nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒06‒29
twenty papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Is it better to intermarry? Ethnic composition of marriages and suicide risk among native-born and migrant persons in Sweden By Anna Oksuzyan; Sven Drefahl; Jennifer Caputo; Siddartha Aradhya
  2. Do Immigrants Pay a Price When Marrying Natives? Lessons from the US Time Use Survey By Grossbard, Shoshana; Vernon, Victoria
  3. Gendered and stratified family formation trajectories in the context of Latin American migration, 1950 to 2000 By Andrés F. Castro Torres; Edith Yolanda Gutierrez Vazquez
  4. The CPS Citizenship Question and Survey Refusals: Causal and Semi-Causal Evidence Featuring a Two-Stage Regression Discontinuity Design By Bernhardt, Robert; Wunnava, Phanindra V.
  5. The Political Economy of Indian Indentured Labour in the 19th Century By Neha Hui; Uma Kambhampati
  6. After Covid-19, will seasonal migrant agricultural workers in Europe be replaced by robots? By Cristina Mitaritonna; Lionel Ragot
  7. The Adverse Effect of the COVID-19 Labor Market Shock on Immigrant Employment By Borjas, George J.; Cassidy, Hugh
  8. Safety at Work and Immigration By Bellés-Obrero, Cristina; Martin Bassols, Nicolau; Vall Castello, Judit
  9. Immigrant Inventors and Diversity in the Age of Mass Migration By Francesco Campo; Mariapia Mendola; Andrea Morrison; Gianmarco Ottaviano
  10. Does Emigration Drain Entrepreneurs? By Anelli, Massimo; Basso, Gaetano; Ippedico, Giuseppe; Peri, Giovanni
  11. I Have Nothing Against Them, But. . . By Leonardo Bursztyn; Ingar K. Haaland; Aakaash Rao; Christopher P. Roth
  12. Attitude towards Immigrants: Evidence from U.S. Congressional Speeches By Bose, Neha
  13. The Seeds of Ideology: Historical Immigration and Political Preferences in the United States By Giuliano, Paola; Tabellini, Marco
  14. Australia's Immigration Selection System and Labour Market Outcomes in a Family Context: Evidence from Administrative Data By Guven, Cahit; Tong, Lan Anh; Yuksel, Mutlu
  15. Fiscal effects of migrants in Europe: a quantile regression Approach By Majlinda Joxhe; Pasquale Scaramozzino; Skerdilajda Zanaj
  16. International Trade and Labor Market Integration of Immigrants By Lodefalk, Magnus; Sjöholm, Fredrik; Tang, Aili
  17. Spatial Misallocation in Chinese Housing and Land Markets By Yongheng Deng; Yang Tang; Ping Wang; Jing Wu
  18. A comprehensive framework for studying migration policies (and a call to observe them beyond immigration to the West) By Pedroza, Luicy
  19. International Migration: The Political and Legal Dimension By Malakhov, Vladimir (Малахов, Владимир); Simon, Mark (Симон, Марк); Motin, Alexander (Мотин, Александр); Letnyakov, Denis (Летняков, Денис); Kascian, Kirill (Касцян, Кирилл); Novikov, Kirill (Новиков, Кирилл)
  20. Divided We Stay Home: Social Distancing and Ethnic Diversity By Georgy Egorov; Ruben Enikolopov; Alexey Makarin; Maria Petrova

  1. By: Anna Oksuzyan (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Sven Drefahl (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Jennifer Caputo (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Siddartha Aradhya
    Abstract: Marriage is protective against suicide across populations, including for persons of different ethnicities and immigrant backgrounds. However, the well-being benefits of marriage are contingent upon marital characteristics—such as conflict and quality—that may vary among persons of different migration backgrounds in interaction with the migration background of their spouse. Leveraging Swedish register data, we compare suicide mortality hazard among married persons on the basis of their and their spouse’s migration background. We find that relative to those in a native Swede-Swede union, Swedish men married to female immigrants and immigrant women married to native men are at higher risk of death by suicide, while immigrants of both genders who are married to someone from their birth country have lower suicide mortality risk. The findings support hypotheses about the strains that may be encountered by those who intermarry, as well as the potential selection of individuals into inter- and intra-ethnic marriages.
