nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒10‒05
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Gangs, Labor Mobility and Development By Nikita Melnikov; Carlos Schmidt-Padilla; Maria Micaela Sviatschi
  2. Immigration Policy and Hispanics' Willingness to Run for Office By Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Bucheli, Jose R.
  3. What Explains the Gap in Welfare Use among Immigrants and Natives? By Xiaoning Huang; Neeraj Kaushal; Julia Shu-Huah Wang
  4. Immigration, Working Conditions, and Compensating Differentials By Sparber, Chad; Zavodny, Madeline
  5. The Evolution of First-Generation Immigrants' Political Preferences in Western Europe By Gonnot, Jérôme
  6. Socioeconomic Integration through Language: Evidence from the European Union By Daniel Reiter
  8. Tourism and migration: Identifying the channels with gravity models By Jordi Paniagua; María Santana-Gallego
  9. The Impact of International Migration on Food Consumption Pattern and Nutrition: Evidence from Bangladesh By Mahbubur Rahman, Mohammad; Connor, Jeff

  1. By: Nikita Melnikov; Carlos Schmidt-Padilla; Maria Micaela Sviatschi
    Abstract: We study how two of the world’s largest gangs—MS-13 and 18th Street—affect economic development in El Salvador. We exploit the fact that the emergence of these gangs was the consequence of an exogenous shift in American immigration policy that led to the deportation of gang leaders from the United States to El Salvador. Using a spatial regression discontinuity design, we find that individuals living under gang control have significantly less education, material wellbeing, and income than individuals living only 50 meters away but outside of gang territory. None of these discontinuities existed before the emergence of the gangs. The results are confirmed by a difference-in-differences analysis: after the gangs’ arrival, locations under their control started experiencing lower growth in nighttime light density compared to areas without gang presence. A key mechanism behind the results is that, in order to maintain territorial control, gangs restrict individuals’ freedom of movement, affecting their labor market options. The results are not determined by exposure to violence or selective migration from gang locations. We also find no differences in public goods provision.
    JEL: O1 O17 O54
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (University of California, Merced); Bucheli, Jose R. (New Mexico State University)
    Abstract: For the first time in U.S. history, approximately 10 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives is Hispanic. The greater engagement of Hispanics in national politics has occurred after unprecedented growth in interior immigration enforcement disproportionately impacting Latinos. Using county-level data on all candidates running for congressional elections over the 2008–2018 decade, we find evidence of intensified immigration enforcement suppressing Hispanics' willingness to run for Congress. The effect, which is not present for female or Black minorities, is driven by local police-based measures, and more prevalent in localities without a sanctuary policy and in states with a Republican governor.
    Keywords: diversity, electoral candidates, immigration enforcement, United States
    JEL: D72 H0 J15
    Date: 2020–09
  3. By: Xiaoning Huang; Neeraj Kaushal; Julia Shu-Huah Wang
    Abstract: We investigate the gap in welfare use between immigrants and natives over a 24-year period using the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey from 1995-2018, spanning periods of economic recessions and recoveries, changes in welfare policy regimes, and policies towards immigrants. A novel contribution of our research is to adopt the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition analysis to study the effects of demographic factors, macroeconomic trends and policy on welfare use gap between immigrants and natives. Our analysis leads to three main findings: one, if immigrants had the same demographic characteristics as natives their participation in means-tested programs would have been much less overall and much below those of natives. This finding holds true across broader measures of welfare receipt capturing cash and near cash programs and health insurance as well as participation in five specific safety net programs. It also holds true across periods of economic recessions and recovery. Second, we find evidence that the business cycle impacts immigrant and native welfare participation differently. Immigrant participations in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and State Children’s Health Insurance Program are more sensitive to the business cycle than native participations. Three, we find that changes in program eligibility explain only a modest proportion of the immigrant-native gap in welfare use. A possible explanation for this finding is that changes in eligibility rules have affected only specific immigrant populations (e.g. new immigrants) whereas our analysis pertains to all immigrants.
