nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒09‒10
sixteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Impeding or Accelerating Assimilation? Immigration Enforcement and Its Impact on Naturalization Patterns By Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes; Mary J. Lopez
  2. Purchasing-Power-Parity and the Saving Behavior of Temporary Migrants By Akay, Alpaslan; Brausmann, Alexandra; Djajic, Slobodan; Kirdar, Murat G.
  3. Migration, Political Institutions, and Social Networks By Catia Batista; Julia Seither; Pedro C. Vicente
  4. From Immigrants to Americans: Race and Assimilation during the Great Migration By Vasiliki Fouka; Soumyajit Mazumder; Marco Tabellini
  5. The Choice of Bulgarian Migrants – Stay or Leave Again? By Mintchev, Vesselin; Boshnakov, Venelin
  6. Skills heterogeneity and immigrants-native wage gap in European countries By Tiiu Paas; Maryna Tverdostup
  7. Goals and Gaps: Educational Careers of Immigrant Children By Michela Carlana; Eliana La Ferrara La Ferrara; Paolo Pinotti
  8. Social Networks and the Intention to Migrate By Miriam Manchin; Sultan Orazbayev
  9. Immigrant Artists: Enrichment or Displacement? By Borowiecki, Karol Jan; Graddy, Kathryn
  10. Motivated to Succeed? Attitudes to Education among Native and Immigrant Pupils in England By Burgess, Simon; Heller-Sahlgren, Gabriel
  11. Peculiarities of illegal immigrant’s intrusions into road freight transport units in the France - UK corridor By Margarita Lietuvnikė; Aidas Vasilis Vasiliauskas; Virgilija Vasilienė-Vasiliauskienė; Jolanta Sabaitytė
  12. Globalization, income tax structure and the redistribution–progressivity tradeoff By Joël Hellier
  13. Occupational Barriers and the Labor Market Penalty from Lack of Legal Status By Ortega, Francesc; Hsin, Amy
  14. Hispanics immigrants in the fields: is discrimination a barrier to get non-agricultural jobs? By Lopez Barrera, E.
  15. Effects of childhood work on long-term out-migration decision in rural Ethiopia By Mussa, E.C.; Mirzabaev, A.; Admassie, A.; Rukundo, E.N.
  16. Risk preferences and the decision to flee conflict By Lidia Ceriani; Paolo Verme

  1. By: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (San Diego State University); Mary J. Lopez (Occidental College)
    Abstract: Naturalization bestows economic benefits to immigrants, their families and communities through greater access to employment opportunities, higher earnings, and homeownership. It is the cornerstone of immigrant assimilation in the United States. Yet, less than 800,000 of the estimated 8.8 million legal permanent residents eligible to naturalize do so on a yearly basis. Using data from the 2008-2016 American Community Survey, we analyze how the expansion of interior U.S. immigration enforcement affects naturalization patterns. We find that the intensification of interior enforcement increases migrants’ propensity to naturalize and accelerates their naturalization, possibly in response to increased uncertainty about future immigration policy. Yet, the impacts are highly heterogeneous. For eligible-to-naturalize immigrants living in mixed-status households—households with at least one unauthorized member, we find the opposite effects. Intensified enforcement makes them less likely to naturalize or to delay their status adjustment, possibly to avoid any contact with immigration officials. Understanding how immigration policy influences naturalization decisions is important given the benefits to naturalization and the potential to counter the adverse impacts of tougher enforcement on the 16 million individuals, many of them U.S. citizens, residing in mixed-status households.
    Keywords: Immigration enforcement, Naturalization, United States
    JEL: F22 J15
    Date: 2018–08
  2. By: Akay, Alpaslan (University of Gothenburg); Brausmann, Alexandra (ETH Zurich); Djajic, Slobodan (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva); Kirdar, Murat G. (Bogazici University)
    Abstract: How does saving behavior of immigrants respond to changes in purchasing power parity between the source and host countries? We examine this question by building a theoretical model of joint return-migration and saving decisions of temporary migrants and then test its implications by using data from the German Socioeconomic Panel on immigrants from 92 source countries. As implied by our theoretical model, we find that the saving rate increases in the nominal exchange rate but decreases in the source-country price level and that the absolute magnitude of both relationships increases as the time to retirement becomes shorter. At the median level of years to retirement, the absolute values of the elasticity of savings with respect to the nominal exchange rate and with respect to the source-country price level are both close to unity. Moreover, as we gradually restrict the sample to individuals with stronger return intentions, the estimated magnitudes become larger and their statistical significance higher.
