nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2019‒02‒04
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Household Location in English Cities By David Cuberes; Jennifer Roberts; Cristina Sechel
  2. Fighting Mobile Crime By Rosario Crinò; Giovanni Immordino; Salvatore Piccolo
  3. The missing ingredient: Distance - Internal migration and its long-term economic impact in the United States By Viola von Berlepsch; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
  4. Regional Migration and Wage Inequality in the West African Economic and Monetary Union By Girsberger, Esther Mirjam; Meango, Romuald; Rapoport, Hillel
  5. The Deterrent Effect of an Anti-Minaret Vote on Foreigners’ Location Choices By Slotwinski, Michaela; Stutzer, Alois
  6. Labor Market Impacts of States Issuing of Driving Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants By Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Arenas-Arroyo, Esther; Sevilla, Almudena
  7. A Comparative Analysis of the Labour Market Performance of University-Educated Immigrants in Australia, Canada, and the United States By Ana Ferrer; Mikal Skuterud; Andrew Clarke
  8. Emigration and Alcohol Consumption among Migrant Household Members Staying Behind: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan By Paulone, Sara; Ivlevs, Artjoms
  9. Assessing job quality in the French labour market: decompositions of the native/migrant wage gap By Ilaria Benedetti; Andrea Regoli
  10. The Belt and Road Initiative. Demographic trends, labour markets and welfare systems of member countries By Bruni, Michele
  11. The World at the Crossroad. Demographic Polarization and Mass Migration. Global threat or global opportunity By Bruni, Michele
  12. The effects of language skills on immigrant employment and wages in Italy By Pieroni, Luca; d'Agostino, Giorgio; Lanari, Donatella
  13. Different Strokes for Different Folks: Entrepreneurs' Job Satisfaction and the Intersection of Gender and Migration Background By Teita Bijedić; Alan Piper
  14. Immigrants’ over-education and wage penalty. Evidence from Uruguay By Luciana Méndez-Errico
  15. Schooling Forsaken: Education and Migration By Abdulloev, Ilhom; Epstein, Gil S.; Gang, Ira N.
  16. Immigration history, entry jobs, and the labor market integration of immigrants By Ansala, Laura; Åslund, Olof; Sarvim¨aki, Matti
  17. Resilience in Youth: Evidence from a Forced Migration in China By Weina Zhou
  18. Strength through diversity’s Spotlight Report for Sweden By Lucie Cerna; Hanna Andersson; Meredith Bannon; Francesca Borgonovi
  19. Redistribution in Whose Favor? Preferences with Regard to Nationality and Type of Beneficiaries By Neustadt, Ilja; Zweifel, Peter

  1. By: David Cuberes (Clark University, US); Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK); Cristina Sechel (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK)
    Abstract: This paper is the first to test an amenity-based sorting model for cities in England. We use individual level data on urban households for the period 2011-2016, combining this with data on local amenities to explore household location under both monocentric and polycentric assumptions about city structure. On average we find that there is no systematic relationship between income and household distance to the ‘city centre’, once neighbourhood amenities and other household characteristics are taken into account. Household heterogeneity is important, and as well as influencing location directly, we also find interactions between the effects of household characteristics and local amenities. There are also important differences between cities in England; for example higher income households seem to live further from the city centre in Birmingham, but closer to it in Newcastle. Our results reveal some important differences to the US evidence that has dominated this literature. Migrant status is important in England, and on average migrants live much closer to the city centre than non-migrants, but race per se does not seem to influence household location. Also it appears that in England only the employed (and those above the poverty line) are influenced by the availability of public transport; which is in direct opposition to the US evidence. Overall we conclude that the standard urban land use model provides a partial explanation of how households sort by income in cities, but that the role of amenities and household heterogeneity is large and warrants more attention.
    Keywords: cities; household location; income; amenities
    JEL: R20 R23
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Rosario Crinò; Giovanni Immordino; Salvatore Piccolo
    Abstract: Two countries set their enforcement non-cooperatively to deter native and foreign individuals from committing crime in their territory. Crime is mobile, ex ante (migration) and ex post (fleeing), and criminals hiding abroad after having com- mitted a crime in a country must be extradited back. When extradition is not too costly, countries overinvest in enforcement: insourcing foreign criminals is more costly than paying the extradition cost. When extradition is sufficiently costly, in- stead, a large enforcement may induce criminals to flee the country whose law they infringed. The fear of paying the extradition cost enables the countries coordinating on the efficient outcome.
