nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2019‒05‒06
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Understanding Migration Aversion Using Elicited Counterfactual Choice Probabilities By Koşar, Gizem; Ransom, Tyler; van der Klaauw, Wilbert
  2. Economic Opportunities and Gender Equity: The Migration and Education Decisions of Young Women from Rural China By Xing, Chunbing; Sun, Yan
  3. Divorce among European and Mexican Immigrants in the U.S. By Houseworth, Christina A.; Chiswick, Barry R.
  4. The political economy of immigrant legalisation: evidence from the 1986 IRCA By Navid Sabet; Christoph Winter
  5. Income redistribution and self-selection of immigrants By Corneo, Giacomo; Neidhöfer, Guido
  6. The Contribution of High-Skilled Immigrants to Innovation in the United States By Bernstein, Shai; Diamond, Rebecca; McQuade, Timothy James; Pousada, Beatriz
  7. Repercussions of Negatively Selective Migration for the Behavior of Nonmigrants When Preferences Are Social By Stark, Oded; Budzinski, Wiktor
  8. Wages of migrant and native employees in Germany: new light on an old issue By Brunow, Stephan; Jost, Oskar
  9. Ethnic Minority Youths in the Labour Markets in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden By Niknami, Susan; Schröder, Lena; Wadensjö, Eskil

  1. By: Koşar, Gizem (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Ransom, Tyler (University of Oklahoma); van der Klaauw, Wilbert (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: Residential mobility rates in the U.S. have fallen considerably over the past three decades. The cause of the long-term decline remains largely unexplained. In this paper we investigate the relative importance of alternative drivers of residential mobility, including job opportunities, neighborhood and housing amenities, social networks and housing and moving costs, using data from two waves of the NY Fed's Survey of Consumer Expectations. Our hypothetical choice methodology elicits choice probabilities from which we recover the distribution of preferences for location and mobility attributes without concerns about omitted variables and selection biases that hamper analyses based on observed mobility choices alone. We estimate substantial heterogeneity in the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for location and housing amenities across different demographic groups, with income considerations, proximity to friends and family, neighbors' shared norms and social values, and monetary and psychological costs of moving being key drivers of migration and residential location choices. The estimates point to potentially important amplifying roles played by family, friends, and shared norms and values in the decline of residential mobility rates.
    Keywords: migration, geographic labor mobility, neighborhood characteristics
    JEL: J61 R23 D84
    Date: 2019–04
  2. By: Xing, Chunbing (Beijing Normal University); Sun, Yan (Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: We study how the migration decision of young women in rural China is shaped by the return arrangement and opportunities of college education. Women outnumbered men in young rural-urban migrants in the early 2000s, but the surplus of young women has recently disappeared. We propose that the temporary nature of migration and an earlier return time relative to men are the major reasons that women migrate at a younger age. When higher education expansion increased women's chance of permanent migration, women stayed in school longer. Empirical evidence is consistent with this hypothesis. Marriage motives and demand factors are also considered.
    Keywords: migration, gender, education expansion, marriage
    JEL: J12 J16 O15 R23
    Date: 2019–04
  3. By: Houseworth, Christina A. (Hobart & William Smith Colleges); Chiswick, Barry R. (George Washington University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the status of being currently divorced among European and Mexican immigrants in the U.S., among themselves and in comparison to the native born of the same ancestries. The data are for males and females age 18 to 55, who married only once, in the 2010-2014 American Community Surveys. Among immigrants, better job opportunities, measured by educational attainment, English proficiency and a longer duration in the U.S. are associated with a higher probability of being divorced. Those who married prior to migration and who first married at an older age are less likely to be divorced. Those who live in states with a higher divorce rate are more likely to be divorced. Thus, currently being divorced among immigrants is more likely for those who are better positioned in the labor market, less closely connected to their ethnic origins, and among Mexican immigrants who live in an environment in which divorce is more prevalent.
    Keywords: human capital, gender, immigrants, minorities, divorce, marriage, demographics
    JEL: J12 J15 J16 J24
    Date: 2019–04
  4. By: Navid Sabet; Christoph Winter
    Abstract: What happens to the distribution of public resources when undocumented migrants obtain legal status through nation-wide amnesty? In this paper, we exploit variation in legal status from the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) to answer this question and find that state governors, of whatever party affiliation, allocate more per capita aid to those counties affected by the IRCA. We posit that this is borne out of rational, forward-looking governors who allocate resources strategically in pursuit of the votes of the newly legalised who were eligible to vote five years after legalisation. To support this view, we find that the distribution of state aid differs significantly according to political context. Counties affected by the IRCA receive more resources from the state when their governor is eligible for re-election, faces political competition or enjoys line-item veto power. Our results also indicate that the transfers were targeted to the newly legalised, who by and large were of Hispanic origin, and not other constituents. We find no evidence of anti-migrant sentiment confounding our results. Counties that received more transfers from the governor also experienced improvements in Hispanic high school completion rates.
