second-generation immigrants start about 6% of new firms. Immigrant-owned firms, on average, create fewer jobs than native-owned firms, but much of this is explained by the industry and geographic location of the firms. Immigrant-owned firms pay comparable wages, conditional on firm traits, to native-owned firms, but are less likely to offer benefits.
    JEL: F22 J15 J44 J61 L26 M13 O31 O32 O33 R12
    Date: 2018–04
  13. By: Lanati, Mauro (European University Institute); Venturini, Alessandra (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Cultural differences play an important role in shaping migration patterns. The conventional proxies for cross country cultural differences – such as common language, ethnicity, genetic traits or religion – implicitly assume that cultural proximity between two countries is constant over time and symmetric, which is far from realistic. This paper proposes a tractable model for international migration which explicitly allows for the time varying and asymmetric dimensions of cultural proximity. Similarly to Disdier et al (2010) we assume that the evolution of bilateral cultural affinity over time is reflected in the intensity of bilateral trade in cultural goods. Our empirical framework includes a comprehensive set of high dimensional fixed effects which enables for the identification of the impact of cultural proximity on migration over and beyond the effect of pre-existing cultural and historical ties. The results are robust across different econometric techniques and suggest that positive changes in cultural relationships over time foster bilateral migration.
    Keywords: migration, trade in cultural goods, gravity model
    JEL: F16 F22 Z10
    Date: 2018–03
  14. By: Slobodan Djajić (The Graduate Institute, Geneva); Frédéric Docquier (UCL IRES - Institut de recherches économiques et sociales - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, FNRS - Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique [Bruxelles], FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International); Michael Michael (University of Cyprus [Nicosia])
    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
    Date: 2018–03–26
  15. By: Michal Burzynski (CREA - Center for Research in Economic Analysis - - Université du Luxembourg); Christoph Deuster (UCL IRES - Institut de recherches économiques et sociales - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, UNINOVA - Universidade Nova de Lisboa); Frédéric Docquier (UCL IRES - Institut de recherches économiques et sociales - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International, FNRS - Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique [Bruxelles])
    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 vital to reduce demographic pressures and global inequality in the long term.
    Keywords: inequality,growth,Human capital,migration,urbanization
    Date: 2018–03–26
  16. By: Frédéric Docquier (UCL IRES - Institut de recherches économiques et sociales - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, FNRS - Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique [Bruxelles], FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International); Riccardo Turati (UCL IRES - Institut de recherches économiques et sociales - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain); Jérome Valette (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Chrysovalantis Vasilakis (Bangor Business School - forTANK)
    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
    Date: 2018–03–26
  17. By: Olcina, Gonzalo (Universidad de Valencia); Panebianco, Fabrizio (Bocconi University); Zenou, Yves (Monash University)
    Abstract: We consider a model where each individual (or ethnic minority) is embedded in a network of relation-ships and decides whether or not she wants to be assimilated to the majority norm. Each individual wants her behavior to agree with her personal ideal action or norm but also wants her behavior to be as close as possible to the average assimilation behavior of her peers. We show that there is always convergence to a steady-state and characterize it. We also show that different assimilation norms may emerge in steady state depending on the structure of the network. We then consider the role of cultural and government leaders in the assimilation process of ethnic minorities and an optimal tax/subsidy policy which aim is to reach a certain level of assimilation in the population.
    Keywords: assimilation, networks, social norms, peer pressure, cultural leader
    JEL: D83 D85 J15 Z13
    Date: 2018–03
  18. By: Quinones, Esteban J. (University of Wisconsin); Barham, Bradford L. (University of Wisconsin)
    Abstract: This article integrates theory on migration and labor outcomes--including attention to network effects--and a novel econometric design to explicitly account for the selection-based dimensions of these endogenous relationships. We use a Mixed Nonlinear Endogenous Switching Regression to test the causal hypothesis that migration within Mexico and to the US affects occupation outcomes while also probing the role of endogenous selection. The dataset from Southern rural Mexico contains detailed information on migration, return migration, and occupation outcomes for working-age females and males. Our empirical findings are consistent with previous research that demonstrate heterogeneity in migration selection processes and gendered patterns of community migration networks and labor market outcomes. The value of an endogenous switching approach is highlighted by hypothesis tests that reveal outcomes that cannot be recovered in a standard two-stage sample selection estimation. The first is the negative and statistically significant evidence of endogeneity of migration and occupation for both females and males driven by unobserved heterogeneity, perhaps associated with non-pecuniary motives such as family reunification efforts. The other is unambiguous causal evidence that occupational outcomes are positively influenced by both migration and return migration, especially for females. On average, migration and return migration increase the probability of upward occupational mobility by 55 to 62% for females and 44 to 21% for males.
    Date: 2018–02
  19. By: Tara Sinclair (George Washington University); Mariano Mamertino (Indeed Hiring Lab)
    Keywords: international migration, labor mobility, online labor markets, European Union, Brexit
    JEL: J6 J4 F22 O15
  20. By: Frédéric Docquier (FNRS - Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique [Bruxelles], IRES Department of Economics, Université Catholique de Louvain, FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International); Aysit Tansel (METU - Middle East Technical University [Ankara]); Riccardo Turati (IRES Department of Economics, 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
    Date: 2018–03–26

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