nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒08‒31
twenty papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Leveraging the Power of Place: A Data-Driven Decision Helper to Improve the Location Decisions of Economic Immigrants By Jeremy Ferwerda; Nicholas Adams-Cohen; Kirk Bansak; Jennifer Fei; Duncan Lawrence; Jeremy M. Weinstein; Jens Hainmueller
  2. Immigration Policy and Immigrants’ Sleep. Evidence from DACA By Giuntella, Osea; Lonsky, Jakub; Mazzona, Fabrizio; Stella, Luca
  3. Labor Market Concerns and Support for Immigration By Ingar K. Haaland; Christopher Roth
  4. Occupational income scores and immigrant assimilation. Evidence from the Canadian census By Inwood, Kris; Minns, Chris; Summerfield, Fraser
  5. Identifying Opportunities to Improve the Network of Immigration Legal Services Providers By Vasil Yasenov; David Hausman; Michael Hotard; Duncan Lawrence; Alexandra Siegel; Jessica S. Wolff; David D. Laitin; Jens Hainmueller
  6. Academic Convergence and Migration: the effect of the BolognaProcess on European Mobility. By Rémi Odry
  7. THE SPILLOVER OF ANTI-IMMIGRATION POLITICS TO THE SCHOOLYARD By Emanuele Bracco; Maria De Paola; Colin Green; Vincenzo Scoppa
  8. Trick or treat? The Brexit effect on immigrants’ wellbeing in the UK By Rienzo, Cinzia
  9. Medical Worker Migration and Origin-Country Human Capital: Evidence from U.S. Visa Policy By Abarcar, Paolo; Theoharides, Caroline
  10. How do new immigration flows affect existing immigrants? Evidence from the refugee crisis in Germany By Deole, Sumit; Huang, Yue
  11. Is there a Refugee Gap? Evidence from Over a Century of Danish Naturalizations By Nina Boberg-Fazlic; Paul Sharp
  12. Social Remittances By Tuccio, Michele; Wahba, Jackline
  13. Brexit, collective uncertainty and migration decisions By Auer, Daniel; Tetlow, Daniel
  14. The labour market for native and international PhD students: similarities, differences, and the role of (university) employers By Tani, Massimiliano
  15. The aggregate productivity effects of internal migration: evidence from Indonesia By Bryan, Gharad; Morten, Melanie
  16. Migration and Inequalities around the Mediterranean Sea By Björn Nilsson; Racha Ramadan
  17. The Asymmetric Unemployment Response of Natives and Foreigners to Migration Shocks By Nicolo Maffei Faccioli; Eugenia Vella
  18. Does corporate social responsibility initiative restrain young people from irregular migration in sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence from Nigeria’s oil producing communities By Joseph I. Uduji; Elda N. Okolo-Obasi
  19. Unemployment of Unskilled Labor due to COVID-19 led Restriction on Migration and Trade By Mandal, Biswajit; Chaudhuri, Saswati; Prasad, Alaka Shree
  20. Impact of Natural Disasters on the Income Distribution By Regina Pleninger

  1. By: Jeremy Ferwerda; Nicholas Adams-Cohen; Kirk Bansak; Jennifer Fei; Duncan Lawrence; Jeremy M. Weinstein; Jens Hainmueller
    Abstract: A growing number of countries have established programs to attract immigrants who can contribute to their economy. Research suggests that an immigrant's initial arrival location plays a key role in shaping their economic success. Yet immigrants currently lack access to personalized information that would help them identify optimal destinations. Instead, they often rely on availability heuristics, which can lead to the selection of sub-optimal landing locations, lower earnings, elevated outmigration rates, and concentration in the most well-known locations. To address this issue and counteract the effects of cognitive biases and limited information, we propose a data-driven decision helper that draws on behavioral insights, administrative data, and machine learning methods to inform immigrants' location decisions. The decision helper provides personalized location recommendations that reflect immigrants' preferences as well as data-driven predictions of the locations where they maximize their expected earnings given their profile. We illustrate the potential impact of our approach using backtests conducted with administrative data that links landing data of recent economic immigrants from Canada's Express Entry system with their earnings retrieved from tax records. Simulations across various scenarios suggest that providing location recommendations to incoming economic immigrants can increase their initial earnings and lead to a mild shift away from the most populous landing destinations. Our approach can be implemented within existing institutional structures at minimal cost, and offers governments an opportunity to harness their administrative data to improve outcomes for economic immigrants.
