nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒05‒18
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Local Governance Quality and the Environmental Cost of Forced Migration By Aksoy, Cevat Giray; Tumen, Semih
  2. Pulling Effects in Migrant Entrepreneurship: Does Gender Matter? By Alessandra Colombelli; Elena Grinza; Valentina Meliciani; Mariacristina Rossi
  3. A Theoretical Analysis of Preference Matching by Tourists and Destination Choice By Batabyal, Amitrajeet; Yoo, Seung Jick
  4. Attitude towards Immigrants: Evidence from U.S. Congressional Speeches By Bose, Neha
  5. Media Persuasion through Slanted Language: Evidence from the Coverage of Immigration By Milena Djourelova
  6. The contribution of immigration from Ukraine to economic growth in Poland By Paweł Strzelecki; Jakub Growiec; Robert Wyszyński
  7. Correlations Between Land and Opportunity Access and Migration Status Among Youth and Young Adults: Evidence from Zambia By Megan O. Bellinger; Milu Muyanga; David Mather; Henry Machina; Nicole M. Mason
  8. Migration in Southern Shan State: Characteristics and Outcome By Eaindra Theint Theint Thu; Khun Moe Htun; Ben Belton
  9. On the Response of Inflation and Monetary Policy to an Immigration Shock By Benjamín García; Juan Guerra-Salas

  1. By: Aksoy, Cevat Giray (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development); Tumen, Semih (TED University)
    Abstract: Can high-quality local governance alleviate the environmental impact of large-scale refugee migration? The recent surge in refugee flows has brought additional challenges to local governments in Europe, the Middle East and certain regions of Africa and Asia. In this paper, we focus on the case of Syrian refugees in Turkey and show that the quality of local governance plays a critical role in mitigating the environmental deterioration. We employ text analysis methods to construct a unique data set on local governance quality from the independent audit reports on municipalities. Using a quasi-experimental econometric strategy, we show that the Syrian refugee influx has worsened environmental outcomes along several dimensions in Turkey. Specifically, we find that the deterioration in environmental outcomes is almost entirely driven by provinces with poor-quality governance. Those provinces fail to invest sufficiently in waste management practices and environmental services in response to increased refugee settlements. We argue that good local governance practices can smooth out the refugee integration process and complement the efforts of central governments.
    Keywords: Syrian refugees, environment, waste management, local governance, text analysis
    JEL: F22 H76 Q53
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Alessandra Colombelli (DIGEP, Politecnico di Torino); Elena Grinza (LUISS University); Valentina Meliciani (Department of Management, University of Turin); Mariacristina Rossi (Collegio Carlo Alberto)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine whether the existing stock of migrant firms induces more new firms of the same co-ethnic group in the same sector and province. We do so by analyzing the number of new firms created each year by country of origin, sector, and province, drawing on administrative data of the population of individual entrepreneurs observed over the period 2002-2013. We find support for a strong attractiveness (pulling) effect. We also find that this effect significantly differs by gender: female migrant entrepreneurs show lower reactiveness to the existing stock of firms compared to their male counterparts. We finally show that such gender differences are stronger for migrants coming from more gender-unequal countries. On the contrary, the degree of gender inequality in the region of destination does not matter.
    Keywords: Migrant entrepreneurship, pulling effect, gender differences, gender inequality, country of origin, region of destination
    JEL: L26 J15 J16
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Batabyal, Amitrajeet; Yoo, Seung Jick
    Abstract: How does the phenomenon of preference matching by tourists affect their choice between two possible destinations? We study this question. It costs less (more) to vacation in destination A (B). Tourists choose to either vacation in A or B. They differ in their incomes. These incomes are uniformly distributed on the unit interval. Our analysis leads to four results. First, when the cost differential parameter satisfies a particular condition, both destinations are visited in the equilibrium. Second, when this parametric condition holds, in any equilibrium in which the mean income of the tourists varies across the two destinations, every tourist vacationing in A has a lower income than every tourist vacationing in B. Third, there exists an income cutoff point and all tourists with lower (higher) incomes choose to vacation in A (B). Finally, in the equilibrium with income sorting, it is possible to make all tourists better off by modifying their destination choices.
