nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒06‒25
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Growing up in Ethnic Enclaves: Language Proficiency and Educational Attainment of Immigrant Children By Alexander Danzer; Carsten Feuerbaum; Marc Piopiunik; Ludger Woessmann
  2. Did OPT Policy Changes Help Steer and Retain Foreign Talent into Stem? By Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Furtado, Delia; Xu, Huanan
  3. Language Assimilation and Performance in Achievement Tests among Immigrant Children: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Mukhopadhyay, Sankar
  4. Can Public Housing Decrease Segregation? Lessons and Challenges from Non-European Immigration in France By Verdugo, Gregory; Toma, Sorana
  5. Migration and Business Cycle Dynamics By Christie Smith; Christoph Thoenissen
  6. Trust and Signals in Workplace Organization: Evidence from Job Autonomy Differentials between Immigrant Groups By van Hoorn, Andre
  7. Comparing Wage Gains from Small and Mass Scale Immigrant Legalization Programs By Mukhopadhyay, Sankar
  8. Local Labour Market Conditions on Immigrants' Arrival and Children's School Performance By Roed, Marianne; Schone, Pal; Umblijs, Janis
  9. The effects of migration and pollution externality on cognitive skills in Caribbean economies: a Theoretical analysis By Lesly Cassin
  10. Trading for Peace By Jha, Saumitra
  11. Access to the trade: monopoly and mobility in European craft guilds, 17th and 18th centuries By Prak, Maarten; Crowston, Clare; De Munck, Bert; Kissane, Christopher; Minns, Chris; Schalk, Ruben; Wallis, Patrick
  12. The influence of european funds in visible development of rural areas - case study, place. Ciugud, Alba county By Dumitru, Eduard Alexandru

  1. By: Alexander Danzer (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt); Carsten Feuerbaum (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt); Marc Piopiunik (ifo Institute at the University of Munich and CESifo); Ludger Woessmann (University of Munich, ifo Institute, IZA, and CESifo)
    Abstract: Does a high regional concentration of immigrants of the same ethnicity affect immigrant children’s acquisition of host-country language skills and educational attainment? We exploit the exogenous placement of guest workers from five ethnicities across German regions during the 1960s and 1970s in a model with region and ethnicity fixed effects. Our results indicate that exposure to a higher own-ethnic concentration impairs immigrant children’s host-country language proficiency and increases school dropout. A key mediating factor for this effect is parents’ lower speaking proficiency in the host-country language, whereas inter-ethnic contacts with natives and economic conditions do not play a role.
    Keywords: immigrant children, ethnic concentration, language, education, guest workers
    JEL: J15 I20 R23 J61
    Date: 2018–06
  2. By: Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (San Diego State University); Furtado, Delia (University of Connecticut); Xu, Huanan (Indiana University)
    Abstract: Academia and the public media have emphasized the link between STEM majors and innovation, as well as the need for STEM graduates in the U.S. economy. Given the proclivity of international students to hold STEM degrees, immigration policy may be used to attract and retain high-skilled STEM workers in the United States. We examine if a 2008 policy extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) period for STEM graduates affected international students' propensities to major in a STEM field. Using data from the National Survey of College Graduates, we find that, relative to foreign-born U.S. college graduates who arrived on other visas allowing them to work, foreign-born students who first came to the United States on student visas became 18 percent more likely to major in STEM following the OPT policy change. We also find that the OPT policy change increased the likelihood of adding a STEM major among students who had listed a non-STEM major as their first major, as well as the propensity to pursue a master's degree in a STEM field among students whose bachelor's degree was in a non-STEM field.
    Keywords: Optional Practical Training, H-1B visas, foreign-born workers, United States
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2018–05
  3. By: Mukhopadhyay, Sankar (University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: We provide new evidence about language assimilation and its effect on test scores using data from two rounds (conducted approximately six years apart) of the New Immigrants Survey (NIS). As part of the NIS interviews, U.S. born and foreign-born children of immigrants were asked to take Woodcock-Johnson achievement test. In both rounds, prior to the administration of tests, children of Hispanic origin were randomly assigned to take the tests either in Spanish or in English. Therefore, we can attribute the difference in scores to language proficiency and directly estimate the rate of assimilation. Our results suggest that in reading tests, U.S. born children of Hispanic immigrants perform better, when they are assigned to take the tests in English, and the advantage remains stable across two rounds of interviews. However, there is substantial heterogeneity. For example, U.S. born children at the top of score distribution perform better when they take tests in Spanish. Foreign-born children of Hispanic immigrants exhibit Spanish dominance during the first round, but it declines and in some cases completely disappears by the second round. We find that foreign-born children who immigrated to the U.S. after age six, exhibit Spanish dominance in reading tests in the first round. However, during the six years between interviews, Spanish dominance disappears among foreign-born children who immigrated between the ages of six and eight (in reading) and in all children (in math). Moreover, for children who still have Spanish dominance in reading, the score differences have narrowed.
