nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒09‒07
twenty-two papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Skilled Human Capital and High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Inventor Inflows By Benjamin Balsmeier; Lee Fleming; Matt Marx; Seungryul Ryan Shin
  2. Immigrant Entrepreneurs as Job Creators: The Case of Canadian Private Incorporated Companies By Picot, Garnett; Rollin, Anne-Marie
  3. The Impact of Immigrant Business Ownership on International Trade By Fung, Loretta; Grekou, Douwere; Liu, Huju
  4. The migration propensity index: An application to Guatemala By Ceballos, Francisco; Hernandez, Manuel A.
  5. Frictional Sorting By Wenquan Liang; Ran Song; Christopher Timmins
  6. Social Learning along International Migrant Networks By Yuan Tian; Maria Esther Caballero; Brian K. Kovak
  7. Air Pollution Quotas and the Dynamics of Internal Skilled Migration in Chinese Cities By Yu, Bo; Lee, Wang-Sheng; Rafiq, Shuddhasattwa
  8. Does Trust in Home Countries Matter for Formal Remittances? By Kamal Kasmaoui; Farid Makhlouf; Youssef Errami
  9. The Wealth of Immigrant Families in Canada By Morissette, Rene
  10. Dust Bowl Migrants: Identifying an Archetype By Richard Hornbeck
  11. The settlers of South Africa and the expanding frontier By Johan Fourie
  12. Intergenerational Education Mobility and Labour Market Outcomes: Variation Among the Second Generation of Immigrants in Canada By Hou, Feng; Chen, Wen-Hao
  13. Regional patterns and determinants of commuting between rural and urban India By Vasavi Bhatt; S. Chandrasekhar; Ajay Sharma
  14. The Effect of Hosting 3.4 Million Refugees on the Health System in Turkey and Infant, Child, and Elderly Mortality among Natives By Aysun Aygun; Murat Guray Kirdar; Berna Tuncay
  15. Labour Market Outcomes Among Refugees to Canada By Picot, Garnett; Zhang, Yan; Hou, Feng
  16. Speaking the same language: The effect of foreign origin teachers on students' language skills By Höckel, Lisa Sofie
  17. Does Immigration Affect Native’s Labor Market Outcomes in Germany? By Dilan Tas; Merima Kastrat
  18. Internal migration and the spread of Covid-19 By Michele Valsecchi; Ruben Durante
  20. Migrancy and the Birth of Nativism, Uganda 1920s-1960s By Nicholas Tunanukye
  21. Economic Immigrants in Gateway Cities: Factors Involved in Their Initial Location and Onward Migration Decisions By Frenette, Marc
  22. Les immigrants économiques dans les villes servant de portes d’entrée : facteurs en jeu dans les décisions relatives à l’emplacement initial et à la migration subséquente By Frenette, Marc

  1. By: Benjamin Balsmeier; Lee Fleming; Matt Marx; Seungryul Ryan Shin
    Abstract: To what extent does high-growth entrepreneurship depend on skilled human capital? We estimate the impact of the inflow of inventors into a region on the founding of high-growth firms, instrumenting mobility with the county-level share of millions of inventor surnames in the 1940 U.S. Census. Inventor immigration increases county-level high-growth entrepreneurship; estimates range from 29-55 immigrating inventors for each new high-growth firm, depending on the region and model. We also find a smaller but significant negative effect of inventor arrival on entrepreneurship in nearby counties.
    JEL: J24 J61 L26
    Date: 2020–07
  2. By: Picot, Garnett; Rollin, Anne-Marie
    Abstract: Using data from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Employer–Employee Dynamics Database (CEEDD), this paper has three objectives: (1) determining how the number of jobs created or destroyed by immigrant-owned private incorporated companies compared with that of firms with Canadian-born owners, (2) determining whether immigrant-owned firms were more likely than firms with Canadian-born owners to be high growth firms or rapidly shrinking firms, and (3) determining which immigrant characteristics were associated with a higher likelihood of immigrant-owned firms being high growth firms or rapidly shrinking firms. This paper addresses gross job creation (jobs created by expanding continuing firms and entering firms), gross job destruction (jobs terminated by contracting continuing firms and exiting firms), and net job change (the difference between gross job creation and gross job destruction).
