nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒11‒05
eighteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Highly Skilled International Migration, STEM Workers, and Innovation By Anelí Bongersy; Carmen Díaz-Roldán; José L. Torres
  2. Why Has India-UK Migration Decreased So Rapidly? By Singhal, Neer
  3. Foreign-Born and Native-Born Migration in the U.S.: Evidence from IRS Administrative and Census Survey Records By Thomas B. Fost; Mark Ellis; Lee Fiorio
  4. Estimating migration changes from the EU’s free movement of people principle By Hugo Rojas-Romagosa; Johannes Bollen
  5. Birthplace Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US States in the Post-World War II Period By Docquier, Frédéric; Turati, Riccardo; Valette, Jérôme; Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis
  6. Optimal Education Policy and Human Capital Accumulation in the Context of Brain Drain By Djajic, Slobodan; Docquier, Frédéric; Michael, Michael S.
  7. Determinants of Poverty among Mexican Migrants in Chicago By Jose Soltero; Sonia Soltero
  8. The Opportunities and Challenges of Linked IRS Administrative and Census Survey Records in the Study of Migration By Thomas B. Foster; Mark Ellis; Lee Fiorio
  9. Labor Market and Institutional Drivers of Youth Irregular Migration: Evidence from the MENA Region By Ghassan Dibeh; Ali Fakih; Walid Marrouch
  10. Wage Differences Between Immigrants and Natives in Austria: The Role of Literacy Skills By Christl, Michael; Köppl-Turyna, Monika; Gnan, Philiipp
  11. The Political Economy of European Asylum Policies By Drometer, Marcus; Méango, Romuald; Burmann, Martina
  12. Geography of Skills and Global Inequality By Burzynski, Michal; Deuster, Christoph; Docquier, Frédéric
  13. Individual Changes in Identification with Hispanic Ethnic Origins: Evidence from Linked 2000 and 2010 Census Data By Mark A. Leach; Tomás Jiménez
  14. The role of education in promoting positive attitudes towards migration at times of stress By Francesca Borgonovi; Artur Pokropek
  15. Basic Information and Communication Technology Skills among Canadian Immigrants and Non-Immigrants By Truong, N. T. Khuong; Sweetman, Arthur
  16. Does Juan Carlos or Nelson Obtain a Larger Price Cut in the Spanish Housing Market? By Nicodemo, Catia; Raya, Josep M.
  17. The Impact of Permanent Residency Delays for STEM PhDs: Who leaves and Why By Shulamit Kahn; Megan MacGarvie
  18. Using Linked Data to Investigate True Intergenerational Change: Three Generations Over Seven Decades By Mark A. Leach; Jennifer Van Hook; James D. Bachmeier

  1. By: Anelí Bongersy (Universidad de Málaga); Carmen Díaz-Roldán (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha); José L. Torres (Universidad de Málaga)
    Abstract: This paper studies the implications of highly skilled labor international migration in a two-country Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model. The model considers hree types of workers: STEM workers, non-STEM college educated workers, and non-college educated workers. Only high skilled workers can move internationally from the relative low productivity (sending) country to the high productivity (host) country. Aggregate productivity in each economy is a function of innovations, which can be produced only by STEM workers. The model predicts i) the existence of a wage premium of STEM workers relative to non-STEM college educated workers, ii) this wage premium is higher in the destination country and increases with positive technological shocks, iii) a reduction in migration costs increases output, wages and total labor in the destination country, with opposite effects in the country of origin, and iv) high skilled immigrants reduce skilled native labor and do not affect unskilled labor.
