nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒09‒24
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Immigrant Voters, Taxation and the Size of the Welfare State By Chevalier, Arnaud; Elsner, Benjamin; Lichter, Andreas; Pestel, Nico
  2. Labour Immigration and Union Strength By Finseraas, Henning; Roed, Marianne; Schone, Pal
  3. China’s “Great Migration”: The impact of the reduction in trade policy uncertainty By Anna Maria Mayda; Giovanni Facchini; Maggie Y. Liu; Minghai Zhou
  4. Skill of the Immigrants and Vote of the Natives: Immigration and Nationalism in European Elections 2007-2016 By Simone Moriconi; Giowanni Peri; Riccardo Turati;
  5. The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States By Anna Maria Mayda; Giovanni Peri; Walter Steingress
  6. Social Cohesion and Labor Mobility By Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  7. Country of Origin, Earnings Convergence, and Human Capital Investment: A New Method for the Analysis of U.S. Immigrant Economic Assimilation By Duleep, Harriet; Liu, Xingfei; Regets, Mark
  8. Global evidence on prospective migrants from developing countries By Mariapia, Mendola;
  9. The Status of Irregular Migrants at Sea: The Principle of Non-Refoulement v. Push-Back Operations By Azime Asl? Bilgin
  10. Community Leaders and the Preservation of Cultural Traits By Anja Prummer; Jan-Peter Siedlarek
  11. The labor market integration of refugees to the United States: Do entrepreneurs in the network help? By Anna Maria Mayda; Olivier Dagnelie; Jean-Francois Maystadt
  12. Dimensions of Economic Mobility in Kerala’s Migrant Households By Kumar, Rakesh Ranjan; Rajagopalan, Anjana; Singh, Sudershan
  13. The good tourist, the bad refugee and the ugly German: Xenophobic activities and tourism By Endrich, Marek; Michel, Stephan

  1. By: Chevalier, Arnaud (Royal Holloway, University of London); Elsner, Benjamin (University College Dublin); Lichter, Andreas (IZA); Pestel, Nico (IZA)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of immigration on public policy setting. As a natural experiment, we exploit the sudden arrival of eight million forced migrants in West Germany after World War II. These migrants were on average poorer than the West German population, but unlike most international migrants they had full voting rights and were eligible for social welfare. Using panel data for West German cities and applying difference-in-differences and an instrumental variables approach, we show that local governments responded to this migration shock with selective and persistent tax raises as well as shifts in spending. In response to the inflow, farm and business owners were taxed more while residential property and wage bill taxes were left unchanged. Moreover, high-inflow cities significantly raised welfare spending while reducing spending on infrastructure and housing. Election data suggest that these policy changes were partly driven by the political influence of the immigrants: in high-inflow regions, the major parties were more likely to nominate immigrants as candidates, and a pro-immigrant party received high vote shares. We further document that this episode of mass immigration had lasting effects on people's preferences for redistribution. In areas with larger inflows in the 1940s, people have substantially higher demand for redistribution more than 50 years later.
    Keywords: migration, taxation, spending, welfare state
    JEL: J61 H20
    Date: 2018–08
  2. By: Finseraas, Henning (Institute for Social Research, Oslo); Roed, Marianne (Institute for Social Research, Oslo); Schone, Pal (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)
    Abstract: To what extent is labour mobility in the European Union a threat to the strength of unions? We argue that the combination of cheap labour, workforce heterogeneity, and low unionization among labour immigrants' is a potential challenge for unions. The challenge will be particularly severe if immigrant competition affects natives' propensity to unionize. We examine this claim using Norwegian administrative data in a natural experiment framework. The 2004 EU expansion led to a rapid increase in labour migration to the construction sector. Licensing demands, however, protected some workers from immigrant competition. Comparisons of protected and exposed workers reveal negative labour market effects of the EU expansion for exposed workers, but no effect on union membership. Our results question important theories of unionization and are relevant for research on immigration, political behaviour and collective action.