    Keywords: Job departures, Job creation, Immigrants, Entrepreneurs
    Date: 2019–04–24
  3. By: Fung, Loretta; Grekou, Douwere; Liu, Huju
    Abstract: Canada has a relatively large foreign-born population, and the country’s economic prosperity depends on international trade. This paper examines how these two characteristics are linked. Specifically, it investigates the effect of immigrant business ownership on international trade in Canada. Understanding the impact of immigrants on international trade is particularly important for Canada, as it is a small open economy with a relatively large immigrant population. This paper empirically investigates the effect of immigrant business ownership on international trade in Canada using a newly developed firm-level database with detailed business ownership and trade information. The new data make it possible to better distinguish between the effect immigrants have on reducing information costs and on product demand, and to assess the impact of immigrant business ownership on the extensive and intensive margins of international trade.
    Keywords: International trade, Immigrants, Business ownership
    Date: 2019–05–13
  4. By: Ceballos, Francisco; Hernandez, Manuel A.
    Abstract: International migration has grown rapidly over the past two decades, at an annual rate of 2.4%, prompting increased interest in identifying the root causes of outmigration and the population groups more likely to emigrate. However, anticipating migration is a complex task, as the decision to migrate is often determined by multiple push and pull factors that are typically interrelated and are not always directly observable. This study proposes the Migration Propensity Index (MPI), a novel approach to indirectly estimate a household’s propensity or probability to emigrate. The central idea is to identify and keep track of a reduced set of household-level indicators that are strongly correlated with the (latent) decision of individuals to emigrate. Taken together and converted into an index, the combined indicators reflect the objective likelihood that one or more individuals from a given household will emigrate. The MPI is concise, easy to implement, and statistically rigorous, and avoids asking direct, sensitive questions about migration attempts or intentions, which are prone to refusals and underreporting. We calibrate the index to data for Guatemala, relying on an out-of-sample cross validation procedure using a panel dataset of 2,798 households living in what are considered “vulnerable†municipalities. The data were collected in 2012, 2013, and 2014. We discuss the index design and implementation, including concrete examples of its application. The resulting model includes 12 simple variables (and two location shifters) and correctly identifies 93% of eventual emigrating and non-emigrating households. The MPI can serve policymakers in getting better insights in drivers of migration, monitor present and expected migratory flows, and for targeting of economic and social policies.
    Keywords: GUATEMALA; LATIN AMERICA; CENTRAL AMERICA; NORTH AMERICA; migration; migrants; models; policies; international migration; scoring index; migration probability
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Wenquan Liang; Ran Song; Christopher Timmins
    Abstract: In many countries around the world, migration costs and housing supply restrictions interact with each other and combine to restrict workers’ location decisions. Using an equilibrium sorting model and rich micro data from China, we evaluate the impacts of these dual constraints on workers’ sorting behavior and quantify the resulting changes in aggregate welfare and inequality. We find strong policy interactions between the two kinds of frictions in determining welfare losses and regional inequality. Counterfactual simulations show that lowering migration costs can increase welfare and reduce regional inequality by moving workers from unproductive inland regions to productive coastal regions in China; such welfare and regional distributional impacts depend on the elasticity of housing supply in coastal regions and vice-versa. Results highlight the policy complementarities between reducing the two kinds of frictions and have general implications for countries with different levels of constraints on mobility and housing supply.
    JEL: J24 J61 R23
    Date: 2020–08
  6. By: Yuan Tian; Maria Esther Caballero; Brian K. Kovak
    Abstract: We document the transmission of social distancing practices from the United States to Mexico along migrant networks during the early 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Using data on pre-existing migrant connections between Mexican and U.S. locations and mobile-phone tracking data revealing social distancing behavior, we find larger declines in mobility in Mexican regions whose emigrants live in U.S. locations with stronger social distancing practices. We rule out confounding pre-trends and use a variety of controls and an instrumental variables strategy based on U.S. stay-at-home orders to rule out the potential influence of disease transmission and migrant sorting between similar locations. Given this evidence, we conclude that our findings represent the effect of information transmission between Mexican migrants living in the U.S. and residents of their home locations in Mexico. Our results demonstrate the importance of personal connections when policymakers seek to change fundamental social behaviors.
    JEL: D83 F22 I12 J61 O15
    Date: 2020–08
  7. By: Yu, Bo (Deakin University); Lee, Wang-Sheng (Deakin University); Rafiq, Shuddhasattwa (Deakin University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of a sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions quota introduced as part of China's 11th Five-Year Plan on internal movements of high-skilled labour across Chinese prefecture cities. Using data on migration flows calculated through changes in Hukou status, this study suggests that a 1,000 tons increase in the SO2 emissions reduction quota leads on average to approximately a 1.5 percentage points increase in high-skilled net outmigration. Compared to the largest prefectures, this regulation effect is twice as large in the smaller regulated prefectures. A possible mechanism could be that the implementation of SO2 quotas decreases relative labour demand in polluting industries in the regulated cities in the short term, thereby resulting in sectoral transitions from dirty-to-clean industries as well as skilled net outmigration flows. However, this net outmigration trend fades in the long term due to stabilisation in air quality. Our findings help contribute to a broader understanding of the effects of environmental policies on internal labour migration and labour force dynamics.
