nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2019‒07‒08
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Living with the Neighbors: The Effect of Venezuelan Forced Migration on Wages in Colombia By Leonardo Peñaloza Pacheco
  2. Migration and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The Effect of Returning Refugees on Export Performance in the Former Yugoslavia By Bahar, Dany; Özgüzel, Cem; Hauptmann, Andreas; Rapoport, Hillel
  3. “Gender Shock†and Household Labor Allocation: Dowry and Labor Migration in Pakistan By Cheema, Ahmed Raza; Coxhead, Ian
  5. Equal treatment for highly qualified labour migrants By Herzfeld Olsson, Petra
  6. Brain Drain or Brain Gain? International labor mobility and human capital formation By Anelí Bongersy; Carmen Díaz-Roldán; José L. Torres
  7. The impact of migration on earnings inequality By Jackson, Osborne
  8. The impact of migration on earnings inequality in New England By Jackson, Osborne
  9. Internal Migration in the United States: A Comprehensive Comparative Assessment of the Consumer Credit Panel By DeWaard, Jack; Johnson, Janna; Whitaker, Stephan

  1. By: Leonardo Peñaloza Pacheco (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to estimate the causal effect of the migration of Venezuelans to Colombia on the Colombian real wage, since 2016. In the second semester of 2016, the borders between Colombia and Venezuela were reopened after a year of being closed due to a political crisis between the two countries; this re-opening is exploited as an identification strategy. Using data from the Unidad Administrativa Especial de Migraci´on Colombia and the Registro Administrativo de Migrantes Venezolanos in Colombia, we estimate that, the migratory flow of Venezuelans to Colombia increased the Economically Active Population of the border areas of La Guajira and Norte de Santander by approximately 10% and 15%, since its reopening. We implement a differences-in-differences methodology and the Synthetic Control Method and find that the increase in labor supply in these regions that resulted from the migratory flow generated a decline in real hourly wages of approximately 6%-9% on average. This decrease in real wages appears to be greater for men as compared to women. There is also evidence of a greater drop in real wages among people with lower levels of qualification and in conditions of informal employment
    JEL: J31 J61 F22
    Date: 2019–07
  2. By: Bahar, Dany (Brookings Institution); Özgüzel, Cem (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne); Hauptmann, Andreas (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Rapoport, Hillel (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: During the early 1990s Germany offered temporary protection to over 600,000 Yugoslavian refugees fleeing war. By 2000, many had been repatriated. We exploit this natural experiment to investigate the role of migrants in post-conflict reconstruction in the former Yugoslavia, using exports as outcome. Using confidential social security data to capture intensity of refugee workers to German industries–and exogenous allocation rules for asylum seekers within Germany as instrument—we find an elasticity of exports to return migration between 0.08 to 0.24. Our results are stronger in knowledge-intensive industries and for workers in occupations intensive in analytical and managerial skills.
    Keywords: migration, refugees, knowledge diffusion, management, exports, productivity
    JEL: O33 F14 F22
    Date: 2019–06
  3. By: Cheema, Ahmed Raza (University of Sargodha); Coxhead, Ian (University of Wisconsin-Madison,)
    Abstract: Dowry is a cultural practice, ubiquitous in South Asia, in which the bride’s family provides gifts and payments to the groom’s family at the time of marriage. Using data from Pakistan we find that the presence in a household of unmarried girls and young women is a very strong predictor of propensity to receive remittances from family members working elsewhere. Boys have no such effect. This is consistent with household labor reallocation in response to the need to generate savings for dowry expenses. The strength of the gender shock is modified in predictable ways by variation over wealth, location and migrant destinations.
