nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒01‒06
eleven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Estimating Poverty for Refugee Populations: Can Cross-Survey Imputation Methods Substitute for Data Scarcity? By Dang, Hai-Anh; Verme, Paolo
  2. Migration and Mental Health in the Aftermath of Disaster: Evidence from Mt. Merapi, Indonesia By Muir, Jonathan A.; Cope, Michael R.; Angeningsih, Leslie R.; Jackson, Jorden; Brown, Ralph B.
  3. Finding a Place to Call Home: Immigration in Australia By Alfred Michael Dockery; Alan S Duncan; Astghik Mavisakalyan; Toan Nguyen; Richard Seymour
  4. Standardizing the Fee Waiver Application Increased Naturalization Rates of Low-Income Immigrants By Yasenov, Vasil; Hotard, Michael; Lawrence, Duncan; Hainmueller, Jens; Laitin, David
  5. Does Birthplace Diversity Affect Economic Complexity ? Cross-Country Evidence By Dany Bahar; Hillel Rapoport; Riccardo Turati
  6. Drivers of Cultural Participation of Immigrants: Evidence from an Italian Survey. By Bertacchini, Enrico; Venturini, Alessandra; Zotti, Roberto
  7. High-Skill Migration, Multinational Companies, and the Location of Economic Activity By Nicolas Morales
  8. The Effects of Immigration on the Economy: Lessons from the 1920s Border Closure By Ran Abramitzky; Philipp Ager; Leah Platt Boustan; Elior Cohen; Casper W. Hansen
  9. The effect of same-sex marriage legalization on interstate migration in the United States By Marcén, Miriam; Morales, Marina
  10. Peer effects in stock market participation: Evidence from immigration By Anastasia Girshina; Thomas Y. Mathä; Michael Ziegelmeyer
  11. Anti-Immigrant Parties and Western European Society: Analyzing the Role of Immigration and Forecasting Voting By Breznau, Nate

  1. By: Dang, Hai-Anh (World Bank); Verme, Paolo (World Bank)
    Abstract: The increasing growth of forced displacement worldwide has led to the stronger interest of various stakeholders in measuring poverty among refugee populations. However, refugee data remain scarce, particularly in relation to the measurement of income, consumption, or expenditure. This paper offers a first attempt to measure poverty among refugees using cross-survey imputations and administrative and survey data collected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Jordan. Employing a small number of predictors currently available in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees registration system, the proposed methodology offers out-of-sample predicted poverty rates. These estimates are not statistically different from the actual poverty rates. The estimates are robust to different poverty lines, they are more accurate than those based on asset indexes or proxy means tests, and they perform well according to targeting indicators. They can also be obtained with relatively small samples. Despite these preliminary encouraging results, it is essential to replicate this experiment across countries using different data sets and welfare aggregates before validating the proposed method.
    Keywords: poverty imputation, Syrian refugees, household survey, missing data, Jordan
    JEL: C15 I32 J15 J61 O15
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Muir, Jonathan A.; Cope, Michael R.; Angeningsih, Leslie R.; Jackson, Jorden; Brown, Ralph B.
    Abstract: Migration is a standard survival strategy in the context of disasters. While prior studies have examined factors associated with return migration following disasters, an area that remains relatively under explored is whether moving home to one's original community results in improved health and well-being compared to other options such as deciding to move on. In the present study, we seek to address this gap in the literature through examining whether return migration, compared to other migration options, results in superior improvements to mental health. We draw upon data from a pilot study conducted 16 months after a series of volcanic eruptions in Merapi, Indonesia. Using ordinal logistic regression, we find that compared to respondents who were still displaced, respondents who had ``moved home'' were less likely to report poor mental health status (OR = 0.50 [95\% CI = 0.26, 0.95]). Likewise, respondents who had ``moved on'' were less likely to report poor mental health status (OR = 0.38 [95\% CI = 0.13, 1.04]). The results suggest that while moving home was an improvement from being displaced, it may have been better to move on, as this yielded superior associations with self-reported mental health.
