nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2019‒10‒21
six papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Assessing the migration and social instability nexus in sub-saharan Africa : A spatial analysis By fofana, moustapha; Lawson, Laté; ballo, zié
  2. Terrorism, Immigration and Asylum Approval By Brodeur, Abel; Wright, Taylor
  3. Fertility Implications of Policy Granting Legal Status Based on Offspring's Nationality By Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Borra, Cristina; Rivera Garrido, Noelia
  4. Legal Status and Immigrants’ Labour Market Outcomes: Comparative Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Western and Southern Europe By Ivana Fellini; Raffaele Guetto
  5. Immigration, Diversity and Growth By Gradstein, Mark; Justman, Moshe
  6. Migrant remittances: Alternative money transfer channels By Metzger, Martina; Riedler, Tim; Pédussel Wu, Jennifer

  1. By: fofana, moustapha; Lawson, Laté; ballo, zié
    Abstract: The reverse effects of migration in enhancing small-scale social unrest seem less regarded in the existing studies on social conflicts in Africa. Thus, this paper proposes to reversely assess the migration and social instability nexus in Africa, exploiting data on “riots and protests” and “violence against civilians”. In addition to geographical spillovers in social instability, our results indicate that increasing migrants stock enhances small-scale internal conflicts in African countries. On the contrary, good economic performances and openness to trade are found to be reducing social conflicts. Globally, our results impel political actors and regional unions to further implement specific policies for the inclusive integration of regional migrants.
    Keywords: Small-scale conflicts; migration, spatial spillovers; development; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: C23 O15 Q34
    Date: 2019–07–30
  2. By: Brodeur, Abel (University of Ottawa); Wright, Taylor (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: Using the universe of individual asylum cases in the United States from 2000-2004 and a difference-in-differences research design, we test whether Sept. 11, 2001 decreased the likelihood that applicants from Muslim-majority countries were granted asylum. Our estimates suggest that the attacks resulted in a 4 percentage points decrease in the likelihood that applicants from Muslim-majority countries are granted asylum. The estimated effect is larger for applicants who share a country of origin with the Sept. 11, 2001 attackers. These effects do not differ across judge political affiliation. Our findings provide evidence that emotions affect the decisions of judges.
    Keywords: courts, crime, immigration, judicial decision, sentencing and terrorism
    JEL: D74 K4 P48
    Date: 2019–09
  3. By: Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (University of California, Merced); Borra, Cristina (University of Seville); Rivera Garrido, Noelia
    Abstract: We examine the fertility impact of a change in immigration policy granting temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants based on their offspring nationality. The policy, intended to facilitate family reunification, was enacted in a 2011 Royal Decree in Spain. It recognized the ability for undocumented parents to become temporary legal residents if they had a Spanish child under the age of 18. Using data from the Spanish Labor Force Survey for the 2007 through 2016 period, along with a quasi-experimental approach that exploits the change in legal residency eligibility requirements, we show that the 2011 Royal Decree increased fertility among individuals potentially affected by the reform by approximately 32 percent.
    Keywords: immigrants, legalization, fertility, Spain
    JEL: J13 J15
    Date: 2019–09
  4. By: Ivana Fellini (Dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca); Raffaele Guetto (Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti", Università di Firenze)
    Abstract: Improved legal status has been found to be associated with better employment chances and higher wages for immigrants, although causal effects remain difficult to ascertain due to severe endogeneity issues. This article contributes to the debate on the "citizenship/legal status premium" in the labour market by providing quasi-experimental evidence based on the 2007 EU Eastern Enlargement, following which immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria, the new EU Member States, exogenously acquired the EU citizen status. The article also contributes to the literature on legal status effects, mainly focused on single-country studies, by comparing "older" destination countries of Western Europe with "newer" ones of Southern Europe. Results show that while improved legal status is associated to higher employment rates in Western European countries, the association is null or even negative in Southern European countries, where immigrants are more strongly urged to be employed. However, improved legal status is more strongly associated with better job quality in Southern Europe, where immigrants are usually segregated in low-skilled jobs. The article concludes that possible effects of improved legal status should be interpreted taking into account the different institutional contexts and models of immigrants’ labour market incorporation.
    Keywords: Legal Status; Ethnic penalty; EU enlargement; Labour market; Naturalisation; Southern Europe; Quasi-experiment
    JEL: A14 J61 J21 Z13 C10
    Date: 2019–10
  5. By: Gradstein, Mark; Justman, Moshe
    Abstract: International migration offers the potential for mutual economic gain-for migrants and their host countries-through an efficient reallocation of human resources and a fruitful meeting of cultures, even as cultural frictions may threaten their shared social fabric. Immigrants and natives have a common interest in prospering through cooperation but may have opposing views on how quickly immigrants should assimilate. Confrontation between the two populations can lead to immigrants culturally disengaging from the mainstream, and retard their economic integration. This paper analyzes these reciprocal cultural and economic effects, indicating the scope for growth-promoting and welfare enhancing assimilation policies.
    Date: 2019–09
  6. By: Metzger, Martina; Riedler, Tim; Pédussel Wu, Jennifer
    Abstract: This paper first explores the role of digital financial services, e.g. mobile money systems and cryptocurrency-based systems, and their impact on the choice of migrants to send remittances. Secondly we discuss whether alternative remittances sending channels increase access to financial services for remittance-sending and remittance-receiving households. Africa, and in particularly Kenya, are pioneers in alternative money transfer systems and of tailor-made regulatory initiatives to address digital financial services. Thus, our paper focuses on the technologies of the Kenyan mobile money system, M-Pesa, and the major cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and based on that takes into account selected experiences of other Sub-Saharan African countries. We find that in comparison to traditional remittances sending channels, mobile money transfer channels are often superior in terms of service-related features as costs of transfers for sending and receiving households, speed of delivery, availability and access to the remittances by receiving households or security of transactions. More importantly, mobile cash systems can fulfil the SDG goal of the 3 per cent fee more than 10 years earlier than envisaged in 2030. On the other side, the choice to use a specific transfer channel might be restricted by the lack of physical and technological availability of providers and means, and technological illiteracy. In addition, sending and receiving households might be cautious to use mobile cash systems due to a lack of trust in the system, the providers or regulatory authorities. Accordingly, financial inclusion beyond e-payments and outreach to the poor is not an automatism. In contrast, the use of Bitcoin-based transfer systems is more ambivalent; these systems are technically more challenging both in terms of infrastructure and literacy and more vulnerable to fraud. Some findings also indicate that Bitcoin is an incomplete and inferior substitute to which migrants refer to if their first option is not available or suffers from severe deficiencies. Future research also needs to differentiate sending and receiving households stronger according to personal features in order to deepen our understanding about the choices of and restrictions of vulnerable groups who would benefit the most from using mobile cash systems.
    Keywords: Remittances,Financial Inclusion,Bitcoin,Alternative Money,Financial Technology,Africa,Mobile Cash
    JEL: F24 G23 G28 O16 O19
    Date: 2019

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