nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2018‒12‒10
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Climate Change, Agriculture and Migration: Is there a Causal Relationship ? By Olper, A.; Falco, C.; Galeotti, M.
  2. Son Preference and Human Capital Investment among China's Rural-Urban Migrant Households By Lin, Carl; Sun, Yan; Xing, Chunbing
  3. Does culture trump money? Employment and childcare use of migrant and non-migrant mothers of pre-school children in Germany By Boll, Christina; Lagemann, Andreas
  4. Are Migrant Firms Actually Different From Native Firms? By A. Arrighetti; G. Foresti; S. Fumagalli; A. Lasagni
  5. Back to Black? The Impact of Regularizing Migrant Workers By Edoardo Di Porto; Enrica Maria Martino; Paolo Naticchioni
  6. Immigrants' Wage Performance in a Routine Biased Technological Change Era: France 1994-2012 By Catherine Laffineur; Eva Moreno Galbis; Jeremy Tanguy; Ahmed Tritah
  7. The Economic Assimilation of Irish Famine Migrants to the United States By William J. Collins; Ariell Zimran
  8. Does Migration Motive Matter for Migrants' Employment Outcomes? The Case of Belgium By Lens, Dries; Marx, Ive; Vujic, Suncica
  9. Immigrants Move Where Their Skills Are Scarce: Evidence from English Proficiency By Aparicio Fenoll, Ainoa; Kuehn, Zoë
  10. Is Quick Formal Access to the Labor Market Enough? Refugees' Labor Market Integration in Belgium By Lens, Dries; Marx, Ive; Vujic, Suncica
  11. New Chinese in Thailand: the combination of diaspora, overseas Chinese and international students By sivarin lertpusit
  12. Ethnic Enclaves and Labor Market Outcomes – What Matters Most: Neighborhood, City or Region? By Öner, Özge; Klaesson, Johan
  13. The Financial Decisions of Immigrant and Native Households: Evidence from Italy By Bertocchi, Graziella; Brunetti, Marianna; Zaiceva, Anzelika
  14. Labor Market and Institutional Drivers of Youth Irregular Migration: Evidence from the MENA Region By Dibeh, Ghassan; Fakih, Ali; Marrouch, Walid
  15. Immigration and Social Mobility By Hoen, Maria F.; Markussen, Simen; Røed, Knut
  16. Long walk to knowledge : On the determinants of higher education mobility to Europe By Jonas Didisse; Thanh Tam Nguyen-Huu; Thi Anh-Dao Tran
  17. Immigration and Innovation By Michael Landesmann; Sandra M. Leitner
  18. Does relative deprivation induce migration? Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Winters, P.; Kafle, K.; Benfica, R.
  19. International Migration Intentions and Illegal Costs: Evidence Using Africa-to-Europe Smuggling Routes By Friebel, Guido; Manchin, Miriam; Mendola, Mariapia; Prarolo, Giovanni

  1. By: Olper, A.; Falco, C.; Galeotti, M.
    Abstract: Migration and climate change are two of the most important challenges the world currently faces. They are connected as climate change may stimulate migration. One of the sectors most strongly affected by climate change is agriculture, where most of the world s poor are employed. Climate change may affect agricultural productivity and hence migration because of its impact on average temperatures and rainfall and because it increases the frequency and intensity of weather shocks. This paper uses data from 1960 to 2010, for more than 150 countries, to analyse the relationship between weather variation, agricultural productivity and migration. Our main findings show that, in line with theoretical predictions, negative shocks to agricultural productivity caused by weather fluctuations significantly increase migration in middle and lower income countries but not in the poorest and in the rich countries. Acknowledgement :
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Lin, Carl (Bucknell University); Sun, Yan (Beijing Normal University); Xing, Chunbing (Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: We use several datasets to study whether son preference prevails in the human capital investment among Chinese rural-urban migrant households. We find that son preference exists among the rural migrants' households and that it caused lower probabilities relative to that of their boy counterparts that school age girls will migrate with their parents - a difference that is absent for children of preschool age. We also find that (1) boys are more likely to migrate following the reduction in the number of rural primary schools, (2) migrant households with multiple children tend to take their sons to migrate more than they take their daughters, and (3) the fact that parents of boy students spend more on their children's education can be largely explained by the extra costs of schooling for migrant households. Finally, we show that the parents of rural children have higher expectations for boys than they do for girls. Our results suggest that son preference is detrimental to the human capital investment in girls in contemporary China when institutional arrangements result in high costs of schooling for migrants.
