nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒07‒27
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Why are Low-Skilled Workers less Mobile ? The role of Mobility Costs and Spatial Frictions By Benoît SCHMUTZ; Modibo SIDIBÉ; Élie VIDAL-NAQUET
  2. How Much are the Poor Losing from Tax Competition: The Welfare Effects of Fiscal Dumping in Europe By Mathilde Munoz
  3. Leaving the Enclave: Historical Evidence on Immigrant Mobility from the Industrial Removal Office By Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Dylan Connor
  4. Do Politicians Shape the Electorate ? Evidence from French Municipalities By Benoît SCHMUTZ; Grégory VERDUGO
  5. Racial Heterogeneity and Local Government Finances: Evidence from the Great Migration By Tabellini, Marco
  6. Do European Top Earners React to Labour Taxation Through Migration ? By Mathilde Munoz
  7. Between Fear Mongers and Samaritans: Does Information Provision Affect Attitudes towards the Right of Asylum in Germany? By Bernd Hayo; Florian Neumeier
  8. Long and short-distance internal migration motivations in post-apartheid Namibia: a gravity model approach By Eldridge Moses
  9. The role of demographics and migration for the future of economic growth in China By Juan Carlos Conesa; Yan Wang
  10. International student mobility decision-making in a European context By Dubow, Talitha; Marchand, Katrin; Siegel, Melissa
  11. A necessary complement to human rights: a human security perspective on migration to Europe By Bilgic, A.; Gasper, D.R.; Wilcock, C.A.
  12. Covid-19 Crisis Fuels Hostility against Foreigners By Vojtech Bartos; Michal Bauer; Jana Cahlikova; Julie Chytilová

  1. By: Benoît SCHMUTZ (Ecole Polytechnique and CREST, France); Modibo SIDIBÉ (Duke University, USA); Élie VIDAL-NAQUET (Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France)
    Abstract: Workers’ propensity to migrate to another local labor market varies a lot by occupation. We use the model developed by Schmutz and Sidibé (2019) to quantify the impact of mobility costs and search frictions on this mobility gap. We estimate the model on a matched employer-employee panel dataset describing labor market transitions within and between the 30 largest French cities for two groups at both ends of the occupational spectrum and find that: (i)mobility costs are very comparable in the two groups, so they are three times higher for blue-collar workers relative to their respective expected income; (ii)Depending on employment status, spatial frictions are between 1.5 and 3.5 times higher for blue-collar workers; (iii)Moving subsidies have little (and possibly negative) impact on the mobility gap, contrary to policies targeting spatial frictions.
    Keywords: mobility costs, spatial frictions, migration, local labor markets, occupation.
    JEL: J61 J64 R12 R23
    Date: 2020–06–15
  2. By: Mathilde Munoz (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, WIL - World Inequality Lab)
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the welfare effects of tax competition in an union where individuals can respond to taxation through migration. I derive the optimal linear and non-linear tax and transfer schedules in a free mobility union composed by symmetric countries that can either compete or set a federal tax rate. I show how in the competition union, the mobility-responses to taxation affect the redistributive capacity of governments through several mechanisms. I then use empirical earnings' distribution and estimated migration elasticities to implement numerical calibrations and simulations. I use my formulas to quantify the welfare gains and losses of being in a tax competition union instead of a federal union, and show how these welfare effects vary along the earnings distribution. I show that the bottom fifty percent always loses from tax competition, and that being in a competition union rather than in a federal union could decrease poorer individuals welfare up to -20 percent.
    Keywords: Tax Competition,Fiscal Dumping,Europe,taxation rate,migration,migration elasticities,international taxation
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Dylan Connor
    Abstract: We study a program that funded 39,000 Jewish households in New York City to leave enclave neighborhoods circa 1910. Compared to their neighbors with the same occupation and income score at baseline, program participants earned 4 percent more ten years after removal, and these gains persisted to the next generation. Men who left enclaves also married spouses with less Jewish names, but they did not choose less Jewish names for their children. Gains were largest for men who spent more years outside of an enclave. Our results suggest that leaving ethnic neighborhoods could facilitate economic advancement and assimilation into the broader society, but might make it more difficult to retain cultural identity.
    JEL: J15 N12 R23
    Date: 2020–06
  4. By: Benoît SCHMUTZ (Ecole Polytechnique and CREST); Grégory VERDUGO (Université Paris-Saclay)
    Abstract: When elections are local and voters are mobile, politicians may be tempted to implement policies that attract inhabitants more likely to vote for them while prompting their opponents to leave. We test this hypothesis using data from French municipalities that, in recent decades, received large in ows of immigrants, who tend to vote for the left once naturalized, while immigrant-hostile voters lean to the right. Based on quasi-experimental evidence from thirty years of close elections, we show that six years after close elections, municipalities where a left-wing mayor was elected are characterized by a 2.4 p.p. higher share of immigrants and a 1.4 p.p. lower share of retired natives than the corresponding shares in municipalities where a right-wing mayor was elected. These effects are driven by peripheral municipalities that make up a small share of the population in their metropolitan areas and can therefore benefit from substantial population reshuffling. The evidence suggests that mayors use the large stock of municipal public housing over which they have allocative authority to favor or discriminate against immigrants. These strategies are electorally rewarding as we find a higher probability of reelection for the same party in municipalities in which these demographic changes are the most pronounced. We also find evidence that these demographic changes are associated with the surge of the far-right in local elections in the 1980s.