    Keywords: migrants' savings, return migration, exchange rates, prices, PPP
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2018–07
  3. By: Catia Batista (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, CReAM, IZA and NOVAFRICA); Julia Seither (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, University of California at Berkeley, and NOVAFRICA); Pedro C. Vicente (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, BREAD, and NOVAFRICA)
    Abstract: What is the role of international migrants and, specifically, migrant networks in shaping political attitudes and behavior in migrant sending countries? Our theoretical framework proposes that migration might change individual social identities and thus stimulate intrinsic motivation for political participation, while it may also improve knowledge about better quality political institutions. Hence, international migration might increase political awareness and participation both by migrants and by other individuals in their networks. To test this hypothesis, we use detailed data on different migrant networks (geographic, kinship, and chatting networks), as well as several different measures of political participation and electoral knowledge (self-reports, behavioral, and actual voting measures). These data were purposely collected around the time of the 2009 elections in Mozambique, a country with substantial emigration to neighboring countries – especially South Africa - and with one of the lowest political participation rates in the region. The empirical results show that the number of migrants an individual is in close contact with via regular chatting significantly increases political participation of residents in that village – more so than family links to migrants. Our findings are consistent with both improved knowledge about political processes and increased intrinsic motivation for political participation being transmitted through migrant networks. These results are robust to controlling for self-selection into migration as well as endogenous network formation. Our work is relevant for the many contexts of South-South migration where both countries of origin and destination are recent democracies. It shows that even in this context there may be domestic gains arising from international emigration.
    Keywords: International migration, social networks, political participation, information, diffusion of political norms, governance
    JEL: D72 D83 F22 O15
    Date: 2018–08
  4. By: Vasiliki Fouka (Stanford University); Soumyajit Mazumder (Harvard University); Marco Tabellini (Harvard Business School, Business, Government and the International Economy Unit)
    Abstract: How does the appearance of a new out-group affect the economic, social, and cultural integration of previous outsiders? We study this question in the context of the first Great Migration (1915-1930), when 1.5 million African Americans moved from the US South to urban centers in the North, where 30 million Europeans had arrived since 1850. We test the hypothesis that black inflows led to the establishment of a binary black-white racial classification, and facilitated the incorporation of - previously racially ambiguous - European immigrants into the white majority. We exploit variation induced by the interaction between 1900 settlements of southern-born blacks in northern cities and state-level outmigration from the US South after 1910. Black arrivals increased both the effort exerted by immigrants to assimilate and their eventual Americanization. These average effects mask substantial heterogeneity: while initially less integrated groups (i.e. Southern and Eastern Europeans) exerted more assimilation effort, assimilation success was larger for those that were culturally closer to native whites (i.e. Western and Northern Europeans). These patterns are consistent with a framework in which perceptions of racial threat among native whites lower the barriers to the assimilation of white immigrants.
    Keywords: Immigration, assimilation, Great Migration, race, group identity.
    JEL: J11 J15 N32
    Date: 2018–08
  5. By: Mintchev, Vesselin; Boshnakov, Venelin
    Abstract: This article reviews issues related to re-migration/return of Bulgarian migrants and its sustainability. Information is provided about the scale of re-migration to Bulgaria. An assessment is made of the possibilities of the local labour market to provide incentives for returning from abroad. Based on an empirical sociological survey conducted in 2017 (as part of the project “Return Migrants: Segmentation and Stratification of Economic Mobility” financed by the National Research Fund) categories of return migrants are differentiated based on their plans for the future – whether to stay or to leave Bulgaria again. The profile of the individual categories of return migrants is presented summarizing their socio-demographic characteristics and prior migration experience. Applying a binary logistic regression the social and demographic factors as well as the factors based on migration experience, that induce the attitudes toward staying or moving again, are identified.