    Keywords: rural-urban migration, China, children, son preference, human capital
    JEL: J13 J17 J61 J24
    Date: 2018–10
  3. By: Boll, Christina; Lagemann, Andreas
    Abstract: This study investigates the employment and childcare use behaviour of migrant and non-migrant mothers in Germany. We use the waves 2007-2015 of the German Socio-Economic Panel study (SOEP), including the migrant samples M1 and M2, to identify significant associations between migration background and employment probability, working hours, and childcare usage probability under control of human capital, household, milieu, and macro factors. We correct for self-selection in employment and potential endogeneity of childcare use. We do not find an additional contribution of a migrant background to mothers' use of childcare. However, among self-immigrated mothers with a youngest child aged 3 to 5, roots in Southeastern Europe are associated with lower childcare use. Further, a direct (indirect) migrant background, compared with no migrant background, is associated with a 6.3 % (5.9 %) lower probability of employment for mothers of youngest children under 3 years of age with otherwise identical maternal characteristics. For mothers of youngest children aged 3-5, the figure is 8.0 % (6.7 %). Mothers of youngest children under 3 years (aged 3-5 years) with roots in Arab and other Muslim countries have a 7.1 % (21.1 %) lower probability of employment. In addition, the likelihood of gained employment increases with the length of stay in Germany. There are no significant associations of the migration background with the (conditional) weekly working hours of mothers. In summary, it can be seen that, in addition to economic motives, cultural factors and basic orientations and values also shape mothers' everyday practices, as expressed in their employment behaviour and the use of state-subsidized childcare for their children.
    Keywords: maternal employment,hours of work,childcare,migration background,milieu,IV techniques,2SLS,bivariate probit
    JEL: J22 J13 J61
    Date: 2018
  4. By: A. Arrighetti; G. Foresti; S. Fumagalli; A. Lasagni
    Abstract: A matched-pair analysis was performed to verify the existence or not of significant differences between native and migrant companies regarding firm-specific variables and the governance structure. Controlling for firm size, industry and geographical location, we found that proxy values for efficiency, capital intensity of production and services and profitability are not significantly different (or not lower) than those of native-owned small business. Evidence shows that previous studies concerning the diversity of immigrant-owned businesses are likely marked biased by methodological choices that did not take account of the concentration of these companies in “disadvantaged” firm size categories, industries or geographical locations.
    Keywords: ethnic firms, native firms, immigrant enterpreneurship, matched-pair analysis
    JEL: J15 L25 L26
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Edoardo Di Porto (Università di Napoli Federico II, CSEF and INPS); Enrica Maria Martino (INED and CHILD (Collegio Carlo Alberto)); Paolo Naticchioni (Università di Roma Tre, AIEL, IZA, and INPS)
    Abstract: This paper provides a firm and individual level analysis of the impact on labor market outcomes of regularizing undocumented migrant workers. Using unique administrative data released by the Italian Social Security Institute, we evaluate Italy's largest ever regularization process. We employ an unexpected quasi-random auditing program to deal with firms' self-selection into treatment. Our results show that regularization has only a short-run positive impact on firm employment and no effect on firm-level wages. Nonetheless, 73.5% of regularized migrants remains within the formal Italian labor market, and we find also that legalized migrant coworkers were not affected (negatively) by the reform. Our findings highlight that high mobility of migrants to other firms, provinces and industries is an important driver of our results.
    Keywords: Migration, Legalization, Shadow Economy, Tax Compliance, Policy Evaluation
    JEL: J6 H26 O17
    Date: 2018–12–04
  6. By: Catherine Laffineur (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, GREDEG); Eva Moreno Galbis (Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, AMSE); Jeremy Tanguy (University Savoie Mont Blanc, IREGE); Ahmed Tritah (Le Mans University, GAINS-TEPP)
    Abstract: Over the period 1994-2012, immigrants’ wage growth in France has outperformed that of natives on average by more than 14 percentage points. This striking wage growth performance occurs despite similar changes in employment shares along the occupational wage ladder. In this paper we investigate the sources of immigrants’ relative wage performance focusing on the role of occupational tasks. We first show that immigrants’ higher wage growth is not driven by more favorable changes in general skills (measured by age, education and residence duration), and then investigate to what extent changes in task-specific returns to skills have contributed to the differential wage dynamics through two different channels: different changes in the valuation of skills (“price effect†) and different occupational sorting (“quantity effect†). We find that the wage growth premium of immigrants is not explained by different changes in returns to skills across occupational tasks but rather by the progressive reallocation of immigrants towards tasks whose returns have increased over time. Immigrants seem to have taken advantage of ongoing labor demand restructuring driven by globalization and technological change. In addition im- migrants’ wages have been relatively more affected by minimum wage increases, due to their higher concentration in this part of the wage distribution.