    Date: 2020–07
  2. By: Giuntella, Osea; Lonsky, Jakub; Mazzona, Fabrizio; Stella, Luca
    Abstract: Stress is associated with sleep problems. And poor sleep is linked with mental health and depression symptoms. The stress associated with immigrant status and immigration policy can directly affect mental health. While previous studies have documented a significant relationship between immigration policy and the physical and mental health of immigrants, we know little about the effects that immigration policy may have on immigrants’ sleep patterns. Exploiting the approval of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012, we study how immigrants’ sleep behavior responds to a change in immigration policy. Consistent with previous research documenting positive effects of DACA on mental health, we find evidence of a significant improvement in immigrants’ sleep in response to this policy change. However, the estimated effects of the policy quickly disappear since 2016. While temporary authorization programs, such as DACA, may have beneficial impacts on immigrants’ sleep in the short-term, the effects of temporary programs can be rapidly undermined by the uncertainty on their future. Thus, permanent legalization programs may be more effective in achieving long-term effects, eliminating any uncertainty related to the undocumented immigrant legal status.
    Keywords: Immigration,Sleep,Mental health,DACA
    JEL: J15 I10
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Ingar K. Haaland; Christopher Roth
    Abstract: Do labor market concerns affect support for immigration? Using a large, representative sample of the US population, we first elicit beliefs about the labor market impact of immigration. To generate exogenous variation in beliefs, we then provide respondents in the treatment group with research evidence showing no adverse labor market impacts of immigration. Treated respondents update their beliefs and become more supportive of immigration, as measured by self-reported policy views and petition signatures. Treatment effects also persist in an obfuscated follow-up study. Our results demonstrate that information about the labor market impact of immigration causally affects support for immigration.
    Keywords: labor market concerns, support for immigration, political behavior
    JEL: C91 D83 F22 J15
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Inwood, Kris; Minns, Chris; Summerfield, Fraser
    Abstract: Little evidence is available to assess the effect of substituting occupation-based income scores for individual incomes before 1940. The example of immigrant assimilation in Canada 1911–31 reveals differences in the extent and even the direction of assimilation depending on whether income scores are used and how the occupational income score is constructed. Given the increasingly wide use of income scores, we summarize a number of procedures to address the limitations associated with the absence of individual level income variation. An adjustment of conventional income scores for either group earnings differences and/or intertemporal change using summary information for broad groups of occupations reduces the deviation between scores and actual incomes.
    Keywords: Canada; immigrant assimilation; income scores; occupations
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2019–04–01
  5. By: Vasil Yasenov; David Hausman; Michael Hotard; Duncan Lawrence; Alexandra Siegel; Jessica S. Wolff; David D. Laitin; Jens Hainmueller
    Abstract: Immigration legal services providers (ISPs) are a principal source of support for low-income immigrants seeking immigration benefits. Yet there is scant quantitative evidence on the prevalence and geographic distribution of ISPs in the United States. To fill this gap, we construct a comprehensive, nationwide database of 2,138 geocoded ISP offices that offer low- or no-cost legal services to low-income immigrants. We use spatial optimization methods to analyze the geographic network of ISPs and measure ISPs' proximity to the low-income immigrant population. Because both ISPs and immigrants are highly concentrated in major urban areas, most low-income immigrants live close to an ISP. However, we also find a sizable fraction of low-income immigrants in underserved areas, which are primarily in midsize cities in the South. This reflects both a general skew in non-governmental organization service provision and the more recent arrival of immigrants in these largely Southern destinations. Finally, our optimization analysis suggests significant gains from placing new ISPs in underserved areas to maximize the number of low-income immigrants who live near an ISP. Overall, our results provide vital information to immigrants, funders, and policymakers about the current state of the ISP network and opportunities to improve it.
    Date: 2020–08
  6. By: Rémi Odry
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of the Bologna Process on migration inflows within European countries between 2004 and 2017. To this aim, we rely on a large panel of bilateral flows between most of the European countries, and use several estimators. Our results show that the Bologna Process has a limited, when significant, impact on migration in Europe. Its effect is mostly visible in destination countries but is extremely weak when we focus on the implementation in origin countries. When detected, the effect of the Bologna Process is growing following its implementation. In contrast, Diasporas are important in explaining flows between countries. We also find that traditional variables such as common language and distance may not be as relevant as before in studying intra-European flows. Finally, we notice an unexpected negative effect of the adoption of the Euro.
    Keywords: Bologna Process; Migration; Education; Gravity Model.
