nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒11‒12
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Left-behind men in Nicaragua: The rise of the Padre-Luchadores By Stewart-Evans, Michael; Siegel, Melissa
  2. Family Return Migration By Nikolka, Till
  3. Understanding Human Trafficking Using Victim-Level Data By Artadi, Elsa; Björkman Nyqvist, Martina; Kuecken, Maria; La Ferrara, Eliana
  4. Islamic Criminal Law as an Effective Tool in Addressing Trafficking in Persons By Muath Al-Zoubi
  5. Determinants and Dynamics of Forced Migration to Europe: Evidence from a 3-D Model of Flows and Stocks By Brück, Tilman; Dunker, Kai M.; Ferguson, Neil T.N.; Meysonnat, Aline; Nillesen, Eleonora
  6. Changing Sex-Ratios among Immigrant Communities in the U.S. By Hernández Catañeda, Adriana; Sorensen, Todd A.
  7. “The Impact of Immigration on Native Employment: Evidence from Italy” By Stefano Fusaro; Enrique López-Bazo
  8. The Impact of Migration on Productivity and Native-Born Workers' Training By Campo, Francesco; Forte, Giuseppe; Portes, Jonathan
  9. Migration, Remittances and Human Capital Investment in Kenya By Hines, Annie Laurie; Simpson, Nicole B.
  10. Unsuccessful subjective well-being assimilation among immigrants: The role of faltering perceptions of the host society By Martijn Hendriks; Martijn (M.J.) Burger
  11. Economic impact of STEM immigrant workers By Christopher F. Baum; Hans Lööf; Andreas Stephan
  12. Labor Market and Institutional Drivers of Youth Irregular Migration: Evidence from the MENA Region By Dibeh, Ghassan; Fakih, Ali; Marrouch, Walid
  13. Brain Drain-Induced Brain Gain and the Bhagwati Tax: Are Early and Recent Paradigms Compatible? By Schiff, Maurice
  14. Migrants, Ancestors and Foreign Investments By Konrad B Buchardi; Thomas Chaney; Tarek A Hassan
  15. Spatial Dependence and Social Networks in Regional Labor Migration By Koji Murayama; Jun Nagayasu

  1. By: Stewart-Evans, Michael (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); Siegel, Melissa (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to understand the impact of women's migration on the lives of the men left-behind. Based on a qualitative research methodology the study consists of twenty interviews conducted with men across three different areas in Nicaragua. These interviews were used to understand changes to household decision making and how the man perceives his own sense of masculinity. The results suggest that in contrast to previous studies which have shown a reluctance of men to partake in work traditionally associated with women, the men in this study did not avoid partaking in domestic work or childcare. It was also found that none of the men - even those in receipt of remittances - stopped working and instead placed even greater symbolic importance on their work, allowing them to maintain their identity as the main breadwinner in the house. The study proposes that more work needs to be done to better understand the challenges and changes faced by men (an understudied group of the left-behind) as the number of women migrating for work continues to rise.
    Keywords: Migration, Gender, Left-behind, Masculinity, Machismo, Nicaragua
    JEL: O15 F22 J13 J16
    Date: 2018–09–26
  2. By: Nikolka, Till
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of family ties for international return migration decisions. The presence of children in the household affects return propensities of couples in different ways. Results suggest that schooling considerations as well as factors related to cultural identity play a role for family return migration. Moreover, the paper studies self-selection into return migration with respect to the partners’ incomes. Couples returning from Denmark to the non-Nordic countries are positively selected with respect to primary earner income. Positive selection holds for male and female primary earners; it is weaker among dual earner couples and among couples with children.
    Keywords: International migration,Family migration,Return migration,Education
    JEL: F22 J13 J61
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Artadi, Elsa; Björkman Nyqvist, Martina; Kuecken, Maria; La Ferrara, Eliana
    Abstract: Quantitative research on human trafficking is scant due to lack of data. This study makes use of a unique survey we collected on former victims of trafficking and vulnerable women and girls in the Philippines. We start by exploring the correlates of trafficking and show that household composition (in particular the presence of older sisters) and plausibly exogenous measures of health and economic shocks predict the likelihood of being tracked. We then study the effects of trafficking on victims' intertemporal and risk preferences using entropy balancing. We find that trafficking victims are not differentially patient, but they are more risk-loving. Our novel data and findings are pertinent to the design of policies intending to prevent trafficking and reintegrate victims.