    Keywords: Immigration, Public Housing, Local Elections, Incumbent Effect.
    Date: 2020–07–02
  5. By: Tabellini, Marco
    Abstract: Between 1915 and 1930, during the First Great Migration, more than 1.5 million African Americans migrated from the South to the North of the United States, altering the racial profile of several northern cities for the first time in American history. I exploit this episode to study how an increase in racial heterogeneity affects the provision of public goods and city finances. I predict black in-migration by interacting 1900 settlements of southern born blacks across northern cities with variation in outmigration from the South after 1910. I find that black inflows had a strong, negative impact on both public spending and tax revenues in northern cities. The decline in tax revenues was not due to cities' decision to cut tax rates, but was entirely driven by a reduction in property values. These findings suggest that the housing market response to black arrivals imposed a negative fiscal externality to receiving cities that, unable or unwilling to raise taxes, were forced to cut spending. Consistent with this interpretation, cities did not change the allocation of spending across categories, while the negative effects of black in-migration were smaller when controlling for the (predicted) white outflows triggered by black arrivals.
    JEL: H41 J15 N32
    Date: 2020–01
  6. By: Mathilde Munoz (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, WIL - World Inequality Lab)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of top earnings tax rates on the mobility of top ten percent employees within Europe. I use a novel detailed micro-level dataset on mobility built from the largest European survey (EU-LFS), representative of the entire population of 21 European countries. My estimation strategy exploits the differential effects of changes in top income tax rates on individuals of different propensities to be treated by these changes. I find that top ten percent workers' location choices are significantly affected by top income tax rates. I estimate a rather low but significant elasticity of the number of top earners with respect to net-of-tax rate that is between 0.1 and 0.3. The mobility response to taxes is especially strong for foreigners, with an estimated elasticity of the number of foreign top earners with respect to net-of-tax rate that is above one. Turning to tax policy implications, I uncover large heterogeneities within Europe, that translate into large differences in incentives to implement beggar-thy-neighbour policies across member states. These findings suggest that despite the overall moderate estimated mobility elasticity, tax competition entails substantial welfare costs.
    Keywords: Tax Competition,international taxation,migration elasticities,taxation rate,migration,Europe,Top Incomes,Labour Taxation,Migration
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Bernd Hayo (University of Marburg); Florian Neumeier (ifo Institute Munich)
    Abstract: We utilise information experiments embedded in a representative population survey to elicit the German public’s attitude towards the right of asylum. We randomly assign the interviewees to different groups and ‘treat’ each group with different information about the asylum-seekers that came to Germany in 2015 and 2016. The treatments involve information about (i) the total number of asylum-seekers, (ii) the fiscal costs as well as (iii) the potential long-term economic benefits associated with accepting refugees, (iv) the share of Muslim asylum-seekers, and (v) the share of war refugees. We find that providing information about the fiscal costs associated with accepting refugees, and about the share of Muslim refugees, significantly increases the likelihood of opposing the right of asylum by roughly 5 and 7 percentage points, respectively. These effects are more pronounced for middle-income earners and respondents with a low level of education. Deviations of people’s beliefs from the actual numbers provided by the treatments can affect their attitudes: respondents who underestimated the share of Muslim refugees are 18 percentage points more likely to call for abolishing the right of asylum when informed about the actual share.
    Keywords: Refugee crisis; right of asylum; immigration; perception bias; survey experiment; Germany.
    JEL: C9 J15 K37 Z13
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Eldridge Moses (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: The paper estimates a gravity model to analyse migration in contemporary Namibia, with the specific aim of understanding differences in long and short-distance migration. The sample is restricted to migrants moving in 2010 and 2011, who are between the ages of 20 and 49 years. Given Namibia’s history of apartheid-era segregation, the sample is later restricted to African-language speaking migrants to determine whether the distances traveled to satisfy information and finance-constrained needs differ from that of the full population. A zero-inflated negative binomial model is applied to estimate the effects of constituency-level economic indicators, labour market conditions, agricultural activity, and built amenities on migration flows. Regression analysis shows that analyzing internal migration flows in Namibia without accounting for distance-related differences in migrant motivations may produce misleading results. Disaggregation of migration flows by distance reveals that for both the entire population and the restricted African-language speaking sample, constituency differences in amenity quality are significant predictors of intermediate-distance migration volumes. Per capita income differences in favour of the receiving constituency increase long-distance migration volumes. For all distances, previous migration in the sending constituency is a strong positive predictor of migration volumes.