    Keywords: wage dynamics, tasks, immigrants, skills
    JEL: J15 J24 J31 J61 O33
    Date: 2018–11
  7. By: William J. Collins; Ariell Zimran
    Abstract: The repeated failure of Ireland's potato crop in the late 1840s led to a major famine and a surge in migration to the US. We build a dataset of Irish immigrants and their sons by linking males from 1850 to 1880 US census records. For comparison, we also link German and British immigrants, their sons, and males from US native-headed households. We document a decline in the observable human capital of famine-era Irish migrants compared to pre-famine Irish migrants and to other groups in the 1850 census, as well as worse labor market outcomes. The disparity in labor market outcomes persists into the next generation when immigrants’ and natives’ sons are compared in 1880. Nonetheless, we find strong evidence of intergenerational convergence in that famine-era Irish sons experienced a much smaller gap in occupational status than their fathers. The disparities are even smaller when the Irish children are compared to those from observationally similar native white households. A descriptive analysis of mobility for the famine-era Irish sons indicates that more Catholic surnames and birth in Ireland were associated with less upward mobility. Our results contribute to literatures on immigrant assimilation, refugee migration, and the Age of Mass Migration.
    JEL: F22 J61 J62 N31 O15
    Date: 2018–11
  8. By: Lens, Dries (University of Antwerp); Marx, Ive (University of Antwerp); Vujic, Suncica (University of Antwerp)
    Abstract: Despite being one of the most prolific spenders on active labour market policies, and investing heavily in civic integration programmes, family policies and career and diversity plans, the native-migrant employment gap in Belgium is still one of the largest among EU and OECD countries. Past research has shown that even after controlling for human capital and other socio-demographic factors a large unexplained gap (often called ethnic gap or penalty) remains. This paper investigates how the motive for migrating to Belgium contributes to the native-migrant employment gap. Based on data from the 2014 Belgian LFS Ad Hoc Module on the labour market situation of migrants and their immediate descendants, we compare the employment outcomes of labour migrants (with and without a job prior to migration), family reunion migrants, student migrants and refugees with those of the native-born. In line with previous studies, we establish that refugees and family reunion migrants' employment likelihood is lower when compared to labour migrants and natives. Refugees who do work tend to do so in temporary jobs and in jobs that are below their skill levels. However, temporary employment is also prevalent among labour migrants without a job prior to migration and over qualification is a specific challenge for male student migrants.
    Keywords: immigration, reason for migration, employment outcomes
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2018–10
  9. By: Aparicio Fenoll, Ainoa (Collegio Carlo Alberto); Kuehn, Zoë (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: This paper studies whether individuals tend to migrate to countries where their skills are scarce or abundant. Focusing on English language skills, we test whether immigrants who are proficient in English choose to move to countries where many or few individuals speak English. We use the introduction of English classes into compulsory school curricula as an exogenous determinant for English proficiency of migrants of different ages, and we consider cohort data on migration among 29 European countries, where English is not the official language and where labor mobility is essentially free. Our estimation strategy consists of refined comparisons of cohorts, and we control for all variables traditionally included in international migration models. We find that immigrants who are proficient in English move to countries where fewer individuals speak English, and where hence their skills are scarce. We also show that similar results hold for general skills.
    Keywords: migration, English language skills, choice of destination country
    JEL: F22 I20 J24 J61
    Date: 2018–10
  10. By: Lens, Dries (University of Antwerp); Marx, Ive (University of Antwerp); Vujic, Suncica (University of Antwerp)
    Abstract: This paper examines the labor market trajectories of refugees who arrived in Belgium between 2003 and 2009. Belgium has offered relatively easy formal labor market access to refugees but they face many other barriers in its strongly regulated and institutionalized labor market. Using the Belgian Labour Force Survey linked to longitudinal administrative data, we estimate event history models to compare refugees' entry into and exit out of the first employment, contrasting their outcomes with family and labor migrants of the same arrival cohort. The analysis shows that refugees take significantly longer to enter their first employment as compared to other migrant groups. They also run a greater risk of exiting out of their first employment into unemployment and (back) into social assistance. The results suggest that quick formal access clearly does not suffice for sustainable integration in the labor market. Additional education and labor market measures appear needed to enhance a more durable integration.
