nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒01‒13
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Losing a Job and (Dis)incentives to Move By Maczulskij, Terhi; Böckerman, Petri
  2. The Effects of Driver Licensing Laws on Immigrant Travel By Barajas, Jesus
  3. The Persistent Effects of Brief Interactions: Evidence from Immigrant Ships By Battiston, Diego
  4. Employer Rights Against Worker Involuntary Servitude By Pandya, Sachin S.
  5. Rethinking universalism: Older-age international migrants and social pensions in Latin America and the Caribbean By Cruz-Martinez, Gibran
  6. The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Foreign Policy Decision-Making in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey By Tsourapas, Gerasimos
  7. Theorizing State-Diaspora Relations in the Middle East: Authoritarian Emigration States in Comparative Perspective By Tsourapas, Gerasimos
  8. The Foreign-Born Population and Its Effects on the U.S. Economy and the Federal Budget—An Overview By Congressional Budget Office
  9. The Migration State in the Global South: Nationalizing, Developmental, and Neoliberal Models of Migration Management By Adamson, Fiona; Tsourapas, Gerasimos
  10. More development, less emigration to OECD countries: Identifying inconsistencies between cross-sectional and time-series estimates of the migration hump By Bencek, David; Schneiderheinze, Claas
  11. Implications of Automation for Global Migration By Yixiao ZHOU; Rod TYERS
  12. Trade, migration, and the dynamics of spatial interaction By Gauthier, Nicolas
  13. Immigration and crime: the role of self-selection and institutions By Fabio Mariani; Marion Mercier
  14. Organized crime and its impact on European security By Dominika Karwoth-Zieli?ska

  1. By: Maczulskij, Terhi; Böckerman, Petri
    Abstract: Abstract We examine the economic determinants of interregional mobility. Using plant closures and mass lay-offs for identification, we show that there are obstacles in the labor market that prevent a more efficient reallocation of unemployed individuals and jobs. We find that displacement increases the migration probability by ~80 percent. Displaced workers mostly make migration decisions based on economic (dis)incentives, i.e., higher expected wages and lower expected housing prices outside the origin home location increase the probability of moving after a job loss. In contrast, proximity to family, home ownership and poorly functioning housing markets constitute severe constraints for migration. This outcome is concerning for employment prospects, as, among displaced workers, migration is positively linked to a strong attachment to the labor market.
    Keywords: Displacement, Internal migration, Housing markets, Expected income, Social capital, Labor market outcomes
    JEL: J31 J61 J63
    Date: 2019–12–30
  2. By: Barajas, Jesus
    Abstract: Car use is critical to improving access to opportunities, especially for low-wage immigrants whose jobs are dispersed and when transit service is minimal. But many states have restricted the ability of undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses, making it potentially difficult for them to improve their economic standing. The effects of these laws have been tested for their association with traffic safety but not on mode choice itself. Using the two most recent versions of the National Household Travel Survey, I fit a series of difference-in-difference models to estimate the effect of permissive immigrant driver licensing on travel outcomes. Permissive licensing increased the rate of giving rides by about 13% and increased the rate of getting a ride by about 6.5%, but changes to driving alone were insignificant. Results suggest permissive licensing has beneficial accessibility impacts for all immigrants in addition to positive safety and economic externalities documented elsewhere.
    Date: 2019–12–22
  3. By: Battiston, Diego
    Abstract: This paper shows that brief social interactions can have a large impact on economic outcomes when they occur in high-stakes decision contexts. I study this question using a high frequency and detailed geolocalized dataset of matched immigrants-ships from the age of mass migration. Individuals exogenously travelling with (previously unrelated) higher quality shipmates end up being employed in higher quality jobs at destination. Several findings suggest that shipmates provide access and/or information about employment opportunities. Firstly, immigrants' sector of employment and place of residence are affected by those of their shipmates' contacts. Secondly, the baseline effects are stronger for individuals travelling alone and with fewer connections at destination. Thirdly, immigrants are affected more strongly by shipmates who share their language. These findings underline the sizeable effects of even brief social connections, provided that they occur during critical life junctures.