    JEL: D14 J12 J61 O15
    Date: 2019–06
  4. By: Manuela Stranges (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria); Daniele Vignoli (Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni 'G. Parenti' - DiSIA, Università degli Studi di Firenze); Alessandra Venturini (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica "Cognetti de Martiis", Campus "Luigi Einaudi", Università degli Studi di Torino)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the growing strand of literature that investigates migrants’ subjective wellbeing by analysing how the social comparison with two reference groups (natives and other migrants) within the host country affects migrants’ life satisfaction. Using data from six rounds of the European Social Survey, we constructed two measures of economic distance that compare each migrant’s situation with the average of the group of natives and the group of migrants with similar characteristics. Our results indicate that when the disadvantage between the migrant and the reference groups becomes smaller, migrant’s life satisfaction increases. The effect of the social comparison with natives appears larger than the social comparison with migrants and, in both cases, it is stronger for individuals with higher levels of education. We also show that social comparison is stronger for second generation migrants than for first generation migrants and, within this latter group, it intensifies as length of stay in the host country increases. Overall, the role of social comparison seems crucial to understanding patterns of integration in an enlarged Europe.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, migrants, social comparison
    JEL: I31 F22
    Date: 2019–06
  5. By: Herzfeld Olsson, Petra (Law Faculty, Stockholm university)
    Abstract: According to EU-law, third country national labour migrants shall be treated equally to local workers with regard to wages. The aim of this working paper is to clarify whether Swedish law meets this demand with regard to highly qualified labour migrants. The analysis reveals that the combined effect of entry conditions and the content of the collective agreements applicable in the sectors where highly qualified labour migrants work makes it difficult to safeguard that they are treated equally with comparable national workers. The study also demonstrates that Swedish law does not provide highly qualified labour migrants with any robust means to enforce equal treatment. Hence, it is not likely that Swedish law complies with EU law, at least not for those workers employed by an entity in Sweden. For labour migrants intra-corporate transferred or posted to Sweden in other ways the EU law demands are less clear.
    Keywords: Highly qualified labour migrants; pay; collective agreements; equal treatment
    JEL: J31 J61 J71 J83 K31
    Date: 2019–06–10
  6. By: Anelí Bongersy (Universidad de Málaga); Carmen Díaz-Roldán (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha); José L. Torres (Universidad de Málaga)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of international labor migration on human capital invest- ment in both destination and origin countries using an integrated theoretical framework. We develop a two-country Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium human capital investment model with international labor mobility, in which both decision to migrate and to invest in skill acquisition are endogenous. We show that human capital formation process in the coun- tries of origin is very sensible to migration policies implemented by destination countries. Our results show that human capital accumulation in the country of origin is encouraged by the possibility of emigration to higher labor productivity countries, supporting the recent view of the "brain gain" hypothesis. Productivity shocks hitting the destination country reduces human capital investment by natives but increase human capital investment in the country of origin when migration is allowed. Finally, we find that migration increases world human capital, increasing the stock of human capital in both destination and origin countries.
    Keywords: Migration; Brain Drain; Brain Gain; Human capital formation; Migration policy
    JEL: F22 J24 J61
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Jackson, Osborne (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of migration on earnings inequality using 1940–2015 data from the U.S. census and American Community Survey. Despite measurement challenges, I successfully replicate existing findings regarding national trends in earnings inequality and migration, and subsequently analyze regional and state patterns. Using 1940 birthplace information to instrument for migration, I find that recent immigration mildly increases the top decile earnings share, while recent in-migration and out-migration have no significant effects on such inequality. I estimate that immigration contributed 5.8 percent to the observed rise in U.S. earnings inequality from 1950 to 2015, primarily through a non-migrant channel.
    Keywords: migration; earnings inequality
    JEL: D31 F22 R23
    Date: 2018–08–01
  8. By: Jackson, Osborne (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
    Abstract: Migration plays an important role in the New England economy; absent immigration, the region’s population and workforce would have shrunk in recent years. Yet increasingly, immigrant inflows have been met with legislative opposition at both the national and regional levels, motivated in part by concerns that immigration may be an important factor driving the marked rise in earnings inequality. The research findings presented in this report, however, indicate that immigration accounts for a very small portion—only 6.0 percent—of the rising earnings inequality that the region has experienced. These results suggest that policymakers interested in responding to increased inequality should pursue avenues other than immigration reform.
    Keywords: inequality; immigration; New England; NEPPC
    Date: 2019–06–01
  9. By: DeWaard, Jack (University of Minnesota); Johnson, Janna (University of Minnesota); Whitaker, Stephan (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)
    Abstract: We introduce and provide the first comprehensive comparative assessment of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Equifax Consumer Credit Panel (CCP) as a valuable and underutilized data set for studying internal migration within the United States. Relative to other data sources on US internal migration, the CCP permits highly detailed cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of migration, both temporally and geographically. We compare cross-sectional and longitudinal estimates of migration from the CCP to similar estimates derived from the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, Internal Revenue Service data, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Our results establish the comparative utility and illustrate some of the unique advantages of the CCP relative to other data sources on US internal migration. We conclude by identifying some profitable directions for future research on US internal migration using the CCP, as well as reminding readers of the strengths and limitations of these data. More broadly, this paper contributes to discussions and debates on improving the availability, quality, and comparability of migration data.
    Keywords: Internal migration; Consumer Credit Panel; Comparative; Cross-sectional; Longitudinal;
    JEL: C81 J61 O15 R23
    Date: 2019–06–21

This nep-mig issue is ©2019 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.