    Keywords: immigrants, language assimilation, test score, education, children
    JEL: J15 I20 Z13
    Date: 2018–05
  4. By: Verdugo, Gregory (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne); Toma, Sorana (CREST (ENSAE))
    Abstract: Recent decades have seen a rapid increase in the share of non-European immigrants in public housing in Europe, which has led to concern regarding the rise of "ghettos" in large cities. Using French census data over three decades, we examine how this increase in public housing participation has affected segregation. While segregation levels have increased moderately on average, the number of immigrant enclaves has grown. The growth of enclaves is being driven by the large increase in non-European immigrants in the census tracts where the largest housing projects are located, both in the housing projects and the surrounding non-public dwellings. As a result, contemporary differences in segregation levels across metropolitan areas are being shaped by the concentration of public housing within cities, in particular the share of non-European immigrants in large housing projects constructed before the 1980s. Nevertheless, the overall effect of public housing on segregation has been ambiguous. While large projects have increased segregation, the inflows of non-European immigrants into small projects have brought many immigrants into census tracts where they have previously been rare and, thus, diminished segregation levels.
    Keywords: immigration, social housing, public housing, segregation, Europe, France
    JEL: J15 R31
    Date: 2018–05
  5. By: Christie Smith (Reserve Bank of New Zealand); Christoph Thoenissen (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: Shocks to net migration matter for the business cycles. 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
    JEL: E44 E61 F42
  6. By: van Hoorn, Andre
    Abstract: Trust involves a willingness to be vulnerable to other agents’ actions as well as an assessment of these agents’ trustworthiness. This paper seeks to unpack the relationship between trust and workplace organization, focusing on signals of (un)trustworthiness guiding employers’ trust decisions. While much research finds that societal trust norms affect workplace organization, particularly the granting of autonomy to employees, the underlying process remains essentially a black box. Integrating extant literatures, I posit that employers use group-level traits to infer (un)trustworthiness and decide on how much job autonomy to grant to specific employees. I test this prediction in a large cross-national sample comprising migrant employees originating from home countries that differ in the degree to which corruption has been institutionalized in society. Confirming my prediction, empirical results reveal a strong negative relationship between homecountry corruption and job autonomy. Results are robust to controlling for a range of potential confounders, including personal income and home-country level of economic development as proxies for unobserved skill differentials. Key contribution of the paper is to reveal important real-world features of trust governing exchange in the context of workplace organization.
    Keywords: Trustworthiness; decentralization; statistical discrimination; signaling theory; economic exchange
    JEL: D29 L29 M50
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Mukhopadhyay, Sankar (University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: Large-scale immigrant legalization programs (such as the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act or the IRCA) may produce supply shocks that may affect wages of newly legalized immigrants. The effect of supply shock may be especially relevant given that certain occupations have a high density undocumented immigrants. Thus comparing the legalization premium for those who were legalized based on family ties or small-scale legalization programs, to the legalization premium from the IRCA may provide an estimate about the importance of labor supply shock. It may also provide an estimate of the long-term wage gain (as the supply shock of any large-scale amnesty program dissipates) from large-scale legalization programs. We use data from the New Immigrant Survey (NIS) for data on immigrants who were legalized based on family ties or small-scale legalization programs, and the Legalized Population Survey (LPS) for data on immigrants legalized by the IRCA. Estimates suggest that the increase in wage after legalization is about 22% higher for male immigrants who were legalized based on family ties, or smaller scale legalization programs, compared to IRCA beneficiaries. Difference-in-Difference-Difference regressions with National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979 cohort and 1997 cohort) comparison groups suggest similar results. We further show that the NIS respondents received a larger wage gain from legalization compared to the LPS respondents even though they had similar wages in their first U.S. job. This suggests that supply shock brought on by the IRCA restricted the wage gains of IRCA beneficiaries.
    Keywords: immigration, illegal immigration, legalization, undocumented immigrants, wage
    JEL: J3 J6
    Date: 2018–05
  8. By: Roed, Marianne (Institute for Social Research, Oslo); Schone, Pal (Institute for Social Research, Oslo); Umblijs, Janis (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the impact of labour market conditions at immigration on school performance for the immigrants' children. First, we establish the direct effect of initial labour market conditions on later labour market performance for the father. Along with several other studies in this field we find that later labour market performance of the father (measured by labour earnings and accumulated work experience) depend significantly initial labour market conditions. Second, we find evidence that this initial effect feeds into the children's school performance. Concretely, for the sons, we find a positive impact of initial favourable labour market conditions of the father on the grade point average in lower secondary school. Daughters' school performance seems to be unrelated to the same initial labour market conditions.