    JEL: I23 J15 C33 J18
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Emanuele Bracco (University of Verona and Lancaster University); Maria De Paola (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria); Colin Green (University of Science and Technology, Norway); Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: There has been a resurgence in right wing and populist politics in recent years. A common element is a focus on immigration, an increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric, and the vilification of minorities. This in turn has the potential to lead to increases in societal hostility towards immigrants. Children are likely to find themselves at the frontline of this phenomenon. This paper uses census data on two cohorts of 5th grade Italian students to estimate the causal effect of anti-immigration politics on school bullying. We use variations in the timing of municipal elections in Italy and focus on the effect of Lega Nord, a far-right party, with a strong anti-immigration platform. We demonstrate that in municipalities where elections occur and Lega Nord is highly active, the victimisation of immigrant school children increases. These effects are large, while they are absent for municipalities in which Lega Nord has little support, where no elections occurred and for native children. These findings are robust to different definitions of bullying outcomes or different definitions of Lega Nord presence. Our results suggest important negative spillovers from the political sphere to the welfare of children that are likely to be consequential.
    Keywords: Bullying, Bullying Victimisation, School, Immigration, Politics, Elections
    JEL: J15 J13 D72 I21 I24
    Date: 2020–07
  8. By: Rienzo, Cinzia
    Abstract: This paper is the first attempt to analyse the effect of the Brexit Referendum results on subjective well-being of immigrants living in the UK. Using the national representative UK Household Longitudinal Study (Understanding Society) data and adopting a difference-in-differences estimates, we define natives as control group, and different sub-groups of immigrants as treatment groups. The current analysis suggests that following the EU Referendum Results Non-EU migrants experienced an improvement in both mental health and life satisfaction relative to the UK natives. The results are robust to several robustness checks. Among others, we account for unobserved individual fixed effects and for unbalanced panel data. The results are consistent with the idea that the end of free movement for EU immigrants has alleviated the sense of discrimination and frustration felt by Non-EU immigrants results mainly of the toughened visa restrictions enforced since 2010 by the UK Government.
    Keywords: immigration,Subjective Wellbeing,Brexit
    JEL: O15 J61
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Abarcar, Paolo; Theoharides, Caroline
    Abstract: We exploit changes in U.S. visa policies for nurses to measure brain drain versus gain. Combining data on all migrant departures and postsecondary institutions in the Philippines, we show that nursing enrollment and graduation increased substantially in response to greater U.S. demand for nurses. The supply of nursing programs expanded to accommodate this increase. Nurse quality, measured by licensure exam pass rates, declined. Despite this, for each nurse migrant, 10 additional nurses were licensed. New nurses switched from other degree types, but graduated at higher rates than they would have otherwise, thus increasing the human capital stock in the Philippines.
    Date: 2020–07–31
  10. By: Deole, Sumit; Huang, Yue
    Abstract: We apply difference-in-differences regressions to study the impact of the 2015 refugee crisis in Germany on the culturally closer diaspora of existing immigrants originating from Turkey and Middle- Eastern and North-African countries (TMENA). Our identification allows us to emphasize the role of immigrants’ culture in estimating immigration’s socio-economic impact. Additionally, we distinguish between the labor demand and labor supply effects associated with immigration, which enables us to reflect on the ambiguous labor market impact of immigration suggested in the existing literature. In particular, we find that TMENA immigrants experienced a substantial reduction in unemployment in 2015, consistent with the differential demand shock induced by refugees’ consumption of culturally similar goods and services. However, the unemployment effects dissipated starting in 2016, coinciding with refugees’ delayed yet incremental labor market integration. We also consider the social impact of the refugee crisis and find that while worries about immigration increased among all respondents, the increases were statistically significantly smaller among TMENA immigrants, primarily due to their cultural proximity to arriving refugees. Our results suggest that TMENA immigrants’ assimilation of German identity was unaffected by the refugee crisis.
    Keywords: European refugee crisis,existing immigrants,socio-economic assimilation
    JEL: F22 J15 Z13
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Nina Boberg-Fazlic (University of Southern Denmark); Paul Sharp (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)
    Abstract: The “refugee gap” in the economic status of refugees relative to other migrants might be due to the experience of being a refugee, or to government policy, which often denies the right to work during lengthy application processes. In Denmark before the Second World War, however, refugees were not treated differently from other migrants, motivating our use of a database of the universe of Danish naturalizations between 1851 and 1960. We consider labor market performance and find that immigrants leaving conflicts fared no worse than other migrants, conditional on other characteristics, within this relatively homogenous sample of those who attained citizenship. Refugees must be provided with the same rights as other migrants if policy aims to ensure their economic success.