    JEL: H0 I31 I38
    Date: 2020–09
  4. By: Sparber, Chad (Colgate University); Zavodny, Madeline (University of North Florida)
    Abstract: The large inflow of less-educated immigrants that the United States has received in recent decades can worsen or improve U.S. natives' labor market opportunities. Although there is a general consensus that low-skilled immigrants tend to hold "worse" jobs than U.S. natives, the impact of immigration on U.S. natives' working conditions has received little attention. This study examines how immigration affected U.S. natives' occupational exposure to workplace hazards and the return to such exposure over 1990 to 2018. The results indicate that immigration causes less-educated U.S. natives' exposure to workplace hazards to fall, and instrumental variables results show a larger impact among women than among men. The compensating differential paid for hazard exposure appears to fall as well, but not after accounting for immigration-induced changes in the returns to occupational skills.
    Keywords: immigration, hazardous jobs, compensating differentials, risk premium
    JEL: J81 J31 F22
    Date: 2020–09
  5. By: Gonnot, Jérôme
    Abstract: This paper documents the evolution of a range of political preferences among first-generation immigrants in Western Europe. The overall aim is to study to what extent and at what pace immigrants adapt to the political norms that prevail in their host countries. I use a cross-national research strategy to compare and analyze attitudes of foreign-born individuals in 16 European countries and nd strong empirical support for assimilation over time: On average, the opinion gap between natives and immigrants' political preferences on redistribution, gay rights, EU unification, immigration policies, and trust level in national governments is reduced by 40% after 20 years of residence in the destination country. I also provide evidence that most of this assimilation is driven by immigrants from non-developed countries, and that convergence in political preferences varies significantly across immigrants' economic and cultural background as well as with the size of the immigrant group from their country of origin. Finally, I show that a substantial part of assimilation on gay rights, immigration and political trust is driven by acculturation at the national level where immigrants with longer tenure tend to adapt more to the political preferences of natives in their destination country. These findings shed new light on the timing and magnitude of the political assimilation of first-generation immigrants, with potentially important implications for the political economy of immigration policy.
    Date: 2020–09–14
  6. By: Daniel Reiter (University of Graz, Austria)
    Abstract: In this paper, I explore the role of language for a sustainable socioeconomic integration of migrants in the European Union. Building upon insights concerning the emergence of shared mental models through social learning mechanisms, I argue that language is substantial, not only for simple communication, but also to effectively transmit and decrypt expectations, opinions and ideas. This is of considerable importance for integration processes, since shared mental models enables a common interpretation of reality, which facilitates any further social interaction. This works all the more smoothly if individuals originate from the same sociocultural background and share a common language. If not, as in case of migration, immigrants as well as natives face several issues. Some of this I demonstrate empirically with data from the European Union Labour Force Survey. I show that for first-generation male and female migrants within the EU, language problems significantly reduce the probability to be in paid work. Additionally, they increase the probability to be overqualified.
    Keywords: Shared mental models; Language skills; Migrants; Labour market participation; Overqualification.
    JEL: C36 J15 Z13
    Date: 2020–09
  7. By: Sugata Marjit (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata-IN; Centre for Training and Research in Public Finance and Policy, Kolkata-IN; GEP, University of Nottingham, Nottingham-UK; CES- Ifo, Munich-Germany.); Manoj Pant (Indain Institute of Foreign Trade,New Delhi-IN); Sugandha Huria (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-IN)
    Abstract: This paper revisits a query regarding the relationship between unskilled immigration and skilled wage. In the recent episode of BREXIT, there is a perception that while people of London, which has a much greater proportion of immigrants’ inflow voted against BREXIT, regions which do not experience substantial inflows have voted in favour. Our simple general equilibrium model introduces a household sector where unskilled people are employed by skilled workers. Without the household sector, immigration of unskilled workers depresses skilled wage. But when we include the household sector, effective skilled wage may increase with a greater inflow of migrant workers. This is also a novel outcome in the theory of trade and factor flows. Our model also argues that though technical progress in a skill/human-capital intensive sector raises wage inequality, it no longer displaces traditional jobs. In fact, the usual negative impact of unskilled immigration on the traditional sector is mitigated by raising the returns to the unskilled workforce.