    Keywords: child labor; human trafficking; Philippines; prostitution
    JEL: D13 D80 J47
    Date: 2018–10
  4. By: Muath Al-Zoubi (The University of Jordan .)
    Abstract: Islamic Criminal Law could play a significant role in addressing trafficking in persons. Interestingly, Islam is a way of life and the dominant national religion in most of Muslim countries. Therefore, examining trafficking in persons from an Islamic Law perspective may reflect the general thinking of people in these countries. Remarkable, the legal systems and traditions in most of Muslim countries depend primarily on Islamic Law. Accordingly, it is significant to understand the position of Islam on trafficking in persons; as such understanding has the potential to develop a comprehensive approach in addressing trafficking in persons. Notably, the significant role of Islam in addressing trafficking in persons could be illustrated on how Islam addresses several forms of exploitation. It is noteworthy that exploitation is considered the main element in the definition of trafficking in persons. Indeed, Islam addresses a number of practices falling under the concept of exploitation. By way of illustration, Islam addresses the exploitation of labour, sexual exploitation, slavery, practices similar to slavery, and selling or buying of human organs. Consequently, by acknowledging how Islam has addressed these practices, Islam could play an important role in addressing trafficking in persons by adopting an Islamic approach in the fight against trafficking in persons.It is worth noting that Islamic Law is in line with international law concerning trafficking- in-persons issues. Furthermore, the Islamic position condemns trafficking in persons. This is important because it might bring an ideological aspect in the fight against trafficking in persons.
    Keywords: Islamic Law, Trafficking in Persons, Criminal Law.
    Date: 2018–07
  5. By: Brück, Tilman (ISDC - International Security and Development Center); Dunker, Kai M. (ISDC - International Security and Development Center); Ferguson, Neil T.N. (ISDC - International Security and Development Center); Meysonnat, Aline (UNU-MERIT); Nillesen, Eleonora (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: Violent conflict is a well-recognised driver of forced migration but literature does not usually consider the pull factors that might also cause irregular movements. In turn, the decision to leave and of where to go are rarely considered separately. This is in contrast to literature on regular international migration, which considers both push and pull factors. We contribute to these literatures by studying bilateral forced migration from multiple countries of origin to 28 European countries in the years either side of two "migration crises" – the wars in the Balkans and the Arab Spring. We pay attention to dynamics by analysing lagged flows and stocks of forced migrants and modelling their spatial distribution. We find that these partial adjustment and network effects are key pull factors, with employment rate in the destination country the only significant economic variable. In addition, we demonstrate that it is episodes of escalating conflict, rather than accumulated violence, that drives decisions to leave. Out-of-sample predictions indicate that if conflict in origin countries were to cease, forced migration would continue, albeit at a significantly reduced rate. Our findings suggest that past patterns of forced migration help shape future flows, that forced migration flows cannot easily be stopped by destination country policies, and that preventing conflict escalation is important for preventing forced migration.
    Keywords: forced migration, refugees, displacement, conflict, Arab Spring, MENA, Balkans, dynamic panel data, gravity model
    JEL: J61 J68 F22 O15 F51
    Date: 2018–09
  6. By: Hernández Catañeda, Adriana; Sorensen, Todd A. (University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: Marriage patterns of immigrants are an important indicator of the degree of immigrant integration into their host countries. Literature on the economics of the household has focused on the role of the sex-ratio as an important determining factor in marriage market outcomes. Therefore, it is important to understand if and how the sex-ratio has changed over time and the mechanisms that may drive that change. In this paper, we explore recent changes in the sex-ratio among immigrants to the United States. First, building upon previous research, we document the nongender neutral nature of declining immigration to the United States. We approach this study from two different dimensions to document some of the forces driving this change in the sex-ratio. The first approach, focusing on changes between birth cohorts, demonstrates that immigration is declining more quickly for men than it is for women, leading to a decrease in the sex-ratio from above 100 and thus bringing about more gender balanced migration. Second, we present results from an analysis of data on recently granted green cards, suggests that the sex-ratio among this population is increasing from below 100, also bringing about more gender-balance among immigrants.
