nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2019‒10‒28
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Culture or Context? Revisiting the Role of Culture on Economic Outcomes By Adnan, Wifag
  2. Taxing Billionaires: Estate Taxes and the Geographical Location of the Ultra-Wealthy By Moretti, Enrico; Wilson, Daniel
  3. U.S. household preferences for climate amenities: Demographic analysis and robustness testing By Jared C.Carbone; Sul-Ki Lee; Yuzhou Shen
  4. Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Abilities of Immigrants: New Perspectives on Migrant Quality from a Selective Immigration Country By Naghsh Nejad, Maryam; Schurer, Stefanie
  5. The Heterogeneous Effects of Workers' Countries of Birth on Over-Education By Jacobs, Valentine; Mahy, Benoît; Rycx, Francois; Volral, Mélanie
  6. The Labor Market Effects of Mexican Repatriations: Longitudinal Evidence from the 1930s By Lee, Jongkwan; Peri, Giovanni; Yasenov, Vasil
  7. Graduate migration, self-selection and urban wage premiums across the regional hierarchy By Eliasson, Kent; Westerlund, Olle
  8. Revisiting Mexican migration in the Age of Mass Migration. New evidence from individual border crossings By David Escamilla-Guerrero
  9. Excess Churn in Integrated Labor Markets By Bratsberg, Bernt; Raaum, Oddbjørn; Røed, Knut
  10. Migration and Remittances in Haiti: Their Welfare Impact on Poor and Non-Poor Households By Adriana Cardozo; Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D.; Calvin Zebaze Djiofack
  11. Occupational segregation of female and male immigrants in the European Union: accounting for cross-country differences By Amaia Palencia-Esteban
  12. Wage Discrimination Based on the Country of Birth: Do Tenure and Product Market Competition Matter? By Fays, Valentine; Mahy, Benoît; Rycx, Francois; Volral, Mélanie

  1. By: Adnan, Wifag (New York University, Abu Dhabi)
    Abstract: Past studies have consistently shown that cultural norms predict individual economic outcomes for second-generation US immigrants. However, due to the (mainly) European composition of immigrants prior to the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, most researchers have not accounted for the role of race and ethnicity in identifying culture parameters. Moreover, the majority of studies assume the US is a homogenous region in confronting challenges related to integrating women and disadvantaged minority groups into the labor market. Using recent micro-level data of working-age higher order immigrants, along with detailed local, social capital and source- country measures, allow me to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between cultural norms and female labor supply. For non-Hispanic Whites, the impact of culture is explained by variation in country-level factors, such as passport power and internationally standardized exam scores. In contrast, for Blacks, the relevant predictors of labor supply are local culture and social capital measures.
    Keywords: culture, gender, race, ethnicity, second-generation immigrants, female labor supply, selection-bias
    JEL: Z10 P16
    Date: 2019–10
  2. By: Moretti, Enrico (University of California, Berkeley); Wilson, Daniel (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
    Abstract: We study the effect of state-level estate taxes on the geographical location of the Forbes 400 richest Americans and its implications for tax policy. We use a change in federal tax law to identify the tax sensitivity of the ultra-wealthy's locational choices. Before 2001, some states had an estate tax and others didn't, but the tax liability for the ultra-wealthy was independent of their domicile state due to a federal credit. In 2001, the credit was phased out and the estate tax liability for the ultra-wealthy suddenly became highly dependent on domicile state. We find the number of Forbes 400 individuals in estate tax states fell by 35% after 2001 compared to non-estate tax states. We also find that billionaire's sensitivity to the estate tax increases significantly with age. Overall, billionaires' geographical location appears to be highly sensitive to state estate taxes. We then estimate the effect of billionaire deaths on state tax revenues. We find a sharp increase in tax revenues in the three years after a Forbes billionaire death, totaling $165 million for the average billionaire. In the last part of the paper, we study the implications of our findings for state tax policy. We estimate the revenue costs and benefits for each state of having an estate tax. The benefit is the one-time tax revenue gain when a wealthy resident dies, while the cost is the foregone income tax revenues over the remaining lifetime of those who relocate. Surprisingly, despite the high estimated tax mobility, we find that the benefit exceeds the cost for the vast majority of states.
    Keywords: Forbes 400, Geographical mobility
    JEL: J01 R10 H10
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Jared C.Carbone (Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines); Sul-Ki Lee (Korean Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade); Yuzhou Shen (Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines)
    Abstract: We estimate household demand for climate amenities in the United States with two main objectives in mind: (i) to estimate model parameters with the demographic detail needed to inform climate-induced migration responses in regional population projections for use in climate impact analysis; (ii) to study the robustness of estimates from the existing literature. With respect to the former goal, we find important differences in job-related migration motives by age group and in the overall propensity to migrate among households with children. With respect to the latter aim, our framework shares a common, discrete-choice framework with other, recent attempts to recover climate preferences, allowing us to explore the consequences of a number of key assumptions in a systematic manner. Consistent with the existing literature, we find relatively robust estimates of the impact of the frequency of extreme heat days on household location decisions. The impacts of other, common measures of climate, including the frequency of extreme cold days, average summer and winter temperatures, annual precipitation, humidity and frequency of sunshine, are not identified with precision.