    Date: 2019–07–10
  3. By: Alfred Michael Dockery (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin University); Alan S Duncan (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin University); Astghik Mavisakalyan (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin University); Toan Nguyen (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin University); Richard Seymour (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin Business School)
    Abstract: What are the key issues and challenges relating to immigration in Australia? Where do immigrants come from, where do they settle, and what types of jobs do they do? How do migrants affect the wages? To what extent do we see skills mismatch among migrants entering our workforce? Does discrimination and bias remain an issue in our society? Are we doing enough to support the forced immigrants to Australia? This seventh report in BCEC’s Focus on the States Series seeks to provide insights into these questions and many more. We explore the profile and evolution of immigration in Australia over recent years, and undertake a comprehensive assessment of the contributions immigrants make to Australia’s social and economic development. The report provides new evidence to better inform the debates on the labour market impact of immigrants and highlights the positive impact of immigrants on Australian economy. It also explores the extent of acceptance of multiculturalism in Australia and provides an assessment of immigrants’ health and wellbeing. There is a special focus on humanitarian migrants in the report through an analysis of a new longitudinal dataset of humanitarian migrants to Australia. Immigration is a defining feature of Australia’s economic and social life and will shape the nature of tomorrow’s Australia.
    Keywords: immigration, migration, skills mismatch, workforce and skills, economic growth, multiculturalism, humanitarian migration, refugees, regional migration.
    JEL: J15 F22 J61 O15 R23
    Date: 2019–11
  4. By: Yasenov, Vasil; Hotard, Michael; Lawrence, Duncan; Hainmueller, Jens; Laitin, David
    Abstract: Citizenship can accelerate immigrant integration and result in benefits for both local communities and the foreign-born themselves. Yet the majority of naturalization-eligible immigrants in the United States do not apply for citizenship, and we lack systematic evidence on policies specifically designed to encourage take-up. In this study we analyze the impact of a policy change by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the standardization of the fee waiver process in 2010. This reform allowed low-income immigrants eligible for citizenship to use a standardized form to have their application fee waived. We employ a difference-in-differences methodology, comparing naturalization behavior among eligible and ineligible immigrants before and after the policy change. We find that the fee waiver reform increased the citizenship rate by 1.5 percentage points. This amounts to about 73,000 immigrants per year gaining citizenship who otherwise would not have applied. In contrast to previous research on the take-up of federal benefits programs, we find that the positive effect of the fee waiver reform was concentrated among the subgroups of immigrants with lower incomes, language skills, and education levels, who typically face the steepest barriers to naturalization. Further evidence suggests that this pattern is driven by immigration service providers, who help mostly poorer immigrants file the fee waiver request.
    Date: 2019–04–09
  5. By: Dany Bahar (The Brookings Institution, Harvard CID, CESifo and IZA); Hillel Rapoport (Paris School of Economics, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and CEPII); Riccardo Turati (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: We empirically investigate the relationship between a country's economic complexity and the diversity in the birthplaces of its immigrants. Our cross-country analysis suggests that birthplace diversity is strongly and positively associated with economic complexity. This holds particularly for diversity among highly educated migrants and for countries at intermediate levels of economic complexity. The results are robust to accounting for previous trends in birthplace diversity as well as to using alternatives diversity measures. We address endogeneity concerns by instrumenting diversity through predicted stocks from a pseudo-gravity model as well as from a standard shift-share approach. Finally, we provide evidence suggesting that birthplace diversity boosts economic complexity by increasing the diversification of the host country's export basket.
    Keywords: economic complexity, birthplace diversity, immigration, growth
    JEL: F22 O31 O33
    Date: 2019–11–30
  6. By: Bertacchini, Enrico; Venturini, Alessandra; Zotti, Roberto (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The paper aims to explore the drivers of immigrants’ participation to cultural and leisure activities in host countries. First, we discuss how the main analytical approaches on cultural participation can be extended to incorporate factors specific to migrants’ characteristics and behaviour, namely dimensions of proximity to the native population’s culture and the level of integration in the host society. Secondly, we investigate migrants’ propensity for consumption of cultural and leisure activities using data of a special national survey on Income and Living conditions (2011-2012) on foreign households in Italy. Italy represents an interesting case because it is a recent immigration country, making the analysis particularly suitable for studying the behaviour of first-generation immigrants. Our findings suggest that language proficiency, duration of stay and intention to remain in the host country significantly increase the probability to access various types of leisure and cultural activities. Interestingly, after controlling for standard individual predictors, several dimensions of an immigrant’s cultural background and proximity with the culture of the host society still significantly explain variation in cultural participation rates, confirming that cultural differences play a role in migrants’ cultural consumption choice.