    Keywords: immigration, sex-ratios, demographic change
    JEL: F22 J11 J12
    Date: 2018–09
  7. By: Stefano Fusaro (AQR-IREA. University of Barcelona.); Enrique López-Bazo (AQR-IREA. University of Barcelona.)
    Abstract: Whether host countries economically benefit or not from immigration is a longstanding debate. In this paper, by taking advantage of the consistent variation of foreign - born workers' settlements across local labor market, we investigate the impact of immigration on native employment in Italy over the period 2009 -2017. Both the country and the time span considered represent an interesting novelty that adds a further piece of evidence to the existing literature. Despite the fact that immigration has recently become a major issue, the studies on the impact of immigration into Italy are indeed relatively scarce. In addition, the peculiar institutional framework of Italy, that plays a crucial role in the extent to which local labor markets are able to absorb immigration induced supply shocks, makes this analysis particularly relevant. Likewise, the period analyzed is of extreme interest since it is characterized by the combination of the economic downturn and by an unprecedented increase of the migratory in inflows. Overall, the results contradict the belief that immigrants \take away jobs from natives" and present a scenario in which foreign -born workers have an average negligible impact on native employment o pportunities.Consistently with the canonical model of immigration however, when distinguishing the native population by education levels, the results indicate a positive impact on high -educated natives and a strong negative one on low -educated. Nevertheless, after controlling for immigrants’ “skill - downgrading” and for natives' over -education, the negative impact estimated for the latter experiences a consistent reduction.
    Keywords: Immigration; Employment; Local Labor Markets; Shift-Share; Bartik Instrument; Italian Provinces JEL classification: J15; J61; R23-
    Date: 2018–07
  8. By: Campo, Francesco (University of Milan Bicocca); Forte, Giuseppe (King's College London); Portes, Jonathan (King's College London)
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between migration and productivity in the UK, using an instrumental variable along the lines suggested by Bianchi, Buonanno and Pinotti (2012). Our results suggest that immigration has a positive and significant impact (in both the statistical sense and more broadly) on productivity, as measured at a geographical level; this appears to be driven by higher-skilled workers. The results for training are less clear, but suggest that higher-skilled immigration may have a positive impact on the training of native workers. We discuss the implications for post-Brexit immigration policy.
    Keywords: immigration, productivity, training, Great Britain
    JEL: E24 J24 J61 M53
    Date: 2018–09
  9. By: Hines, Annie Laurie (University of California, Davis); Simpson, Nicole B. (Colgate University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between international migration, remittances and human capital investment in Kenya. We use household level data from the 2009 Kenya Migration Household Survey (produced by the Africa Migration Project) to test our hypothesis and uncover a positive and significant relationship between the amount of international remittances a household receives and the amount of expenditures allocated to education (for all levels of education). We consider various robustness checks and find that our results hold up to various specifications, including an instrumental variable approach.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, human capital
    JEL: F24 I25 J61 O12
    Date: 2018–09
  10. By: Martijn Hendriks (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Martijn (M.J.) Burger (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Immigrants in developed countries typically fail to assimilate in terms of subjective well-being, meaning that their happiness and life satisfaction do not substantially increase with their length of stay or across generations, and therefore their subjective well-being remains lower than that of natives. This contrasts with migrants’ own expectations and the predictions of straight-line assimilation theory, along with the general improvement of immigrants’ objective living conditions with their length of stay. Using European Social Survey data, we show that the subjective well-being assimilation of first-generation immigrants in developed European countries is impaired by the gradual development of less positive perceptions of the host country’s economic, political, and social conditions. These faltering societal perceptions particularly affect immigrants whose societal conditions strongly improved by migration and immigrants who arrived after childhood. Faltering societal perceptions continue to impair subjective well-being assimilation across generations. However, compared with natives, first-generation immigrants derive a subjective well-being advantage from their more positive societal perceptions. We attribute these findings to immigrants’ growing aspirations and expectations that follow from their habituation to better conditions in their host country and fewer (more) comparisons to inferior (better) conditions of the people in their home (host) country. Our findings suggest that delaying or decelerating the process of immigrants’ faltering societal perceptions is a promising pathway to improved subjective well-being assimilation and reduced frustration about their perceived lack of progress.
