nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒11‒26
eleven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The introduction of serfdom and labour markets By Peter Sandholt Jensen; Cristina Victoria Radu; Battista Severgnini; Paul Sharp
  2. The road home: the role of ethnicity in the post-Soviet migration By Jang, Youngook
  3. The Impact of Low-Skill Refugees on Youth Education By Tumen, Semih
  4. Highly Skilled International Migration, STEM Workers, and Innovation By Anelí Bongers; Carmen Díaz-Roldán; José L. Torres
  5. The Contribution of Foreign Migration to Local Labor Market Adjustment By Michael Amior
  6. How long do returning migrants stay in their home county: Evidence from rural China during 1998 to 2015 By Bai, Y.; Wang, W.; Zhang, L.
  7. The Labor Market Integration of Migrants in Europe: New Evidence from Micro Data By Giang Ho; Rima Turk-Ariss
  8. The Role of Institutions and Immigrant Networks in Firms' Offshoring Decisions By Moriconi, Simone; Peri, Giovanni; Pozzoli, Dario
  9. Skill of the Immigrants and Vote of the Natives: Immigration and Nationalism in European Elections 2007-2016 By Simone Moriconi; Giovanni Peri; Riccardo Turati
  10. China s Migrant and Left-behind Children: Correlation of Parental Migration on Health, Cognitive and Non-cognitive Outcomes By Zhao, Q.; Sun, X.; Guo, P.; Liu, X.
  11. Acculturation in Food Choices among U.S. Immigrants By Rickertsen, K.; Gustavsen, G.W.; Nayga, R.M.; Dong, D.

  1. By: Peter Sandholt Jensen (University of Southern Denmark); Cristina Victoria Radu (University of Southern Denmark); Battista Severgnini (Copenhagen Business School); Paul Sharp (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)
    Abstract: We provide evidence of how restrictions on labor mobility, such as serfdom and other types of labor coercion, impact labor market outcomes. To do so, we estimate the impact of a large negative shock to labor mobility in the form of the reintroduction of serfdom in Denmark in 1733, which was targeted at limiting the mobility of farmhands. Using a unique data source based on the archives of estates from the eighteenth century, we test whether serfdom affected the wages of farmhands more strongly than other groups in the labor market, and results based on a differences-in-differences approach reveal evidence consistent with a strong negative effect following its introduction. We also investigate whether one mechanism was that boys with rural backgrounds were prevented from taking up apprenticeships in towns, and find suggestive evidence that this was indeed the case. Thus, our results suggest that serfdom was effectively reducing mobility.
    Keywords: Serfdom, labor mobility, coercion
    JEL: J3 N33 P4
    Date: 2018–11
  2. By: Jang, Youngook
    Abstract: This paper argues the importance of ethnic affinity in determining migration patterns using a newly constructed late- and post-Soviet dataset. The members of various indigenous ethnic groups, who had been spread across the Soviet territories, had to decide whether or not to leave the land in which they suddenly became diaspora after the dissolution of the USSR. The migration literature conventionally claims that potential migrants respond to the economic differentials between source and destination, but the post-Soviet case reveals that ethnicity also played a crucial and independent role in migration decision and destination choice. The trend of ethnic un-mixing is evidently seen in the novel dataset regarding the regional migration patterns of major ethnic groups in the post-Soviet space. Econometric analyses using this dataset also confirm that ethnic composition of a region, along with labour market conditions, has significant effects on the regional migration patterns.
    Keywords: Soviet/post-Soviet migration; determinants of migration; ethnic mixing and un-mixing
    JEL: F22 J15 P25
    Date: 2018–11–01
  3. By: Tumen, Semih (TED University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of Syrian refugees on high school enrollment rates of native youth in Turkey. Syrian refugees are, on average, less skilled and more willing to work in low-pay informal jobs than Turkish natives. Refugees can influence native youth's school enrollment likelihood negatively through educational experience. But, at the same time, they can affect enrollment rates positively as they escalate competition for jobs with low-skill requirements. Using micro data from 2006 to 2016 and employing quasi-experimental methods, I find that high-school enrollment rates increased 2.7-3.6 percentage points among native youth in refugee-receiving regions. Furthermore, a one-percentage point increase in the refugee-to-population ratio in a region generates around 0.4 percentage point increase in native's high school enrollment rates. Most of the increase in high school enrollment comes from young males with lower parental backgrounds, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the main mechanism operates through the low-skill labor market. The regressions control for (i) variables proxying parental investment in human capital such as parental education, being in an intact family, and household size, (ii) regional economic activity, and (iii) regional availability of high schools and high school teachers.
    Keywords: low-skill Syrian refugees, youth education, high school enrollment
    JEL: I25 J61
    Date: 2018–10
  4. By: Anelí Bongers (Department of Economics, University of Málaga); Carmen Díaz-Roldán (Department of Economics, University of Castilla-La Mancha); José L. Torres (Department of Economics, University of 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 three 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 e¤ects in the country of origin, and iv) high skilled immigrants reduce skilled native labor and do not a¤ect unskilled labor.
    Keywords: STEM workers; Migration; Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium models; Innovation
    JEL: F43 J61 O31
    Date: 2018–11
  5. By: Michael Amior
    Abstract: The US suffers from large regional disparities in employment rates which have persisted for many decades. It has been argued that foreign migration offers a remedy: it "greases the wheels" of the labor market by accelerating the adjustment of local population. Remarkably, I find that new migrants account for 30 to 60 percent of the average population response to local demand shocks since 1960. However, population growth is not significantly more responsive in locations better supplied by new migrants: the larger foreign contribution is almost entirely offset by a reduced contribution from internal mobility. This is fundamentally a story of "crowding out": I estimate that new foreign migrants to a commuting zone crowd out existing US residents one-for-one. The magnitude of this effect is puzzling, and it may be somewhat overstated by undercoverage of migrants in the census. Nevertheless, it appears to conflict with much of the existing literature, and I attempt to explain why. Methodologically, I offer tools to identify the local impact of immigration in the context of local dynamics.