    Date: 2019–12
  7. By: Nicolas Morales
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between high-skill immigration and multinational activity. I assemble a novel firm-level dataset on high-skill visa applications and show that there is a large home-bias effect. Foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the US tend to hire more migrant workers from their home countries compared to US firms. To quantify the general equilibrium implications for production and welfare, I build and estimate a quantitative model that includes trade, MNE production, and the migration decisions of high-skill workers. I use an instrumental variables approach to show that the relationship between immigration and MNEs proposed by the model holds in the data. The model is then used to run two counterfactual exercises. The first, evaluates the implications of a more restrictive immigration policy in the US. I find that MNEs play a significant role in how immigration affects the location of production and welfare. In the second counterfactual exercise, I increase the barriers to MNE production to calculate the welfare gains generated by MNEs. I show that a model not incorporating migration would overestimate the MNE welfare gains for high-skill workers by 35% and underestimate welfare gains for low-skill workers by 8%.
    Keywords: H-1B visas; IT sector; Multinational companies; High-skill immigration
    JEL: F16 F22 F23 J61
    Date: 2019–12–17
  8. By: Ran Abramitzky; Philipp Ager; Leah Platt Boustan; Elior Cohen; Casper W. Hansen
    Abstract: In the 1920s, the United States substantially reduced immigrant entry by imposing country-specific quotas. We compare local labor markets with more or less exposure to the national quotas due to differences in initial immigrant settlement. A puzzle emerges: the earnings of existing US-born workers declined after the border closure, despite the loss of immigrant labor supply. We find that more skilled US-born workers – along with unrestricted immigrants from Mexico and Canada – moved into affected urban areas, completely replacing European immigrants. By contrast, the loss of immigrant workers encouraged farmers to shift toward capital-intensive agriculture and discouraged entry from unrestricted workers.
    JEL: J6 J61 N21
    Date: 2019–12
  9. By: Marcén, Miriam; Morales, Marina
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the impact of marriage regulation on the migratory behavior of individuals using the history of the liberalization of same-sex marriage across the United States. Because the approval of same-sex marriage allows homosexuals access to legal rights and social benefits, marriage becomes more attractive relative to singlehood or other forms of partnership. The differences in the value of other forms of relationship status relative to marriage can affect the migration decisions of individuals, to the extent that those states approving same-sex marriage can be considered less discriminatory. Results show that that legal reform permanently increased the migration flow of homosexuals moving to tolerant states (i.e., those that have legalized same-sex marriage). The physical distance among states does not appear to be driving our estimates since the migration flow of homosexuals is not limited to border or close states. Supplemental analysis, developed to explore whether the migration flow is translated to a significant effect to the stock of homosexuals by state, suggests that that stock increased after the approval of same-sex marriage but that it was transitory, pointing to a ‘no effect’ on the spatial distribution of homosexuals as times went by. The liberalization of marriage for homosexuals also has an effect on the migration behavior of those individuals originating from countries in which same-sex sexual activity is illegal, for whom we observe an outflow migration from those states with same sex marriage, pointing to dissimilarities in cultural aspects related to homosexuality as important factors in migration decisions.
    Keywords: Homosexuals, marriage, migration
    JEL: J12 J15 Z13
    Date: 2019–12–22
  10. By: Anastasia Girshina; Thomas Y. Mathä; Michael Ziegelmeyer
    Abstract: This paper studies how peers’ financial behaviour affects individuals’ own investment choices. To identify the peer effect, we exploit the unique composition of the Luxembourg population and use the differences in stock market participation across various immigrant groups to study how they affect stock market participation of natives. We solve the reflection problem by instrumenting immigrants’ stock market participation with lagged participation rates in their countries of birth. We separate the peer effect from the contextual and correlated effects by controlling for neighbourhood and individual characteristics. We find that stock market participation of immigrant peers has sizeable effects on that of natives. We also provide evidence that social learning is one of the channels through which the peer effect is transmitted. However, social learning alone does not account for the entire effect and we conclude that social utility might also play an important role in peer effects transmission.
    Keywords: Peer effects, stock market participation, social utility, social learning
    JEL: D14 D83 G11 I22
    Date: 2019–12
  11. By: Breznau, Nate (University of Bremen)
    Abstract: This project analyzes and predicts the trajectory of immigration and anti-immigration parties in Western Europe from 1962 to 2035. Immigration increased steadily until the 2000s when it reached unprecedented levels. By 2017, countries in Western Europe average 11% of votes cast for anti-immigrant parties. The percentage of the population that are first generation immigrants predicts between 50 and 94% of the variance in these votes across countries in Western Europe. A blog post and a working paper discuss the findings of this research and implications for the future of Europe drawing on theories of group dynamics and empirical research on politics and societies. (Results not altered since the day before the Italian election to preserve scientific integrity).
    Date: 2018–05–23

This nep-mig issue is ©2020 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.
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