    Keywords: crime, enforcement, extradition, fleeing, migration
    JEL: K14 K42
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Viola von Berlepsch; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
    Abstract: This paper examines if internal migrants at the turn of the 20th century have influenced the long-term economic development of the counties where they settled over 100 years ago. Using Census microdata from 1880 and 1910, the distance travelled by American-born migrants between birthplace and county of residence is examined to assess its relevance for the economic development of US counties today. The settlement patterns of domestic migrants across the 48 continental states are then linked to current county-level development. Factors influencing both migration at the time and the level of development of the county today are controlled for. The results of the analysis underline the economic importance of internal migration. Counties that attracted American-born migrants more than 100 years ago are significantly richer today. Moreover, distance is crucial for the impact of internal migration on long-term economic development; the larger the distance travelled by domestic migrants, the greater the long-term economic impact on the receiving territories.
    Keywords: Internal migration, distance, long-term, economic development, counties, US
    JEL: J61 N11 O15 R23
    Date: 2019–01
  4. By: Girsberger, Esther Mirjam (University of Technology, Sydney); Meango, Romuald (Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy); Rapoport, Hillel (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of regional migration on average wages and on wage inequality in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). We exploit unique data from a unified labour force household survey which covers natives and migrants in the seven economic capitals of the region. We first estimate the counterfactual wage distributions of UEMOA migrants in absence of migration to evaluate the effect of regional migration when the effect of migration is purely compositional (i.e., when wages are treated as exogenous). We find that regional migration increases average wages by 1.8% and entails a decrease in inequality that ranges between -1.5% (for the Gini index) and -4.5% (for the interquartile ratio). This is essentially driven by a reduction in inequality between countries, while the effect of migration on within-country inequality is heterogeneous across countries and remains small overall. Second, when accounting for possible general equilibrium effects of migration on stayers' wages, we find similar to stronger effects on inequality, albeit with a smaller increase in average wages. The later result is due primarily to the fact that we now account for the predominant pattern of migrants' negative to intermediate self-selection, which tends to depress natives' wages at destination while only mildly affecting wages at home. The former result is due to the fact that regional migration in the UEMOA takes place mostly from low-wage to high-wage countries, which in combination with the general equilibrium effects described above, leads to a larger decrease in between-country inequality than in a setting with exogenous wages.
    Keywords: migration, inequality, Gini Index, West Africa
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2018–12
  5. By: Slotwinski, Michaela; Stutzer, Alois
    Abstract: In a national ballot in 2009, Swiss citizens surprisingly approved an amendment to the Swiss constitution to ban the further construction of minarets. The ballot outcome manifested reservations and anti-immigrant attitudes in regions of Switzerland which had previously been hidden. We exploit this fact as a natural experiment to identify the causal effect of negative attitudes towards immigrants on foreigners’ location choices and thus indirectly on their utility. Based on a regression discontinuity design with unknown discontinuity points and administrative data on the population of foreigners, we find that the probability of their moving to a municipality which unexpectedly expressed stronger reservations decreases initially by about 40 percent. The effect is accompanied by a drop of housing prices in these municipalities and levels off over a period of about 5 months. Moreover, foreigners in high-skill occupations react relatively more strongly highlighting a tension when countries try to attract well-educated professionals from abroad.
    Keywords: attitudes,foreigners,location choice,popular initiative,regression discontinuity design
    JEL: D83 J61 R23 Z13
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (San Diego State University); Arenas-Arroyo, Esther (University of Oxford); Sevilla, Almudena
    Abstract: Twelve U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, have recently enacted measures granting undocumented immigrants access to driving licenses. We exploit the state and temporal variation in the issuing of state driving licenses to undocumented immigrants to estimate its impact on these population's employment outcomes. Using 2013 through 2017 data from the monthly Current Population Survey and its Outgoing Rotation Groups, we show that likely undocumented women increase their labor supply in response to the availability of driver licenses. Their work propensity rises by 4.2 percentage points, aligning it to that of their male counterparts. In addition, those at work raise their weekly hours of work by 4 percent. Overall, their real hourly wages drop by 3 percent. We find no similar impacts among likely undocumented men –a result consistent with a standard labor supply model predicting a greater response from individuals with a larger elasticity. Additionally, we find no apparent impacts on the labor supply and wages of similarly skilled Hispanic native-born women. At a time when anti-immigrant sentiments are at an all-time high, understanding how these policies impact targeted groups and similarly skilled native populations is crucial for maintaining an informed immigration policy debate.