    Keywords: climate amenities, discrete choice, robustness testing
    JEL: Q51 Q54 R23
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Naghsh Nejad, Maryam (University of Technology, Sydney); Schurer, Stefanie (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: Economic theory suggests that selective immigration policies based on observable characteristics will affect unobservable migrant quality. Little empirical evidence exists on this hypothesis. We quantify traditionally unobservable components of migrant quality in Australia, a high-migrant share OECD country with a selective immigration policy. We proxy migrant quality with widely-accepted measures of personality and cognitive ability. Both first- and second-generation immigrants outperform natives on socially-beneficial personality traits. While first-generation migrants suffer language-ability penalties, their off-spring overcome these penalties and outperform natives in cognitive ability. Immigrants do not outperform natives in the labor market, a finding which may be explained by heterogeneous wage returns to non-cognitive ability.
    Keywords: economics of immigration, migrant quality, selection on unobservables, non-cognitive ability, cognitive ability
    JEL: F22 J61 J24 J31 J62 O15
    Date: 2019–10
  5. By: Jacobs, Valentine (Free University of Brussels); Mahy, Benoît (University of Mons); Rycx, Francois (Free University of Brussels); Volral, Mélanie (University of Mons)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between immigration and over-education, taking advantage of access to rich matched employer-employee data for the Belgian private sector for the period 1999-2010. Covering more than 1.2 million workers, the data enable the authors to: i) measure over-education with higher precision, ii) examine the heterogeneous effects of detailed countries of birth, and iii) test the role of key moderating factors. More precisely, this paper is not only the first to investigate the effect of citizenship acquisition and workers' tenure on the nexus between immigration and over-education, but also one of the few to study the moderating roles of gender and education for detailed categories of immigrants. With ordered probit estimates, the authors highlight that immigrant workers are much more likely to be over-educated than their native counterparts, especially when the former originate from the Maghreb or Asia. Over-education also appears to be particularly critical among higher-educated immigrants. Gender-based differences in immigrants' penalties, in contrast, are found to be quite modest overall. Results further show that tenure has a strong moderating effect on the likelihood for immigrants born in developing countries to be over-educated and that citizenship acquisition is also associated with substantially improved job matches.
    Keywords: immigrants, over-education, gender, tenure, citizenship acquisition
    JEL: I21 J15 J24 J61 J71
    Date: 2019–10
  6. By: Lee, Jongkwan (Korea Development Institute); Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis); Yasenov, Vasil (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: We examine the labor market consequences of an extensive campaign repatriating around 400,000 Mexicans in 1929-34. To identify a causal effect, we instrument county level repatriations with the existence of a railway line to Mexico interacted with the size of the Mexican communities in 1910. Using individual linked data we find that Mexican repatriations reduced employment of native incumbent workers and resulted in their occupational downgrading. However, using a repeated cross section of county level data, we find attenuated and non-significant employment effects and amplified wage downgrading. We show that this is due to selective in- and out-migration of natives.
    Keywords: Mexican repatriations, Great Depression, employment, immigration, railway
    JEL: J15 J21 J61 N32
    Date: 2019–10
  7. By: Eliasson, Kent (Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics, Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis); Westerlund, Olle (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: We use Swedish longitudinal population register data on university graduates and estimate the effect of migration on earnings. Migration between regional labour markets is used to identify static and dynamic agglomeration effects on earnings. Heterogeneity in effects is examined by individuals’ position in the ability distribution and by origin-destination size categories of regional labour markets. The results indicate that the effect of upward migration (from smaller to larger labour markets) on earnings is positive throughout. Downward migration (from larger to smaller labour markets) is generally associated with negative or no convincing signs of positive effects on earnings. The estimates indicate positive short-term urban wage premiums (UWP) for all origin-destination flows of upward migration, especially high UWP for in-migration to the Stockholm labour market region. The UWP of upward migration is positive also for movers in the lower end of the ability distribution, but it is substantially higher for high ability migrants. We also find evidence of a positive dynamic UWP of migration to Stockholm from the other regions, particularly for high ability migrants.
