nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒06‒08
thirteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Private Educational Expenditure Inequality between Migrant and Urban Households in China’s Cities By Yiwen Chen; Ioana Salagean; Benteng Zou
  2. Analyzing the effect of time in migration measurement using geo-referenced digital trace data By Lee Fiorio; Emilio Zagheni; Guy L. Abel; Johnathan Hill; Gabriel Pestre; Emmanuel Letouzé; Jixuan Cai
  3. Geographic Mobility in America: Evidence from Cell Phone Data By M. Keith Chen; Devin G. Pope
  4. Tracking COVID-19 Spread in Italy with Mobility Data By Nuriye Melisa Bilgin
  5. Immigration and Work Schedules: Theory and Evidence By Bond, Timothy N.; Giuntella, Osea; Lonsky, Jakub
  6. Does Internal Displacement Affect Educational Achievement in Host Communities? By Sergio Parra Cely; Clotilde Mahé
  7. The 2006 Refugees Act in Uganda: between law and practice By Ahimbisibwe, Frank
  8. Stay-At-Home Orders, Social Distancing and Trust By Brodeur, Abel; Grigoryeva, Idaliya; Kattan, Lamis
  9. Youth aspirations, perceptions of farming, and migration decisions in rural Sub-Saharan Africa: Further empirical evidence from Ethiopia By Mussa, Essa Chanie
  10. On tax competition, international migration,and occupational choice By Yutao Han; Patrice Pieretti
  11. Skills in African Labor Markets and Implications for Migration to Europe By Backhaus, Andreas
  12. The Impact of Labour Migration on the Ukrainian Economy By Jerzy Pieńkowski
  13. Elementary Facts about Immigration in Italy: What Do We Know about Immigration and Its Impact? By Mariani, Rama Dasi; Pasquini, Alessandra; Rosati, Furio C.

  1. By: Yiwen Chen (Central Bank of Luxembourg); Ioana Salagean (STATEC); Benteng Zou (CREA, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: China’s household registration (hukou) system restricts access to public schools to children without local city hukou. Migrant households thus need to finance privately all education-related costs their children incur. In contrast, local urban households often top- up their spending with private tutoring. Consequently, private educational expenditure of households in China’s cities reflects both willingness to investment in human capital and institutional constraints. We compare the educational expenditure of parents migrating with children to China’s cities to that of local urban parents, with a special focus on the role of the household registration system (hukou) in shaping these inequalities. We find that overall expenditure of migrants overwhelmingly exceeds that of locals after controlling for social and economic characteristics, but expenditure types are different. More detailed analysis of three subcategories of the education-related expenditure shows that migrant households spend more on tuition and sponsorship compared to households with local city hukou, but much less on private tutoring.
    Keywords: Chinese internal migrant children; educational investment; hukou registration
    JEL: O15 I31 J13 R23
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Lee Fiorio; Emilio Zagheni (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Guy L. Abel; Johnathan Hill; Gabriel Pestre; Emmanuel Letouzé; Jixuan Cai
    Abstract: Geo-referenced digital trace data offer unprecedented flexibility in migration estimation. Due to their high temporal granularity, many different migration estimates can be generated from the same dataset by changing the definition parameters. Yet despite the growing application of digital trace data to migration research, strategies for taking advantage of their temporal granularity remain largely underdeveloped. In this paper, we provide a general framework for converting digital trace data into estimates of migration transitions and for systematically analyzing their variation along quasi-continuous time-scale, analogous to a survival function. From migration theory,we develop two simple hypotheses regarding how we expect our estimated migration transition functions to behave. We then test our hypotheses on simulated data and empirical data from three different platforms in two internal migration contexts: geo-tagged Tweets and Gowalla check-ins in the U.S., and cell-phone call detail records in Senegal. Our results demonstrate the need for evaluating the internal consistency of migration estimates derived from digital trace data before using them in substantive research. At the same time, however, common patterns across our three empirical datasets point to an emergent research agenda using digital trace data to study the specific functional relationship between estimates of migration and time and how this relationship varies by geography and population characteristics.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  3. By: M. Keith Chen; Devin G. Pope
    Abstract: Traveling beyond the immediate surroundings of one’s residence can lead to greater exposure to new ideas and information, jobs, and greater transmission of disease. In this paper, we document the geographic mobility of individuals in the U.S., and how this mobility varies across U.S. cities, regions, and income classes. Using geolocation data for ~1.7 million smartphone users over a 10-month period, we compute different measures of mobility, including the total distance traveled, the median daily distance traveled, the maximum distance traveled from one’s home, and the number of unique haunts visited. We find large differences across cities and income groups. For example, people in New York travel 38% fewer total kilometers and visit 14% fewer block-sized areas than people in Atlanta. And, individuals in the bottom income quartile travel 12% less overall and visit 13% fewer total locations than the top income quartile.