    Keywords: educational outcomes, immigration, local labour market conditions
    JEL: I20 J18 J61
    Date: 2018–05
  9. By: Lesly Cassin
    Abstract: Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. This paper provides a simple overlapping generations model with migration and intergenerational transfers in an economy where production generates pollution. This pollution hampers the cognitive skills of the children and thus the efficiency of human capital accumulation in the economy. Therefore the model developped in this work introduces kea features of Caribbean SIDS in order to exacerbate the dynamics between demography – i.e. migration and human capital accumulation – and pollution. Results reveal that the usual gain from migration in terms of human capital was no longer possible because of the environmental externality. Indeed, in most of the cases, in presence of the environmental externality, per capita variables (utility, production and capital) are decreased by migration, while the aggregated production can be enhanced thanks to the demographic growth that occurs with migration. Moreover, it has been shown that the conditions to have a profitable environmental tax depend on the pollution intensity of the economy. Finally, the interactions between the emigration rate and the form of intergenerational transfers – i.e. solidarity from the domestic area and/or from the diaspora – have an impact on the scale of the reduction of human capital due to migration. Thus, in this model a gain from an increase in the rate of emigration is still possible but only if migration is already very high.
    Keywords: Pollution, Demographics, Economic Development, Migration, Caribbean, Small Island Developing States
    JEL: Q01 Q56 F24 J24
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Jha, Saumitra (Stanford University)
    Abstract: I examine the conditions under which trade can support peaceful coexistence and prosperity when particular ethnic groups are cheap targets of violence. A simple theoretical framework reveals that for a broad set of cases, while inter-ethnic competition generates incentives for violence, the presence of non-replicable, non-expropriable inter-ethnic complementarities become necessary to sustain peaceful coexistence over long time horizons. In addition to complementarity, two further conditions are important for deterring violence over time. When relatively mobile ethnic groups (eg immigrants) are vulnerable, a credible threat to leave can deter violence. When less mobile (indigenous) groups are vulnerable, high monitoring costs that allow them to withhold production can improve their gains from trade. I describe the implications for indigenous entrepreneurship and cultural assimilation, the development of local institutions supporting inter-ethnic trust, immigration policies and policies aimed at mitigating ethnic violence through financial innovations. I illustrate these implications using contemporary evidence and historical cases of organizations and institutions created to engender trade and support peace drawn from Africa, Asia Europe and Latin America.
    Date: 2017–09
  11. By: Prak, Maarten; Crowston, Clare; De Munck, Bert; Kissane, Christopher; Minns, Chris; Schalk, Ruben; Wallis, Patrick
    Abstract: One of the standard objections against citizenship systems and trade organizations in the premodern world has been their exclusiveness. Privileged access to certain professions and industries is seen as a disincentive for technological progress. Guilds, especially, have been portrayed as providing unfair advantages to established masters and their descendants, over immigrants and other outsiders. In this paper the results of detailed local investigations of the composition of citizenries and guild apprentices and masters is brought together, to find out to what extent this picture is historically correct. This data offers an indirect measurement of the accessibility of citizenship and guilds that allows insight into the mechanisms of exclusion and their impact. The paper finds that guild masterships were in most towns open to large numbers of immigrants and non-family, as were training markets for apprentices. Therefore, we argue, our understanding of urban and guild ‘monopolies’, and the measure of protection and reward they supplied to established citizens, is in need of serious revision.
    Keywords: guilds; Europe; institutions; social capital; inequality; labour markets
    JEL: D02 D72 L22 N33 N43
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Dumitru, Eduard Alexandru
    Abstract: The situation in which the Romanian rural village presents itself is not at all happy, identifying a whole series of problems that may contribute to the worst phenomenon, namely the depopulation of the rural area, characterized by the migration of young people to the big urban centers and the birth rate To an extremely low level. This country-wide phenomenon, but with a more marked manifestation in rural areas, seems to be driven by poor living conditions, lack of jobs, including life perspectives, which make young people leave regions. Those who are involved in the development of these localities are almost non-existent, most often determined by the lack of funds necessary for the investments that could develop the locality or the region, which would then attract investors, thus creating jobs, which could facilitate Leaving young people in rural areas. With the involvement of local authorities by attracting European non-reimbursable funds, the conditions for a harmonious development of these settlements could be created, in which their youth would be the engine of their development.
    Keywords: The Romanian village, the young people from rural areas, the rural environment
    JEL: Q19 R58
    Date: 2017–11–16

This nep-mig issue is ©2018 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.