    Keywords: internal migration, urbanisation, Namibia, gravity model
    JEL: J61 R23
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Juan Carlos Conesa; Yan Wang
    Abstract: China's real GDP has been growing by almost 10 percent a year for the last three decades. For how long should we expect this spectacularly high growth to continue? We evaluate in a quantitative two sector model with segmented labor markets and nancial frictions the prospects for China's future growth under different policy scenarios. In our model the high growth rate observed in China since the early 1990s is fueled by the large increase in urban labor supply, because of rural-urban migration, and the emergence of private enterprises that absorb those migrant workers. Our simulations suggest that the rapid aging of its population will signicantly decelerate urban labor force and economic growth starting around 2040. In a counterfactual exercise we show that substantial relaxation of labor market segmentation and nancial constraints faced by private enterprises cannot compensate for that deceleration.
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Dubow, Talitha (Maastricht University, UNU-MERIT); Marchand, Katrin (Maastricht University, UNU-MERIT); Siegel, Melissa (Maastricht University, UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to existing theoretical and empirical understandings of international student mobility (ISM) decision-making. Drawing on interview and focus group data from 115 current and former 'student migrants' in the EU (from both EU and non-EU countries of origin), it provides an in-depth, international comparative analysis of ISM decision-making. It addresses three questions: 1) What motivates the decision to study abroad in the EU, and how do these motivations vary across different countries of origin?; 2) How does the decision to study abroad relate to the student's initial aspirations (i.e. formed prior to starting their foreign study programme) regarding their post-study (im)mobility?; and 3) How are post-study (im)mobility aspirations (re)shaped over the course of the student's foreign study programme? The relevance of existing theorisations of ISM decision-making is tested in relation to student inflows from different countries of origin. The results highlight the ways in which individual decisions to study abroad do not necessarily align with a single decision-making model but are rather often determined by multiple and interacting considerations. The findings further existing knowledge on: 1) the ways in which international student decision-making relate to the social, cultural, economic and political environments in which these decisions are made; and 2) how international student decision-making relates to the student's broader and evolving life aspirations.
    Keywords: Higher education, migrant, decision-making, student mobility, mobility, European Union
    JEL: F22 I23 J15 J24 J61 O15
    Date: 2020–07–07
  11. By: Bilgic, A.; Gasper, D.R.; Wilcock, C.A.
    Abstract: Today many European citizens and many migrants into Europe live under fear and anxiety. Existing political structures dichotomize the two sets of insecurities and so contribute to perpetuate them. The insecurity of citizens is seen as attainable independent of and despite the insecurity of migrants, rather than as part of a common (shared) human security. In response, this essay presents ideas from human security analysis, as a partner, complement and extension of human rights thinking in relation to migration. It is argued that such an analysis, with concrete practical options, can contribute to the creation of structures through which interdependency of EU citizens’ security and that of migrants is recognised and upheld. Section 2 outlines the migration crisis that has been felt in Europe and some reasons behind it. Section 3 considers the responses of securitization of migration and militarization at the EU’s southern borders, and of supplementary humanitarianism. We analyse why the EU migration policy system, conceived outside of a conception of common human security, produces negative feedback and is counterproductive. In Section 4 we argue in general terms why human security analysis is a required partner to human rights thinking and practice. Section 5 then concretely suggests how a human security perspective could help to frame, balance and extend human rights analysis and contribute in migration policy and practice. These suggestions include generating legal channels for migration, addressing the conceptual confusions revolving around migration through introducing a more comprehensive concept of ‘protection-seeker’, developing a European-wide regularisation mechanism, using human security as a meta-legal figure in migration cases, and developing a perspective that combines human rights criteria with enlightened self-interest. Finally, Section 6 discusses the partial reflection of such a perspective in the 2018 Global Compact on Migration.
    Keywords: human security, human rights, migration, securitization, European Union, Global Compact on Migration
    Date: 2020–06–30
  12. By: Vojtech Bartos; Michal Bauer; Jana Cahlikova; Julie Chytilová
    Abstract: Aggressive behavior against out-group members often rises during periods of economic hardship and health pandemics. Here we test the widespread concern that the Covid-19 crisis may fuel hostility against people from other nations or ethnic minorities. Using a controlled money-burning task, we elicited hostile behavior among a nationally representative sample (n=2,186) in the Czech Republic, at a time when the entire population was under lockdown. We provide causal evidence that exogenously elevating salience of Covid-related thoughts magnifies hostility against foreigners – people living in the EU, the USA and especially Asia. This behavioral response is large in magnitude and holds across various demographic sub-groups. At the same time, we find virtually no effects on behavior towards domestic out-groups, including minorities and migrants. The results underscore the importance of not inflaming anti-foreigner sentiments and suggest that efforts to restore international trade and cooperation will need to address both social and economic damage.
    Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, scapegoating, hostility, inter-group conflict, discrimination, experiment
    JEL: C90 D01 D63 D91 J15
    Date: 2020

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