    Keywords: driver licenses, undocumented immigrants, labor market impacts, United States
    JEL: I38 J15 J22
    Date: 2018–12
  7. By: Ana Ferrer (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo); Mikal Skuterud (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo); Andrew Clarke (Department of Economics, University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: We examine data from Australia, Canada, and the U.S. to inform the potential for immigrant screening policies to influence the labour market performance of skilled immigrants. Our estimates point to improvements in employment rates and weekly earnings of male university‐educated immigrants in all three countries concomitant with policy reforms. Nonetheless, the gains are modest in comparison to a substantial and persistent performance advantage of U.S. skilled immigrants. Given that there is increasingly little to distinguish the skilled immigration policies of these countries, we interpret the U.S. advantage as primarily reflecting the relative positive selectivity of U.S. immigrants
    JEL: J24 J15 J08
    Date: 2018–01–02
  8. By: Paulone, Sara (University of Siena); Ivlevs, Artjoms (University of the West of England, Bristol)
    Abstract: Despite the growth of alcohol consumption and international migration in many developing countries, the links between the two remain underexplored. We study the relationship between emigration of household members, receiving remittances (migrant monetary transfers), and alcohol consumption of migrant household members staying behind in Kyrgyzstan, a poor post-socialist country that has recently witnessed both large-scale emigration and a rise in alcohol-related health problems. Using a large longitudinal survey, we find that, among the ethnic majority (Kyrgyz), an increase in migrant remittances is associated with a higher likelihood and frequency of consuming alcohol, as well as an increase in the consumption of beer. Among ethnic Russians, the emigration of family members who do not send remittances back home is associated with an increased likelihood and frequency of alcohol consumption. We discuss possible mechanisms through which emigration and remittances may affect the alcohol consumption of those staying behind, including the relaxation of budget constraints and psychological distress. Overall, our findings suggest that the emigration of household members contribute to a greater alcohol consumption among those staying behind, and highlight the role of remittances and cultural background in understanding the nuances in this relationship.
    Keywords: emigration, alcoholism, Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, monetary remittances, social remittances
    JEL: F22 F24 J61 I12
    Date: 2019–01
  9. By: Ilaria Benedetti; Andrea Regoli
    Abstract: Having a job, and particularly having a job of good quality, is an important determinant of people’s well-being. In many countries, inequality starts in the labour market. Indeed, changes in the distribution of wages are found to be the key factors behind recent inequality trends (ILO 2015). A high level of inequality can create divisions within society, reduce opportunity and social mobility: it could weaken the social cohesion and reduce household consumptions with low rates of economic growth. All these issues can threaten the political stability. In this study, we contribute to the literature on immigrants in the French labour market by analysing the earnings differentials between workers born in France and workers born abroad. We used the wage indicator of job quality by using the 2013 French Working condition survey carried out by DARES (Directorate for Research, Studies and Statistics). Given the importance of the immigration phenomenon in the EU countries and in particular in the French labour market context, the aim of the paper is to explain the differences between immigrant and native workers in terms of wage by using decomposition techniques, controlling for a large set of covariates. The decomposition methods allow us to decompose mean differences in two components: the "explained" and the "unexplained" part (the second one is often used as a measure for discrimination). In particular, as an extension to the classical decomposition method, proposed by Oaxaca (1973) and Blinder (1973), we applied the decomposition method proposed by Firpo et al. (2007, 2009) to consider the ways in which various characteristics of immigrants and natives affect the wage gap along the whole distribution of wages, at points other than the mean.
    Keywords: Wage inequality, Rif-regression, Immigrant workers, Wage differential
    JEL: J31 J61 C21
    Date: 2019–01–01
  10. By: Bruni, Michele
    Abstract: A brief analysis of the different demographic tendencies that will affect the 65 countries of the Belt and Road Initiative allows to point out that they are largely spread along the path of the demographic transition so that in some working age population will dramatically decline, in others will dramatically increase. The implication is that the first group of countries (epitomized by China, Russia, Thailand, but also by Singapore) will be affected by a structural shortage of labour, the second (well represented by India, but also by Pakistan, Egypt and Philippines) by a structural excess of labour. Therefore, for the countries of the first group immigration will not be an option but a necessity, while for the countries of the second group emigration will not be an option but a necessity. The situation suggests that it would be in the interest of all BRI countries to design, develop and implement a policy framework that would allow them to jointly manage migration flows in the amount and with the educational stricture coherent with their needs. However, such a process is extremely difficult and complex and to succeed needs to be properly directed and orchestrated. The paper argues that given its size, the dimension of its need of foreign labour, and its role in the Belt and Road Initiative it is China that should take the lead of a rational approach that falls well inside the strategies of the Initiative.
    Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative,China,migration,labour market,demographic transition,demographic polarization
    JEL: J11 J2 J61
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Bruni, Michele
    Abstract: The unstoppable progress of the demographic transition is determining a progressive decline of the rates of growth of the total population and working age population of the planet, two phenomena that could have a very positive global socioeconomic and environmental impact. Unfortunately, it is also determining a growing demographic polarization between an increasing number of countries, the most developed ones, where working age population will drop, and a decreasing number, the poorest ones, in which it will explode. The former will be affected by a dramatic structural shortage of labour that will make immigration unavoidable, the latter by a dramatic structural excess of labour that will make emigration necessary to avoid political and socioeconomic havoc. This phenomenon will have extremely disruptive effects not only at the country level but also at the planet level unless both groups of countries will understand that the disease provides its own medicine in the form of well planned and organized migration flows that, while responding to the quantitative and qualitative needs of potential arrival countries, will relieve the poorest countries from their structural excess of labour. Obviously there is a problem: this rational solution is in stark contrast with the myopic and xenophobic vision of an emerging political class that funds its success on the fear of immigrants and fuels xenophobic feelings talking advantage of ignorance and fake news. The incoming demographic polarization does also signal the passage from a situation in which labour markets were affected by economic cyclical disequilibrium to a situation in which they will be affected by a demo-economic structural disequilibrium. This new situation calls for an integrated demo-economic modeling and the use of coordinated sets of demographic and economic measures.
    Keywords: migration, labour market,demographic transition,demographic polarization,structural shortage of labour,structural excess of labour
    JEL: J11 J2 J61
    Date: 2019
  12. By: Pieroni, Luca; d'Agostino, Giorgio; Lanari, Donatella
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine how the Italian language problems of immigrants affect their labour market performance using two hitherto unexploited immigration surveys recently published by the Italian Institute of Statistics. With respect to immigrants with good Italian proficiency, our empirical findings suggest that language problems reduce the employment rate by about 30%, and point estimates are even larger when evaluating job discrimination. Italian language skills also significantly affect the wages of immigrants. The point estimates suggest a wage gap of about 20% between immigrants with Italian proficiency and those without Italian proficiency, a magnitude that increases to 25% for male immigrants. Robustness checks confirmed our estimates.
    Keywords: Immigrants, Language skills, Employment, Wages
    JEL: J15 J20 J31
    Date: 2019–01–25
  13. By: Teita Bijedić; Alan Piper
    Abstract: Migrant enterprises comprise about 10% of all enterprises in Germany and are therefore a crucial part of the German economy and its entrepreneurial ecosystems. Relatedly, migrant entrepreneurship is a highly recognized topic within political discussions as well as within entrepreneurship research. While there is already an impressive body of work regarding the nature and quality of migrant enterprises, many questions regarding the personal motives and satisfaction of migrant entrepreneurs still remain unanswered (particularly with reference to gender and generation of migration). Using the German Socio-Economic Panel dataset, we close this research gap by investigating the job satisfaction of migrant entrepreneurs in Germany compared with native entrepreneurs, and also with conventionally employed migrants and natives. First generation migrants show, in general, less job satisfaction than the native population. Second generation male migrant entrepreneurs’ show less job satisfaction, however this association is reversed for females: second generation female migrant entrepreneurs are more satisfied with their self-employment than their native counterparts. These differing results lead to differing implications for policy makers who wish to create and develop entrepreneurial and labour market support for different target groups.
    Keywords: Migrant entrepreneurship, family firms, job satisfaction, intersectionality
    JEL: L26 J15 J16 J28
    Date: 2018
  14. By: Luciana Méndez-Errico (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This paper examines to what extent recently arrived immigrants in Uruguay experience occupation?over-education in the host labor market, and whether those over-educated workers are penalized in the destination country. Results of this study show that the more immigrants are educated, the more chances they have for being over-educated. Also, immigrants embedded in larger immigrants' social networks are less prone to be over-educated. Findings also stress that for women, over-education is reduced the longer the length of residence in Uruguay and the more years of continuous employment experience they have. Finally, it is found that over-educated immigrants are penalized in the labor market; while only for women, the more they live and continuously work in Uruguay, the larger their labor earnings.
    Keywords: Immigration, over-education, wage penalty
    JEL: J15 J24 J30 J62
    Date: 2018–12
  15. By: Abdulloev, Ilhom (Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, Tajikistan); Epstein, Gil S. (Bar-Ilan University); Gang, Ira N. (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: We examine the phenomenon of forsaken schooling resulting from opportunities abroad. The brain-drain/gain literature takes as its starting point the migration of educated/professional labor from poor origin countries to richer host countries. While high-skilled migration is worrisome, many international migrants accept low-skilled positions in host countries. Their willingness to do so arises from very large host-home earnings differentials. At home this can lead to reduced educational investment as people forgo schooling because of opportunities to migrate to high paying low-skilled jobs. This suggests possible time-inconsistencies between short-run economic gains from migration and negative long-term effects from missing human-capital investment. We analyze data from Tajikistan, where approximately one-third of the labor force works outside of the country. We offer an explanation of our empirical results with a theoretical model, allowing us to establish the circumstances under which this type of forsaken schooling can occur and the trade-offs that policymakers' need consider.