    Keywords: subjective well-being; migration; assimilation; aspirations; expectations
    JEL: I31 F22
    Date: 2018–10–28
  11. By: Christopher F. Baum (Boston College; DIW Berlin; CESIS, KTH Royal Institute of Technology); Hans Lööf (CESIS, KTH Royal Institute of Technology); Andreas Stephan (Jönköping International Business School; DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: STEM-focused industries are critical to the innovation-driven economy. As many firms are running short of STEM workers, international immigrants are increasingly recognized as a potential for high-tech job recruitment. This paper studies STEM occupations in Sweden 2011–2015 and tests hypotheses on new recruitment and the economic impact of foreign STEM workers. The empirical analysis shows that the probability that a new employee is a STEM immigrant increases with the share of STEM immigrants already employed, while the marginal effect on average firm wages is positively associated with the share of immigrant STEM workers. We also document heterogeneity in the results, suggesting that European migrants are more attractive for new recruitment, but non-EU migrants have the largest impact on wage determination.
    Keywords: STEM; migration; employment; wages; correlated random effects
    JEL: C23 J24 J61 O14 O15
    Date: 2018–10–04
  12. By: Dibeh, Ghassan; Fakih, Ali; Marrouch, Walid
    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
  13. By: Schiff, Maurice
    Abstract: Based on a welfare-maximization model of skilled migration where education generates a positive externality, this paper examines whether the early view regarding brain drain’s (BD) negative impact on source countries – and the Bhagwati tax (𝐵𝑇) associated with it – is compatible with the recent more optimistic BD-induced brain gain view. I derive BD’s impact on education, welfare, the optimal education subsidy (𝑠), and a combination of 𝑠 and (the optimal) 𝐵𝑇, when residents’ (emigrants’) weight in the government’s objective function is 1 (1−𝛽), with 𝛽 𝜖 [0,1]. I find that: i) education, welfare and 𝑠 levels are higher (lower) under an open than under a closed economy for 1−𝛽>(
    Keywords: Brain drain,brain gain,Bhagwati tax,education subsidy,welfare
    JEL: F20 F22 I25 O15
    Date: 2018
  14. By: Konrad B Buchardi (Stockholm University); Thomas Chaney (Département d'économie); Tarek A Hassan (Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts) (BU))
    Abstract: We use 130 years of data on historical migrations to the United States to show a causal effect of the ancestry composition of US counties on foreign direct investment (FDI) sent and received by local firms. To isolate the causal effect of ancestry on FDI, we build a simple reduced-form model of migrations: Migrations from a foreign country to a US county at a given time depend on (i) a push factor, causing emigration from that foreign country to the entire United States, and (ii) a pull factor, causing immigration from all origins into that US county. The interaction between time-series variation in origin-specific push factors and destination-specific pull factors generates quasi-random variation in the allocation of migrants across US counties. We find that doubling the number of residents with ancestry from a given foreign country relative to the mean increases the probability that at least one local firm engages in FDI with that country by 4 percentage points. We present evidence that this effect is primarily driven by a reduction in information frictions, and not by better contract enforcement, taste similarities, or a convergence in factor endowments.
    Keywords: Migrations; Foreign direct investments; International trade; Networks; Social ties
    JEL: O11 J61 L14
    Date: 2018–10
  15. By: Koji Murayama; Jun Nagayasu
    Abstract: This study empirically analyzes the determinants of regional labor migration in Japan. Using spatial models of origin-destination flows and considering the network effects of labor, we obtain results more consistent with standard migration theory than previous studies. First, unlike prior research, we find that migration decisions are made by economic motivations consistent with economic theories. In particular, the unemployment rate in the destination region and income in the origin are found to be driving forces of labor migration. Second, we report that network effects, which help reduce migration costs, have encouraged the relocation of labor. Third, by using several de nitions of spatial weights, we show that spatial dependence in regional migration is more complex than what previous studies assumed.
    Date: 2018–10

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