nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒04‒13
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Do Processing Times Affect the Distribution of Asylum Seekers across Europe? By Bertoli, Simone; Brücker, Herbert; Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús
  2. South Australia’s Employment Relief Program for Assisted Immigrants: Promises and Reality, 1838-1843 By Edwyna Harris; Sumner La Croix
  3. A matching model of the market for migrant smuggling services By Claire Naiditch; Radu Vranceanu
  4. Confronting climate change: Adaptation vs. migration strategies in Small Island Developing States By Lesly Cassin; Paolo Melindi-Ghidi; Fabien Prieur
  5. Rational Inattention and Migration Decisions By Bertoli, Simone; Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús; Guichard, Lucas
  6. Economic Incentives and the Quality of Return Migrant Scholars: The Impact of China's Thousand Young Talents Program By Jia, Ning; Fleisher, Belton M.
  7. Should Germany Have Built a New Wall? Macroeconomic Lessons from the 2015-18 Refugee Wave By Christopher Busch; Dirk Krueger; Alexander Ludwig; Irina Popova; Zainab Iftikhar
  8. Culture and Gender Allocation of Tasks: Source Country Characteristics and the Division of Non-Market Work among US Immigrants By Francine D. Blau; Lawrence M. Kahn; Matthew Comey; Amanda Eng; Pamela Meyerhofer; Alexander Willén
  9. The Economic Impact of Migrants from Hurricane Maria By Peri, Giovanni; Rury, Derek; Wiltshire, Justin C.
  10. Migration-prone and migration-averse places. Path dependence in long-term migration to the US By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Viola von Berlepsch
  11. Migration Costs and Observational Returns to Migration in the Developing World By David Lagakos; Samuel Marshall; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak; Corey Vernot; Michael E. Waugh
  12. Labor Force Participation of Married Female Immigrants: Evidence from a Low Female-LFPR Host Country By LIU Yang; HAGIWARA Risa
  13. Choosing Your Ethnicity: A Longitudinal Analysis of Ethnic Identity Choice and Intra-Individual Ethnicity Change By Rademakers, Robbert; van Hoorn, Andre

  1. By: Bertoli, Simone (CERDI, University of Auvergne); Brücker, Herbert (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: More than 3 million asylum seekers arrived into Europe between 2014 and 2016, and we analyze the role of destination-specific policy measures in shaping their location choices. We bring to the data a gravity equation that reflects the uncertainty that asylum seekers face, concerning the chances of obtaining refugee protection, the processing time and the risk of repatriation. These factors shaped the distribution of asylum seekers, and produced heterogeneous effects across different origin countries. German efforts to expand their processing capacity produced a significant increase in applications from origins with high recognition rates, which were mostly diverted away from Sweden.
    Keywords: refugees, recognition rate, processing time, gravity equations, migration
    JEL: F22 K37
    Date: 2020–02
  2. By: Edwyna Harris (Monash University); Sumner La Croix (University of Hawaii)
    Abstract: Great Britain established the new colony of South Australia (SA) in 1834. The immigration contract signed by assisted migrants required the SA government to provide those who could not find private sector work with employment on public works. We use new data on the compensation of unemployed and private-sector workers to examine how the SA unemployment system functioned before and after the onset of a major economic crisis in August 1840. We conclude that the unemployment system provided highly compensated relief employment to a small number of migrants prior to the crisis but as migrant numbers claiming relief employment soared between August 1840 and October 1841, the government drastically cut compensation for relief employment. The cuts occurred in tandem with the government’s release of newly surveyed rural lands, which together provided incentives and opportunities for workers to move to rural areas to seek work on newly opened farms. A comparison of the SA employment relief program with the 1843 temporary employment relief program established in the neighboring colony of New South Wales (NSW) shows that the NSW program neither established guarantees of jobs for assisted migrants unable to find work nor provided jobs for all assisted migrants without work during the 1843-1845 period.
    Keywords: relief, unemployed, South Australia, migrants, public works
    JEL: J65 N37 J38
    Date: 2020–03
  3. By: Claire Naiditch (LEM - Lille économie management - LEM - UMR 9221 - Université de Lille - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Radu Vranceanu (ESSEC Business School - Essec Business School)
    Abstract: The important flows of irregular migration could not exist without the emergence of a criminal market for smuggling services. A matching model à la Pissarides (2000) provides a well-suited framework to analyze such a ow market with significant trade frictions. Our analysis considers the competitive segment of this underground market in which small-business smugglers can freely enter. The model allows us to determine the equilibrium number of smugglers, the matching probability, the number of successful irregular migrants and, as an original concept, the equilibrium migrant welfare. Changes in parameters can be related to the various policies implemented by destination countries to cut down irregular migration.