    Keywords: migration, traps, poverty, inequality, education, skill
    JEL: O15 P46 F22 I24
    Date: 2019–01
  16. By: Ansala, Laura (Aalto University School of Business and Pellervo Economic Research); Åslund, Olof (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Sarvim¨aki, Matti (Aalto University School of Business and VATT Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: We examine how immigrants enter the labor market and whether their integration process varies by host country's immigration history. We focus on two countries - Finland and Sweden - that have similar formal institutions, but differ vastly in their past immigration experience. Nevertheless, in both countries, immigrants tend to find their first jobs in low-paying establishments where the manager and colleagues often share their ethnic background. Time to entry and entry job characteristics vary widely by region of origin. Furthermore, entry job characteristics predict earnings dynamics and job stability. The patterns and associations are remarkably similar in Finland and Sweden. These findings suggest strong regularities in labor market integration and ethnic segregation that are independent of immigration history and ethnic diversity.
    Keywords: Immigration; entry jobs; labor market integration; ethnic segregation
    JEL: J71
    Date: 2018–11–26
  17. By: Weina Zhou (Department of Economics, Dalhousie University)
    Abstract: This paper uses the send-down movement during the Chinese Cultural Revolution to study the impact of forced migration during youth on individuals’ outcomes in later years. The massive send-down movement (1968-1978) forced more than 16 million urban youths to move to rural areas to carry out agricultural field work. I utilize a rich set of family background information when the youths were 18 years old, and compare the send-downs with their closest counterparts—non-send-downs. Multiple surveys provide consistent evidence that the send- downs are 7 percentage points more likely to have had re-schooling after their return to urban areas; children of the send-downs are 9 percentage points more likely to attend college and have 0.5 more years of education. Evidence also suggests that compared to the non-send-downs, the send-downs spend more on their children’s education. This paper presents a unique outcome of resilience for youths after forced migration.
    Keywords: Education; Forced Migration; Adolescent Development; Resilience; Send-down Movement
    Date: 2017–09–20
  18. By: Lucie Cerna (OECD); Hanna Andersson (OECD); Meredith Bannon (Pennsylvania State University); Francesca Borgonovi (OECD)
    Abstract: Within OECD countries, Sweden has historically welcomed large numbers of migrants, in particular migrants seeking humanitarian protection. Since 2015, this large influx of new arrivals with multiple disadvantages has put a well-developed integration system under great pressure and highlighted a number of challenges for education policy given current institutional frameworks. PISA 2015 shows that immigrant students fare considerably worse than native students in terms of academic and well-being outcomes also after accounting for differences in social-economic background. The OECD has identified four priority areas for Sweden for closing the gap between immigrant and native students: (1) Facilitating the access of immigrants to school choice, (2) Building teaching capacity, (3) Providing language training and (4) Strengthening the management of diversity. The findings in this Spotlight Report are based on existing OECD work in the area of immigrant integration in education, OECD and national data, a questionnaire on the range of policies and practices in Sweden and good practice examples for the integration in the education system in peer-learner countries and regions [Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and North America (Canada and the United States)], which were identified of particular relevance for Sweden. The report also includes policy pointers on what policies and practices Sweden could adopt to respond to the current integration challenges in the four priority areas.
    Date: 2019–02–01
  19. By: Neustadt, Ilja; Zweifel, Peter
    Abstract: In this paper, we elicit preferences for the allocation of income redistribution to different uses through a Discrete Choice Experiment performed with a representative sample of Swiss citizens. The total desired amount of income redistribution is estimated as a share of disposable income. Further, we estimate marginal willingness-to-pay values for recipients' nationalities (Swiss, citizens of western European countries, citizens of other countries) as well as their types (old-age pensioners, people with ill health, the unemployed, working poor, and families with children). Swiss citizens are found to have a positive willingness to pay for a reallocation of social expenditure in favor of themselves or Western European citizens to the detriment of citizens of other countries, who are perceived to be culturally distant.
    Keywords: Income redistribution, preferences, willingness to pay, discrete choice experiments, conjoint analysis, social status, immigration debate, insurance motive.
    JEL: C35 C93 D63 H29
    Date: 2018–11–21

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