nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒05‒28
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Why Do Immigrants Report Lower Life Satisfaction? By Yaman, F.; Cubi-Molla, P.
  2. Moving towards happiness By Arthur Grimes; Dennis Wesselbaum
  3. Uganda and the refugee problem: challenges and opportunities By Ahimbisibwe, Frank
  4. Why are Refugee Children Shorter than the Hosting Population? Evidence from Camps Residents in Jordan By Rashad, Ahmed; Sharaf, Mesbah; Mansour, Elhussien
  5. Flipping the Script for Skilled Immigrant Women: What Suggestions Might Critical Social Work Offer? By Dalon Taylor
  6. The tale of two international phenomena: International migration and global imbalances By Dramane Coulibaly; Blaise Gnimassoun; Valérie Mignon
  7. Long-Term Relatedness between Countries and International Migrant Selection By Krieger, Tim; Renner, Laura; Ruhose, Jens
  8. Immigrant children's school performance and immigration costs: Evidence from Spain By Facundo Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales; Paula Calvo; Esther Hauk
  9. An Offer that you Can't Refuse? Agrimafias and Migrant Labor on Vineyards in Southern Italy By Stefan Seifert; Marica Valente
  10. Immigrant Responses to Social Insurance Generosity By Bratsberg, Bernt; Raaum, Oddbjørn; Røed, Knut
  11. The Labor Market Effects of Immigration Enforcement By East, Chloe N.; Luck, Philip; Mansour, Hani; Velasquez, Andrea
  12. Internal Mobility after the Expansion of the Welfare State: Evidence from Spain By Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Cristina Borra
  13. Labor Segmentation and the Outmigration Intention of Highly Skilled Foreign Workers: Evidence from Asian-born foreign workers in Japan By LIU Yang
  14. Revisions in the Blue Card Directive: Reforms, Constraints and Gaps By Sona Kalantaryan
  15. Terrorist Attacks and Immigration Rhetoric: A Natural Experiment on British MPs By Daniele Guariso
  16. Prevention Mechanisms of Inter-Ethnic Tensions in the Context of Migratory Population Growth By Simon, Mark; Malakhov, Vladimir; Letnyakov, Denis; Motin, A
  17. The Effects of DACA on Health Insurance, Access to Care, and Health Outcomes By Giuntella, Osea; Lonsky, Jakub
  18. Beneficial Brain Drain and Non-Migrants' Welfare By Schiff, Maurice
  19. The Migrant Smuggling Crime in Romania By Nicoleta-Elena Buzatu

  1. By: Yaman, F.; Cubi-Molla, P.
    Abstract: Questions of happiness and well-being have increasingly been drawing the attention of health economists, with the understanding that its measures approximate quality of life, or at any rate is one of its major components. Happiness in surveys is typically reported as a rating scale. For instance, life satisfaction question at the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) states as follows - "How satisfied are you at present with your life as a whole?" The respondents can then answer this question with an integer number (or category) between 0 and 10, with 0 being the lowest and 10 the highest level of life satisfaction. It is typically assumed that for a particular latent value of life satisfaction, the individual will report the same category (e.g. "8") regardless the time of the survey. However, recent research has questioned this, suggesting that the respondent may not use the same evaluation criteria when assessing her life satisfaction at different points in time. For instance, the same level of life satisfaction can be reported as 8 today but as 7 in a year from today, if the person is becoming more demanding. Therefore, a simplistic analysis between both responses would wrongly conclude that the respondent's life satisfaction is decreasing. A new OHE Research paper by Cubi-Molla and Yaman (2017) explores changes in the reporting behaviour of immigrants in Germany 1984-2010, in questions related to life satisfaction. Previous literature suggests that immigrants' happiness tends to decrease over time compared to the natives'. The authors firstly explore the robustness and origin of this finding, and then propose a model that has the potential to decompose the effect of the number of years since migration into a true change in life satisfaction and a simple change in reporting behaviour. The model suggests that the existence and size of the reporting bias depend on how accurately individuals remember their past life satisfaction.