    Keywords: immigration; social interactions; networks, ships
    JEL: J01 J24 J61 N3
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Pandya, Sachin S. (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper argues that employers can sometimes validly challenge laws as violating the Thirteenth Amendment’s Involuntary Servitude clause. Judges currently read that clause to bar some kinds of physical or legal coercion against workers who would otherwise quit their current employer. This paper identifies how existing Involuntary Servitude clause doctrine can be extended to bar legal coercion against new employers who would otherwise hire those workers after they quit. If so, the Involuntary Servitude clause sets a minimum level of labor mobility in the US. To illustrate, the paper discusses legal challenges to (1) labor mobility restrictions on H-2 foreign guest workers; and (2) non-competition clauses in labor contracts.
    Date: 2019–10–21
  5. By: Cruz-Martinez, Gibran (CSIC)
    Abstract: This article criticises the social policy literature for equating universalism to the universal coverage of citizens. The current so-called ‘universal’ social protection systems guarantee social citizen rights, while the revisited truly universalism guarantees social human rights for everyone. Crisp-set qualitative comparative analysis (csQCA) is used to map and track the level of exclusiveness or inclusiveness into social pensions in the existing 30 social pension programmes on 28 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. The article examines the various paths of eligibility requirements in social pensions conditioning three specific outcomes: (1) access for every older-age individual (truly universal), (2) access for every category of immigrant (no targeting by citizenship or residency) and (3) access for older-age immigrants with legal resident status (targeting by residency but not by citizenship). The research makes several contributions. First, it offers a useful inventory of the eligibility requirements for access to the 30 social pensions in LAC. Second, it proposes an analytical framework to redefine universalism after considering the migration-social policy nexus. Contrary to what the literature claims, there are no universal social pensions in the region. Third, the analysis indicates that only in two countries, Cuba and Jamaica, social pensions have immigrant-friendly targeting rules, requiring neither citizenship nor any length of residency to become a beneficiary. A total of 12 countries require citizenship and 24 of them a certain number of years of residency. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of social pensions are means-tested. Finally, the csQCA allows identifying patterns of targeting mechanisms and is used to propose five exploratory regimes of inclusionary social pensions. The article calls for protected international mobility of the older-age population in the form of a truly universalistic system in which the entire aged population has the right to a social pension. Only then, countries would truly adhere to Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    Date: 2019–09–13
  6. By: Tsourapas, Gerasimos (University of Birmingham)
    Abstract: How does forced migration affect the politics of host states and, in particular, how does it impact upon states’ foreign policy decision-making? The relevant literature on refugee politics has yet to fully explore how forced migration encourages host states to employ their position in order to extract revenue from other state or non-state actors for maintaining refugee groups within their borders. This article explores the workings of refugee rentier states, namely states seeking to leverage their position as host states of displaced communities for material gain. It focuses on the Syrian refugee crisis, examining the foreign-policy responses of three major host states – Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. While all three engaged in post-2011 refugee rent-seeking behavior, Jordan and Lebanon deployed a backscratching strategy based on bargains, while Turkey deployed a blackmailing strategy based on threats. Employing primary sources in English and Arabic, the article inductively examines how the choice of strategy depended on the host state’s size of refugee community and domestic elites’ perception of their state’s geostrategic importance vis-à-vis the target state(s). The article concludes with a discussion on the significance of its findings for understanding the international dimension of the Syrian refugee crisis and paves the way for future research on the effects of forced displacement on host states’ political development.