    Keywords: Asylum policy, Denmark, immigration, naturalizations, refugee gap
    JEL: F22 J61 N33 N34
    Date: 2020–08
  12. By: Tuccio, Michele; Wahba, Jackline
    Abstract: This article reviews the economic literature on social remittances. Unlike financial remittances, which are flows of cash or goods sent by migrants to their origin countries, social remittances refer to economic, social, political attitudes, behaviours and norms that are transmitted through migration. Although economists are newcomers to this literature, they have contributed to advancing knowledge on the causal effects of migration on social remittances. The evidence reviewed in this article unanimously points at the important role played by international migration in the transfer of norms. However, host countries matter greatly in explaining the types of attitudes and knowledge that are transferred back to countries of origin. Overall, there are still clear gaps in our understanding of social remittances that future research would need to address to enable us to appreciate better the mechanisms through which norms are transferred.
    Keywords: Remittances,international migration,norms,knowledge,selectivity,endogeneity
    JEL: D72 F22 J10 O15
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Auer, Daniel; Tetlow, Daniel
    Abstract: Brexit - the United Kingdom leaving the European Union - continues to create an unpredictable social and political landscape. Uncertainty and perceptions are influential drivers when it comes to migration decisions, and yet, the literature's inference typically relies on individual-level data. This leaves the possibility of unobserved confounding factors being simultaneously associated with uncertainty perceptions. We leverage the British referendum of 2016 to leave the European Union as a unique natural experiment to demonstrate how collective uncertainty, induced by national government policy, affects the migratory behaviour of the citizens of an entire nation. Using official bilateral migration statistics, we highlight a substantial increase in migration flows from the UK to the remaining EU/EFTA countries. Exceptional spikes in naturalisation figures further indicate that UK-immigrants already living in other EU member states are actively taking decisions to mitigate the negative impact Brexit can have on their lives and livelihoods. We analyse encompassing interview data conducted among UK-immigrants in Germany to show that uncertainty about future bilateral relations and concerns about a negative economic outlook and social consequences in the UK, have been by far the most important driver of migration and naturalisation decisions in the post-referendum period.
    Keywords: Migration Decisions,Uncertainty,Subjective Beliefs,Risk preferences,Brexit,Migrationsentscheidungen,Unsicherheit,Subjektive Wahrnehmungen,Risikopräferenz,Brexit
    JEL: F22 D80 D81 J61
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Tani, Massimiliano
    Abstract: This paper studies the labour market outcomes of native and foreign PhD graduates staying as migrants in Australia, using data on career destinations over the period 1999-2015. Natives with an English-speaking background emerge as benefiting from positive employer discrimination, especially if graduating in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), for which they receive a premium that is unrelated to observed characteristics such as gender, age, and previous work experience. In contrast, foreign PhD graduates with a non-English speaking background experience worse labour market outcomes, especially if they work in the university sector. Acquiring education in the host country does not appear to eliminate uneven labour market outcomes between natives and foreigners.
    Keywords: PhD graduates,wage decomposition,discrimination,international students
    JEL: I26 J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Bryan, Gharad; Morten, Melanie
    Abstract: We estimate the aggregate productivity gains from reducing barriers to internal labor migration in Indonesia, accounting for worker selection and spatial differences in human capital. We distinguish between movement costs, which mean workers will move only if they expect higher wages, and amenity differences, which mean some locations must pay more to attract workers. We find modest but important aggregate impacts. We estimate a 22 percent increase in labor productivity from removing all barriers. Reducing migration costs to the US level, a high-mobility benchmark, leads to a 7.1 percent productivity boost. These figures hide substantial heterogeneity. The origin population that benefits most sees a 104 percent increase in average earnings from a complete barrier removal, or a 25 percent gain from moving to the US benchmark.
    Keywords: Selection; Internal migration; Indonesia
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2019–10–01
  16. By: Björn Nilsson; Racha Ramadan
    Abstract: This paper aims to quantify the effects from migration on net income distributions, disentangling the roles played by factor reallocation and remittances, and focusing on two (primarily) destination countries (Spain and Italy) and two (primarily) origin countries (Jordan and Iraq). Using LIS-ERF data sets for the four countries; the paper relies separately on a variant of a shift-share instrument to identify the effect of migration on inequalities at the regional level in Spain and Italy, and on quantile regression to estimate the impact of receiving remittances on per capita expenditure in Iraq and Jordan. The results suggest that migration increases inequality in both origin and receiving countries.