    Keywords: Health Statistics and Data Analyses
    JEL: I1
    Date: 2017–07–01
  2. By: Arthur Grimes (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Dennis Wesselbaum (University of Otago)
    Abstract: We add to the literature on the driving forces of international migration. While the existing literature establishes that income differences, migration costs, and certain other factors (e.g. climate or human rights) affect the migration decision, we focus on the broader role of nonpecuniary factors. We include well-being measures in a standard model of bilateral migration flows and enrich the analysis further by testing the effects on migration of inequality in happiness within a country. Our findings that both the mean and standard deviation of happiness - in both origin and destination countries - help explain bilateral migration flows over and above any income effect, indicates the need to incorporate both pecuniary and non-pecuniary factors when modelling migration choices.
    Keywords: Happiness, International Migration, Wellbeing.
    JEL: F22 O15 Q54
    Date: 2018–05
  3. By: Ahimbisibwe, Frank
    Abstract: Uganda is one of the top refugee hosting countries in Africa and the world. It has been praised as a generous country with progressive refugee policies and laws that reflect the country’s national, regional and international obligations. However, a number of challenges ranging from increasing refugee numbers, protracted refugee situations, the burden of hosting of refugees, to limited resources and little international support threaten Uganda’s hospitality. This article looks at the major refugee protection challenges that confront Uganda. It further addresses some of the emerging opportunities which if seized could provide effective protection to the refugees. Finally, the paper concludes with policy implications.
    Keywords: Uganda; Refguees
    Date: 2018–05
  4. By: Rashad, Ahmed (Government of Dubai); Sharaf, Mesbah (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Mansour, Elhussien (New School for Social Research)
    Abstract: The literature on children’s health inequalities in refugee camps in Jordan remains sparse. We noticed a marked height difference between Palestinian children living in the refugee camps and children of the remaining population in Jordan. Children living in refugee camps are significantly shorter than the rest of the children in the hosting population. This paper explores the drivers of the height gap, measured by the height for age z-score, among children residing in refugee camps and the non-camp residents. A Blinder- Oaxaca decomposition is used to quantify the sources of the inequalities between the two groups into two components; one that is explained by regional differences in the level of the determinants, and another part that is explained by differences in the effect of the determinants of the child nutritional status. Our results suggest that the endowment effect dominates the coefficients effect. More specifically, the height gap is mainly driven by wealth disparities between the two groups. Poverty alleviation programs such as conditional cash transfers and microfinance to camps’ residents are likely to reduce the child malnutrition gap.
    Keywords: Child malnutrition; Refugees; Camps; Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition; Jordan
    JEL: I14 J13 J15
    Date: 2018–05–21
  5. By: Dalon Taylor (School of Social Work Department)
    Abstract: Research on skilled immigrant women revealed that they are losing their professional skills and career identity due to lack of employment and underemployment, postmigration. These negative outcomes in employment are reported as key factors in the economic instability they face in host countries. On the other hand, reports indicate that economic growth for host countries have increased through skilled immigration. In fact, countries such as Canada, United States, Australia and others, continue to revise their immigration policies to attract more highly skilled immigrants, due to reported benefits. So how are skilled immigrant women in particular, coping with the negative impact of skilled migration that is more favourable for host countries? More importantly, what suggestions for changes and action might critical social work offer to transform current disproportionate outcomes? This paper provides a brief discussion on the reported labour market outcomes for skilled immigrant women in Canada. It includes a critical assessment of the challenges they face to re-enter the labour market in Canada and argue that the current outcomes are direct manifestations of discriminatory practices, beyond the scope of the labour market alone. The paper highlights reported economic benefits of skilled migration for host countries such as Canada, and raise questions about possible systemic actors in the substandard results for skilled immigrant women. The paper draws on a critical social work perspective to discuss alternatives to improving outcomes for skilled immigrant women and concludes with suggestions for changes in the current social and employment prospects for skilled immigrant women.