    JEL: R23
    Date: 2020–05
  4. By: Nuriye Melisa Bilgin (Koç University)
    Abstract: This paper provides insights for policymakers to evaluate the impact of staying at home and lockdown policies by investigating possible links between individual mobility and the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Italy. By relying on the daily data, the empirical evidence suggests that an increase in the number of visits to public spaces such as workspaces, parks, retail areas, and the use of public transportation is associated with an increase in the positive COVID-19 cases in a subsequent week. On the contrary, the increased intensity of staying in residential spaces is related to a decrease in the confirmed cases of COVID-19 significantly. Results are robust after controlling for the lockdown period. Empirical evidence underlines the importance of the lockdown decision. Further, there is substantial regional variation among the twenty regions of Italy. Individual presence in public vs. residential spaces has a more significant effect on the number of COVID-19 cases in the Lombardy region.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Italy, Regional Heterogeneity, Mobility.
    JEL: I10 I18 I31
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Bond, Timothy N. (Purdue University); Giuntella, Osea (University of Pittsburgh); Lonsky, Jakub (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: We develop a theoretical framework to analyze the effects of immigration on native job amenities, focusing on work schedules. Immigrants have a comparative advantage in production at, and lower disamenity cost for nighttime work, which leads them to disproportionately choose nighttime employment. Because day and night tasks are imperfect substitutes, the relative price of day tasks increases as their supply becomes relatively more scarce. We provide empirical support for our theory. Native workers in local labor markets that experienced higher rates of immigration are more likely to work day shifts and receive a lower compensating differential for nighttime work.
    Keywords: night shifts, working conditions, immigration
    JEL: F22 J61 J31 R13
    Date: 2020–05
  6. By: Sergio Parra Cely (Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Equador); Clotilde Mahé (CREA, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between internal displacement and education in host municipalities in Colombia. We employ a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, exploiting the fact that political loyalty during local elections triggered massive flows of internally displaced people. We obtain a transitory but sizable negative effect of about 3% of a standard deviation per additional displaced arrival by 10,000 inhabitants, on high-school exit exams in math and language during the first two years of incumbency -- an average drop of 0.4 standard deviations. Findings suggest that policies aimed at fostering educational achievement might be ineffective in the shadow of a refugee crisis.
    Keywords: Civil conflict, Migration, Education.
    JEL: I25 J61 R23
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Ahimbisibwe, Frank
    Abstract: Uganda hosts refugees and asylum seekers from neighboring countries and the region. By April 2020, Uganda was one of the top refugee hosting countries in the world and the largest in Africa with over 1.4 million refugees. Uganda passed the Refugees Act in 2006 to regulate refugees. The Act has been praised world wide as being a progressive law that meets international protection standards. The country has been generally described as being friendly to refugees. However, there is a discrepancy between the provisions of the Act and the country’s practice. This article analyzes this discrepancy by focusing on specific provisions of the Act.
    Keywords: Uganda; migration
    Date: 2020–06
  8. By: Brodeur, Abel (University of Ottawa); Grigoryeva, Idaliya (Stanford University); Kattan, Lamis (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: Better understanding whether and how communities respond to government decisions is crucial for policy makers and health officials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, we document the socioeconomic determinants of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders' compliance in the U.S. Using cell phone data measuring changes in average distance traveled and non-essential visitation, we find that: stay-at-home orders reduce mobility by about 8­–10 percentage points; high-trust counties decrease their mobility significantly more than low-trust counties post-lockdown; and counties with relatively more self-declared democrats decrease significantly more their mobility. We also provide evidence that the estimated eeffct on compliance post-lockdown is especially large for trust in the press, and relatively smaller for trust in science, medicine or government.
    Keywords: COVID-19, stay-at-home orders, social distancing, trust
    JEL: H12 I12 I18
    Date: 2020–05
  9. By: Mussa, Essa Chanie
    Abstract: The study discusses the aspirations and preferences of youth in rural sub-Saharan Africa using a large-scale SMS-based survey data and complements it with an investigation on the causal effects of adolescent aspirations on migration decisions when youth in southwestern Ethiopia. The cross-country youth study shows that most rural youth in Africa prefer working in nonfarm economic sectors. It also finds that above half of the rural youth are undecided about their migration aspirations, providing an opportunity for governments to influence the rural out migration of youth. However, policymakers should also be equally aware that anti-poverty policy measures that simply improve the incomes of rural youth might have unpredictable and unintended consequences on their migration decisions. As a result, policy measures may have to also influence the perceptions of youth toward farming and rural life, and to make rural areas more attractive to the youth. Taking southwestern Ethiopia as a case in point, it was found that above half the adolescents have negative perceptions about farming (both farming life and the pre-requisites to become a farmer). The results also show that educational and occupational aspirations during adolescence exert differing effects on migration decisions after four years. That is, while those who aspired to attain more years of schooling are unlikely to out-migrate within this time period, their counterparts who aspired to have high socio-economic status occupations tend to out-migrate from the respective areas. The study concludes that the out-migration of youth from rural areas and small towns may not be only due to push factors such as lack of farmland, but it could also be due to their aspirations to work in high socio-economic status occupations which are not often found in the rural areas. Thus, African countries should work to make rural areas and farming more attractive to the aspiring youth such as through improving access to technology, developing infrastructure, and providing support to rural non-farm sectors expansion.