    Date: 2019–05–03
  7. By: Tsourapas, Gerasimos (University of Birmingham)
    Abstract: Recent scholarly interest in the politics of migration and diaspora across the Global South has yet to address how authoritarian states attempt to reach out to populations abroad. In an effort to shift the discussion on state-diaspora relations beyond liberal democratic contexts and single-case studies, this article comparatively examines how authoritarian emigration states in the Middle East – Libya, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan – behave towards their own citizens living beyond state borders. It identifies how each state develops multi-tier diaspora engagement policies aimed at three separate stages of citizens’ mobility: first, policies of exit regulate aspects related to emigration from the country of origin; second, overseas policies target citizens beyond the territorial boundaries of the nation state; finally, return policies set processes of readmission into the country of origin. In doing so, the article identifies similarities across disparate Middle East states’ engagement with emigration and diaspora policymaking. At the same time, the article paints a more complex picture of non-democracies’ strategies towards cross-border mobility that problematizes existing conceptualizations of authoritarian practices and state-diaspora relations.
    Date: 2019–07–24
  8. By: Congressional Budget Office
    Abstract: About 47 million people living in the United States in 2018 were born in other countries; roughly three-quarters of them were here legally. Immigration, whether legal or illegal, expands the labor force and changes its composition, leading to increases in total economic output—though not necessarily to increases in output per capita. Over the past two decades, foreign-born people accounted for about half of the growth of the U.S. labor force.
    JEL: F22 F66 J11 J15 J61
    Date: 2020–01–09
  9. By: Adamson, Fiona; Tsourapas, Gerasimos (University of Birmingham)
    Abstract: How do states in the Global South manage cross-border migration? This article identifies Hollifield’s “migration state” as a useful tool for comparative analysis yet notes that in its current version the concept is limited, given its focus on economic immigration in advanced liberal democracies. We suggest a framework for extending the “migration state” concept by introducing a typology of nationalizing, developmental, and neoliberal migration management regimes. The article explains each type and provides illustrative examples drawn from a range of case studies. To conclude, it discusses the implications of this analysis for comparative migration research, including the additional light it sheds on the migration management policies of states in the Global North.
    Date: 2019–10–25
  10. By: Bencek, David; Schneiderheinze, Claas
    Abstract: Comparing the emigration rates of countries at different stages of economic development, an inverse u-shape emerges. Although merely based on cross-sectional evidence, the 'migration hump' is often treated as a causal relationship. Since the peak is located at rather high per capita incomes of 6000-10 000 USD policy makers in rich destination countries worry that supporting economic development in poor origin countries might increase migration. In this paper we systematically test whether the migration hump holds up to more scrutiny, finding that the crosssectional pattern is misleading. Using 35 years of migration flow data from 198 countries of origin to OECD destinations, we successfully reproduce the hump-shape in the cross-section. However, more rigorous fixed effects panel estimations that exploit the variation over time consistently show a negative association between income and emigration. This result is independent of the level of income a country starts out at and thus casts doubt on any causal interpretation of the migration hump.
    Keywords: international migration,economic development,development assistance
    JEL: F22 F63 O15
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Yixiao ZHOU (Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University); Rod TYERS (Business School, University of Western Australia; Research School of Economics and Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA), Australian National University)
    Abstract: Relative wages and the share of total value added accruing to low-skill workers have declined during the past three decades, among both OECD countries and large developing countries. The primary beneficiary until recently has been skill, the supply of which has risen as education investment has increased. The rise in artificial intelligence (AI)-driven automation suggests that declines in value added shares accruing to low-skill workers will continue. Indeed, AI-driven automation creates an impulse for diminished labor market performance by low-skill workers throughout the world but most prominently in high-fertility, relatively youthful regions with comparatively strong growth in low-skill labor forces. The implied bias against such regions will therefore enhance emigration pressure. This paper offers a preliminary analysis of these effects. Central to the paper is a model of the global economy that includes general demography and real wage sensitive bilateral migration behavior, which is used to help quantify potential future growth in real wage disparities and the extent, direction and content of associated migration flows. Overall, global wage inequality is increased by expanded skilled migration, primarily because of large increases in skilled wage premia that arise in developing regions of origin. Inter-regional divergences in skilled wages are reduced, however, due to the additional skilled labour market arbitrage opportunities offered by more open migration policies.