    Keywords: Sweden, immigrants, mental health, mixed marriage, population registers, suicide
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Grossbard, Shoshana (San Diego State University); Vernon, Victoria (Empire State College)
    Abstract: Using the American Time Use Survey for the years 2003-18 we compare the allocation of time of native men and women married to immigrants with that of their counterparts in all-native couples. We find that when intermarried to a native some immigrant women pay an assimilation price to the extent that, compared to native women in all-native marriages, they work longer hours at paid work, household chores or both, while their husbands do no extra work. In some cases they work an extra hour per day. Immigrant men don't pay such price. Some work 34 minutes less at household chores than native men in all-native marriages, while the native women who marry immigrant men seem to pay a price relatively to what their situation would be in an all-native marriage. An explanation based on the operation of competitive marriage markets works for immigrant women but not for immigrant men. Traditional gender-based privileges may allow immigrant men to prevent native women from capturing a price for the value that intermarriage generates for their husbands. Such 'male dominance' scenario also helps explain why immigrant men married to native daughters of immigrants from the same region get more benefits from intermarriage than other immigrants.
    Keywords: time use, immigration, household production, intermarriage, marriage market
    JEL: D13 J12 J22
    Date: 2020–06
  3. By: Andrés F. Castro Torres (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Edith Yolanda Gutierrez Vazquez
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Bernhardt, Robert (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Wunnava, Phanindra V. (Middlebury College)
    Abstract: The unsuccessful attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census has drawn attention to citizenship questions on other surveys. Simultaneously, researchers have noted a recent increase in Current Population Survey non-response. We combine these topics, studying the effect of the CPS citizenship question on refusals. We use the question's sudden introduction in 1994 as a natural experiment and obtain causal estimates via a regression discontinuity design (RDD). In January 1994, we find an immediate and sustained 20-50% jump in refusals. However, this cannot be attributed to the question alone, as numerous other survey characteristics were revised. We employ a two-stage RDD to relate state-specific refusal discontinuities to state characteristics. Discontinuity size is positively related to non-citizen and Hispanic populations, and a proxy for citizenship question item non-response. An 8% increase in refusals is potentially attributable to the question. Moreover, at the threshold, there is weak evidence of a discrete decrease in states' reported Hispanic populations. When non-citizenship is observable, state non-citizen population is positively related with refusals. These results imply the question makes non-citizens and Hispanics reluctant to take the survey. We recommend there be a trial to precisely estimate the question's effects, and decide if it merits continuation.
    Keywords: current population survey, non-response, survey refusal, citizenship status, immigration, Regression Discontinuity, panel data
    JEL: C23 C83 J15
    Date: 2020–06
  5. By: Neha Hui (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Uma Kambhampati (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: Abolition of slavery in British Colonies led to the facilitation of Indian indentured migration by the British Government. This form of migration came about when the discourse of economic freedom and individual liberty strongly resonated in British political-economy circles, following the work of Smith and Mill. We analyse how unfreedom in indentured labour was rationalised when the rhetoric of freedom was essential to the dominant intellectual milieu. We argue that indentured labour was a compromise between slavery and free labour because it facilitated free trade and some freedom of movement but was harder to justify in terms of individual liberty.
    Keywords: Classical political economy, Economic freedom, Individual liberty, Indentured labour, Slavery, Migration, Adam Smith, JS Mill
    JEL: B12 B13 J61 J70 N43 N36
    Date: 2020–06–17
  6. By: Cristina Mitaritonna; Lionel Ragot
    Abstract: The covid-19 crisis and the ensuing closure of borders has profoundly affected the mobility of migrant seasonal workers. As some European agricultural sectors highly depend on these workers, governments in EU countries have urgently adopted different strategies to avoid disruptions due to their absence. Alternatives seeking to cope without this experienced foreign seasonal labour force, pose two difficulties: their effectiveness is not guaranteed and/or they are accompanied by a significant increase in production costs and therefore in prices. As this large-scale temporary shock may lead to longer-term structural changes in the agricultural sectors concerned, we draw on the UK’s post-Brexit vote experience to discuss alternatives to foreign migrant seasonal workers. The covid-19 pandemic may well accelerate the adoption of robots for picking fruits and vegetables in the EU fields.
    Keywords: Migrant Seasonal Workers;Agriculture;Covid-19;Labour Shortage
    JEL: F22 J20 Q10
    Date: 2020–06
  7. By: Borjas, George J. (Harvard University); Cassidy, Hugh (Kansas State University)
    Abstract: Employment rates in the United States fell dramatically between February 2020 and April 2020 as the initial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic reverberated through the labor market. This paper uses data from the CPS Basic Monthly Files to document that the employment decline was particularly severe for immigrants. Historically, immigrant men were more likely to be employed than native men. The COVID-related labor market disruptions eliminated the immigrant employment advantage. By April 2020, immigrant men had lower employment rates than native men. The reversal occurred both because the rate of job loss for at-work immigrant men rose relative to that of natives, and because the rate at which out-of-work immigrants could find jobs fell relative to the native job-finding rate. A small part of the relative increase in the immigrant rate of job loss arises because immigrants were less likely to work in jobs that could be performed remotely and suffered disparate employment consequences as the lockdown permitted workers with more "remotable" skills to continue their work from home.
