nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2019‒01‒28
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Knowledge Remittances: Does Emigration Foster Innovation? By Thomas Fackler; Yvonne Giesing; Nadzeya Laurentsyeva
  2. Immigration and new firm formation: Evidence from a quasi-experimental setting in Germany By Jahn, Vera; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
  3. The rural exodus and the rise of Europe By Thomas Baudin; Robert Stelter; ;
  4. Frontloaded Income Taxation of Old-Age Pensions: For Efficiency and Fairness in a World of International Labor Mobility By Bernd Genser; Robert Holzmann
  5. Immigrant Detention of Families and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder By Seunghan Han; Hyunkyung Choi
  6. Understanding willingness to migrate illegally: Evidence from a lab in the field experiment By Tijan L. Bah; Cátia Batista
  7. An Influx of Refugees into Jeju Island and its Effects on the Jeju Residents’ Cultural Sensitivity By Yun Bin Cho; Yun Gi Cho
  8. Refugees’ Self-selection into Europe: Who Migrates Where? By Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara
  9. Do Skilled Migrants Compete with Native Workers? Analysis of a Selective Immigration Policy By Sara Signorelli
  10. Who is an internal migrant? By Sharma, Rasadhika; Grote, Ulrike
  11. Health spending in Italy: the impact of immigrants By Giulia Bettin; Agnese Sacchi
  12. Occupation-skill mismatch and selection of immigrants: Evidence from the Portuguese labor market By Tijan L. Bah
  13. Parental Migration Decisions and Child Health Outcomes: Evidence from China By Lin, Carl; van der Meulen Rodgers, Yana

  1. By: Thomas Fackler; Yvonne Giesing; Nadzeya Laurentsyeva
    Abstract: Does the emigration of skilled individuals necessarily result in losses for source countries due to the brain drain? Combining industry-level patenting and migration data from 32 European countries, we show that emigration in fact positively contributes to innovation in source countries. We use changes in the labour mobility legislation within Europe as exogenous variation to establish causality. By analysing patent citation data, we further provide evidence that these positive effects are driven by knowledge flows that are triggered by emigrants. While skilled migrants are not inventing in their home country anymore, they contribute to cross-border knowledge and technology diffusion and thus help less advanced countries to catch up to the technology frontier.
    Keywords: migration, innovation, knowledge spillovers, patent citations, EU enlargement
    JEL: F22 J61 O33 O31 O52
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Jahn, Vera; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
    Abstract: This paper analyzes in how far immigration affects firm formation at the regional level. For this purpose, we exploit a placement policy in Germany in the 1990s for immigrants of German origin from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Our panel regressions suggest that immigration had a positive impact on regional firm formation. The most likely mechanisms driving this result are labor supply-side effects and positive implications of cultural diversity. Overall, our paper demonstrates that immigration induced changes in local labor supply can partially be absorbed by the creation of firms.
    Keywords: immigration,placement policy,economic impact,firms
    JEL: F22 L26 R11
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Thomas Baudin (IÉSEG School of Management); Robert Stelter (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research); ;
    Abstract: To assess the importance of the rural exodus in fostering the transition from stagnation to growth, we propose a unified model of growth and internal migrations. Using an original set of Swedish data, we identify the deep parameters of our model. We show that internal migration conditions had to be favorable enough to authorize an exodus out of the countryside in order to fuel the industrial development of cities. We then compare the respective contribution of shocks on internal migration costs, infant mortality and inequalities in agricultural productivity to the economic take-off and the demographic transition that occurred in Sweden. Negative shocks on labor mobility generate larger delays in the take-off to growth compared to mortality shocks equivalent to the Black Death. Deepening inequalities of productivity in the agricultural sector, like it has been done by enclosure movements, contributes to accelerate urbanization at the cost of depressed economic growth.
    Keywords: Demographic transition, Industrialization, Rural exodus, Mortality differentials, Fertility differentials.
    JEL: J11 J13 O41
    Date: 2019–01
  4. By: Bernd Genser; Robert Holzmann
    Abstract: Strong evidence shows that the existing pattern of cross-border pension taxation in OECD countries and beyond is extremely diverse and inconsistent, generating a double fairness dilemma for individuals and countries alike. This paper argues that this dilemma cannot be solved within the current network of double-taxation treaties. Instead, it proposes a new approach for the taxation of old-age pensions in a world of high and increasing cross-border mobility of workers and pensioners. The paper demonstrates that a coordinated move to frontloaded pension taxation and exclusive source taxation would pave the way for an international pension tax order that eliminates the double fairness dilemma. An additional innovative element of frontloaded pension taxation is presented: the decoupling of individual tax assessment and tax payment, which may help curb political opposition against frontloaded pension taxation and smooth transitional effects after its introduction.