    Keywords: Migrant welfare,Smuggling,Irregular migration,Matching model
    Date: 2020–01–10
  4. By: Lesly Cassin (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Paolo Melindi-Ghidi (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Fabien Prieur (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper examines the optimal adaptation policy of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to cope with climate change. We build a dynamic optimization problem to incorporate the following ingredients: (i) local production uses labor and natural capital, which is degraded as a result of climate change; (ii) governments have two main policy options: control migration and/or conventional adaptation measures ; (iii) migration decisions drive changes in the population size; (iv) expatriates send remittances back home. We show that the optimal policy depends on the interplay between the two policy instruments that can be either complements or substitutes depending on the individual characteristics and initial conditions. Using a numerical analysis based on the calibration of the model for different SIDS, we identify that only large islands use the two tools from the beginning, while for the smaller countries, there is a substitution between migration and conventional adaption at the initial period
    Keywords: SIDS,climate change,adaptation,migration,natural capital.
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Bertoli, Simone (CERDI, University of Auvergne); Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Guichard, Lucas (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)
    Abstract: Acquiring information about destinations can be costly for migrants. We model information frictions in the rational inattention framework and obtain a closed-form expression for a migration gravity equation that we bring to the data. The model predicts that ows from countries with a higher cost of information or stronger priors are less responsive to variations in economic conditions at destination, as migrants rationally get less information before deciding where to move. The econometric analysis reveals systematic heterogeneity in the pro-cyclical behavior of migration flows across origins that is consistent with the existence of information frictions.
    Keywords: rational inattention, information, international migration, gravity equation
    JEL: F22 D81 D83
    Date: 2020–03
  6. By: Jia, Ning (Central University of Finance and Economics); Fleisher, Belton M. (Ohio State University)
    Abstract: We study the effect of the Thousand Young Talents Program (TYTP) on the academic quality of return migrant scientists to China. Using a unique dataset of the top Chinese mathematics departments' new hires, we find that the program leads to considerable increases in measures of their educational background and research productivity. The effects are concentrated in the elite C9 league, where the proportion of hires who received PhD degrees from top-50 overseas mathematics departments increased nearly four times after the initiation of the program. The data also reveal large and statistically significant increases in weighted pre-hire publications and weighted citations to pre-hire publications under the program. However, it appears that research output of previously hired faculty members declined after the introduction of TYTP hires, suggesting minimal or even negative impact of TYTP on faculty colleagues' academic achievements.
    Keywords: migration, scientific research, R&D policy
    JEL: J61 O31 O38
    Date: 2020–03
  7. By: Christopher Busch (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); Dirk Krueger (University of Pennsylvania); Alexander Ludwig (SAFE, University of Mannheim); Irina Popova (Goethe University Frankfurt); Zainab Iftikhar (Goethe University Frankfurt)
    Abstract: In 2015-2016 Germany experienced a wave of predominantly low-skilled refugee immigration. We evaluate its macroeconomic and distributional effects using a quantitative overlapping generations model calibrated using German micro data to replicate education and productivity differentials between foreign born and native workers. Workers are modelled as imperfect substitutes in aggregate production leading to endogenous wage differentials. We simulate the dynamic effects of this refugee wave, with specific focus on the welfare impact on low skilled natives. Our results indicate that the small losses this group suffers can be compensated by welfare gains of other parts of the native population.
    Keywords: immigration, refugees, overlapping generations, demographic change
    JEL: F22 E20 H55
    Date: 2020–03
  8. By: Francine D. Blau; Lawrence M. Kahn; Matthew Comey; Amanda Eng; Pamela Meyerhofer; Alexander Willén
    Abstract: There is a well-known gender difference in time allocation within the household, which has important implications for gender differences in labor market outcomes. We ask how malleable this gender difference in time allocation is to culture. In particular, we ask if US immigrants allocate tasks differently depending upon the characteristics of the source countries from which they emigrated. Using data from the 2003-2017 waves of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), we find that first-generation immigrants, both women and men, from source countries with more gender equality (as measured by the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index) allocate tasks more equally, while those from less gender equal source countries allocate tasks more traditionally. These results are robust to controls for immigration cohort, years since migration, and other own and spouse characteristics. There is also some indication of an effect of parent source country gender equality for second-generation immigrants, particularly for second-generation men with children. Our findings suggest that broader cultural factors do influence the gender division of labor in the household.
    Keywords: Housework, childcare, gender, immigration, time allocation
    JEL: J13 J15 J16 J22
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis); Rury, Derek (University of California, Davis); Wiltshire, Justin C. (University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: Using a synthetic control estimation strategy we examine the economic impact of a large inflow of people from Puerto Rico into Orlando in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017. We find that aggregate employment in Orlando increased as a result of the inflow, as did employment in the construction and retail sectors. We also find positive overall employment effects on non-Hispanic and less-educated workers, as well as positive effects on compensation for those same subgroups in the retail sector. In the construction sector – which absorbed the preponderance of this migrant labor supply shock – we find that earnings for non-Hispanic and less-educated (workers likely to be natives) decreased by a modest amount. These results together suggest that, while migrant inflows may have small negative impacts on the earnings of likely-native workers in sectors directly exposed to the labor supply shock, employment and earnings of likely-native workers in other sectors are positively impacted, possibly by increased local demand.