    Keywords: air pollution, China, emissions quota, environmental policy, internal migration, sulphur dioxide
    JEL: J61 O15 Q53 Q58
    Date: 2020–07
  8. By: Kamal Kasmaoui (IRMAPE - Institut de Recherche en Management et Pays Emergents - ESC Pau); Farid Makhlouf (IRMAPE - Institut de Recherche en Management et Pays Emergents - ESC Pau); Youssef Errami (IRMAPE - Institut de Recherche en Management et Pays Emergents - ESC Pau)
    Abstract: This note studies the empirical relationship between trust and remittances. Using historical data from the 2010-2014 wave of World Values Survey (WVS) for interpersonal trust and World Bank for remittances. Results underline the substitution role played by interpersonal trust with remittances. Migrants send fewer of formal remittances when the rate of interpersonal trust in the country of origin is high.
    Keywords: Remittances,Institutions,Social Capital,Interpersonal Trust
    Date: 2020–07–01
  9. By: Morissette, Rene
    Abstract: While several studies have documented the evolution of the earnings of immigrants in Canada over the last three decades, the evolution of immigrants’ wealth has received relatively little attention. Using data from the Survey of Financial Security of 1999, 2005, 2012 and 2016, this study fills this gap. The study uncovers several key patterns.
    Keywords: Wealth, Net worth, Immigration, Debt, Assets
    Date: 2019–04–16
  10. By: Richard Hornbeck
    Abstract: The 1930's American Dust Bowl created archetypal "Dust Bowl migrants," refugees from environmental collapse and economic upheaval. I examine this archetype, comparing migration from more-eroded counties and less-eroded counties to distinguish Dust Bowl migrants from other migrants in this era. Migrants from more-eroded counties were more "negatively selected," in years of education, than other migrants who were "positively selected." These Dust Bowl migrants struggled economically, especially in California. Despite migrants' struggles, however, I estimate strikingly modest impacts of the Dust Bowl on average incomes that contrast with its enduring impacts on agricultural land.
    JEL: N32 N52
    Date: 2020–08
  11. By: Johan Fourie (LEAP, Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: The arrival of European settlers in the mid-seventeenth century at the southern tip of Africa profoundly affected the region’s development. They quickly displaced the local Khoesan and began a process of colonisation that would, some might argue, continue until 1994 with the first democratic elections, 342 years after their arrival. This is the story of their migration into the southern African interior. Combining a rich historiography with new quantitative source material – and the story of one family – I show that, despite the political, cultural and religious rhetoric that inspired their migrations, their reason for trekking was at heart economic. Their story is closely tied to the fortunes of those around them: their actions were often both a response to and a cause of events beyond their borders, a dynamic process that continues today.
    Keywords: migration, colonialism, settler, Voortrekker, South Africa
    JEL: N37
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Hou, Feng; Chen, Wen-Hao
    Abstract: Using 2016 Canadian Census data, this article examines the socioeconomic status of the second generation of immigrants, whose population has become increasingly diverse. The analysis focuses on group differences by visible minority status in two aspects relating to socioeconomic mobility: (1) intergenerational progress in educational attainment, which indicates the ability to achieve higher education regardless of parents’ education, and (2) the relationship between education and labour market outcomes, which reveals the ability to convert educational qualifications into economic well-being.
    Keywords: Visible minorities, Socioeconomic profiles, Labour market, Intergenerational mobility, Immigrants, Educational attainment
    Date: 2019–02–18
  13. By: Vasavi Bhatt (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research); S. Chandrasekhar (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research); Ajay Sharma (Indian Institute of Management, Indore)
    Abstract: Despite an increase in the number of workers commuting between rural and urban areas, much of theliterature on worker mobility continues to be migration centric. This paper establishes the importance ofrural-urban commuting in India. As per estimates from Periodic Labour Force Survey 2018-19, anestimated 18.8 million individuals living in rural are working in urban India and the share of earnings from urban in total non-farm rural earnings is 19.3 percent. Among all rural workers, 7.3 percent arerural-urban commuters while only 2.1 percent of urban workers are urban-rural commuters. Wedocument large variations at the sub-national level. Our results from a multinomial model to understand the factors associated with commuting highlight the importance of lagged regional unemployment rate. A high rural unemployment rate acts as a push factor and a low urban unemployment rate acts as a pull factor for rural urban commuting. The urbanness of occupations in aregion is also an important correlate of commuting. The paper concludes by highlighting the need toprioritize questions in Indias labour force survey that would help understand the nature of labour mobility and strength of rural urban linkages.