    Keywords: immigration, labor supply, COVID-19
    JEL: J21 J61
    Date: 2020–05
  8. By: Bellés-Obrero, Cristina; Martin Bassols, Nicolau; Vall Castello, Judit
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of immigration on workplace safety, a new and previously unexplored outcome in the literature. We use a novel administrative dataset of the universe of workplace accidents reported in Spain from 2003 to 2015 and follow an IV strategy based on the distribution of early migrants settlements across provinces. Our results show that the massive inflow of immigrants between 2003 and 2009 reduced the number of workplace accidents by 10,980 for native workers (7% of the overall reduction during that period). This is driven by Spanish-born workers shifting away from manual occupations to those involving more interpersonal interactions. Immigrant flows during the economic crisis (2010-2015) had no impact on natives’ workplace safety. The scarcity of jobs during that period could have prevented shifts between occupations. Finally, we find no effects of immigration on the workplace safety of immigrants. These results add a previously unexplored dimension to the immigration debate that should be taken into account when evaluating the costs and benefits of migration flows.
    Keywords: Immigration,Workplace Accidents,Safety at Work
    JEL: J61 J28 I1
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Francesco Campo (University of Milano Bicocca); Mariapia Mendola (University of Milano Bicocca, IZA, LdA and CefES); Andrea Morrison (ICRIOS-Bocconi University and Utrecht University); Gianmarco Ottaviano (Bocconi University, BAFFI-CAREFIN, IGIER, CEP, CEPR and IZA)
    Abstract: A possible unintended but damaging consequence of anti-immigrant rhetoric, and the policies it inspires, is that they may put high-skilled immigrants off more than low-skilled ones at times when countries and businesses intensify their competition for global talent. We investigate this argument following the location choices of thousands of immigrant inventors across US counties during the Age of Mass Migration. To do so we combine a unique USPTO historical patent dataset with Census data and exploit exogenous variation in both immigration flows and diversity induced by former settlements, WWI and the 1920s Immigration Acts. We find that coethnic networks play an important role in attracting immigrant inventors. However, we also find that immigrant diversity acts as an additional significant pull factor. This is mainly due to externalities that foster immigrant inventors’ innovativeness. These findings are relevant for today’s advanced economies that have become major receivers of migrant flows and,in a long-term perspective,have started thinking about immigration in terms of not only level but also composition.
  10. By: Anelli, Massimo (Bocconi University); Basso, Gaetano (University of California, Davis); Ippedico, Giuseppe (University of California, Davis); Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: Emigration of young, motivated individuals may deprive countries-of-origin of entrepreneurs. We isolate exogenous variation in a large emigration wave from Italy between 2008 and 2015 by interacting diaspora networks with economic pull factors in destination countries, and find that larger emigration rates reduced firm creation and innovative start-ups. We estimate that for every 100 emigrants, 26 fewer firms were created. An accounting exercise shows that 37 percent of the effect was due to the disproportionate loss of young people. The remaining effect was due to selection into emigration of highly entrepreneurial individuals, as well as negative spillovers on firm creation.
    Keywords: emigration, demography, brain drain, entrepreneurship, innovation, EU integration
    JEL: J61 H7 O3 M13
    Date: 2020–06
  11. By: Leonardo Bursztyn; Ingar K. Haaland; Aakaash Rao; Christopher P. Roth
    Abstract: We study the use of excuses to justify socially stigmatized actions, such as opposing minority groups. Rationales to oppose minorities change some people’s private opinions, leading them to take anti-minority actions even if they are not prejudiced against minorities. When these rationales become common knowledge, prejudiced people who are not persuaded by the rationale can pool with unprejudiced people who are persuaded. This decreases the stigma associated with anti-minority expression, increasing public opposition to minority groups. We examine this mechanism through several large-scale experiments in the context of anti-immigrant behavior in the United States. In the first main experiment, participants learn about a study claiming that immigrants increase crime rates and then choose whether to authorize a publicly observable donation to an anti-immigrant organization. Informing participants that others will know that they learned about the study substantially increases donation rates. In the second main experiment, participants learn that a previous respondent authorized a donation to an anti-immigrant organization and then make an inference about the respondent’s motivations. Participants who are informed that the respondent learned about the study prior to authorizing the donation see the respondent as less intolerant and more easily persuadable.