    Keywords: STEM workers; Migration; Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium models; Innovation
    JEL: F43 J61 O31
    Date: 2018–02
  2. By: Singhal, Neer
    Abstract: Net migration in the UK increased from less than 100,000 per year in the early 1990s to over 300,000 in 2006. However, by 2016, the net migration in the UK had dropped to 248,000. This trend is visible in India-UK migration specifically - immigration from India increased until 2012 but has since declined dramatically. Between 2012 and 2015, the number of Indians emigrating to the UK decreased from 1,500,000 to 325,000 – an average decline of 39.9% per year There are 3 primary causes that led to this decline in India-UK migration: 1. Increased British government immigration stringency 2. Improved quality of life and standard of living in India 3. Decrease of Indian students in the UK Firstly, the British government have tried to restrict immigration. They have increased the immigrant wage threshold and initiated the points based system. In this way, they have reduced the number of low skilled workers, making it virtually impossible for low skilled workers to permanently or semi-permanently immigrate. Improvements in India, both in the workplace and in general well-being, have led to a decrease in Indian emigrants migrating to the UK. Unemployment rates in India are low and phenomena such as the ‘reverse brain drain’ suggest India may be on the verge of rapid productivity and employment opportunities. Finally, the number of International students in the UK has dropped below the number of immigrant workers. This is because the government has made it more difficult for international students to study in the UK. Furthermore, the rapidly increasing range of countries that are welcoming international students has resulted in the movement of Indian students across the world rather than just the UK and US.
    Keywords: Migration; India; UK; British; Decreased; Rapidly; Government; Policy
    JEL: A1 F22 J00 J01 J60
    Date: 2018–04–18
  3. By: Thomas B. Fost; Mark Ellis; Lee Fiorio
    Abstract: This paper details efforts to link administrative records from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to American Community Survey (ACS) and 2010 Census microdata for the study of migration among foreign-born and native-born populations in the United States. Specifically, we (1) document our linkage strategy and methodology for inferring migration in IRS records; (2) model selection into and survival across IRS records to determine suitability for research applications; and (3) gauge the efficacy of the IRS records by demonstrating how they can be used to validate and potentially improve migration responses for native-born and foreign-born respondents in ACS microdata. Our results show little evidence of selection or survival bias in the IRS records, suggesting broad generalizability to the nation as a whole. Moreover, we find that the combined IRS 1040, 1099, and W2 records may provide important information on populations, such as the foreign-born, that may be difficult to reach with traditional Census Bureau surveys. Finally, while preliminary, the results of our comparison of IRS and ACS migration responses shows that IRS records may be useful in improving ACS migration measurement for respondents whose migration response is proxy, allocated, or imputed. Taking these results together, we discuss the potential application of our longitudinal IRS dataset to innovations in migration research on both the native-born and foreign-born populations of the United States.
    Date: 2018–07
  4. By: Hugo Rojas-Romagosa (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Johannes Bollen (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of the free movement of people (FMP) principle on bilateral intra-EU migration stocks using a gravity model. Employing a combination of the World Bank and the UN’s global migration databases, with observations between 1960 and 2015, allows us to analyse the impact of the FMP for most EU member states. We find that implementing the FMP by an EU member state increased, on average, its stock of intra-EU migrants by 28%. The vast majority of intra-EU migration went to the old member states and we find that FMP had a substantial impact on migration originating from both old and new member states. The only exception is migration within new member states, which was negatively affected by FMP.
    JEL: F22 J61 R23
    Date: 2018–10
  5. By: Docquier, Frédéric (Université catholique de Louvain); Turati, Riccardo (IRES, Université catholique de Louvain); Valette, Jérôme (CES, University of Paris); Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis (Bangor University)
    Abstract: This paper empirically revisits the impact of birthplace diversity on economic growth. We use panel data on US states over the 1960-2010 period. This rich data set allows us to better deal with endogeneity issues and to conduct a large set of robustness checks. Our results suggest that diversity among college-educated immigrants positively affects economic growth. We provide converging evidence pointing at the existence of skill complementarities between workers trained in different countries. These synergies result in better labor market outcomes for native workers and in higher productivity in the R&D sector. The gains from diversity are maximized when immigrants originate from economically or culturally distant countries (but not both), and when they acquired part of their secondary education abroad and their college education in the US. Overall, a 10% increase in high-skilled diversity raises GDP per capita by about 6%. On the contrary, low-skilled diversity has insignificant effects.