    Keywords: Labour Mobility, Commuting, Rural-Urban Linkages, Classification of Jobs, India
    JEL: J21 J61 R12 R23
    Date: 2020–08
  14. By: Aysun Aygun (Istanbul Technical University, Department of Economics); Murat Guray Kirdar (Bogazici University, Department of Economics); Berna Tuncay (Koç University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: As of the end of 2017, 3.4 million Syrian refugees lived in Turkey. These refugees left a country where the health system was completely broken. Several studies report that Syrian refugees faced numerous diseases during their exodus, brought certain infectious diseases to the hosting communities, and have a high incidence of health care utilization. Moreover, they have much higher fertility rates than natives (5.3 to 2.3). We examine the effect of Syrian refugees on the health infrastructure in Turkey and on natives’ mortality—with a focus on infant, child, and elderly mortality. Our OLS results yield suggestive evidence of a negative effect of the refugee shock on infant and child mortality. However, we find that this is a result of endogenous settlement patterns of refugees. Once we account for the endogeneity using a plausibly exogenous instrument, we find no evidence of an effect on native mortality for any age group. We also analyze the pressure that the refugees put on the health care services in Turkey, as well as the government’s response, to understand our findings on mortality outcomes.
    Keywords: refugees; health care infrastructure; native mortality; infant; child; elderly; instrumental variables.
    JEL: H51 I18 J13 J15 O15
    Date: 2020–09
  15. By: Picot, Garnett; Zhang, Yan; Hou, Feng
    Abstract: Canada welcomed over 830,000 refugees from the 1980s to 2000s. However, their economic outcomes, especially the variation among major refugee groups, have not been examined comprehensively. Using the Longitudinal Immigration Database, this paper examines the labour market outcomes of refugees from 13 source countries with large inflows to Canada over the 1980-to-2009 period. The analysis first compares employment rates and earnings among refugees from the 13 source countries. It further compares each refugee group with economic-class and family-class immigrants who arrived during the same period.
    Keywords: Socioeconomic profiles, Refugees, Labour market, Immigrants, Employment rate, Earnings
    Date: 2019–03–11
  16. By: Höckel, Lisa Sofie
    Abstract: This study investigates whether foreign origin teachers causally affect their students language skills in secondary school. Exploring within-student variation in assignment to teachers, I find that teachers who are immigrants or descendants of immigrants significantly increase the reading comprehension of students. The effect is strongest for foreign origin students and can partly be explained by a role model effect. The positive effect of bilingual foreign origin teachers is particularly large. They significantly increase reading comprehension for native and foreign origin students. Given their own experience in language learning, bilingual teachers seem exceptionally well-equipped in teaching languages to both native and foreign origin students.
    Keywords: academic achievement,education economics,language skills,matching,migration,role model effect,teacher bias effect
    JEL: J13 J15 I24
    Date: 2020
  17. By: Dilan Tas; Merima Kastrat
    Abstract: Germany is one of the several countries in Europe that have opened its borders to immigrants for many years. The admission of immigrants into Germany has contributed to the country being the second largest immigration destination in the world, and this has resulted in both negative and positive outcomes for the natives. In this essay, the effect of immigration on natives’ hourly wages and employment was examined, by using microdata for Germany. Native workers’ educational level attainments and 16 different regions in Germany were taken into account to obtain regional variation. Cross-sectional data was used for the years 2005, 2009 and 2015 in order to measure the effect of the share of immigrants on natives’hourly wages and employment. The findings showed that the share of immigrants, had a positive effect on natives’ wages and employment in 2005 and 2009. In 2015, however, a negative relationship was found, with the share of immigrants impacting negatively on natives’ wages but not on employment. Thus, the study highlights the importance of immigrants on natives’ hourly wages and employment.