    Keywords: Urban wage premium; human capital; migration; agglomeration economies; ability
    JEL: J24 J61 R10 R12 R23
    Date: 2019–10–17
  8. By: David Escamilla-Guerrero
    Abstract: This paper introduces and analyses the Mexican Border Crossing Records (MBCRs), an unexplored data source that records aliens crossing the Mexico-United States land border at diverse entrance ports from 1903 to 1955. The MBCRs identify immigrants and report rich demographic, geographic and socioeconomic information at the in¬dividual level. These micro data have the potential to support cliometric research, which is scarce for the Mexico-United States migration, especially for the beginnings of the flow (1884–1910). My analysis of the MBCRs suggests that previous literature might have inaccurately described the initial patterns of the flow. The results diverge from historical scholarship because the micro data capture better the geographic composition of the flow, allowing me to characterize the initial migration patterns with more precision. Overall, the micro data reported in the MBCRs offer the opportunity to address topics that concern the economics of migration in the past and present.
    Keywords: migration, micro data, Mexico
    JEL: N01 N36
    Date: 2019–10–24
  9. By: Bratsberg, Bernt (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Raaum, Oddbjørn (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Røed, Knut (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)
    Abstract: The common European labor market encourages worker mobility that enhances allocative efficiency, but certain institutional features may trigger inefficient migration. As a job in one of Europe's high-income countries typically also entails coverage in a generous welfare and social insurance system, migrants' reservation wages may lie below their opportunity cost of labor. This represents an externality because employers and migrant workers can pass some of their remuneration costs onto the welfare state. Once welfare benefit entitlement is secured, the reservation wage of the migrant worker is expected to rise, giving the firm an incentive to replace the worker with a new migrant willing to accept lower pay. This leads to excess churn—the reallocation of labor within firms simultaneously involving the flow of employees to unemployment insurance and the hiring of similar workers. Based on Norwegian data, we present evidence of high excess churn rates in firms with many workers from the new EU member states.
    Keywords: churning, Integrated labor markets, social dumping, EU enlargement
    JEL: F22 D62 E24
    Date: 2019–10
  10. By: Adriana Cardozo (University of Goettingen / Germany); Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D. (University of Goettingen / Germany); Calvin Zebaze Djiofack (World Bank)
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to identify a person’s likelihood of emigrating to another country and to identify a household’s likelihood of receiving remittances. We also compute average treatment effects as well as the marginal impact of receiving remittances on household welfare, across welfare quantiles. The novelty of our approach is to control for omitted variable bias by including the difference between individual and average propensity scores obtained in an auxiliary regression. The fact that an individual or household is above or below the average propensity score can thus be considered as a proxy of being different from the average for a variety of characteristics that might also be unobservable or unquantifiable. Based on Haitian household survey data from 2012, we find that non-poor individuals are more likely to emigrate but the welfare level of a household per se does not trigger the receipt of remittances. The receipt of remittances favors non-poor households in absolute terms but not in relative terms. While remittances can help overcome extreme poverty (for the poorest 10% but not for the poorest 1%), they do not help people escape moderate poverty.
    Keywords: Migration; Remittances; Household Welfare; Average Treatment Effect; Omitted Variable Bias
    JEL: C C D19 F22 F24
    Date: 2019–10–15
  11. By: Amaia Palencia-Esteban
    Abstract: The paper studies occupational segregation by gender and immigration status in the European Union using the 2005–2015 European Labour Force Survey. Compared to prior studies, it quantifies the levels of segregation that female and male immigrants experience in each country, while undertaking counterfactual and regression analyzes to account for cross-country differences. Overall, male immigrants have lower occupational segregation than their female counterparts and the second-generation is less segregated than the first one. Regarding the geographical differences, a larger union density and involuntary part-time employment are associated with higher segregation, whereas a larger welfare provision, unemployment rate and policies easing family reunion or access to nationality reduce segregation.
    Keywords: Occupational segregation; gender; immigration; European Union
    JEL: D63 J15 J16 J71
    Date: 2019–10
  12. By: Fays, Valentine (University of Mons); Mahy, Benoît (University of Mons); Rycx, Francois (Free University of Brussels); Volral, Mélanie (University of Mons)
    Abstract: Using a merged employer-employee panel dataset of 13,000 firms for the 1999-2010 period, this paper aims to quantify wage discrimination against migrant workers based on their countries of birth, with workers' tenure and firm product market competition as moderator variables. To do so, we specify a wage-setting equation à la Bartolucci (2014) that includes a direct measure of worker productivity. We control for a wide range of worker and firm characteristics, as well as time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity in firms and potential endogeneity in the composition of the workforce. Our preferred results estimate that wage discrimination against non-EU15 workers in Belgium is in the order of 6.1%. This figure hides large disparities in wage discrimination against foreign-born migrants depending on their countries of birth, as well as the vanishing of wage discrimination against migrants with tenure. Our results also suggest that wage discrimination disappears in highly competitive product market situations.
    Keywords: product market competition, tenure, workers' countries of birth, wage discrimination, migrants, direct productivity measure
    JEL: J24 J71 D41
    Date: 2019–10

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