    Keywords: immigration, union, wages, employment
    JEL: J21 J31 J51 J61
    Date: 2018–08
  3. By: Anna Maria Mayda (Department of Economics and SFS, Georgetown University); Giovanni Facchini (University of Nottingham); Maggie Y. Liu (Smith College); Minghai Zhou (University of Nottingham, Ningbo China)
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of China’s integration into the world economy on workers in the country and show that one important channel of impact has been internal migration. Specifically, we study the changes in internal migration rates triggered by the reduction in trade policy uncertainty faced by Chinese exporters in the U.S. This reduction is characterized by plausibly exogenous variation across sectors, which we use to construct a local measure of treatment, at the level of a Chinese prefecture, following Bartik (1991). This allows us to estimate a difference-in-difference empirical specification based on variation across Chinese prefectures before and after 2001. We find that prefectures facing the average decline in trade policy uncertainty experience an 18 percent increase in their internal in-migration rate – this result is driven by migrants who are “non-hukou”, skilled, and in their prime working age. Finally, in those prefectures, working hours of “native” unskilled workers significantly increase – while the employment rates of neither native workers nor internal migrants change.
    Keywords: hukou, immigration, internal migration, trade policy uncertainty
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2018–09–07
  4. By: Simone Moriconi (IÉSEG School of Management); Giowanni Peri (University of California, Davis); Riccardo Turati (IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain);
    Abstract: In this paper we document the impact of immigration at the regional level on Europeans’ political preferences as expressed by voting behavior in parliamentary or presidential elections between 2007 and 2016. We combine individual data on party voting with a classification of each party’s political agenda on a scale of their "nationalistic" attitudes over 28 elections across 126 parties in 12 countries. To reduce immigrant selection and omitted variable bias, we use immigrant settlements in 2005 and the skill compo- sition of recent immigrant flows as instruments. OLS and IV estimates show that larger inflows of highly educated immigrants were associated with a change in the vote of citizens away from nationalism. How- ever the inflow of less educated immigrants was positively associated with a vote shift towards nationalist positions. These effects were stronger for non-tertiary educated voters and in response to non-European immigrants. We also show that they are consistent with the impact of immigration on individual political preferences, which we estimate using longitudinal data, and on opinions about immigrants. Conversely, immigration did not affect electoral turnout. Simulations based on the estimated coefficients show that immigration policies balancing the number of high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants from outside the EU would be associated with a shift in votes away from nationalist parties in almost all European regions.
    Keywords: Immigration, Nationalism, Elections, Europe
    Date: 2018–09
  5. By: Anna Maria Mayda (Department of Economics and SFS, Georgetown University); Giovanni Peri (University of California, Davis); Walter Steingress (Bank of Canada - Banque du Canada)
    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: Immigration, Republican Party, Electoral Effects, Economic and Fiscal Channels.
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2018–09–10
  6. By: Zimmermann, Klaus F.
    Abstract: Social cohesion and labor mobility both have the same objective and do not need to be in conflict. They are about cooperating among individuals and societies in order to survive and prosper. Social cohesion can benefit from labour mobility: Labour mobility is economically beneficial for migrants and natives. Attitudes towards migrants are more friendly if they come and work. Migrants are more accepted if they are many. The wellbeing of natives is higher with more migrants present.
    Keywords: labor mobility,social cohesion,wellbeing,attitudes towards migrants,equality
    JEL: F22 J61 M14
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Duleep, Harriet; Liu, Xingfei; Regets, Mark
    Abstract: The initial earnings of U.S. immigrants vary enormously by country of origin. Via three interrelated analyses, we show earnings convergence across source countries with time in the United States. Human-capital theory plausibly explains the inverse relationship between initial earnings and earnings growth rates: the good fit between data and theory suggests that variation in initial skill transferability—not variation in the “quality” of human capital—underlies variation in initial earnings. A new method of testing for emigration bias confirms that selective emigration does not cause the convergence. Functional form and sample selections embedded in most recent analyses of immigrant economic assimilation bias downwards the earnings growth of post-1965 U.S. immigrants. When both functional-form and sample-selection constraints are lifted, a dramatically different picture of the economic assimilation of U.S. immigrants emerges.
    Keywords: immigrant economic assimilation,human capital investment,country of origin,immigrant earnings convergence,earnings growth,unbiased estimation
    JEL: J1 J2 J3 C1
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Mariapia, Mendola;
    Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of individual intentions to migrate abroad by using a recent global survey and by exploiting both within and cross-country variation in standard migration drivers. The sample includes more than 1 million individuals, drawn as representative samples from 159 countries around the world, representing 98 percent of the world's population and income. The analysis focuses on developing regions and shows that migration intentions differ substantially across countries and are correlated with structural economic factors such as farmland availability, rural population share and especially local joblessness. Heterogeneity within countries is even more pronounced though. International migration intentions vary systematically with key individual characteristics - age, gender, education and income - but some of these relationships are not similar across countries. Finally, we quantify the hump shape of the 'individual mobility transition' in countries with different levels of development and show that cross-border migration intentions rise sharply with income when respondents get richer among poorer people, while the same does not hold when richer respondents are in richer contexts.
