nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2019‒10‒07
six papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Migrants' beliefs and investment By Marlon Seror
  2. 'Descended from Immigrants and Revolutionists': How Family Immigration History Shapes Representation in Congress By Feigenbaum, James; Palmer, Maxwell; Schneer, Benjamin
  3. Migration, Specialization and Trade: Evidence from the Brazilian March to the West By Heitor Pellegrina; Sebastian Sotelo
  4. Immigration, fear of crime and public spending on security By Bove, Vincenzo; Elia, Leandro; Ferraresi, Massimiliano
  5. Are Political and Economic Integration Intertwined? By Bernt Bratsberg; Giovanni Facchini; Tommaso Frattini; Anna Rosso
  6. Marriage, Fertility, and Cultural Integration in Italy By Alberto Bisin; Giulia Tura

  1. By: Marlon Seror (University of Bristol, Paris School of Economics, DIAL, Institut Convergences Migrations)
    Abstract: Migration increases sending households' capacity to invest but introduces additional information asymmetry between household members. In this paper, I establish a new stylized fact: Migrants systematically overestimate assets that they typically invest in and that are held by their households. This is shown using novel data with matched reports from Senegalese migrants and their own households of origin. I nd empirical support for a self-selection mechanism, whereby migrants who are more optimistic about their households' trustworthiness are more likely to sort into investment, and reject alternative interpretations based on behavioral biases. This mechanism suggests important economic consequences, such as inhibited migration and underinvestment in public goods.
    Keywords: Asymmetric information, International migration, Intrahousehold allocation.
    JEL: D82 D83 O15 D13
    Date: 2019–09
  2. By: Feigenbaum, James (Boston U); Palmer, Maxwell (Boston U); Schneer, Benjamin (Harvard Kennedy School)
    Abstract: Does recent immigrant lineage influence the legislative behavior of members of Congress on immigration policy? We examine the relationship between the immigrant background of legislators (i.e., their generational distance from immigration) and legislative behavior, focusing on roll-call votes for landmark immigration legislation and congressional speech on the floor. Legislators more proximate to the immigrant experience tend to support more permissive immigration legislation. Legislators with recent immigration backgrounds also speak more often about immigration in Congress, though the size of immigrant constituencies in their districts accounts for a larger share of this effect. A regression discontinuity design on close elections, which addresses selection bias concerns and holds district composition constant, confirms that legislators with recent immigrant backgrounds tend to support pro-immigration legislation. Finally, we demonstrate how a common immigrant identity can break down along narrower ethnic lines in cases where restrictive legislation targets specific places of origin. Our findings illustrate the important role of immigrant identity in legislative behavior and help illuminate the legislative dynamics of present-day immigration policy.
    Date: 2019–09
  3. By: Heitor Pellegrina (New York University Abu Dhabi); Sebastian Sotelo (The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
    Abstract: Abstract We study how the knowledge that migrants carry over space shapes specialization and trade. Using Brazilian census data, we first document that, upon migration, farmers originating in regions specialized in a crop are more likely to grow that same crop and earn higher incomes than other farmers doing so. Second, we show that the composition of workers in terms of their region of origin correlates with regional exports, after controlling for total sectoral employment. Informed by these facts, we develop and estimate a quantitative dynamic model of trade and migration in which a region's specialization is determined, in part, by the knowledge that migrants in that region carried with them. Applying our model to the large migration of agricultural workers to the west of Brazil since the 1980s, we find that the knowledge carried by migrants contributed substantially to Brazil's recent specialization in exporting commodities, such as soybean.
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Bove, Vincenzo (University of Warwick); Elia, Leandro (Marche Polytechnic University); Ferraresi, Massimiliano (European Commission, Joint Research Centre)
    Abstract: We explore the relation between immigration, crime and local government spending on security in Italian municipalities. We find that immigration increases the share of public resources devoted to police protection, particularly when migrants are culturally distant from the native population. We uncover a misalignment between perception and reality, as immigration increases fear of future crimes rather than the actual probability of being victim of a crime. We also demonstrate that immigration from culturally distant societies is associated with a deterioration in civic cooperation and interpersonal trust, which can affect perceptions of safety and the demand for police services.
    Keywords: JEL Classification: H71; J15; D72; F52
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Bernt Bratsberg (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research and University of Oslo); Giovanni Facchini (University of Nottingham); Tommaso Frattini (Universita' degli Studi di Milano); Anna Rosso (Universita' degli Studi di Milano)
    Abstract: Economic incentives play a key role in the decision to run for oce, but little is known on how they shape immigrants' selection into candidacy. We study this question using a two-period Roy model and show that if returns to labour market experience are higher for migrants than natives, migrants will be less likely to seek oce than natives. We empirically assess this prediction using administrative data from Norway, a country with a very liberal regime for participation in local elections. Our results strongly support our theoretical model and indicate that immigrants' political and economic integration are closely intertwined.
    Keywords: Immigration, Local Elections, Candidacy Decision, Labour Markets
    JEL: F22 J45 P16
  6. By: Alberto Bisin; Giulia Tura
    Abstract: We study the cultural integration of immigrants, estimating a structural model of marital matching along ethnic dimensions, exploring in detail the role of fertility, and possibly divorce in the integration process. We exploit rich administrative demographic data on the universe of marriages formed in Italy, as well as birth and separation records from 1995 to 2012. We estimate strong preferences of ethnic minorities' towards socialization of children to their own identity, identifying marital selection and fertility choices as fundamental socialization mechanisms. The estimated cultural intolerance of Italians towards immigrant minorities is also substantial. Turning to long-run simulations, we find that cultural intolerances, as well as fertility and homogamy rates, slow-down the cultural integration of some immigrant ethnic minorities, especially Latin America, East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Nonetheless, 75% of immigrants integrate into the majoritarian culture over the period of a generation. Interestingly, we show by counterfactual analysis that a lower cultural intolerance of Italians towards minorities would lead to slower cultural integration by allowing immigrants a more widespread use of their own language rather than Italian in heterogamous marriages. Finally, we quantitatively assess the effects of large future immigration inflows.
    JEL: D1 J12 J13 J15
    Date: 2019–09

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