    Date: 2019–09
  18. By: Michele Valsecchi (New Economic School); Ruben Durante (Barcelona School of Economics and CEPR)
    Abstract: How does internal migration affect the spread of a pandemic? Looking at the case of Italy and using data on the province of origin of migrants located in outbreak areas, we document that provinces more exposed to the virus experience higher mortality in post-outbreak weeks, even when comparing provinces within the same region. We calculate that, had all non-outbreak provinces been as exposed as the one at the lowest decile of the exposure distribution, they would have experienced 60% fewer COVID-19 deaths. Additional evidence from phone records data confirms that the effect is mainly driven by increased mobility from outbreak areas.
    Keywords: internal migration, mobility, health, epidemic, Covid-19
    JEL: J61 R23 H12 I10
    Date: 2020–08
  19. By: Tanupreet Singh
    Abstract: Internal migration has resulted in a mass population of 453.6 million according to 2011 as per the Census of India. Migrants are not only imperative but also but also invisible key actors of socially dynamic, culturally innovative and economically affluent societies. This paper aims to provide an overview of existing challenges associated with internal migration, specifically the psychosocial consequences of emigrants and their left behind families. Review of literature suggests that migration is linked up with a high risk for poor mental health because of alterations in the pattern and content of, exposure to new physical, psychosocial, social interactions/social support and economic/ employment environments, acculturation demands, housing problems, crime and discrimination. This paper also highlights certain suggestions as a holistic approach to meet the multiple challenges faced by emigrants. There is a high need to have in-depth understanding of the problems and pattern of mental health problems by formulating more effective intervention strategies such as pyramid intervention model in preventing the distress and disorders, moreover, developing the healthy psycho-social wellbeing of the migrants. Key Words:Migration, mental health, psychosocial, wellbeing Policy
    Date: 2020–03
  20. By: Nicholas Tunanukye (Makerere University, Uganda)
    Abstract: Uganda has experienced explosive inter-ethnic conflicts and yet internal migration has persisted, and intermingling of different ethnicities has led to a complex relationship among them. This article bases on the oral history and life histories of the former Banyankole migrant laborers and their former Baganda employers, to discuss the incentives that propelled migration of people and what impact it had on the relationship among them. The article argues that the Banyanyankole migrant labor experience informed their socio-economic and political behavior back home, influenced the penetration of capital in southwestern Uganda, informed the Banyankole perception of the Baganda, and subsequent relations that defined their interactions, which ignited flames of nativism. It is pitched in the historical theories of Ravenstein and Lee. The findings show that the labor migration in Uganda was in response to the colonial economic policies, which aimed at developing the colonial overlord. The factors that propelled migration included the need to pay taxes, mobilizing resources for marriage, access to manufactured goods, and cash nexus. Migrancy had an impact on both the sending and host communities in defining their identities in relation to cash crop growing and expansion in Ankole, change in the labor dynamics, monetarization and commoditization of the economy in Ankole, change in gender roles, Baganda versus Banyankole perception, and modern life in Ankole.
    Keywords: migrancy, ethnicity, nativism, migrant labor, citizenship
    Date: 2020–04
  21. By: Frenette, Marc
    Abstract: Immigrants tend to reside disproportionately in larger Canadian cities, which may challenge their absorptive capacity. This study uses the linked Longitudinal Immigration Database and T1 Family File to examine the initial location and onward migration decisions of immigrants who are economic principal applicants (EPAs) and who have landed since the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was passed. The main objective of the study is to identify the factors associated with initially residing and remaining in Canada’s three largest gateway cities: Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver (referred to as MTV).
    Keywords: Record linkage, Internal migration, Immigrants, Immigrant status, Census metropolitan areas, Administrative data
    Date: 2018–12–07
  22. By: Frenette, Marc
    Abstract: Les immigrants ont tendance à habiter de façon disproportionnée dans les grandes villes canadiennes, ce qui peut mettre à l’épreuve la capacité d’absorption de ces dernières. La présente étude utilise la Base de données longitudinales sur l’immigration couplée au fichier sur la famille T1 afin d’examiner les décisions relatives à l’emplacement initial et à la migration subséquente des immigrants qui sont des demandeurs principaux de la catégorie économique (DPE) et qui ont été admis depuis l’adoption de la Loi sur l’immigration et la protection des réfugiés. Le principal objectif de l’étude est de relever les facteurs associés au fait d’habiter initialement et de demeurer dans l’une des trois plus grandes villes canadiennes servant de porte d’entrée aux immigrants : Montréal, Toronto et Vancouver (MTV).
    Keywords: Appariement des dossiers, Migration interne, Immigrants, Statut d'immigrant, Régions métropolitaines de recensement, Données administratives
    Date: 2018–12–07

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