    Keywords: Immigration, Skilled wage rate, Unskilled wage rate, Household sector, Technical progress
    JEL: F11 F20
    Date: 2019–01
  8. By: Jordi Paniagua (University of Valencia); María Santana-Gallego (Universitat Illes Balears)
    Abstract: As a result of the role played by migrants in supporting host economies, the interest in understanding the impact of migration is growing. However, the literature remains silent on the channels by which migration affects tourism. The present paper aims to isolate the effect of migrant networks on tourism by exploring the role of information, travel costs, and demand for visiting friends and relatives. To this end, a theoretical framework that rests upon a structural gravity model is developed. The model allows not only a better understanding of the relationship between tourism and migration but also to overcome several empirical biases like the omission of multilateral resistance in tourism flows or controlling for endogeneity. The empirical analysis considered a sample of 34 OECD countries as destination/home and 157 origin/countries-of-birth for tourist arrivals/migration stock. A positive and robust effect of migration on inbound tourism is estimated and the three channels proposed to drive this nexus become relevant.
    Keywords: Tourism, Migration, Gravity equation
    Date: 2020–08
  9. By: Mahbubur Rahman, Mohammad; Connor, Jeff
    Abstract: The impact of migration on household wellbeing is a long-standing debate. Many authors find migration has positive impact on the family left behind, while others find negative. A positive channel of impact can be through remittance of income to household remaining in the country, while a negative impact pathway can be through potential labour loss and parental absence. However, household welfare impact can depend on remittance utilizations. Most empirical evaluations find that most of remittance income is used for investment or investment goods. This include education, housing, durable goods, status-oriented consumption goods and a lesser proportion is used for immediate family consumption. However, Quartey (2006) found in Ghana that the poorest migrant households maintain their consumption by remittance. Thus, Migration might affect food consumption pattern and nutrition through increased income (Karamba et. al, 2011). We have checked this hypothesis in a country where, International migration is a common occurrence. Though Bangladesh has achieved remarkable progress in poverty reduction in recent years, the nutritional status of its populace is still lagging behind (David, 2008). One cause is the inability of households to grow or purchase sufficient food for their needs (UNICEF). Like this, in many developing countries, international migrat remittances can play a vital role in increasing the purchasing power of migrant families including for food and can act as insurance during vulnerable periods. Migration is self-selected, hence there is a possibility of endogeneity in statistical evaluations of migration remittance impacts on household income and nutrition. The issue is that those who migrate may come from households who are better endowed with human and social capital characteristics that lead to better household welfare outcomes than households with no family migration and remittance income. The uniqueness of this study is, to overcome the challenges of self-selection in estimating remittance impact on household nutrition outcomes, this is the first study (to our best knowledge) that examined the impact of international migration on food consumption pattern specifically using the instrumental variable (IV) method. Moreover, this study is an important addition to the findings of existing migration literature on the utilization of remittance money and the relation between migration and nutrition. Using the data from a nationally representative survey of Bangladesh, we estimated determinants of household food expenditure, total calorie intake and mix of diet including proportion of calories as protein (e.g. meat, fish and dairy). Considering the degree of migration in Bangladesh, we hypothesized significant positive relationships between international migration overall household’s food calorie consumption and food consumption patterns that positively influence nutrition. We found that international migration households had significantly higher food expenditure and calorie intake from protein and oils/-spices than other households and we observed a noticeable behavioural shift both with food expenditure and calorie consumption pattern (ie. a shifting from grains to proteins and oils/-spices). However, total calorie consumption was non-significantly affected by international migration. Using IV to correct for self-selection reduced the estimate marginal impact of remittances on improved nutritional outcome compared to models that did not correct for self-selection bias.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety
    Date: 2020–09–16

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