nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒09‒21
seven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. As long as they are cheap. Experimental evidence on the demand for migrant workers By Mauro Caselli; Paolo Falco
  2. Froebel's Gifts: How the Kindergarten Movement Changed the American Familiy By Philipp Ager; Francesco Cinnirella
  3. Does Immigration Improve Quality of Care in Nursing Homes? By Furtado, Delia; Ortega, Francesc
  4. Migration from Developing Countries: Selection, Income Elasticity and Simpson's Paradox By Michael A. Clemens; Mariapia Mendola
  5. Immigrant Inventors and Diversity in the Age of Mass Migration By Francesco Campo; Mariapia Mendola; Andrea Morrison; Gianmarco Ottaviano
  6. North-North Migration and Agglomeration in the European Union 15 By Daniela Costa; Maria Jose Rodriguez
  7. Unemployment, Immigration, and Populism: Evidence from Two Quasi-Natural Experiments in the United States By Chen, Shuai

  1. By: Mauro Caselli (School of International Studies & Department of Economics and Management, University of Trento); Paolo Falco (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
    Abstract: How does demand for migrant vs native workers change with price? We conduct an experiment with 56,000 Danish households (over 2 percent of all households in the country), who receive an advertisement from a cleaning company whose operators vary randomly across areas but meet the same quality standards and have equal customer ratings. When the operator has a migrant background, we find that demand is significantly lower than when the operator is a native. The gap, however, is highly sensitive to price, with demand for the migrant increasing steeply as the price falls. For an hourly pay close to the 25th percentile of the earnings distribution in similar occupations (24 USD per hour), demand for the migrant is one-fifth of the demand for the native. A 25 percent reduction in the price makes the gap in demand disappear.
    Keywords: Migrants, discrimination, experiment, labour market integration, consumer preferences
    JEL: C93 J23 J61 J71
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Philipp Ager; Francesco Cinnirella
    Abstract: Public educators and philanthropists in the late 19th century United States promoted the establishment of kindergartens in cities as a remedy for the social problems associated with industrialization and immigration. Between 1880 and 1910, more than seven thousand kindergartens opened their doors in the United States, serving both a social and educational function. We use newly collected city-level data on the roll-out of the first kindergartens to evaluate their impact on household outcomes. We find that in cities with a larger kindergarten exposure, families significantly reduced fertility, with the strongest decline appearing in families that were economically disadvantaged and with an immigrant background. Households reduced fertility because kindergarten attendance increased returns to education, but it also led to higher opportunity costs for raising children. Indeed, we show that children exposed to kindergartens were less likely to work during childhood and, instead, stayed longer in school, had more prestigious jobs, and earned higher wages as adults. Finally, we find that exposure to kindergartens particularly helped immigrant children from non-English-speaking countries to gain English proficiency. Their attendance also generated positive language spillover effects on their mothers, illustrating the importance of early childhood education for the integration of immigrant families.
    Keywords: kindergarten education, family size, fertility transition, returns to preschool education, quantity-quality trade-off
    JEL: N31 J13 I25 O15
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Furtado, Delia (University of Connecticut); Ortega, Francesc (Queens College, CUNY)
    Abstract: The growing healthcare needs of baby boomers require significant increases in the number or productivity of healthcare workers. This paper explores how immigrants may fill these gaps in nursing homes. First, we show that immigrant inflows are associated with reduced wages of lower skilled nurses along with increases in their employment. We then show that more immigrant labor leads to fewer falls among residents and improvements in other measures of quality of care. We also find that only in competitive nursing home markets is there a link between immigrant inflows and the quality of care provided in nursing homes.
    Keywords: immigration, nursing homes, monopoly power
    JEL: J61 J14 I11 L13
    Date: 2020–07
  4. By: Michael A. Clemens (Center for Global Development); Mariapia Mendola (Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca)
    Abstract: How does immigration affect incomes in the countries migrants go to, and how do rising incomes shape emigration from the countries they leave? The answers depend on whether people who migrate have higher or lower productivity than people who do not migrate. Theory on this subject has long exceeded evidence. We present estimates of emigrant selection on both observed and unobserved determinants of income, from across the developing world. We use nationally representative survey data on 7,013 people making active, costly preparations to emigrate from 99 developing countries during 2010–2015. We model the relationship between these measures of selection and the income elasticity of migration. In low-income countries, people actively preparing to emigrate have 30 percent higher incomes than others overall, 14 percent higher incomes explained by observable traits such as schooling, and 12 percent higher incomes explained by unobservable traits. Within low-income countries the income elasticity of emigration demand is 0.23. The world’s poor collectively treat migration not as an inferior good, but as a normal good. Any negative effect of higher income on emigration within subpopulations can reverse in the aggregate, because the composition of subpopulations shifts as incomes rise—an instance of Simpson’s paradox.
    Date: 2020–09–07
  5. 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.
  6. By: Daniela Costa; Maria Jose Rodriguez
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on migration of workers within the European Union 15 (EU15), disaggregated by occupation. Using the European Labor Force Survey from 1983-2013, we find that in high-educated occupations, EU15 workers move to EU15 countries where their occupation is relatively more abundant among natives. This is at odds with traditional models of migration. We argue that a different framework is more suitable to analyze migration flows across highly educated high-income countries. In particular, we develop a model with external economies of scale that generates agglomeration of highly educated labor. The main implication of the model is that workers of high-educated occupations migrate to countries that are abundant in labor of their same occupation, in accordance with the data.
    Keywords: North-North Migration, Occupation, Agglomeration, European Union
    JEL: F12 F15 F22 E2
    Date: 2020–06
  7. By: Chen, Shuai
    Abstract: This paper examines how economic insecurity and cultural anxiety have triggered different dimensions of the current populism in the United States. Specifically, I exploit two quasi-natural experiments, the Great Recession and the 2014 Northern Triangle immigrant in ux, to investigate the effects of unemployment and unauthorized immigration on attitudes related to populism and populist voting in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. I discover that recent unemployment during the Great Recession, rather than existing unemployment from before the recession, increased the probability of attitudes forming against wealthy elites by 15 percentage points. Such attitudes are connected with left-wing populism. I identify perceived economic unfairness as a mechanism through which recent unemployment drove left-wing populism. However, cultural anxiety rather than economic insecurity more likely led to the over 10 percentage points rise in the probability of anti-immigration attitudes developing. These attitudes are related to right-wing populism. Furthermore, I obtain evidence that cohorts economically suffering the aftermath of the Great Recession were associated with 40 percentage points higher likelihood of supporting left-wing populist Bernie Sanders, while cohorts residing in regions most intensely impacted by the immigrant in ux were associated with 10 percentage points higher possibility to vote for right-wing populist Donald Trump. This study attempts to link distinct economic and cultural driving forces to different types of populism and to contribute to the understanding on the potential interactions of the economic and cultural triggers of the currently surging populism.
    Keywords: Populism,Unemployment,Immigration,Great Recession,Voting
    JEL: A13 D31 J01 J64 P16
    Date: 2020

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