nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2019‒04‒01
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Unity in Diversity? How Intergroup Contact Can Foster Nation Building By Samuel Bazzi; Arya Gaduh; Alexander D. Rothenberg; Maisy Wong
  2. Immigration and Right-Wing Populism: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Mehic, Adrian
  3. Minority Salience and Political Extremism. By Tommaso Colussi; Ingo Isphording; Nico Pestel
  4. Migration and the Value of Social Networks By Blumenstock, Joshua; Chi, Guanghua; Tan, Xu
  5. Calling from the outside: The role of networks in residential mobility By Buechel, Konstantin; Puga, Diego; Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet; von Ehrlich, Maximilian
  6. Internal Migration, Education and Upward Rank Mobility:Evidence from American History By Zachary Ward
  7. Highly skilled and well connected: Migrant inventors in Cross-Border M&As By Diego USECHE; Ernest MIGUELEZ; Francesco LISSONI
  8. The rural exodus and the rise of Europe By Thomas Baudin; Robert Stelter
  9. Lowering Welfare Benefits: Intended and Unintended Consequences for Migrants and their Families By Lars Højsgaard Andersen; Christian Dustmann; Rasmus Landersø

  1. By: Samuel Bazzi; Arya Gaduh; Alexander D. Rothenberg; Maisy Wong
    Abstract: We use a population resettlement program in Indonesia to identify long-run effects of intergroup contact on national integration. In the 1980s, the government relocated two million ethnically diverse migrants into hundreds of new communities. We find greater integration in fractionalized communities with many small groups, as measured by national language use at home, intermarriage, and children's name choices. However, in polarized communities with a few large groups, ethnic attachment increases and integration declines. Residential segregation dampens these effects. Social capital, public goods, and ethnic conflict follow similar patterns. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of localized contact in shaping identity.
    JEL: D02 D71 J15 O15 R23
    Date: 2019–03
  2. By: Mehic, Adrian (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Between the 2014 and 2018 Swedish parliamentary elections, the vote share of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats increased significantly. To evaluate the possibility of a causal link between immigration and the right-wing populist vote, this paper uses data from a nationwide policy experiment, under which refugees are allocated randomly to every municipality in the country, creating exogenous variation in the number of refugees between municipalities. Overall, I find a positive and significant impact of immigration on the anti-immigration vote. In areas with strong anti-immigration sentiments during the 1990s refugee wave, the effect is magnified significantly. However, when considering immigration of a particular refugee group dominated by young men, the relationship is considerably weaker. I show that this is because immigration of young men has a balancing effect on the right-wing populist vote among immigration-friendly voter groups.
    Keywords: immigration; right-wing populism; natural experiment
    JEL: D72 J15 P16
    Date: 2019–03–19
  3. By: Tommaso Colussi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Ingo Isphording; Nico Pestel
    Abstract: We investigate how changes in the salience of a minority group affect the majority group’s voting behavior. Specifically, we focus on Muslim communities and their increased salience in daily life during Ramadan. To estimate a causal effect, we exploit exogenous variation in the distance of German federal and state elections to the month of Ramadan over the 1980–2013 period. Our findings reveal an increased polarization of the electorate: vote shares for both right- and left-wing extremist parties increase in municipalities where mosques are located when the election date is closer to Ramadan. We use individual-level survey data to provide evidence on potential mechanisms. During Ramadan respondents perceive the share of foreign-born people living in their country as larger and reveal more negative attitudes towards Muslims. We complement these findings with evidence on increased numbers of violent attacks against Muslim communities shortly after Ramadan.
    Keywords: Salience, Muslims, Behavioral Political Economy, Right-Wing Extremism.
    JEL: D72 D74 J15 D91
    Date: 2019–03
  4. By: Blumenstock, Joshua; Chi, Guanghua; Tan, Xu
    Abstract: What is the value of a social network? Prior work suggests two distinct mechanisms that have historically been difficult to differentiate: as a conduit of information, and as a source of social and economic support. We use a rich 'digital trace' dataset to link the migration decisions of millions of individuals to the topological structure of their social networks. We find that migrants systematically prefer 'interconnected' networks (where friends have common friends) to 'expansive' networks (where friends are well connected). A micro-founded model of network-based social capital helps explain this preference: migrants derive more utility from networks that are structured to facilitate social support than from networks that efficiently transmit information.
    Keywords: Big Data; Development; migration; networks; social capital; Social Networks
    JEL: D85 O12 O15 R23 Z13
    Date: 2019–03
  5. By: Buechel, Konstantin; Puga, Diego; Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet; von Ehrlich, Maximilian
    Abstract: Using anonymised cellphone data, we study the role of social networks in residential mobility decisions. Individuals with few local contacts are more likely to change residence. Movers strongly prefer places with more of their contacts close-by. Contacts matter because proximity to them is itself valuable and increases the enjoyment of attractive locations. They also provide hard-to-find local information and reduce frictions, especially in home-search. Local contacts who left recently or are more central are particularly influential. As people age, proximity to family gains importance relative to friends.
    Keywords: cellphone data; residential mobility; Social Networks
    JEL: R23
    Date: 2019–03
  6. By: Zachary Ward
    Abstract: To what extent does internal migration lead to upward mobility? Using within-brother variation and a new linked dataset from 1910 to 1940, I estimate that internal migrants were more likely to improve on their father’s percentile rank than non-migrants. On average, the effect of migration was nearly four times the effect of one year of education; for those raised in poorer households, migration’s effect was about nine times that of education. The evidence suggests that internal migration was a key strategy for intergenerational progress in a context of rapid industrialization, high rates of rural-to-urban migration and large interregional income gaps.
    Keywords: internal migration, intergenerational mobility, urbanization
    JEL: J61 J62 N31 N32
    Date: 2019–03
  7. By: Diego USECHE; Ernest MIGUELEZ; Francesco LISSONI
    Abstract: Based on a relational view of international business, we investigate the role of migrant inventors in Cross-Border Merger & Acquisitions (CBM&As) undertaken by R&D-active firms. We hypothesize that the migrant inventors’ international social networks can be leveraged upon by their employers in order to spot and/or integrate the knowledge bases of acquisition targets in the inventors’ home country. We nuance our hypothesis by means of several conditional logistic regressions on a large matched sample of deals and control cases. The impact of migrant inventors increases with the distance between countries and for targets located in countries with weak administrative/legal systems, as well as when targets are either innovative or belong to high-tech sectors or to the same sector as the acquirer, and for full versus partial acquisitions.
    Keywords: cross-border mergers and acquisitions, migration, inventors, PCT patents
    JEL: F22 F23
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Thomas Baudin (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Robert Stelter (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    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 and the demographic transition of the country. 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: Europe, Sweden
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2019–01
  9. By: Lars Højsgaard Andersen; Christian Dustmann (Department of Economics, University College London and CReAM); Rasmus Landersø (ROCKWOOL Foundation Research Unit)
    Abstract: Denmark's Start Aid welfare reform reduced benefits to refugee immigrants by around 50 percent for those granted residency after the reform date. The reform led to a sharp short run increase in labor earnings and employment, but it also induced a strong female labor force withdrawal, and a large and persistent drop in disposable income for most households. Furthermore, the reform caused a sharp increase in property crime among both females and males. Moreover, children's likelihood of being enrolled in childcare or preschool, their performance in language tests, and their years of education all decreased, while teenagers' crime rates increased.
    Keywords: Social assistance, welfare state, labor market outcomes, migration
    JEL: E64 I30 J60
    Date: 2019–03

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