    Keywords: migration, natural disasters, local economies
    JEL: F22 J15 J21 J61
    Date: 2020–03
  10. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Viola von Berlepsch
    Abstract: Does past migration beget future migration? Do migrants from different backgrounds, origins and ethnicities, and separated by several generations always settle – in a path dependent way – in the same places? Is there a permanent separation between migration-prone and migration-averse areas? This paper examines whether that is the case by looking at the settlement patterns of two very different migration waves to the United States (US), that of Europeans at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries and that of Latin Americans between the 1960s and the early 21st century. Using Census data aggregated at county level, we track the settlement pattern of migrants and assess the extent to which the first mass migration wave has determined the later settlement pattern of Latin American migrants. The analysis, conducted using ordinary least squares, instrumental variable and panel data estimation techniques, shows that past US migration patterns create a path dependence that has conditioned the geography of future migration waves. Recent Latin American migrants have flocked, once other factors are controlled for, to the same migration prone US counties where their European predecessors settled, in spite of the very different nature of both migration waves and a time gap of three to five generations.
    Keywords: migration, migration waves, long-term, Latin America, Europe, counties, US
    JEL: F22 J15 O15 R23
    Date: 2020–04
  11. By: David Lagakos; Samuel Marshall; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak; Corey Vernot; Michael E. Waugh
    Abstract: Recent studies find that observational returns to rural-urban migration are near zero in three developing countries. We revisit this result using panel tracking surveys from six countries, finding higher returns on average. We then interpret these returns in a multi-region Roy model with heterogeneity in migration costs. In the model, the observational return to migration confounds the urban premium and the individual benefits of migrants, and is not directly informative about the welfare gain from lowering migration costs. Patterns of regional heterogeneity in returns, and a comparison of experimental to observational returns, are consistent with the model’s predictions.
    JEL: O11 O18 R23
    Date: 2020–03
  12. By: LIU Yang; HAGIWARA Risa
    Abstract: The study provides novel evidence regarding labor force participation rate (LFPR) of married female immigrants, by examining immigrants who live in a comparatively low female-LFPR host country (Japan), which differs from previous studies which concentrated on immigrants in comparatively high female-LFPR host countries. First, the results indicate an important role of source-country culture in determining their labor participation rate. In particular, the two widely used proxies of culture, namely country-average social attitudes and LFPRs in source countries, significantly affect the LFPR of female immigrants who have lived in Japan for five years or more. Furthermore, both wife's and husband's source-country culture have significant estimated effects on LFPR, with larger estimates for the wife's than the husband's). This not only supports previous findings on wife's culture in high female LFPR host countries, but also provides new evidence on the effect from the husband's source-country culture. Other significant influences on LFPR of long-term female migrants include education, husband's education level and employment, having young children, living with 85- year- or- older family members, which are consistent with the theoretical model of labor supply. Second, controlling for individual characteristics, the study finds that female immigrants' LFPR does not decrease compared with their first few years in Japan, even though Japan has a lower female LFPR than their source countries. On the contrary, their LFPRs tend to increase above the levels of their first few years in the country. The study explains it as a larger positive effect from economic assimilation (i.e., adapting to economic opportunities and local labor markets), than the typical negative effect from cultural assimilation (i.e., influenced by negative attitudes towards women's work in the host country).
    Date: 2020–03
  13. By: Rademakers, Robbert; van Hoorn, Andre
    Abstract: This paper studies individuals’ possible choice to forgo their ancestral ethnicity and adopt a specific new ethnicity. We first use individual-level panel data for Indonesia as well as other countries (e.g., the U.S.) to document the pervasiveness of intra-individual ethnicity change and its coincidence with major life events, particularly, interethnic marriage. Next, we focus on individuals who have intermarried and exploit variation in deep-rooted community-level norms on matrilocality (co-residence with the wife’s family) to identify how differences in expected costs and benefits of ethnicity change causally affect newlyweds’ choice to adopt a specific ethnicity (i.e., their spouses’ ethnicity) or not. Results obtained using a three-wave panel comprising more than 13,000 Indonesians confirm the expected effect of matrilocality, as newly intermarried men (women) are significantly more (less) likely to adopt their spouses’ ethnicity when the couple lives in a matrilocal community compared to a non-matrilocal one. Because ethnicity change is a means to fit in, important implication of our findings is that in many countries key statistics on ethnic fractionalization and segregation are severely inflated.
    Keywords: Intra-individual ethnic fluidity; ethnic boundaries; ethnic options; intermarriage; post-marital residence norms; racial identity change
    JEL: J12 J15 Z13
    Date: 2020–03–20

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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