    Keywords: Return Migration
    JEL: F22 O15
    Date: 2018–07–30
  6. By: Tiiu Paas (University of Tartu); Maryna Tverdostup (University of Tartu; Innsbruck University)
    Abstract: Theoretical background and aim of the study. Theoretical framework for studying immigrants-native wage gap relies on the classical human capital theory, stating that differences in individuals? education and skills transmit into wage. Due to a lack of appropriate data, previous studies mostly approximated human capital with formal education to measure wage gap and occupation-qualification match. This paper aims to extend the knowledge on how individuals? skills and, particularly their use in European labour markets, contribute to the immigrants-native wage gap. This knowledge can contribute to the policy debate on the immigrants? integration in the host labour markets by offering a novel evidence on immigrants? skill profiles and their current (under)use in the European labour markets. Data and methodology. Empirical part of the study bases on the OECD Program of International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) data. We implement the multivariate regression analysis in the pooled and country specific samples. To precisely measure the individual human capital, we incorporate a formal education, literacy and numeracy skills, as well as the extent of cognitive skills use at work and in everyday life. Empirical results. On average, foreign-born respondents achieve substantially worse scores in literacy and numeracy skills, comparing to natives. Only highly educated immigrants reveal skill improvement over immigration tenure. There are systematic and statistically significant differences in skill application at work across immigrants and natives. Although, once immigrants attain comparable to natives? skill use frequency, their pay disadvantage turns statistically insignificant, even among low and medium educated foreign-born. To further support the robustness of the results, we present the effects of immigration tenure on skill level and replicate the immigrant wage gap analysis in country-specific samples. Conclusions and policy implications. The estimation results are stable leading us to the conclusion that potential for development and utilization of immigrants? human capital is still underused in the European labour markets. This suggest that an underuse of immigrants? skills and competencies is an important dimension of the immigrants? integration issue. The policy measures, having a potential to foster immigrants? skill use, include: development of the institutional framework improving qualified immigrants access to more challenging and highly rewarded jobs; improving the information system allowing immigrants to be better familiar with local labour markets; avoiding possible reasons for labour and housing markets? segregation; supporting socio-cultural integration of people with different ethnical background.
    Keywords: human capital, immigrants-native wage gap, PIAAC, European countries
    JEL: J21 J24 O15
    Date: 2018–07
  7. By: Michela Carlana (Harvard Kennedy School and IZA); Eliana La Ferrara La Ferrara (Università Bocconi); Paolo Pinotti (Department of Social and Political Sciences and DONDENA, Bocconi University, CReAM Centre, fRDB, IR- VAPP, and CEPR)
    Abstract: We study the educational choices of children of immigrants in a tracked school system. We first show that immigrants in Italy enroll disproportionately into vocational high schools, as opposed to technical and academically-oriented high schools, compared to natives of similar ability. The gap is greater for male students and it mirrors an analogous differential in grade retention. We then estimate the impact of a large-scale, randomized intervention providing tutoring and career counseling to high-ability immigrant students. Male treated students increase their probability of enrolling into the high track to the same level of natives, also closing the gap in terms of grade retention. There are no significant effects on immigrant girls, who exhibit similar choices and performance as native ones in absence of the intervention. Increases in academic motivation and changes in teachers’ recommendation regarding high school choice explain a sizable portion of the effect, while the effect of increases in cognitive skills is negligible. Finally, we find positive spillovers on immigrant classmates of treated students, while there is no effect on native classmates.
    Keywords: tracking, career choice, immigrants, aspirations, mentoring
    Date: 2018–08
  8. By: Miriam Manchin; Sultan Orazbayev
    Abstract: Using a large individual-level survey spanning several years and more than 150 countries, we examine the importance of social networks in influencing individuals' intention to migrate internationally and locally. We distinguish close social networks (composed of friends and family) abroad and at the current location, and broad social networks (composed of same-country residents with intention to migrate, either internationally or locally). We find that social networks abroad are the most important driving forces of international migration intentions, with close and broad networks jointly explaining about 37% of variation in the probability intentions. Social networks are found to be more important factors driving migration intentions than work-related aspects or wealth (wealth accounts for less than 3% of the variation). In addition, we nd that having stronger close social networks at home has the opposite effect by reducing the likelihood of migration intentions, both internationally and locally.