    Keywords: immigration culture, birthplace diversity growth
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2018–09
  6. By: Djajic, Slobodan (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva); Docquier, Frédéric (Université catholique de Louvain); Michael, Michael S. (University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: This paper revisits the question of how brain drain affects the optimal education policy of a developing economy. Our framework of analysis highlights the complementarity between public spending on education and students' efforts to acquire human capital in response to career opportunities at home and abroad. Given this complementarity, we find that brain drain has conflicting effects on the optimal provision of public education. A positive response is called for when the international earning differential with destination countries is large, and when the emigration rate is relatively low. In contrast with the findings in the existing literature, our numerical experiments show that these required conditions are in fact present in a large number of developing countries; they are equivalent to those under which an increase in emigration induces a net brain gain. As a further contribution, we study the interaction between the optimal immigration policy of the host country and education policy of the source country in a game-theoretic framework.
    Keywords: migration of skilled workers, immigration policy, education policy
    JEL: F22 J24 O15
    Date: 2018–09
  7. By: Jose Soltero (DePaul University); Sonia Soltero (DePaul University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the connection between immigration status, English language proficiency, educational achievement, time in the U.S., and economic sector of employment as determinants of poverty among Mexico-born migrants in Chicago, U.S. The theoretical framework of the study uses Human Capital Theory and the analysis is based on a multi-stage cluster probabilistic sample (2005-2006) of Mexican migrants obtained in Cook County which includes the City of Chicago. Analyses of logistic regression models show that the most relevant connections occur between poverty (dependent variable) and immigration status, time in the U.S., economic sector of employment, and English language proficiency. Thus, Mexican immigrants with citizenship status or residency permits (?green cards?) and Mexican immigrants with English language proficiency have a lower probability to be below the poverty threshold than their counterparts. Furthermore, female migrants, older migrants, and the unemployed or out of the labor force have a higher probability to be poor than their counterparts. The analysis of the sample?s educational achievement in Mexico shows that these migrants tend to have low levels of education. Similarly, the educational achievement obtained in the U.S. is significantly low among the individuals in the sample. These results point to the plight of the large levels of undocumented workers with low English proficiency and suggest the existence of structural problems that impede significant returns to human capital investments on Mexican education in the U.S. labor market.
    Keywords: Poverty, Language, Education, Mexican Migrants
    JEL: A14
    Date: 2018–07
  8. By: Thomas B. Foster; Mark Ellis; Lee Fiorio
    Abstract: This paper details efforts to link administrative records from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to American Community Survey (ACS) and 2010 Census microdata for the study of migration in the United States. Specifically, we (1) document our linkage strategy and methodology for inferring migration in IRS records; (2) model selection into and survival across IRS records to determine suitability for research applications; and (3) gauge the efficacy of the IRS records by demonstrating how they can be used to validate and potentially improve migration responses in ACS microdata. Our results show little evidence of selection or survival bias in the IRS records, suggesting broad generalizability to the nation as a whole. Moreover, we find that the combined IRS 1040, 1099, and W2 records may provide important information on populations that are hard to reach with traditional Census surveys. Finally, while preliminary, the results of our comparison of IRS and ACS migration responses shows that IRS records may be useful in improving ACS migration measurement for respondents whose migration response is proxy, allocated, or imputed. Taking these results together, we discuss the potential applications of our longitudinal IRS dataset to innovations in migration research in the United States.
    Date: 2018–07
  9. By: Ghassan Dibeh; Ali Fakih; Walid Marrouch
    Abstract: Irregular migration became an alarming issue over the last decade for both developed and developing countries. A prevailing assumption in migration policy is that labor market and institutional characteristics play a crucial role in pushing people to leave their home countries in search for better life prospects. This paper examines this hypothesis using a unique dataset covering young people aged 15 to 29 from five major MENA countries from the year 2016. Using a probit model, the paper finds that labor market drivers (unemployment, job sector, social security, contract type) are of great importance for the decision to migrate irregularly amongst the youth in the MENA region and that the quality of institutions matters. In addition, the lack of wealth and economic opportunities enhance their willingness to engage in irregular migration.