    Keywords: Destination Choice, Income, Preference Matching, Tourism, Uncertainty
    JEL: D81 L83
    Date: 2020–03–30
  4. By: Bose, Neha (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Immigration and attitudes towards immigration have been key features in economic development and political debate for decades. It can be hard to disentangle true beliefs about immigrants even where we have seemingly strong evidence such as the voting records of politicians. This paper builds an "immigration corpus" consisting of 24,351 U.S. congressional speeches relevant to immigration issues between 1990-2015. The corpus is used to form two distinct measures of attitude towards immigrants - one based on sentiment (or valence) and one based on the concreteness of language. The lexical measures, particularly sentiment, show systematic variation over time and across states in a manner consistent with the history and experiences of immigrants in the USA. The paper also computes a speaker specific measure of sentiment towards immigrants which is found to be a significant positive predictor of voting behaviour with respect to immigration related bills. Applying a Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic modelling algorithm provides further insight into how different topics (such as border security or national security) have risen and fallen in importance over time in the face of key events such as 9/11.
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Milena Djourelova
    Abstract: Can the language used by mass media to cover policy relevant issues affect readers' policy preferences? I examine this question for the case of immigration, exploiting an abrupt ban on the term "illegal immigrant" in wire content distributed to media outlets by the Associated Press (AP). Using text data on AP dispatches and the content of a large number of US print and online outlets, I find that articles mentioning "illegal immigrant" decline by 28% in outlets that rely on AP relative to others. This change in language appears to have had a tangible impact on readers' views on immigration. Following AP's ban, individuals exposed to outlets relying more heavily on AP tend to support less restrictive immigration and border security policies. The effect is driven by frequent readers and does not apply to views on issues other than immigration.
    Keywords: mass media, media slant, Framing, Immigration
    JEL: D72 L82 Z13
    Date: 2020–05
  6. By: Paweł Strzelecki (Narodowy Bank Polski); Jakub Growiec (Narodowy Bank Polski); Robert Wyszyński (Narodowy Bank Polski)
    Abstract: Since 2014 Poland witnessed an unprecedented inflow of immigrant workers from Ukraine. Coupled with strong labour demand, this surge in labour supply provided a major contribution to Poland’s economic growth. However, due to problems with capturing immigration in Labour Force Survey (LFS) data this contribution has remained hitherto largely unaccounted in official data. In this paper we use a range of alternative official data sources to estimate the actual number of immigrants, and survey data on migrant characteristics, collected in four Polish cities, to estimate the effective labour supply of Ukrainian immigrants in terms of productivityadjusted hours worked. We find that the arrival of Ukrainian workers was increasing the effective labour supply in Poland in 2013-18 by 0.8% per annum. Imputing this additional labour supply in a growth accounting exercise we find that the (previously unaccounted) contribution of Ukrainian workers amounted to about 0.5 pp. per annum, i.e., about 13% of Poland’s GDP growth in 2013-18. The same figure should be subtracted from the residual contribution of total factor productivity (TFP) growth, suggesting that recent growth in Poland has been in fact much more labour-intensive than previously interpreted.