    Keywords: intention to migrate; social networks; international migration; local migration; remittances
    JEL: F22 F24 R23 O15
    Date: 2018–03
  9. By: Borowiecki, Karol Jan; Graddy, Kathryn
    Abstract: In order to investigate the role of immigrant artists on the development of artistic clusters in U.S. cities, we use the US Census and American Community Survey, collected every 10 years since 1850. We identify artists and art teachers, authors, musicians and music teachers, actors and actresses, architects, and journalists, their geographical location and their status as a native or an immigrant. We look at the relative growth rate of the immigrant population in these occupations over a ten year period and how it affects the relative growth rate of native-born individuals in these artistic occupations. We find that cities that experienced immigrant artist inflows also see a greater inflow of native artists.
    Keywords: artistic occupations; artists; Immigration
    JEL: J4 J6 N3 N9 Z1
    Date: 2018–07
  10. By: Burgess, Simon (University of Bristol); Heller-Sahlgren, Gabriel (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: We study attitudes to education among English adolescents. Using PISA data, we show there is considerable variation in these attitudes depending on background: immigrant students have substantially and significantly more positive attitudes to school than native children, a difference that amounts to around 0.2 standard deviations. There is no difference between first- and second-generation immigrants, and the attitude gap does not appear to depend on particular schools' policies. We also show that students in London have more positive attitudes to education on average, but this is entirely accounted for by the distribution of children of immigrants in that city.
    Keywords: education, human capital, motivation, immigrants
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2018–07
  11. By: Margarita Lietuvnikė (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University); Aidas Vasilis Vasiliauskas (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University); Virgilija Vasilienė-Vasiliauskienė (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University); Jolanta Sabaitytė (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University)
    Abstract: The World Economic Crisis has increased such processes as poverty, discrimination and war. As a consequence, many people from Africa, Middle East and Asia started to immigrate to Europe. There were over one million unauthorized immigrants entering Europe in 2015. However, not all countries want and can accept refugees. A long-time frame for assessing asylum applications or frequent rejections encourages refugees to migrate illegally by intruding freight transport units to cross the border of their chosen European country. The intrusion of illegal immigrants into road freight units to cross borders without being noticed has caused a great deal of damage to the international freight transportation companies. This article presents results of the study aimed at investigation of peculiarities of illegal immigrant's intrusions into road freight transport units moving along the corridor France – United Kingdom.
    Keywords: European migrant crisis,refugees,illegal immigrants,road freight transport,road freight transport risks,human factor
    Date: 2018–03–30
  12. By: Joël Hellier (University of Lille and University of Nantes, France)
    Abstract: We build a simple model in which (i) households select their country of residence depending on income taxation and on the cost of migrating and living abroad, and (ii) globalization comes with a decrease in the cost of migration. Globalization leads to (i) a maximum between-country income-tax gap which is lower for the high incomes, (ii) a decrease in income tax rates and (iii) a convergence in the taxation structures of the different countries. In addition, globalization generates changes in income tax schedules and redistribution which display three successive stages. In the first stage, the redistribution goal is consistent with tax progressivity. In the second stage, the tax schedule becomes regressive at the top. Thirdly, if the migration cost continues to decline, the government can typically not achieve its redistribution goal, even if redistribution is its first priority, and there is no equilibrium taxation schedule, the tax structure becoming volatile. These results are in line with observed facts. Finally, the model shows that globalization tends to generate and magnify a trade-off between less redistribution and less tax progressivity. This provides an explanation for the middle class curse and the social democrat curse experienced by a large majority of advanced countries over the last three decades.
    Keywords: globalization, income tax, migration, progressivity, redistribution, tax competition.
