nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒03‒30
five papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Welfare Magnets and Internal Migration in China By Jin, Zhangfeng
  2. Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom: A Short Note on the Multidimensional Benefits of Chinese Immigrants to Canada By DeVoretz, Don J.
  3. The Documentation Status Continuum: Citizenship and Increasing Stratification in American Life By Joseph, Tiffany
  4. Mass Migration and Technological Change By Andersson, David; Karadja, Mounir; Prawitz, Erik
  5. Diversity without adversity? Refugees’ efforts to integrate can partially offset identity-based biases By Anna Getmansky; Konstantinos Matakos; Tolga Sinmazdemir

  1. By: Jin, Zhangfeng
    Abstract: This study examines the causal effects of welfare benefits on internal migration decisions. Using a quasi-experimental migration reform across 283 Chinese cities from 2002 to 2015, combined with a difference-in-differences setup, I show that improved welfare benefits substantially increase migration. The observed impact is more pronounced for individuals such as the young, women and medium-low-skilled workers. It is relatively smaller in destinations exposed to larger positive demand shocks, suggesting that improved welfare benefits reduce migration costs. And it persists over the long term. All these findings confirm the existence of sizable welfare magnet effects.
    Keywords: Welfare Magnets,Internal Migration,China,Difference-in-differences
    JEL: H31 J61 O15 F66
    Date: 2020
  2. By: DeVoretz, Don J. (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: A rise in Chinese immigrant arrivals would have respectively decisive and unambiguous positive socio-economic effects on Canadians. The multidimensional positive impacts accruing to Canada from the increased arrival of Hong-Kong, Taiwanese and PRC immigrants would be manifested in terms of the long term presence of highly educated immigrants increasing Canada’s productivity which will in turn diversify Canada’s trade patterns beyond Canada’s current NAFTA/USMCA boundaries. Cultural enrichment in terms of increased financial and artistic support for Canada’s fine arts and musical world would also be encouraged by an increased presence of Chinese immigrants in Canada’s cultural milieu.
    Keywords: cultural enrichment, Canada, immigration policy
    JEL: J60 J61 J68
    Date: 2020–03
  3. By: Joseph, Tiffany
    Abstract: Public discourse on immigration and benefits access has been contentious. Amid increasing anti-immigrant sentiment, scholars have examined immigrants’ marginalization as a form of civic stratification, where boundaries based on documentation status affect immigrants’ experiences and benefits granted by the state. This scholarship lacks a framework outlining existing documentation status categories, their alignment relative to each other, and how policy (re)configures those categories over time. This article argues that the documentation status continuum (DSC) framework fills these gaps. In the DSC, undocumented immigrants are at one end and citizens are at the other, with many documentation statuses in between. Public policy creates these statuses and generates stratification through allocating benefits based on one’s DSC position. Policy also shapes movement along the continuum, which shapes benefits eligibility. Using the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a policy example and interviews conducted with 153 immigrants, healthcare professionals, and immigrant organization employees in Boston, this article demonstrates that life along the DSC reveals stratification between citizens and noncitizens. This has implications for various outcomes that sociologists examine.
    Date: 2020–03–14
  4. By: Andersson, David; Karadja, Mounir; Prawitz, Erik (Research Institute of Industrial Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of emigration on technological change in sending locations after one of the largest migration events in human history, the mass migration from Europe to the United States in the 19th century. To establish causality, we adopt an instrumental variable strategy that combines local growing-season frost shocks with proximity to emigration ports. We document two sets of results. First, using novel data on technological patents, we find that emigration led to an increase in innovative activity in sending municipalities. Moreover, the increase in innovation is coupled with an increased adoption of new technologies in both the agricultural and industrial sectors. Second, in terms of local economic development, we find that emigration led to higher unskilled wages in agriculture, a shift towards employment in the nascent industrial sector, a larger presence of incorporated firms, as well as higher tax revenues.
    Date: 2020–03–20
  5. By: Anna Getmansky (London School of Economics and Political Science); Konstantinos Matakos (King’s College London); Tolga Sinmazdemir (SOAS University of London)
    Abstract: How can refugees overcome barriers to integration in the host country? Refugees often face economic, social, and political discrimination by the local population. Ethnicity, religion, and refugees' past involvement in political violence can further exacerbate these biases. We examine whether host country's citizens reduce anti-refugee attitudes if they know that refugees have made proactive effort to integrate by forging social ties with the locals and learning the local language. Unlike most of the previous studies, we examine a non-Western country-Turkey-that hosts the highest number of Syrian refugees (3.6 million). We field a conjoint survey experiment-a method previously applied to study migration attitudes in the West-to 2,362 respondents in Turkey, presenting them with profiles of Syrian refugees that vary by demographics, ethnicity, religion, and involvement in the Syrian civil war. Respondents rank each profile in order of support for social, economic and political integration. We find that although Turkey is a Muslim country hosting predominantly co-religious refugees, not all refugees are perceived equally. There is a significant bias against Arabs and Kurds compared to Turkomans, and against former pro-regime fighters. Although information on refugees' effort strengthens support for their integration, not all disadvantaged groups benefit equally from it. Such information has a more robust effect on boosting support for Kurdish refugees, and has a limited effect on support for integration of Arabs and former pro-regime fighters. Importantly, information on proactive effort also strengthens support for groups that experience less discrimination (Turkomans and non-fighters), thereby potentially exacerbating inequalities among the refugees.
    Keywords: Turkey; Syria, Violence, Geography, Infrastructure, Political Development, Demographic/Socioeconomic
    JEL: F22 Z13
    Date: 2020–02

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