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2020–05–31
  10. By: Yutao Han (University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, CH); Patrice Pieretti (Department of Economics and Management, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to analyze tax competition with inter- nationally mobile individuals who make occupational choices. Two types of migration are distinguished, namely entrepreneur and worker migration. When the competing jurisdictions put a sufficiently high valuation on public good expenditures, entrepreneurship migration increases joint welfare relative to autarky. However, in case of labor migration, tax competition can decrease joint welfare independently of how much the jurisdictions value public expenditures.
    Keywords: migration, tax competition, occupational choice, social Welfare
    JEL: F22 H24 H73 J24 J61
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Backhaus, Andreas
    Abstract: This paper assesses the potential for skilled labor migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe. It utilizes representative surveys from Ghana and Kenya to shed light on the quality and distribution of skills in the labor markets of these countries. Skills in both countries are found to be unevenly distributed, with significant parts of the labor force being essentially unskilled. Similarly designed surveys from France, Germany, and the UK further allow comparing skills and formal education between the African and the European countries. On average, the labor force in the subSaharan African countries is less skilled and less educated than the European labor force. Importantly, even at the same levels of formal education, workers in Ghana and Kenya are substantially less skilled than workers in Europe. The paper further considers a number of hypothetical scenarios for skilled labor migration from the African to the European countries. It is demonstrated that the European countries would have to recruit workers from the very top end of the African skill distribution to match European demands for skills. In turn, the average worker from the African labor markets would fit only into the low end of the European skill distribution where employment rates are low. Hence, more regular and skilled labor migration from African countries will unlikely be a remedy for skill shortages in Europe unless migrants are positively selected on their skills. In that case, however, additional opportunities for skilled labor migration would risk a brain drain from African countries that could harm economic development there. Improving the quality of education in sub-Saharan Africa on a broad scale remains indispensable for mutually beneficial migration between Africa and Europe.
    Keywords: migration,skills,human capital,brain drain,sub-Saharan Africa,Europe
    JEL: I25 J61 O15
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Jerzy Pieńkowski
    Abstract: This paper reviews evidence on the main economic impacts of the post-2014 wave of labour emigration on the economy of Ukraine, based on an overview of international and Ukrainian studies and surveys. Emigration reduces labour supply and pushes up wage growth for workers who stay in the country; one of the issues of concern is a skills waste – most of Ukrainians abroad work outside their qualifications or in very simple jobs. The main benefit for the Ukrainian economy is linked to an inflow of remittances equivalent to 8% of GDP. Remittances significantly improve the welfare of migrants’ families and stimulate domestic demand, pushing up the GDP in the country and playing a counter-cyclical role. A stable and substantial inflow of remittances contributes to a more sustainable balance of payments, counterbalancing permanent trade and investment income deficits. The impact of emigration and remittances on Ukraine’s public finance is mixed: remittance inflows lead to increased VAT, excise and customs revenues, while reduced labour supply diminishes revenues from labour taxes and social security contributions in Ukraine. The policy recommendations for the Ukrainian authorities include encouraging migrants, especially the skilled ones, to invest in, and return to, their home country; creating a more attractive business environment for this purpose (and beyond); a better use of the workforce remaining in the country through stimulating employability; improving social aspects of the Ukrainian migration, especially encouraging higher social security coverage of migrants.
    JEL: F22 F24 J61
    Date: 2020–04
  13. By: Mariani, Rama Dasi (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Pasquini, Alessandra (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Rosati, Furio C. (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: In the recent past, in Italy, immigration has been at the centre of academic and policy debates. Nonetheless, the still growing literature has focused mainly on the experience of old settlement countries and has mainly looked at single aspects of the phenomenon. In order to guide effective policy intervention, we offer an exhaustive view of immigration in Italy. We combine the presentation of stylized facts from available data, based on descriptive analyses, with a review of existing studies. Our conclusions tell that evidence available for Italy does not match the policy relevance of an issue that has been dominating the public debate in the last years and also identify areas where solid evidence or analysis is needed.
    Keywords: regional labour market, education, integration, mobility, immigration
    JEL: F22 I24 J15 J61 R23
    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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