    Keywords: Irregular Migration,Youth,Labor Markets,Institutions,Arab Spring,
    JEL: J61 O17
    Date: 2018–10–19
  10. By: Christl, Michael; Köppl-Turyna, Monika; Gnan, Philiipp
    Abstract: This paper analyzes wage differences between natives and immigrants in Austria. First, we show that for both groups, literacy skills are an important determinant of the hourly wage. In the second step, we show that differences in proficiency with respect to literacy can explain more than three log points of the total wage gap of 9.7 log points between natives and immigrants. When adding literacy skills to the wage decomposition, the discriminatory part vanishes completely, suggesting that the wage difference between immigrants and natives in Austria can be to a large extent explained. Furthermore, we account for a possible sample selection bias. After controlling for literacy skills, the unexplained part of the gap becomes statistically insignificant. The importance of literacy skills in explaining wage differences between natives and immigrants is robust across several sensitivity tests.
    Keywords: wage,decomposition,gap,immigrants,natives,Austria
    JEL: J71 J15
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Drometer, Marcus; Méango, Romuald; Burmann, Martina
    Abstract: Despite widespread agreement that asylum policies are partly determined by political economy factors in the destination country, there is little empirical evidence on the precise linkage between those political factors and asylum policies. We shed light on this issue by examining the impact of elections and parties on first-time asylum applications. Our evidence is based on a large bilateral panel data set comprising 12 European destination countries and their 51 most relevant origin countries during the time period 2002 to 2014. Our findings suggest that the number of asylum applicants under left- and right-wing parties converges before elections and differs thereafter. This result is robust to several different specifications and suggests that both left- and right-wing cabinets choose moderate policies before an election and less moderate policies after it.
    Keywords: Electoral cycles,migration policies
    JEL: H11 D72 F22
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Burzynski, Michal (LISER); Deuster, Christoph (IRES, Université catholique de Louvain); Docquier, Frédéric (Université catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the factors underlying the evolution of the worldwide distribution of skills and their implications for global inequality. We develop and parameterize a two-sector, two-class, world economy model that endogenizes education and mobility decisions, population growth, and income disparities across and within countries. First, our static experiments reveal that the geography of skills matters for global inequality. Low access to education and sectoral misallocation of skills substantially impact income in poor countries. Second, we produce unified projections of population and income for the 21st century. Assuming the continuation of recent education and migration policies, we predict stable disparities in the world distribution of skills, slow-growing urbanization in developing countries and a rebound in income inequality. These prospects are sensitive to future education costs and to internal mobility frictions, which suggests that policies targeting access to all levels of education and sustainable urban development are vital to reduce demographic pressures and global inequality in the long term.
    Keywords: human capital, migration, urbanization, growth, inequality
    JEL: E24 J24 O15
    Date: 2018–09
  13. By: Mark A. Leach; Tomás Jiménez
    Abstract: Population estimates and demographic profiles are central to both academic and public debates about immigration, immigrant assimilation, and minority mobility. Analysts’ conclusions are shaped by the choices that survey respondents make about how to identify themselves on surveys, but such choices change over time. Using linked responses to the 2000 and 2010 Censuses, our paper examines the extent to which individuals change between specific Hispanic categories such as Mexican origin. We first examine how changes in identification affect population change for national and regional origin groups. We then examine patterns of entry and exit to understand which groups more often switch between a non-Hispanic, another specific origin, or a general Hispanic identification. Finally, we profile who is most likely to change identification. Our findings affirm the fluidity of ethnic identification, especially between categories of Hispanic origin, which in turn carries important implications for population and compositional changes.
