nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒05‒14
eight papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. More Opportunity, More Cooperation? The Behavioral Effects of Birthright Citizenship on Immigrant Youth By Christina Felfe; Martin G. Kocher; Helmut Rainer; Judith Saurer; Thomas Siedler
  2. Emigration, remittances and the subjective well-being of those staying behind By Artjoms Ivlevs; Milena Nikolova; Carol Graham
  3. Illegal Immigration, Unemployment, and Multiple Destinations By Kaz Miyagiwa; Yasuhiro Sato
  4. Selective immigration policies, occupational licensing, and the quality of migrants’ education-occupation match By Tani, Massimiliano
  5. Long-Term Relatedness between Countries and International Migrant Selection By Krieger, Tim; Renner, Laura; Ruhose, Jens
  6. On the Role of Migration on the Satisfaction of European Researchers: Evidence from MORE2 By Jewell, Sarah; Kazakis, Pantelis
  7. The Changing Structure of Immigration to the OECD: What Welfare Effects on Member Countries? By Michal Burzynski; Frédéric Docquier; Hillel Rapoport
  8. Migration and business cycle dynamics By Christie Smith; Christoph Thoenissen

  1. By: Christina Felfe; Martin G. Kocher; Helmut Rainer; Judith Saurer; Thomas Siedler
    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..
    JEL: C93 D90 J15
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Artjoms Ivlevs (University of the West of England); Milena Nikolova (University of Maryland, College Park); Carol Graham (The 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 I30 O15 J61
    Date: 2018–05
  3. By: Kaz Miyagiwa (Department of Economics, Florida International University); Yasuhiro Sato (University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: We develop a multi-country model of illegal immigration with equilibrium unemployment. Two geographic cases are considered. One has two destinations adjacent to the source country while the other has just one destination country adjacent to it. In both cases, the equilibrium border control proves insufficient compared with the joint optimum, calling for enforcement by federal authorities. Absent such authorities, delegating border control to the country with a larger native labor force can improve each destination country¡¯s welfare. In contrast, the equilibrium internal enforcement policy is efficient, obviating enforcement by supranational authorities.
    Keywords: illegal immigration, immigration policy competition, equilibrium unemployment, multiple destinations, job search
    JEL: F22 H77 J61 J64
    Date: 2018–05
  4. By: Tani, Massimiliano
    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
  5. By: Krieger, Tim; Renner, Laura; Ruhose, Jens
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of the long-term relatedness between countries, measured by their genetic distance, on educational migrant selection. Analyzing bilateral migrant stocks of the 15 main destination countries and 85 sending countries for the year 2000, we find that migrant selection and genetic distance follow a nonlinear J-shaped pattern: at low levels of genetic distance, increases in genetic distance reduce the positive selection of migration. However, at higher levels of genetic distance, this pattern is reversed and migration becomes more positively selected. We complement this finding by showing that the net benefits of genetic distance are strongly decreasing for low-skilled migrants with increasing genetic distance, while high-skilled migrants are less responsive to genetic distance in general. Results are robust to conditioning on bilateral control variables, including various destination- and sending-country-specific fixed effects and applying an instrumental variables approach that exploits exogenous variation in genetic distances in the year 1500.
    Keywords: Long-term Relatedness,Genetic Distance,Culture,International Migration,Selection
    JEL: F22 J61 Z1
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Jewell, Sarah; Kazakis, Pantelis
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to disentangle the role of international migration on the job satisfaction of academic researchers. Using a relatively novel database, MORE2, that tracks the migratory behaviour of European researchers, and correcting for potential sorting behaviour of individuals via a multinomial treatment model, we find that more migratory groups tend to demonstrate higher levels of satisfaction regarding pecuniary outcomes. They also present higher levels of satisfaction regarding career advancement and social status, both crucial components in the lives of PhD holders. Our results survive in a battery of robustness checks, corroborating our main findings.
    Keywords: subjective-well-being; high-skilled migration; job satisfaction; European researchers
    JEL: J28 J61 R23
    Date: 2017–11
  7. By: Michal Burzynski; Frédéric Docquier; Hillel Rapoport
    Abstract: We investigate the welfare implications of two pre-crisis immigration waves (1991–2000 and 2001–2010) and of the post-crisis wave (2011–2015) for OECD native citizens. To do so, we develop a general equilibrium model that accounts for the main channels of transmission of immigration shocks – the employment and wage effects, the fiscal effect, and the market size effect – and for the interactions between them. We parameterize our model for 20 selected OECD member states. We find that the three waves induce positive effects on the real income of natives, however the size of these gains varies considerably across countries and across skill groups. In relative terms, the post-crisis wave induces smaller welfare gains compared to the previous ones. This is due to the changing origin mix of immigrants, which translates into lower levels of human capital and smaller fiscal gains. However, differences across cohorts explain a tiny fraction of the highly persistent, cross-country heterogeneity in the economic benefits from immigration.
    Keywords: immigration, welfare, crisis, inequality, general equilibrium
    JEL: C68 F22 J24
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Christie Smith; Christoph Thoenissen
    Abstract: Shocks to net migration matter for the business cycles of some countries. Using an estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model of a small open economy and a structural vector autoregression, we find that migration shocks account for a considerable proportion of the variability of per capita GDP. Migration shocks matter for the capital investment and consumption components of per capita GDP, but they are not the most important driver. Migration shocks are also important for residential investment and real house prices, but other shocks play a larger role in driving housing market volatility. In the DSGE model, the level of human capital possessed by migrants relative to that of locals materially affects the business cycle impact of migration. The impact of migration shocks is larger when migrants have substantially different levels of human capital relative to locals. When the average migrant has higher levels of human capital than locals, as seems to be common in most OECD economies, a migration shock has an expansionary effect on per capita GDP and its components.
    Keywords: Migration, macroeconomics, business cycle fluctuations, Bayesian estimation, structural vector autoregression
    JEL: E44 E61 F42
    Date: 2018–05

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