nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒05‒11
four papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Immigration Policy Levers for US Innovation and Startups By Sari Pekkala Kerr; William R. Kerr
  2. Migrant self-selection in the presence of random shocks. Evidence from the Panic of 1907 By David Escamilla-Guerrero; Moramay Lopez-Alonso
  3. Government ideology and international migration By Vincenzo Bove; Georgios Efthyvoulou; Harry Pickard
  4. South Australia’s Employment Relief Program for Assisted Immigrants: Promises and Reality, 1838-1843 By Edwyna Harris; Sumner La Croix

  1. By: Sari Pekkala Kerr; William R. Kerr
    Abstract: Immigrants account for about a quarter of US invention and entrepreneurship despite a policy environment that is not well suited for these purposes. This chapter reviews the US immigration policy environment that governs how skilled migrants move to America for employment-based purposes. We discuss points of strain in the current system and potential policy reforms that would likely increase the rate of innovation and the number of startups due to immigrants in the country. Key areas include adjustments to the allocation of permanent residency visas, adjustments to the H-1B visa program, and the creation of an immigrant startup visa.
    JEL: F22 F23 J15 J44 J61 L26 M13 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: David Escamilla-Guerrero; Moramay Lopez-Alonso
    Abstract: Abstract We evaluate the responsiveness of migrant self-selection to short-run changes in theWe evaluate the responsiveness of migrant self-selection to short-run changes in theeconomic environment. Using novel historical micro data, we estimate the initialselectivity of Mexican migration (1906-08) and focus on labor institutions as short-runadjustment channels of self-selection. We find that the first Mexican migrants werepositively self-selected on the basis of height—a proxy for physical productivity oflabor. Additionally, the US financial crisis of 1907 significantly modified self-selection.Shifts in migrant self-selection during and after the crisis were influenced by theenganche, an institution that reduced migration costs, but only for the “best†Mexicansduring “good†economic times.
    Keywords: labor migration, migrant self-selection, Panic of 1907, Mexico
    JEL: F22 J61 N36 O15
    Date: 2020–04–27
  3. By: Vincenzo Bove (Department of Politics and International Studies and CAGE (Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy), University of Warwick,); Georgios Efthyvoulou (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK); Harry Pickard (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK)
    Abstract: We provide the first empirical evidence that differences in government ideology play an important role in the choice of cross-border migration destinations. In absence of first-hand experience, immigrants rely on information about the political landscape of the origin and host countries to form expectations about the context of reception in the host society. We use data on bilateral migration and government ideology for 36 OECD countries between 1990 and 2016. Our analysis shows that bilateral migration flows are higher when the government at the destination is more left-wing than the government at the origin, especially when we consider proximate countries.
    Keywords: international migration; migration choice; government ideology; OECD countries
    JEL: J15 D72 F22
    Date: 2020–05
  4. 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

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