    Keywords: skilled immigrant women, critical social work, economic migration
    Date: 2018–03
  6. By: Dramane Coulibaly; Blaise Gnimassoun; Valérie Mignon
    Abstract: Following the dynamics of globalization, international migration has increased dramatically since the 1990s. Given that these migrations may obscure the natural demographic structure of nations, they are likely to explain a significant part of global imbalances. This paper tackles this issue by investigating the role played by international migration in the dynamics of global imbalances. To this end, we rely on an overlapping generations model to derive the theoretical relationship between international migration and current account position. Through a series of robust estimates, we empirically investigate this relationship by relying on a panel of 157 developed and developing countries over the period 1990-2014. Our results point to substantial effects of international migration. Specifically, we show that an increase in migration improves national savings and the current account balance in the destination country, while it has opposite impacts in the origin country. These effects are particularly pronounced in developing economies, and attenuated by migrants' remittances.
    Keywords: International migration, current account, global imbalances, remittances
    JEL: F22 F32 O55 C33
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Krieger, Tim (University of Freiburg); Renner, Laura (University of Freiburg); Ruhose, Jens (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    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: 2018–04
  8. By: Facundo Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales; Paula Calvo; Esther Hauk
    Abstract: This note provides evidence on how immigration costs affect school performance of immigrant children exploiting the information provided by the CDI; a standardized exam for all students enrolled in the last year of Primary education in the Madrid region. For a given socio-economic background and parent characteristics, school performance of immigrant children improves with parental immigration costs.
    Keywords: school performance; immigration; parental involvement; immigration costs
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Stefan Seifert; Marica Valente
    Abstract: In the 2011 post-Arab Spring migration wave, over 64,000 migrants landed on the southern Italian coast, with many of them potentially working illegally on farms through caporalato, a widespread system of illegal recruitment of underpaid farm labor run by Italian agrimafias. To test this hypothesis, this paper evaluates the causal effects of the 2011 migration wave on reported labor productivity focusing on vineyards in southern Italy. Based on a dynamic panel data model, labor productivity is estimated to increase by about 11% on average for 2011 and 2012. We show that this corresponds to a total of around 10 million unreported work hours, or 21,000 full-time employees, in each year. We interpret this as an increase in employment of illegal workforce due to the migration wave. Magnitude, direction, and statistical significance of the effect are confirmed under various model specifications and using synthetic control and post-lasso approaches.
    Keywords: Migration wave, agrimafias, illegal employment, vineyard productivity
    JEL: F22 J61 J43
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Bratsberg, Bernt (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Raaum, Oddbjørn (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Røed, Knut (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Immigrants from low‐income source countries tend to be underrepresented in employment and overrepresented in social insurance programs. Based on administrative data from Norway, we examine how these gaps reflect systematic differences in the impacts of social insurance benefits on work incentives. Drawing on a benefit formula reform of the temporary disability insurance program, we identify behavioral employment and earnings responses to changes in benefits, and find that responses are significantly larger for immigrants. Among female immigrant program participants, earnings of the male spouse also drop in response to more generous benefits. We uncover stronger behavioral responses among natives with characteristics similar to those of immigrants.
    Keywords: immigrants, labor supply, social insurance
    JEL: H53 J15 J22
    Date: 2018–04
  11. By: East, Chloe N. (University of Colorado Denver); Luck, Philip (University of Colorado Denver); Mansour, Hani (University of Colorado Denver); Velasquez, Andrea (University of Colorado Denver)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of reducing the supply of low-skilled immigrant workers on the labor market outcomes of domestic workers. We use temporal and geographic variation in the introduction of Secure Communities (SC), a county-based immigration enforcement policy, combined with data over 2005-2014 from the American Community Survey to estimate a difference-in-difference model with geographic and time fixed effects. We find evidence that SC had a negative impact on the employment of low-skilled non-citizen workers, who are likely to be directly affected by the policy. Importantly, we also find that SC negatively impacted the employment of citizens working in middle to high-skill occupations. This is the first paper to provide quasi- experimental evidence on the labor market effects of immigration enforcement policies on citizens across the occupational skill distribution, which is of paramount importance given the current immigration policy debates.