    Keywords: pension taxation, international taxation, international migration, double taxation convention
    JEL: H24 H55 H87 F22
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Seunghan Han (Northern Valley School at Old Tappan, Norwood, New Jersey, USA); Hyunkyung Choi (Ramapo Indian Hills, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, USA)
    Abstract: Family separations and detention due to immigration policies are traumatizing events that have a profound impact on the children and young adults involved. American society responded strongly and vociferously in 2018 to the news that children were being separated from parents, partially because the experience is widely recognized as being traumatic. The after-effects from harrowing occurrences might cause immigrants to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of severe psychological shock. PTSD can even manifest into physical symptoms that lead to illness and other impairments. The purpose of this paper is to explore how young victims react emotionally to the difficult challenges of risking entry, being detained, waiting for judicial hearings and then fearing deportation for years. The presentation will also evaluate the issues policymakers and judges face in solving these critical problems to address the mental well-being of those involved.
    Keywords: Immigration Policy, Family Separations, Unaccompanied Minors, PTSD, Youth Detention
    Date: 2018–11
  6. By: Tijan L. Bah; Cátia Batista
    Abstract: Illegal migration to Europe through the sea, though risky, remains one of the most popular migration options for many Sub-Saharan Africans. This study aims at improving our understanding of the determinants of the willingness to migrate illegally from West Africa to Europe. We implemented an incentivized lab-in-the field experiment in rural Gambia, the country with the highest rate of illegal migration to Europe in the region. Sampled male youths aged 15 to 25 were given hypothetical scenarios regarding the probability of dying en route to Europe, and of obtaining asylum or legal residence status after successful arrival. According to our data, potential migrants overestimate both the risk of dying en route to Europe, and the probability of obtaining legal residency status. The experimental results suggest that the willingness to migrate illegally is affected by information on the chances of dying en route and of obtaining a legal residence permit. Our estimates show that providing potential migrants with official numbers on the probability of obtaining a legal residence permit decreases their likelihood of migration by 2.88 percentage points (pp), while information on the risk of migrating increases their likelihood of migration by 2.29pp – although the official risk information provided may be regarded as a lower bound to actual mortality. Follow up data collected one year after the experiment show that the migration decisions reported in the lab experiment correlate well with actual migration decisions and intentions. Overall, our study indicates that the migration decisions of potential migrants are likely to actively respond to relevant information.
    Keywords: International migration; Information; Expectations; Illegal migration; Willingness to migrate; Lab-in-the-Field Experiment; The Gambia
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Yun Bin Cho (North London Collegiate School Jeju, Republic of Korea); Yun Gi Cho (, Fayston, Yongin-si, Republic of Korea)
    Abstract: This research investigated how recent issues surrounding refugees in Jeju had affected the residents’ cultural sensitivity. The responses of 109 Jeju residents were used for an analysis. An independent t-test was conducted to see the difference in cultural difference in two groups: the residents who view refugees as potential neighbors and those who don’t. Based on the result of Pearson’s correlation analysis, a multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to see how refugee-related variables explain the change in residents’ cultural sensitivity. The result revealed that people open to refugees have a higher level of cultural sensitivity, and women in Jeju fear refugees more so than men. Also, Korean identity is negatively correlated with cultural sensitivity. Most importantly, the findings of this research suggested that accepting refugees can foster Jeju residents’ cultural sensitivity, which is vital to the Jeju economy and its community.
    Keywords: Refugees, Jeju Island, Cultural Sensitivity, Human Rights, Korean Identity
    Date: 2018–11
  8. By: Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara
    Abstract: About 1.4 million refugees and irregular migrants arrived in Europe in 2015 and 2016. We model how refugees and irregular migrants are self-selected. Using unique datasets from the International Organization for Migration and Gallup World Polls, we provide the first large-scale evidence on reasons to emigrate, and the self-selection and sorting of refugees and irregular migrants for multiple origin and destination countries. Refugees and female irregular migrants are positively self-selected with respect to education, while male irregular migrants are not. We also analyze how border controls affect destination country choice.
    Keywords: Refugees, self-selection, human capital, predicted income
    JEL: J15 J24 O15
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Sara Signorelli (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In recent yearsWestern countries are expressing growing concerns about the regulation of migration flows and many are considering adopting some form of selective immigration policy. This paper analyzes the labor market effects of one of such reforms introduced in France in 2008 with the aim of encouraging the inflow of foreign workers with skills that are scarce among the local labor force. The analysis relies on administrative employer-employee data and it is based on a difference-in-differences approach. Results show that the reform increased the hiring of foreign workers in target occupations without causing any harm to native employment. As a result, the overall stock of labor grew in these jobs. Entry wages are lowered by 4% among natives and by 9% among foreigners, suggesting that these two groups may not be perfect substitutes, even when they are employed for the exact same task. Yet, the negative pressure on salaries seems to disappear after the first three years, as opposed to the positive impact on employment. The effects are stronger for the occupations with the most severe lack of native candidates and for those with an average salary largely above the minimum wage, indicating that the reform was successful in attracting candidates with rare skills and relatively high productivity.