    Keywords: growth accounting, immigration, labour input, Poland, Ukraine
    JEL: E24 O47 F22 O15
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Megan O. Bellinger; Milu Muyanga; David Mather; Henry Machina; Nicole M. Mason
    Abstract: Great attention is paid on an international scale to the flow of people away from rural areas, with the prevailing opinion suggesting that there is a mass migration from rural villages to increasingly overcrowded cities. However, rural to rural (intra-rural) migration remains an important source of mobility for individuals, especially those who wish to remain connected to their families and places of origin (see FAO 2007). Migration can achieve a multitude of objectives for individuals and their families, as well as the communities who send and receive the migrants. These objectives include income diversification, geographic diversification, risk reduction, social network growth, and income stabilization (Sakho-Jimbira and Bignebat 2006; FAO 2007). The situations and motivations of youth and young adults, which we define as 15-24 and 25-35 year olds, respectively, are of particular interest to us because people in this age group have a lifetime of productivity and income generation ahead of them. They are also entering the workforce as Zambia becomes more integrated into the global market, takes in investment from outside countries, and faces previously unforeseen challenges and opportunities in access to land and non-farm and off-farm employment. The goal of this paper is to assess the impact of various drivers of migration on the decisions made by youth and young adults to migrate, with a particular emphasis on the impacts of land access, inheritance patterns, and business and wage opportunities in migration decisions. We investigate this research question using descriptive and econometric analysis of data from the Rural Agricultural Livelihood Survey (RALS). In this work, information from 2012 serves as explanatory variables related to an outcome of having migrated by the next survey wave in 2015. Variables of interest and control variables were chosen through a literature review of current work on youth and migration in Africa. Results indicate that the ability to buy and sell land is correlated with a higher likelihood of migration for those who migrated to rural areas and for those aged 15-24. However, we find that for all age categories, nonfarm employment opportunities have significant correlations with likelihood of migration. Participation in businesses in natural resources (such as charcoal selling or fishing) and businesses in construction (such as brickmaking) are strongly associated with a lower likelihood of migration among youth in the sample. By contrast, employment in a private nonagricultural wage or salaried job (such as working for a bank) is associated with a much higher likelihood of migration among young adults. In the overall sample, participation in value-added food businesses (such as owning a bakery) and private non-agricultural businesses (such as shop owning or tailoring) are associated with lower likelihoods of migration. Additionally, when broken out by destination type (rural or urban) we find that individuals who are engaged in a relatively profitable business activity are less likely to migrate to rural areas, while young adults who are engaged in salaried or wage employment are more likely to migrate, especially to an urban destination. Not only is it important to understand driving factors associated with migration to contribute to the international literature on the subject, better understanding of these factors may also be important to communities who hope to retain their young populations or attract others to contribute to agricultural and off-farm community productivity and development.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, International Development
    Date: 2019–12–13
  8. By: Eaindra Theint Theint Thu; Khun Moe Htun; Ben Belton
    Abstract: Migration is a common phenomenon in southern Shan. Nearly one in three households (31%) have a household member who has ever migrated. At the time of the survey, 14% of households had a migrant and 7% of individuals of working age were migrating. However, southern Shan has developed as a migrant sending area less rapidly than other areas of the country. Migrant flows began to increase rapidly from 2009. Six times more individuals migrated for the first time in 2017 than in 2009 International migrants outnumber domestic migrants, but domestic migration is growing more rapidly. Sixty-five percent of current migrants are currently working internationally, as compared to 35% working domestically. However, in every year from 2013 onwards, the number of first-time migrants to domestic destinations exceeded the number of first-time international migrants, indicating that opportunities for migration within Myanmar have increased in recent years Thailand and Shan State are the most common destinations for migrants from southern Shan. Eighty-eight percent of current international migrants work in Thailand. Surprisingly, the majority of domestic migration takes place within Shan state, where 62% of domestic migrants are based. The vast majority of migration is to urban areas. Domestic migrants work in roughly equal numbers in state/region capitals (38%) and other urban areas (41%), indicating that secondary and tertiary cities are providing significant opportunities for migration. Women and men migrate in roughly equal numbers. Women account for 46% of migrants, men 54%. This ratio varies little between international and domestic migrants Propensity to migrate varies with