    JEL: F22 H23 H24 H26 I38
    Date: 2018–04
  13. By: Ortega, Francesc (Queens College, CUNY); Hsin, Amy (Queens College, CUNY)
    Abstract: Wage gaps between documented (including natives) and undocumented workers may reflect employer exploitation, endogenous occupational sorting and productivity losses associated with lack of legal status. Identification of the undocumented productivity penalty is crucial to estimate the aggregate economic gains from legalization. This paper presents a new identification strategy based on the interplay between educational attainment and occupational barriers. Our main finding is that lack of legal status reduces the productivity of undocumented workers by about 12%. We also find that Dreamers are positively selected compared to similarly skilled natives, as one would expect if they face occupational barriers (Hsieh et al., 2013). Our estimates also imply that the degree of employer exploitation is likely to be small, suggesting that employer competition bids up the wages of undocumented workers and aligns them with their productivity. Last, we also find evidence suggesting that the occupational choices of undocumented workers are heavily influenced by licensing requirements and by the degree of exposure to apprehension by immigration enforcement agencies. In sum, our results strongly suggest that occupational barriers associated with lack of legal status lead to misallocation of talent and negatively affect economic growth.
    Keywords: migration, undocumented, legalization, amnesty, dreamers
    JEL: J15 J24 J31
    Date: 2018–07
  14. By: Lopez Barrera, E.
    Abstract: Current trends on global migration combined with the poor performance of the US economy and national security issues have polarized the debate about migration policies, leaving in evidence some radical postures that have had particular acceptance in the rural areas of the US. This research presents evidence supporting the existence of differences in treatments received by Hispanics job seekers on agricultural and non-agricultural labor markets found through an experimental labor market. Hispanics males’ productivity predicted by agricultural employers was higher than the predicted by non-agricultural employers, suggesting that Hispanics males are believed to fit better in agricultural activities. This may imply an invisible barrier preventing Hispanics to access non-agricultural jobs. Employers’ beliefs reactions to a more informative signal related to productivity sent to the labor market were tested. Hispanic job-seekers’ signals did not significantly reduce the gap between agricultural and non-agricultural employers’ beliefs; suggesting that this invisible barrier may also prevent Hispanic males mobility from agricultural to nonagricultural jobs over time, reducing the incentive to invest in costly signals’ improvement (i.e. education, reputation). Results also support the existence of a non-neutral gender barrier, given no differences in treatments where found for female Hispanics.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Relations/Trade, Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2018–07
  15. By: Mussa, E.C.; Mirzabaev, A.; Admassie, A.; Rukundo, E.N.
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of childhood work on migration decisions and patterns later in life using a novel prospective panel dataset from rural Ethiopia. The data were generated through a follow-up tracking survey of 4-14-year-old children at baseline (1999/2000) after sixteen years in 2015/2016. We find that village out-migration was by and large dominated by females and schoolchildren. Compared to schoolingonly, fulltime childhood work significantly reduces the probability of village out-migration later in life. In contrast, those who combined work and study at baseline were highly likely to engage in economic or employment out-migrations. Thus, we presented new evidence in the related literature that besides the existing rural to urban labor migration explanations, childhood conditions in a rapidly changing developing economy setting may also affect children’s long-term migration decisions. The findings also suggest that elimination of full-time child labor should be a long-term human capital policy priority. However, excluding the worst forms of child labor, an attempt for child labor elimination in all its forms could be un(counter)productive. More importantly, rural child education seems to be as critical as enabling the future farm labor to shift from farm to non-farm activities and facilitate the structural transformation process.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development
    Date: 2018–07
  16. By: Lidia Ceriani (Georgetown University, USA); Paolo Verme (The World Bank, USA)
    Abstract: Despite the growing numbers of forcibly displaced persons worldwide, many people living under conflict choose not to flee. Individuals face two lotteries - staying or leaving- characterized by two distributions of potential outcomes. This paper proposes to model the choice between these two lotteries using quantile maximization as opposed to expected utility theory. We posit that risk-averse individuals aim at minimizing losses by choosing the lottery with the best outcome at the lower end of the distribution, whereas risk-tolerant individuals aim at maximizing gains by choosing the lottery with the best outcome at the higher end of the distribution. Using a rich set of household and conflict panel data from Nigeria, we find risk-tolerant individuals to have a significant preference for staying and risk-averse individuals to have a significant preference for fleeing in line with the predictions of the quantile maximization model. This is contrary to findings on economic migrants and calls for separate policies towards economic and forced migrants.
    Keywords: Conflict, migration, expected utility, forced displacement, quantile maximization.
    JEL: D01 D1 D3 D6 D7 D8 I3
    Date: 2018–03

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