    Keywords: international migration, labor demand, immigration policy
    JEL: F22 J11 J23
    Date: 2018–04
  12. By: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (Department of Economics, San Diego State University); Cristina Borra (University of Seville)
    Abstract: The Spanish welfare state was practically inexistent in the 1980s. It expanded throughout the 1990s and became fully in place by the 2000s. At the same time, internal migration rates dropped to less than 0.3 percent –among the lowest in the world. In a country with large labor market imbalances, internal mobility can prove crucial to economic growth. We look at the role that non-contributory pensions might have played on inter-provincial mobility over the past two decades. We find that the expansion of the welfare state has curtailed the mobility of young working-age individuals, especially less educated women. The effects are unique to non-contributory pensions, and are not restricted to cohabitating family members or tied to the care for disabled relatives, signaling the need for policy measures that facilitate the mobility of the young from lower income households.
    Keywords: internal migration, labor mobility, welfare benefits
    JEL: I38 J61 R23
    Date: 2018–05
  13. By: LIU Yang
    Abstract: This study examines the determinants of the outmigration intentions of highly skilled foreign workers, i.e., workers who received post-secondary education, following conventional migration theories. Data come from a survey of firms and their foreign employees in Japan; most of whom were born in Asia, especially in China (77.4% of total observations). The results found that education level and average wage gaps did not significantly affect the outmigration decisions of Asian-born workers. However, the labor segmentation variable, which represents the firm's differentiation between foreign and native workers, has a significant estimated effect. Results indicate that Asian-born employees of firms that differentiate between foreigners and native workers are more likely to migrate away from Japan. The explanation could be that labor segmentation reduces foreign workers' expected future wage. Furthermore, the lifetime employment system in Japan could reduce the outmigration of Asian-born foreign workers, because the reduced future unemployment risk increases workers' expected wage from working in Japan. Moreover, a higher current job satisfaction could have a negative effect on Asian-born foreign workers' outmigration intention. Finally, among the control variables for the original migration motivations, Asian-born foreign workers who were motivated by the Japanese lifestyle tend to remain in Japan, while Asian-born foreign workers who were motivated by wages are more likely to migrate away in the future.
    Date: 2018–05
  14. By: Sona Kalantaryan
    Abstract: The European Agenda on Migration presented by the European Commission (on 13 May 2015) among its key actions related to the fourth pillar – a new policy on legal migration – suggests the “modernisation and overhaul of the Blue Card scheme”. The weakness of the Blue Card in its current form as a tool to attract and retain talents in Europe is acknowledged and the need for reform is reconfirmed. On 6 June 2016 the European Commission presented a new Proposal (for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly-skilled employment). This study aims at presenting the Blue Cards in terms of its achievements, its prospects with the proposed reforms and gaps that will remain unaddressed after revision
    Keywords: Labour migration, high-skilled, Blue Card, EU, labour market
    Date: 2017–11
  15. By: Daniele Guariso (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK)
    Abstract: We study the effects of exogenous shocks on the rhetoric of British politicians on social media. In particular, we focus on the impact of terrorist attacks on the issue of immigration. For this purpose, we collect all the immigration-related Tweets from the active Twitter accounts of MPs using Web Scraping and Machine Learning techniques. Looking at the Manchester bombing of 2017 as our main Event Study, we detect a counterintuitive finding: a substantial decrease in the expected number of immigration-related Tweets occurred after the incident. We hypothesize that this “muting effect” results from risk-averse strategic behaviour of politicians during the election campaign. However, the MPs' response shows remarkable heterogeneity according to the socio-economic characteristics of their constituencies.
    Keywords: political behaviour; machine learning; social media; immigration; terrorism
    JEL: C81 D72 Z13
    Date: 2018–05
  16. By: Simon, Mark (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Malakhov, Vladimir (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Letnyakov, Denis (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Motin, A (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: This study focuses on the contextual verification of the theory of ethno-cultural justice, formed in the framework of procedural liberal pluralism - its testing on specific examples of North America, Western and Eastern Europe, and Russia. This theory is based on the possibility of combining individual rights with collective rights of minorities. With this approach, interethnic relations are considered, first of all, as a phenomenon of the public sphere, within which certain groups demand from the state to recognize their right to identity. The set of rights and institutional capacities which certain communities dispose directly depends from such a recognition. The authors consider the state as the central player in interethnic relations, while it mediates the interaction between different ethno-cultural associations. The state is the only actor that has the legitimate right to frame certain interactions as "interethnic". In the absence of the state we are dealing with private phenomena. Studying various cases, the authors explore the mechanisms for granting rights to autochthonous (national) and allochthonous (immigrant) communities, their adaptation to the dominant societal culture. Particular attention is paid to the integration of the second generation of immigrants - as potentially the most vulnerable group (from the point of view of potential radicalization). The study demonstrates the paramount importance of educational mechanisms in the processes of integration and adaptation of migrants. In addition, the authors claim that the problem of protecting the rights of minorities goes far beyond the competence of individual countries. The study identifies the role of international organizations, including INGOs in this area. Finally, the authors reveal the distinctive features of Eastern European societies in the context of xenophobic manifestations, which in a way makes it difficult to apply the approaches of Will Kymlicka and other representatives of liberal egalitarianism. Nevertheless, some of the provisions of Kymlicka's theory seem to be relevant to the Russian context in connection with the development of a policy of the integration of immigrants.