ethnicity, but is not closely related to landholding status. Individuals of mixed and Shan ethnicity are most likely to migrate (22% and 13% of working age individuals of these ethnicities migrated). Households are equally likely to have a migrant, irrespective of how much land they own. About half of current international migrants borrowed to cover the cost of their migration. Only 11% of domestic migrants borrowed to migrate. The average cost of migration was at MMK 549,327 ($365) and MMK 25,321 ($17) for international and domestic migrants, respectively. Average amounts borrowed to support migration are of a similar order. Migrant earnings are typically sufficient for migration costs to be recouped quite rapidly. International migrants earn more than twice as much as domestic migrants on average. Reported monthly salaries averaged MMK 458,000 ($305) and MMK 175,000 ($115), for international and domestic migrants, respectively Well over half of migrants send remittances. Fifty-eight percent of migrants were reported to have sent remittances in the past 12 months. Most remittances are spent on day-to-day living costs. More than half (52%) of respondents reported that the primary use of remittances was to cover the cost of day-to-day living expenses. Everyday necessities such as medical expenses, debt repayment, education costs and farm operating costs are among the most important uses of remittances after outlay for daily living expenses. This suggests that by migrating from rural areas (‘stepping out’), remittance-sending migrants provide vital v support that enables remaining household members to get by (‘hanging in’), but are less frequently able support household investments on a scale that allows for upgrading or expansion of productive activities (‘stepping up’). The average duration of migration is quite short. Eighty percent of domestic migrants who returned to their place of origin migrated for two years or less. International return migrants spent more time away from home than domestic migrants (an average of four years, versus one year), but almost half migrated for one year or less (19% less than one year and 30% around one year). Reasons for return migration reflect the precarious nature of much migrant work. Poor working conditions, loss or lack of work, poor health, and lack of legal status together account for 43% of decisions to return from migration. Together, these results suggest that the experience of migrating is often difficult and characterized by a high degree of precarity and vulnerability. Most return migrants migrated only once, and have no intention to migrate again. Eighty-one percent of international and 69% of domestic return migrants had migrated on only one occasion, and more than 70% of return migrants did not expect to migrate again, with 14% undecided and 14% expressing the intention to migrate again Implications for policy and programming: Domestic migration is growing more rapidly that international migration. Domestic migration is cheaper, less risky, and is associated with higher levels of skills acquisition than international migration. Moreover, value created by domestic migrants remains in country, creating economic spillovers. A policy environment that stimulates the growth of businesses, combined with skills training for domestic migrants, can also help to ensure that more of the benefits of migration remain in Myanmar. The impact of migration on rural labor markets in Shan appears to have been smaller than expected to date. Most migrants migrate only once, the average duration of migration is quite short, and most migrants return to farming when they come home. This may reflect high levels of access to agricultural land in southern Shan, relative to other areas of the country. …Nevertheless, the rural labor market in southern Shan is likely to tighten if migration continues to intensify. This will result in rising agricultural wages, and the need for further mechanization in agriculture to offset increased costs and ensure timeliness. Financial services designed to meet migrants’ needs could reduce the need to borrow informally, reducing the risk of becoming trapped in exploitative labor arrangements. Expanded provision of public health care, social safety nets, and cheaper schooling can free up more remittance income to be saved or used in productive investment by lessening the impact of shocks and reducing the burden of every day expenses. Although men and women migrate in roughly equal numbers, the burden of unpaid work caring for children left behind falls mainly on non-migrant women.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, International Development
    Date: 2019–07–23
  9. By: Benjamín García; Juan Guerra-Salas
    Abstract: An immigration shock has an ambiguous effect on inflation. On one hand, aggregate consumption increases with a suddenly larger population; this “demand channel” creates inflationary pressures. On the other hand, the labor market becomes more slack as immigrants search for jobs, containing wage growth; this “labor supply channel” creates disinflationary pressures. The response of an inflationtargeting central bank to an immigration shock is, therefore, not obvious. We study these competingchannels in a New Keynesian model of a small open economy with search frictions in the labor market. Our simulations are designed to characterize the possible response of inflation and monetary policy in Chile, a small open emerging country that has experienced a substantial immigration flow in recent years.
    Date: 2020–04

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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