    Keywords: International Migration, Migration intentions, Developing Countries, Cross-country survey data
    JEL: F01 F22 O15
    Date: 2018–09–19
  9. By: Azime Asl? Bilgin (Cukurova University Faculty of Law)
    Abstract: Since the conflict began in 2011, an estimated 5 million people have fled Syria by land and sea in order to survive. The Aegean sea from Turkey to Greece has become one of the popular and deadly routes for asylum-seekers and migrants to reach Europe since then. In 2015, while more than 851.000 asylum seekers entered to Greece via the Aegean sea route. The number of the irregular migrants coming to the European Union has begun to threat the area of freedom, security and justice which is established to enable its citizens to exercise their free movement rights.The principle of non-refoulement which prohibits the expulsion, deportation, or return of a refugee to a state where refugee?s life would be in danger is accepted by most States, including the EU in accordance with the protection of human rights.At this point a dilemma has appeared for the EU. While preventing the entrance of the irregular migrants to the area of freedom, security and justice via push-back operations in Aegean on the one hand, the breach of non-refoulement principle occurs on the other.Because of the reasons above, this paper aims to examine the breach of non-refoulement principle via push-back operations in the Aegean Sea and determine the responsibility of States stemmed from the principle in the light of international law.
    Keywords: The principle of non-refoulement, refugees, irregular migration, human rights,
    JEL: F22 K33
    Date: 2018–06
  10. By: Anja Prummer (Queen Mary University of London); Jan-Peter Siedlarek (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)
    Abstract: We explain persistent differences in cultural traits of immigrant groups with the presence of community leaders. Leaders influence the cultural traits of their community, which have an impact on the group's earnings. They determine whether a community will be more assimilated and wealthier or less assimilated and poorer. With a leader cultural integration remains incomplete. The leader chooses more distinctive cultural traits in high productivity environments and if the community is more connected. Lump sum transfers to immigrants can hinder cultural integration. These findings are in line with integration patterns of various ethnic and religious groups.
    Keywords: Cultural transmission, Leadership, Immigrants, Labor market outcomes, Social influence, Networks
    JEL: J15 Z10 D02
    Date: 2016–12–22
  11. By: Anna Maria Mayda (Department of Economics and SFS, Georgetown University); Olivier Dagnelie (Universite de Caen Normandie); Jean-Francois Maystadt (Department of Economics, Lancaster University Management School)
    Abstract: We investigate whether entrepreneurs in the network of refugees – from the same country of origin – help refugees’ labor-market integration by hiring them in their businesses. We analyze the universe of refugee cases without U.S. ties who were resettled in the United States between 2005 and 2010. We address threats to identification due to sorting of refugees into specific labor markets and to strategic placement by resettlement agencies. We find that the probability that refugees are employed 90 days after arrival is positively affected by the number of business owners in their network, but negatively affected by the number of those who are employees. This suggests that network members who are entrepreneurs hire refugees in their business, while network members working as employees compete with them, consistent with refugees complementing the former and substituting for the latter.
    Keywords: Refugees, labor market integration, entrepreneurship
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2018–09–09
  12. By: Kumar, Rakesh Ranjan; Rajagopalan, Anjana; Singh, Sudershan
    Abstract: This paper analyses economic mobility as an evaluating criteria in gauging the nature and extent of improvement in economic position of households having migrants in terms of remittances and extent of economic mobility. Using panel data from Kerala Migration Surveys, we estimate the quantum of improvement in standards of living of migrant households in Kerala through transition matrices and statistical and econometric techniques.
    Keywords: Economic mobility, Standard of Living, Migration
    JEL: J6 O1 O15 R23
    Date: 2018–07–20
  13. By: Endrich, Marek; Michel, Stephan
    Abstract: Germany shows a more welcoming attitude towards refugees than most other European countries. At the same time, the influx of refugees has led to massive protests, demonstrations and attacks against refugees. We look at the economic effects of these demonstrations and attacks on one important industry, namely tourism. Combining a novel, district-level data set on tourism with data on xenophobic activities, we find that xenophobic demonstrations have negative effects on tourist arrivals. This effect is found for domestic and foreign tourists.
    Keywords: Xenophobic activities,refugees,tourism,district-level data
    JEL: F22 L83
    Date: 2018

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