    Keywords: immigrant legalisation, distributive politics, state and local government
    JEL: J15 H72 P16
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Corneo, Giacomo; Neidhöfer, Guido
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of governmental redistribution of income on migration patterns using an Italian administrative dataset that includes almost every Italian citizen living abroad. Since Italy takes a middle ground in terms of redistribution, both the welfare-magnet effect from more redistributive countries and the propensity of the high-skilled to settle in countries with lower taxes can be empirically studied. Our findings confirm the hypothesis that destination countries with more redistribution receive a negative selection of Italian migrants. Policy simulations are run in order to gauge the magnitude of those migration effects. Based on estimated elasticities, we find that sizable increases in the amount of redistribution in Italy have small effects on the skill composition of the resident population.
    Keywords: redistribution; Roy model
    JEL: D31 H23
    Date: 2019–04
  6. By: Bernstein, Shai (Stanford University GSB and NBER); Diamond, Rebecca (Stanford University GSB and NBER); McQuade, Timothy James (Stanford University GSB); Pousada, Beatriz (?)
    Abstract: We characterize the contribution of immigrants to US innovation, both through their direct productivity as well as through their indirect spillover effects on their native collaborators. To do so, we link patent records to a database containing the first five digits of 160 million of Social Security Numbers (SSN). By combining this part of the SSN together with year of birth, we identify whether individuals are immigrants based on the age at which their Social Security Number is assigned. We find that over the course of their careers, immigrants are more productive than natives, as measured by number of patents, patent citations, and the economic value of these patents. Immigrant inventors are more likely to rely on foreign technologies, to collaborate with foreign inventors, and to be cited in foreign markets, thus contributing to the importation and diffusion of ideas across borders. Using an identification strategy that exploits premature inventor deaths, we find that immigrant collaborators create especially strong positive externalities on the innovation production of natives, while natives create especially large positive externalities on immigrant innovation production, suggesting that combining these different knowledge pools into inventor teams is important for innovation. A simple decomposition suggests that despite immigrants only making up 16% of inventors, they are responsible for 30% of aggregate US innovation since 1976, with their indirect spillover effects accounting for more than twice their direct productivity contribution.
    Date: 2018–11
  7. By: Stark, Oded (University of Bonn); Budzinski, Wiktor (University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: We study how the work effort and output of non-migrants in a village economy are affected when a member of the village population migrates. Given that individuals dislike low relative income, and that migration modifies the social space of the non-migrants, we show why and how the non-migrants adjust their work effort and output in response to the migration-generated change in their social space. When migration is negatively selective such that the least productive individual departs, the output of the non-migrants increases. While as a consequence of this migration statically calculated average productivity rises, we identify a dynamic repercussion that compounds the static one.
    Keywords: social preferences, distaste for low relative income, work effort, per capita output, migration
    JEL: D01 D31 J24 O15
    Date: 2019–04
  8. By: Brunow, Stephan; Jost, Oskar (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "The German workforce is expected to decline in future and labour-oriented immigration should counteract labour shortages. Fair wages in Germany set incentives for foreigners to immigrate there. Therefore this paper aims to shed new light on the decomposition of the wage gap between foreign and native full-time employees. Using the Mincerian wage equation and the threefold Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition reveals that the wage gap is mostly explained by observable characteristics (endowments), especially location, labour market experience and firm characteristics. Productivity differences can be disregarded with the exception of labour market experience, as foreigners have much flatter experience profiles than native workers. This effect holds for several specifications and potential selectivity and vanishes for foreigners that have resided in Germany for at least ten years and naturalised foreigners. Our results lead to the conclusion that 'discrimination' is negligible from an economic point of view and foreigners receive equal pay." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J31 J60 R23
    Date: 2019–04–23
  9. By: Niknami, Susan (SOFI, Stockholm University); Schröder, Lena (SOFI, Stockholm University); Wadensjö, Eskil (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This paper uses administrative data to in detail document how the share of youths not in employment, education or training has evolved over time in the Scandinavian countries. We study both first- and second-generation immigrant youths as well as natives to explore whether the pattern differ depending on the region of origin. We show that the NEET rates are higher among youths with an immigrant background compared to youths with a native background in all countries. Even when controlling for youth background characteristics, first- and second-generation immigrant youths have significantly higher probability of being in NEET compared to native youths.
    Keywords: ethnic minority youths, NEET, Nordic countries
    JEL: J15 J13 J61 J64
    Date: 2019–04

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