    JEL: D31 D63 O15
    Date: 2020–05
  17. By: Nicolo Maffei Faccioli (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and Barcelona GSE); Eugenia Vella (Centre for Health Economics and Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, UK)
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the macroeconomic effects of net migration shocks in Germany. Using monthly data from 2006 to 2019 and a variety of identification strategies in a structural vector autoregressive model, we show that migration shocks are expansionary. Net migration increases persistently industrial production, per capita net exports and tax revenue. In the labor market, migra- tion boosts persistently job openings and, after a year and a half, hourly wages in manufacturing. Total unemployment declines but the response is asymmetric be- tween natives and foreigners. Unemployment falls persistently for natives while it rises a year after the shock for foreigners as the newly settled migrants enter the labor market gradually. Using also quarterly data in a mixed-frequency SVAR, we shed light on the employment and participation responses for natives and foreign- ers. We also show that migration shocks increase per capita GDP, investment, and hourly wages of the aggregate economy. Taken together, our results highlight a job-creation effect for natives and a job-competition effect for foreigners.
    Keywords: Migration, unemployment, job creation, job competition, mixed-frequency SVAR.
    JEL: C11 C32 E32 F22 F41
    Date: 2020–08
  18. By: Joseph I. Uduji (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria); Elda N. Okolo-Obasi (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
    Abstract: Purpose –The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the multinational oil companies (MOCs) corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in Nigeria. Its special focus is to investigate the impact of the global memorandum of understanding (GMoU) on irregular migration urge of rural youths in the oil producing communities. Design/methodology/approach – This paper adopts a survey research technique, aimed at gathering information from a representative sample of the population, as it is essentially cross-sectional, describing and interpreting the current situation. A total of 2100 households were sampled across the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Findings – The results from the use of a combined propensity score matching and logit model indicate that GMoU model has made significant impact in dissuading young people from irregular migration drive. Practical implications – This implies that if the MOCs increase the CSR intervention on young development initiatives that focus on creation of jobs and provision of financial and other resources that support local entrepreneurs, the push factors that compel youth irregular migration in sub-Saharan Africa would be deterred. Social implications – The fight against irregular migration of African youths and subsequent demise by sea, deserts and along the Mediterranean route can only succeed if cluster development boards (CDBs) of GMoUs are able to draw on young people to participate fully in the CSR intervention plans and programmes. Originality/value – This research adds to the literature on multinational enterprises’ CSR initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa and rationale for demands for social projects by host communities. It concludes that business has an obligation to help in solving problems of public concern.
    Keywords: African youth; irregular migration; corporate social responsibility; multinational oil companies; push factors; sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2020–01
  19. By: Mandal, Biswajit; Chaudhuri, Saswati; Prasad, Alaka Shree
    Abstract: To combat COVID-19 the entire world has resorted to global lockdown implying restriction on international labor migration and trade. This paper aims to check the effect of such restrictions on the unemployment of unskilled labor in the source country. In competitive general equilibrium framework with three goods and four factors restriction on migration raises unemployment for given factor intensity. The results remain same even in a slightly different structure of the economy. In case of trade restriction, however, the rise or fall in unemployment depends on both the structure of the economy and the factor intensity assumption.
    Keywords: General Equilibrium,COVID-19,Migration,Trade,Unemployment
    JEL: D5 F22 F12 J6
    Date: 2020
  20. By: Regina Pleninger (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: During the last decades, the United States experienced an increase in the number of natural disasters as well as their destructive capability. Several studies suggest a damaging effect of natural disasters on income. In this paper, I estimate the effects of natural disasters on the entire income distribution using county-level data in the United States. In particular, I determine the income fractions that are affected by natural disasters. The results suggest that natural disasters primarily affect middle incomes, thereby leaving income inequality levels mostly unchanged. In addition, the paper examines potential channels that intensify or mitigate the effects, such as social security or the severity of natural disasters. The findings show that social security, assistance programs and migration are important adaptation tools that reduce the effects of natural disasters. In contrast, the occurrence of multiple and severe disasters aggravate the effects.
    Keywords: Disaster, Income Distribution, United States, Migration, Panel Data
    JEL: D63 O51 Q54 R23
    Date: 2020–03

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