    Keywords: Automation, demographic change, migration incentives, labor markets and economic growth
    JEL: C68 E22 E27 F21 F43 J11
    Date: 2019
  12. By: Gauthier, Nicolas (University of Arizona)
    Abstract: Archaeological settlement patterns are the physical remains of complex webs of human decision-making and social interaction. Entropy-maximizing spatial interaction models are a means of building parsimonious models that average over much of this small-scale complexity, while maintaining key large-scale structural features. Dynamic social interaction models extend this approach by allowing archaeologists to explore the co-evolution of human settlement systems and the networks of interaction that drive them. Yet, such models are often imprecise, relying on generalized notions of settlement "influence" and "attractiveness" rather than concrete material flows of goods and people. Here, I present a dis-aggregated spatial interaction model that explicitly resolves trade and migration flows and their combined influence on settlement growth and decline. I explore how the balance of costs and benefits of each type of interaction influence long-term settlement patterns. I find trade flows are the strongest determinant of equilibrium settlement structure, and that migration flows play a more transient role in balancing site hierarchies. This model illustrates how the broad toolkit for spatial interaction modeling developed in geography and economics can increase the precision of quantitative theory building in archaeology, and provides a road-map for connecting mechanistic models to the empirical archaeological record.
    Date: 2019–09–26
  13. By: Fabio Mariani (IRES/LIDAM, UCLouvain; IZA, Bonn); Marion Mercier (CNRS, Universite Paris-Dauphine PSL, LEDa-DIAL, Paris; IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: Contrarily to popular perception, empirical evidence suggests that immigrants do not commit more crimes than natives, in spite of having lower legitimate earning opportunities. To make sense of this, we propose a novel theoretical framework based on a predator/prey model of crime, where endogenous migration decisions and career choices (between licit and illicit activities) are jointly determined. In this setting, we show that the involvement of migrants in crime crucially depends on self-selection into migration, as well as productivity and institutional quality in the host economy. We also nd that stricter immigration policies may induce an adverse selection of migrants, and eventually attract more foreign-born criminals. Finally, a dynamic extension of our model can account for the higher crime rates of second-generation immigrants and, based on the interplay between crime and institutions, highlights the critical role of immigration and assimilation for the long-run evolution of crime and the rule-of-law in host countries.
    Keywords: Migration; Crime.
    JEL: F22 K42 O17
    Date: 2019–12
  14. By: Dominika Karwoth-Zieli?ska (Cracow University of Economics)
    Abstract: Security and defence of its citizens are of the high importance of each state. Especially organised crime poses a major threat to the internal security and the fight against organized crime poses a serious challenge for the services of almost all countries. Organised crime syndicates are behind many serious crimes whose impact is felt on a global level. Criminal activities are no longer limited to one continent only -numerous organised crime groups are active in the EU, often with cross-border reach and multi-ethnic composition. These groups - with roots in Asian, American or African and also European regions- often attempt to influence the European law enforcement agencies, the courts, the media, public officials or politicians at various levels to ensure they're implementing their purposes. Organised crime finds itself particularly quickly in the environment and the spread of new technologies. The main areas of action of these criminal groups are production, smuggling, and drug trafficking, trafficking of human beings, human smuggling, arms trafficking, smuggling of excise goods, gambling, extortion racketeering, etc. Especially in nowadays Europe we are dealing with enormous threats to the European standard of civilizations which raises the question facing the future of Europe itself. Different views on the cultural specificities and European historical roots could cause perceived and real threats to identity. The lack of unanimity and different opinion about the concept of the nation and the sphere of competence of Member States of the EU between governments and politicians contribute to facilitating the operation of organised crime. In many countries the questions about values such as the centrality of the human being, freedom, respect for human rights, justice and solidarity and about the relationship between immigrants and host societies, even the confusion over immigration and crime arises. Any crisis and abolishing of western civilization's standards will let to chaos, threats to European stability and the spread of criminal activity.
    Keywords: European security, organized crime, trafficking of human beings, illegal immigration, European identity, European stability
    JEL: F50
    Date: 2019–10

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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