    JEL: C90 D03 D72 D83 P16 Z10
    Date: 2020–05
  12. 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 odelling 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
  13. By: Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Tabellini, Marco (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: We test the relationship between historical immigration to the United States and political ideology today. We hypothesize that European immigrants brought with them their preferences for the welfare state, and that this had a long-lasting effect on the political ideology of US born individuals. Our analysis proceeds in three steps. First, we document that the historical presence of European immigrants is associated with a more liberal political ideology and with stronger preferences for redistribution among US born individuals today. Next, we show that this correlation is not driven by the characteristics of the counties where immigrants settled or other specific, socioeconomic immigrants' traits. Finally, we conjecture and provide evidence that immigrants brought with them their preferences for the welfare state from their countries of origin. Consistent with the hypothesis that immigration left its footprint on American ideology via cultural transmission from immigrants to natives, we show that our results are stronger when inter-group contact between natives and immigrants, measured with either intermarriage or residential integration, was higher. Our findings also indicate that immigrants influenced American political ideology during one of the largest episodes of redistribution in US history — the New Deal — and that such effects persisted after the initial shock.
    Keywords: immigration, culture, political ideology, preferences for redistribution
    JEL: D64 D72 H2 J15 N32 Z1
    Date: 2020–05
  14. By: Guven, Cahit (Deakin University); Tong, Lan Anh (Foreign Trade University Vietnam); Yuksel, Mutlu (Dalhousie University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the efficacy of Australian points system in a family context among working-age permanent resident immigrants who arrived between 2000 and 2011 when there was a major focus on skills selection. 67% of these immigrants were granted a skilled visa while 25% hold a spousal visa (spouses of Australian citizens). More than half of the skilled visa recipients are the spouses of the primary applicants. Primary applicants among skilled visa holders are assessed for their skills in line with Australian points system but secondary applicants, such as spouses, among skilled visa holders and spousal visa holders are not subject to any skills assessment before becoming permanent residents. We study differences in economic outcomes by permanent visa types and the role of points system factors in explaining these differences using Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset and Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset. We find that primary skilled visa holders earn at least 26-28 percent higher than spousal visa holders and this is similar for both genders. However, spouses of primary skilled visa holders earn 13-18 percent higher than spousal visa holders. This difference is higher among females than males. Occupation differences can account for nearly half of the differences in income and can entirely capture the role of education and English proficiency. Primary skilled immigrants and their spouses have higher rates of labour force participation and employment than spousal visa holders starting in the first year of arrival and the gap is much higher for primary skilled visa holders but these differences do not disappear quickly.
    Keywords: points system, immigration, administrative data, Australia
    JEL: J12 J13 J24 J31 J61 J62
    Date: 2020–06
  15. By: Majlinda Joxhe (Department of Economics and Management, Université du Luxembourg); Pasquale Scaramozzino (University of Rome Tor Vergata & SOAS University of London); Skerdilajda Zanaj (Department of Economics and Management, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore the fiscal impact of immigrants in Europe applying a quantile regression approach to data from the European Survey on Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for the period 2007-2015. Our estimations show that not only on average but also in almost all income quantiles, the fiscal position of both European and non-European migrants is not significantly different from that of native citizens. Furthermore, non-EU migrants are net contributors as compared to the corresponding native citizens in the Netherlands and Belgium for various quantiles. Lastly, we examine the link between migrants’ fiscal position and the fiscal perception of native European citizens measured using ESS data. We find a conflicting relationship: countries where migrants are perceived negatively are instead countries where they are net fiscal contributors and vice versa
    Keywords: fiscal impact, immigration, quantile regression, European countries.
    JEL: H53 I30 F22
    Date: 2020
  16. By: Lodefalk, Magnus (Örebro University); Sjöholm, Fredrik (Department of Economics, Lund University); Tang, Aili (Örebro University)
    Abstract: We examine if international trade improves labor market integration of immigrants in Sweden. Immigrants participate substantially less than natives in the labor market. However, trading with a foreign country is expected to increase the demand for immigrants from that country. By hiring immigrants, a firm may access foreign knowledge and networks needed to overcome information frictions in trade. Using granular longitudinal matched employer–employee data and an instrumental variable approach, we estimate the causal effects of a firm’s bilateral trade on employment and wages of immigrants from that country. We find a positive, yet heterogeneous, effect of trade on immigrant employment but no effect on immigrant wages.