    Keywords: interethnic relations, conflict prevention, multiculturalism, national politics, migration, second-generation migrants, social integration
    Date: 2018–04
  17. By: Giuntella, Osea (University of Pittsburgh); Lonsky, Jakub (University of Pittsburgh)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative on health insurance coverage, access to care, health care use, and health outcomes. We exploit a difference-in-differences that relies on the discontinuity in program eligibility criteria. We find that DACA increased insurance coverage. In states that granted access to Medicaid, the increase was driven by an increase in public insurance take-up. Where public coverage was not available, DACA eligibility increased individually purchased insurance. Despite the increase in insurance coverage, there is no evidence of significant increases in health care use, although there is some evidence that DACA increased demand for mental health services. After 2012, DACA- eligible individuals were more likely to report a usual place of care and less likely to delay care because of financial restrictions. Finally, we find some evidence that DACA improved self-reported health, and reduced depression symptoms, indicators of stress and anxiety, and hypertension. These improvements are concentrated among individuals with income below the federal poverty level.
    Keywords: health insurance, DACA, immigration, health care, health
    JEL: I10 J15 J61
    Date: 2018–04
  18. By: Schiff, Maurice (World Bank)
    Abstract: Though a net brain gain has tended to be seen as a benefit and referred to as a 'beneficial brain drain' in the literature, its welfare impact for source country residents – or non-migrants – is at best ambiguous. Increased educational investment in response to a brain drain is equivalent to a bet where migrants (M) win and where the impact on residents (R) – whose well-being is a concern for the government – is ambiguous or negative. I compare residents' welfare a) for an open vs. a closed economy, b) under the presence or absence of education externality, c) with vs. without government intervention, and d) with government's concern equal for R and M (R = M) or greater for R (R > M). Main findings are: i) residents lose under an open economy in four of the five scenarios considered, with an ambiguous result under an externality and no intervention; ii) optimal education policy has a positive or ambiguous impact on residents' welfare (and a positive impact under a closed economy); and iii) welfare is higher under intervention when R > M than when R = M. It is worth noting that, though the standard developing country policy of subsidizing higher education is optimal under an education externality in the case of a closed economy, this result need not hold under an open economy.
    Keywords: brain drain, net brain gain, education policy, source country residents, welfare
    JEL: F22 I20 J61
    Date: 2018–04
  19. By: Nicoleta-Elena Buzatu (Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University)
    Abstract: The study below is meant to focus on the migrant smuggling crime in Romania, in specially analysis of the migrant smuggling infraction provided in the Romanian Criminal Code. Being a component of the human trafficking activity, the illegal migration is a phenomenon that is continuously extending and harder to stop due to the involvement of the organized crime networks and also due the ingenuousness and maliciousness of the people and the criminals. Therewith, the migrant smuggling is highly connected with drug trafficking, terrorism etc., aspects that are connected with the organized crime. Legally, there are many differences between the source states, the transit states or the destination states, that is slowing the fight of the states for combating this scourge. During this fight of preventing and stopping the illegal migrant smuggling, the states that are involved aligned their own legal frame to the international one in the activity field, by elaborating and promoting the regulatory acts that have been putting the responsibility on the governmental and non-governmental institution in this activity field.
    Keywords: migrant, illegal migration, crime, organized crime, Romanian Criminal Code
    Date: 2018–04

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