    Keywords: Immigration,Employment,Wage,Occupations,France
    Date: 2019–01
  10. By: Sharma, Rasadhika; Grote, Ulrike
    Abstract: There is no internationally accepted definition of an internal migrant. Different surveys and academic papers use varied definitions that are open to subjectivity. Our paper stresses this issue and tests the sensitivity of results obtained by econometric analysis to the use of different defining criterion. Using four definitions of an internal migrant based on aspects of varied time intervals, purpose of migration and geographical shifts, we examine the determinants of the migration decision and the impact of migration on the household’s income. We employ Probit modelling and difference-in-difference Probability Score Matching to estimate the two questions, respectively. We find that a change in definition alters the target sample and therefore induces identification errors. In case of determinants, the magnitude and significance of variables capturing human and social capital, socio-demography and wealth of the household change across the four definitions. Additionally, having a migrant, increases the household’s income under two definitions, while negatively impacting the household’s income under the other two definitions. Therefore, it is pertinent to standardize the definition of an internal migrant before assessing the impact of migration. Our paper aims to bring this issue to the attention of international organizations and future researchers who work in the area of migration. It advocates for a standardized definition by proposing basic guidelines.
    Keywords: Internal migration, Internal migrant, Vietnam, Measurement
    JEL: O15 R23 J61 I32 O53
    Date: 2019–01
  11. By: Giulia Bettin (Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche); Agnese Sacchi (Department of Economics and Law, Sapienza University)
    Abstract: The welfare impact of immigration is a hot topic especially for countries at the external borders of the European Union. This paper studies how immigrants affect public health expenditure across Italian regions during the period 2003-2015. Identification strategy is based on shift{share instruments, which are also robust to pull factors that might attract immigrants in Italy and to internal migration of natives. We find that a 1 percentage point increase in immigrants over total population leads to a decrease in public health expenditure per capita by about 3.9% (i.e. around 70 euro per capita). This evidence is confirmed when focusing on needy immigrants from low income countries with less developed welfare systems. Among possible channels, we find no support for any crowding out effects from public to private health services by natives due to increasing immigration neither for the effect of entry barriers limiting the immigrants' reliance on public healthcare. Our results are driven by immigrants' demographic structure: foreigners are mostly males and younger workers that call for less health spending, according to a positive selection mechanism.
    Keywords: immigration, public health expenditure, demographic structure, positive selection
    JEL: F22 H51 H41 I10 J61
    Date: 2019–01
  12. By: Tijan L. Bah
    Abstract: This paper aims at investigating how the occupational placement of immigrants relative to their qualifications a ect their self-selection. Using an administrative matched employer-employee data set for Portugal for the years 2002-2009, we first estimate the probability that an average worker from a particular country is overeducated, matched, or undereducated relative to the skill needs of the occupation he takes upon immigration. Second, using these estimated probabilities, we analyze how overeducation and appropriate skill-occupation matches a ect selection of immigrants from 40 origin countries. The results suggest that overeducation leads to negative self-selection of immigrants into the Portuguese labor market. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that appropriate occupation-skill matches a ect migration selection positively. These results imply that receiving countries' selective policies aimed at attracting high skilled immigrants should also focus on reducing occupation-skill mismatch probably through degree recognition and standardization in collaboration with sending countries.
    Keywords: Selection, Occupation-Skill Mismatch, Portugal, Immigrants, Waste, Immigration
    Date: 2018
  13. By: Lin, Carl (Bucknell University); van der Meulen Rodgers, Yana (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: This study uses migrant household survey data from 2008 and 2009 to examine how parental migration decisions are associated with the nutritional status of children in rural and urban China. Results from instrumental variables regressions show a substantial adverse effect of children's exposure to parental migration on height-for-age Z-scores of left-behind children relative to children who migrate with their parents. Additional results from a standard Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, a quantile decomposition, and a counterfactual distribution analysis all confirm that children who are left behind in rural villages – usually because of the oppressive hukou system – have poorer nutritional status than children who migrate with their parents, and the gaps are biggest at lower portions of the distribution.
    Keywords: migration, China, children, health, nutrition
    JEL: I10 J61
    Date: 2018–11

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