    Keywords: Export; Import; Immigrants; Employment; Wages
    JEL: F16 F22 J21 J31 J61
    Date: 2020–06–11
  17. By: Yongheng Deng; Yang Tang; Ping Wang; Jing Wu
    Abstract: Housing and land prices in China have experienced dramatic hikes over the past decade or two. Moreover, housing and land prices have also become more dispersed across Chinese cities. This paper intends to explore how housing and land market frictions may affect not only the aggregate but also the spatial distribution of housing and land prices and hence the extent of spatial misallocation. We first document the spatial variations of housing and land market frictions. In particular, larger tier-1 cities receive less housing and land subsidies, compared to tier-2 and tier-3 cities, whereas land frictions have been mitigated over time. We then embed both types of market frictions into a dynamic competitive spatial equilibrium framework featured with endogenous rural-urban migration. The calibrated model can reasonably mimic the price hikes in the data. Our counterfactual analysis reveals that, in a frictionless economy, the levels of housing and land prices would both be higher; while the housing price hike would slow down, the land price would grow more rapidly. Moreover, the housing price would not be slow down unless housing frictions can be largely mitigated.
    JEL: E20 R20
    Date: 2020–05
  18. By: Pedroza, Luicy
    Abstract: This piece is both an exercise in critical conceptual landscaping in the field of Migration Studies and the proposal of an analytical framework that can correct some of its most serious biases. The framework I propose allows the observing of migration policies as if they constituted a comprehensive policy field. This will permit comparisons across the whole spectrum of migration policies on a rigorous basis, and for all countries and regions. I identify two constitutive sides to the proposed framework, each dealing with how state-like polities regulate the mobility of incoming or outgoing persons. I further suggest that it include regulations on the rights of individuals to pass through three stages of any international migration journey: the right to enter/exit; the rights as immigrant residents/emigrant non-residents; and, the rights to citizenship and nationality. This comprehensive framework for studying migration policy promises advances for empirical agendas, but also for connecting them to normative ones rooted in global justice and democratic concerns.
    Keywords: migration,policy,emigration,diaspora,integration,citizenship,coherence
    Date: 2020
  19. By: Malakhov, Vladimir (Малахов, Владимир) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Simon, Mark (Симон, Марк) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Motin, Alexander (Мотин, Александр) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Letnyakov, Denis (Летняков, Денис) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Kascian, Kirill (Касцян, Кирилл) (Center for the Study of Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity (Prague)); Novikov, Kirill (Новиков, Кирилл) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: International migration is so diverse, complex and controversial that the development of a coherent approach to its regulation is perhaps one of the most difficult problems in the emerging system of international governance. First of all, there is a conflict between migration policy and international law. Migration policy is considered the prerogative of nation-states, and the latter are guided by the imperatives of "national egoism." At the same time, the laws of national states enshrined the obligations to protect human rights formulated in international law. For all the severity of this collision, it cannot be argued that it is absolutely insoluble. Its solution (which each time occurs ad hoc) consists in balancing between pragmatic egoism and moral imperatives. A typical example of such ad hoc balancing is the decision of Angela Merkel to cancel the Dublin Agreement in September 2015. A number of observers argued that humanitarian rhetoric at the time of the decision to simultaneously allow an unprecedented number of refugees into the country was nothing more than a cover for a perfectly rational calculation. The political and legal dimension of the problem also lies in the opposition of two attitudes regarding the optimal immigration policy: “open”, “liberal”, on the one hand, and “closed”, “illiberal”, on the other. The personification of these two poles is the dispute between Angela Merkel and Victor Orban.
    Keywords: international migration, international law, global governance, national interest, international institutions, russian migration policy
    Date: 2020–03
  20. By: Georgy Egorov; Ruben Enikolopov; Alexey Makarin; Maria Petrova
    Abstract: Voluntary social distancing plays a vital role in containing the spread of the disease during a pandemic. As a public good, it should be more commonplace in more homogeneous and altruistic societies. However, for healthy people, observing social distancing has private benefits, too. If sick individuals are more likely to stay home, healthy ones have fewer incentives to do so, especially if the asymptomatic transmission is perceived to be unlikely. Theoretically, we show that this interplay may lead to a stricter observance of social distancing in more diverse and less altruistic societies. Empirically, we find that, consistent with the model, the reduction in mobility following the first local case of COVID-19 was stronger in Russian cities with higher ethnic fractionalization and cities with higher levels of xenophobia. For identification, we predict the timing of the first case using pre-existing patterns of internal migration to Moscow. Using SafeGraph data on mobility patterns, we confirm that mobility reduction in the United States was also higher in counties with higher ethnic fractionalization. Our findings highlight the importance of strategic incentives of different population groups for the effectiveness of public policy.
    JEL: D64 D74 I12
    Date: 2020–05

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