    Keywords: migration, geographical mobility, local labor markets, employment
    JEL: J61 J64 R23
    Date: 2018–11
  6. By: Bai, Y.; Wang, W.; Zhang, L.
    Abstract: Return migration is an important part of rural labor mobility in China, and has been given growing concern recently by governments. However, research covering the duration of stay in their home county, a basic question of labor mobility and a precondition for policy making, is far from enough. The aim of this paper is to analyze the period of return for these migrants based on employment history data among rural laborers. The data was collected from a random, nationally representative sample of 100 rural villages in five provinces of China. We find that 22.3 percent of migrants returned from 1998 to 2015, and most returning migrants stay for a long time. Using the OLS, Tobit, and Heckman two-step methods, the results show that returning migrants who are old, more educated, unmarried, and with school-age children are more likely to stay longer in their home county. From a development perspective, returning migrants are expected to play an important role in the process of rural revitalization. Most importantly, the government should still gradually eliminate institutional limitations facing rural people and promote the free flow of labor resources in the process of realizing the integration of urban and rural areas. Acknowledgement : The authors acknowledge the financial assistance of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 713300132).
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2018–07
  7. By: Giang Ho; Rima Turk-Ariss
    Abstract: This paper presents novel empirical evidence on the labor market integration of migrants across Europe. It investigates how successfully migrants integrate in 13 European countries by applying a unified framework to analyze a rich micro dataset with over ten million individuals surveyed between 1998 and 2016. Focusing on employment outcomes, we document substantial heterogeneity in the patterns of labor market integration across host countries and by migrant gender and origin. Our results also point to the importance of cohorts and network effects, initial labor market conditions, and the differential impact of education acquired domestically and abroad in determining migrants’ subsequent employment prospects. The analysis has implications for the design of effective integration policies.
    Date: 2018–11–01
  8. By: Moriconi, Simone (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis); Pozzoli, Dario (Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: The offshoring of production by multinational firms has expanded dramatically in recent decades, increasing these firms' potential for economic growth and technological transfers across countries. What determines the location of offshore production? How do countries' policies and characteristics affect the firm's decision about where to offshore? Do firms choose specific countries because of their policies or because they know them better? In this paper, we use a very rich dataset on Danish firms to analyze how decisions to offshore production depend on the institutional characteristics of the country and firm-specific bilateral connections. We find that institutions that enhance investor protection and reduce corruption increase the probability that firms offshore there, while those that increase regulation in the labor market decrease such probability. We also show that a firm's probability of offshoring increases with the share of its employees who are immigrants from that country of origin.
    Keywords: offshoring, product market, labor regulations, networks, fixed start-up costs
    JEL: F16 J38 J24
    Date: 2018–10
  9. By: Simone Moriconi (IÉSEG School of Management and LEM); Giovanni Peri (University of California, Davis); Riccardo Turati (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    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 composition 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. However 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
    JEL: D72 I28 J61
    Date: 2018–09
  10. By: Zhao, Q.; Sun, X.; Guo, P.; Liu, X.
    Abstract: With rapid urbanization, millions of people from rural areas have migrated to major cities for employment, leaving their young children at home or bringing their children to urban areas. Whether this labor migration creates substantial mental, physical and educational challenges for these left-behind and migrant children should be considered. This paper uses data from a 9824 students sample from a survey conducted by the authors in Beijing, Suzhou, Anhui and Henan. This study establishes OLS models for identifying the correlation of non-left-behind children, left-behind children and migrant children on health, cognitive and non-cognitive performance. Our empirical findings reveal that the migration of adult household members negatively affects the health status, cognitive and non-cognitive performances of left-behind children and only cognitive performance for migrant children. The effects are particularly prominent for rural children, when the mother migrates out of province. Acknowledgement : We gratefully acknowledge the financial support by National Science Foundation of China (Grants: 71603261); The Ministry of education of Humanities and Social Science project (Grants: 16YJC880107); Chinese Universities Scientific Fund (Grants: 2017RW005, 2017QC043); China Agricultural Foundation Da Bei Nong Education Fund .
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy
    Date: 2018–07
  11. By: Rickertsen, K.; Gustavsen, G.W.; Nayga, R.M.; Dong, D.
    Abstract: Immigration has made the U.S. more racially and ethnically diverse. With this diversity comes heterogeneity in dietary behaviors and health disparities. We used the food and nutrient database from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and estimated econometric models explaining the daily consumption of milk, meat, processed meat, fruits, and vegetables among immigrants and people born in the U.S. Tests for differences in consumption between immigrants with different race and ethnicity and their U.S. born counterparts were performed. In addition, we simulated the effects of time of residency on food consumption among the different immigrant groups. The results show that immigrants tend to have lower consumption of meat but higher consumption of fruits and vegetables than their U.S. born counterparts, but the differences begin to disappear after being in the U.S. for five years. The findings may help policymakers to craft food assistance programs aimed at reducing obesity and related health problems among different racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. Acknowledgement : The findings and conclusions in this presentation are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Research Council of Norway (BION R), Grant no 233800 provided financial support for this research.
    Keywords: Livestock Production/Industries
    Date: 2018–07

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