    Date: 2018–08
  14. By: Francesca Borgonovi (OECD); Artur Pokropek (Joint Research Centre - European Commission)
    Abstract: The paper examines the role of education in shaping individuals’ attitudes towards migration in European countries using data from the 2012, 2014 and 2016 editions of the European Social Survey (rounds 6, 7 and 8). Results indicate that, despite the large influx of migrants experienced by many European countries in 2015, attitudes towards migration reported by 25-65 year olds did not vary significantly over the period considered. Education was strongly associated with individuals’ attitudes towards migration although the strength of the association and how the association changed over time varied greatly across countries. On average a difference of one standard deviation in educational participation is associated with a difference of 20% of a standard deviation in reported opposition to migration. Around three quarters of the association between education and opposition to migration can be explained by the lower economic threat, cultural threat and prejudice that individuals with higher educational participation experience.
    Date: 2018–11–05
  15. By: Truong, N. T. Khuong (McMaster University); Sweetman, Arthur (McMaster University)
    Abstract: Male immigrants are observed to be disproportionately employed in ICT information and communication technology (ICT) industries and occupations. A measure of basic ICT skills is employed to document differences in skill levels and labour market earnings across immigration classes and categories of Canadians at birth. Adult immigrants, including those assessed by the points system, are found to have lower average ICT scores than Canadians at birth, although the rate of return to ICT skills is not statistically different between them. Immigrants who arrive as children, and the Canadian-born children of immigrants, have similar outcomes to the Canadian-born children of Canadian-born parents.
    Keywords: information and communication technologies (ICT), skills, immigration, PIAAC, problem-solving in technology-rich environments (PSTRE), digital literacy, problem-solving, skill shortage
    JEL: J24 J31
    Date: 2018–09
  16. By: Nicodemo, Catia (University of Oxford); Raya, Josep M. (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset a non-parametric decomposition, we determined whether immigrants with native name, immigrants with foreign name and natives have different outcomes in Spain's housing market. Results suggest there are significant price discounts for immigrants with native names relative to immigrants with non-Spanish names. As a robustness check we prove that this is not due to the country of birth. We observe that most of the difference in price across immigrant groups remains unexplained, which may imply some form of discrimination (pure or statistical) against immigrants with non-native names.
    Keywords: house price, price cut, discrimination, housing, matching method
    JEL: R1 R3 J7
    Date: 2018–09
  17. By: Shulamit Kahn; Megan MacGarvie
    Abstract: This paper assesses whether delays in obtaining permanent residency status can explain recent declines in the share of Chinese and Indian PhD graduates from US STEM programs who remain in the US after their studies. We find that newly-binding limits on permanent visas for those from China and India with advanced degrees are significantly associated with declines in stay rates. The stay rate of Chinese graduates declines by 2.4 percentage points for each year of delay, while Indian graduates facing delays of at least 5 1/2 years have a stay rate that is 8.9 percentage points lower. The per-country permanent visa cap affects a large share of STEM PhDs who are disproportionately found in fields of study that have been crucial in stimulating US economic growth yet enroll relatively few natives. Finally, results suggest that the growth of science in countries of origin has an important influence on stay rates, while macroeconomic factors such as GDP per capita affect stay rates only via their impact on science funding. We conclude that per-country limits play a significant role in constraining the supply of highly skilled STEM workers in the US economy.
    JEL: J61 O15 O3
    Date: 2018–10
  18. By: Mark A. Leach; Jennifer Van Hook; James D. Bachmeier
    Abstract: It is widely thought that immigrants and their families undergo profound cultural and socioeconomic changes as a consequence of coming into contact with U.S. society, but the way this occurs remains unclear and controversial due in large part to data limitations. In this paper, we provide proof of concept for analyses using linked data that allow us to compare outcomes across more “exact” family generations. Specifically, we are able to follow immigrant parents and their children and grandchildren across seven decades using census and survey data from 1940 to 2014. We describe the data and linkage methodology, evaluate the representativeness of the linked sample, test a method for adjusting for biases that arise from non-representative linkages, and describe the size, diversity, and socioeconomic characteristics of the linked sample. We demonstrate that large sample sizes of linked data will likely permit us to compare several national origin groups across multiple generations.
    Date: 2018–08

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.