    Keywords: refugees, family migrants, labor migrants, labor market transitions, event history analysis
    JEL: F22 J15 J61 J68
    Date: 2018–10
  11. By: sivarin lertpusit (Waseda University)
    Abstract: This paper aimed to explain the pattern of migration of Chinese people in Thailand between 1978 and 2014 through qualitative research methodology. The findings were divided into two parts: the demographics of the new Chinese people in Thailand and the pattern of migration. After Sino-Thai open its diplomatic relations in 1975, the number of Chinese arrivals were slowly increasing. The shifting point was in the beginning of 2010 which a large amount of Chinese came to Thailand under supporting international circumstances in mobility and the economic interdependency. Assessing from their objectives of entering Thai, the new Chinese can be divided into four groups: Investors, small traders, labourers and students. This paper was implied in the concept of diaspora and the characteristic of new Chinese migrant around the world. The unique characteristics of Chinese diaspora, however, are the long residing in host countries, the formation of a well-established ethnic group and the retaining of Chinese identity including contributing to the development of China.The model of new Chinese migration in Thailand can be divided into two forms. Those investors, employees and students match the terms of diaspora as they were long-term migrants who probably return. On the other hand, the trader?s model is a traditional form of overseas Chinese who stayed and worked with their relatives. Moreover, they tend to stay permanently in Thai as ethnic Chinese.
    Keywords: Chinese migrant, Thailand, student mobility
    JEL: Z19
    Date: 2018–10
  12. By: Öner, Özge (Department of Land Economy); Klaesson, Johan (Centre for Entrepreneurship and Spatial Science, Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping)
    Abstract: The relevance of residential segregation and ethnic enclaves for labor market sorting of immigrants has been investigated by a large body of literature. Previous literature presents competing arguments and mixed results for the effects of segregation and ethnic concentration on various labor market outcomes. The geographical size of the area at which segregation and/or ethnic concentration is measured, however, is left to empirical work to determine. We argue that ethnic concentration and segregation should not be used interchangeably, and more importantly, the geographical area at which they are measured relates directly to different mechanisms. We use a probabilistic approach to identify the likelihood that an immigrant is employed or a self-employed entrepreneur in the year 2005 with respect to residential segregation and ethnic concentration at the level of the neighborhood, municipality and local labor market level jointly. We study three groups of immigrants that accentuate the differences between forced and pulled migrants: (i) the first 15 member states of European Union (referred to as EU 15) and the Nordic countries, (ii) the Balkan countries, and (iii) countries in the Middle East. We find that ethnic enclaves, proxied by ethnic concentration at varying levels indicate mixed results for the different immigrant groups we study, both for their employment and entrepreneurship probability. Whereas residential segregation has a more uniformly distributed result where its relationship to any of the two labor market outcomes is almost always negative or insignificant.
    Keywords: Immigrant entrepreneurship; Ethnic enclaves; Segregation; Push entrepreneurship; Local labor market
    JEL: F22 L26 O18 R23
    Date: 2018–11–22
  13. By: Bertocchi, Graziella; Brunetti, Marianna; Zaiceva, Anzelika
    Abstract: Using rich Italian data for the period 2006-2014, we document sizeable gaps between native and immigrant households with respect to wealth holdings and financial decisions. Immigrant household heads hold less net wealth than native, but only above the median of the wealth distribution, with housing as the main driver. Immigrant status reduces the likelihood of holding risky assets, housing, mortgages, businesses, and valuables, while it increases the likelihood of financial fragility. Years since migration, countries of origin, and the pattern of intermarriage also matter. The Great Recession has worsened the condition of immigrants in terms of wealth holdings, home ownership, and financial fragility.
    Date: 2018–11
  14. By: Dibeh, Ghassan (American University of Beirut); Fakih, Ali (Lebanese American University); Marrouch, Walid (Lebanese American University)
    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
  15. By: Hoen, Maria F. (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Markussen, Simen (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Røed, Knut (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Using Norwegian administrative data, we examine how exposure to immigration over the past decades has affected natives' relative prime age labor market outcomes by social class background. Social class is established on the basis of parents' earnings rank. By exploiting variation in immigration patterns over time across commuting zones, we find that immigration from low‐income countries has reduced social mobility and thus steepened the social gradient in natives' labor market outcomes, whereas immigration from high‐income countries has leveled it. Given the large inflow of immigrants from low-income countries to Norway since the early 1990s, this can explain a considerable part of the relative decline in economic performance among natives with lower class background, and also rationalize the apparent polarization of sentiments toward immigration.
    Keywords: immigration, intergenerational mobilty
    JEL: J62 J15 J24
    Date: 2018–10
  16. By: Jonas Didisse (CREAM - Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée à la Mondialisation - UNIROUEN - Université de Rouen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - IRIHS - Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire Homme et Société - UNIROUEN - Université de Rouen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université); Thanh Tam Nguyen-Huu (CREAM - Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée à la Mondialisation - UNIROUEN - Université de Rouen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - IRIHS - Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire Homme et Société - UNIROUEN - Université de Rouen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université); Thi Anh-Dao Tran (CREAM - Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée à la Mondialisation - UNIROUEN - Université de Rouen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - IRIHS - Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire Homme et Société - UNIROUEN - Université de Rouen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of demand for higher education mobility from students in low-and middle-income countries to European countries over the period 2004-2013. We identify the dyadic factors associated to the relationships between home and host countries as well as monodic variables associated to "push" and "pull" factors. Used together with various linguistic relations, we emphasize the relevance of informal and formal networks in explaining resistance to migration of students. All put together, our results show that factors that are origin and destination specific like socio-demographic characteristics, individual beliefs and institutional profiles, out of the usual economic considerations, have a significant impact on student mobility.
    Keywords: Institutional quality,Language skills,Higher education mobility,Network eects
    Date: 2018–10–28
  17. By: Michael Landesmann (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Sandra M. Leitner (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: Do High-Skilled Third-Country (i.e. Non-EU) Migrants Contribute to Productivity Growth? In order to foster innovation and enhance economic development and growth, attracting skilled professionals from abroad has become an important policy goal in many economies, initiating a global race for talent. This paper looks at the private company sector in a group of 13 old EU Member States and examines the role of high-skilled third-country (HS-TC) migrants for innovation – as captured by real labour productivity and total factor productivity (TFP) growth – between 2004 and 2015. It utilises four different indicators of HS-TC migration and defines high skills in terms of either educational attainment (ISCED classification) or the skills required in an occupation (ISCO classification) which helps identify the presence of a jobs-skills mismatch for HS-TC migrants. Taking into account the endogenous nature of HS-TC migration, we find some selective evidence of a negative causal link between the share of HS‑TC migrants, on the one hand, and labour productivity and TFP growth, on the other. Furthermore, differences in the results for the ISCED- and ISCO-based skills measures point to a non-negligible jobs‑skills mismatch in terms of an over-representation of HS-TC migrants in lower productivity occupations. We also find that HS-TC migrants are relatively less productive than HS EU migrants. Results for selected individual industries are more mixed, with some industries even benefiting in productivity terms from a higher share of HS-TC migrant workers.
    Keywords: high-skilled third-country migrants, innovation, EU, real labour productivity growth, total factor productivity growth
    JEL: O15 F22 D24
    Date: 2018–12
  18. By: Winters, P.; Kafle, K.; Benfica, R.
    Abstract: This paper revisits the decades-old relative deprivation theory of migration. In contrast to the traditional view which portrays absolute income maximization as a driver of migration, we test whether relative deprivation induces migration in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. Taking advantage of the internationally comparable longitudinal data from integrated household and agriculture surveys from Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda, we use panel fixed effects to estimate the effects of relative deprivation on migration. We find that a household s migration decision is based not only on its wellbeing status but also on the relative position of the household in the wellbeing distribution of the local community. Results are robust to alternative specifications including pooled data across the five countries and the migration relative deprivation relationship is amplified in rural, agricultural, and male-headed households. Results imply a need to renew the discussion of relative deprivation as a cause of migration. Acknowledgement :
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2018–07
  19. By: Friebel, Guido; Manchin, Miriam; Mendola, Mariapia; Prarolo, Giovanni
    Abstract: Irregular migrants from Africa and the Middle East flow into Europe along land and sea routes under the control of human smugglers. The demise of the Gaddafi regime in 2011 marked the opening of the Central Mediterranean Route for irregular border crossing between Libya and Italy. This resulted in the immediate expansion of the global smuggling network, which produced an asymmetric reduction in bilateral distance between country pairs across the Mediterranean sea. We exploit this source of spatial and time variation in irregular migration routes to estimate the elasticity of migration intentions to illegal moving costs proxied by distance. We build a novel dataset of geolocalized time-varying migration routes, combined with cross-country survey data on individual intentions to move from Africa (and the Middle East) into Europe. Netting out any country-by-time and pair-level confounders we find a large negative effect of distance along smuggling routes on individual migration intentions. Shorter distances increase the willingness to migrate especially for youth, (medium) skilled individuals and those with a network abroad. The effect is stronger in countries closer to Libya and with weak rule of law.
    Keywords: Human Smuggling; illegal migration; International Migration; Libyan Civil War
    JEL: K23 K42
    Date: 2018–11

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