nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒12‒14
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The Gender Aspect of Immigrants' Assimilation in Europe By Lee, Tae Hoon; Peri, Giovanni; Viarengo, Martina
  2. Social Assimilation and Labor Market Outcomes of Migrants in China By Cai, Shu; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  3. First Time Around: Local Conditions and Multi-dimensional Integration of Refugees By Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara; Felicitas Schikora
  4. To work or to study? Postmigration educational investments of adult refugees in Germany - evidence from a choice experiment By Damelang, Andreas; Kosyakova, Yuliya
  5. International trade liberalization and domestic institutional reform: Effects of WTO accession on Chinese internal migration policy By Yuan Tian
  6. Social Disadvantage and Children's Nutritional Status in Rural-Urban Migrant Households By Lin, Carl; van der Meulen Rodgers, Yana
  7. Empowering Migrants: Impacts of a Migrant's Amnesty on Crime Reports By Ibanez, Ana Maria; Rozo, Sandra V.; Bahar, Dany
  8. Birth in Hard Times When You Belong To Minorities By Bertoli, Paola; Grembi, Veronica; Nguyen, The Linh Bao
  9. Buying Lottery Tickets for Foreign Workers: Search Cost Externalities Induced by H-1B Policy By Sharma, Rishi; Sparber, Chad
  10. The effects of immigration and skills on urban income inequality in New Zealand: two decomposition approaches By Omoniyi B Alimi; David C Maré; Jacques Poot

  1. By: Lee, Tae Hoon (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva); Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis); Viarengo, Martina (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: The labor market performance of immigrants relative to natives has been widely studied but its gender dimension has been relatively neglected. Our paper aims at revisiting labor market convergence between immigrants and natives and examining this under-studied dimension in a comprehensive study of the EU-15 countries and Switzerland over the period 1999-2018. We measure convergence of labor market outcomes for male and female migrants to similar natives before and after the Great Recession and across countries of destination. Our results show that in most countries female migrants start with a larger employment gap but converge more rapidly than male migrants do. We also provide a broad overview of the role of potential factors such as economic conditions, labor markets structure, institutions and attitudes towards immigrants and women and their association with employment convergence of all immigrants and female immigrants specifically. While the analysis provides an interesting insight, we do not identify very significant factors at the national level. We find a very strong correlation between attitudes towards immigrants and their employment convergence across sub-national regions.
    Keywords: international migration, labor market integration, gender gaps
    JEL: J61 J00 J16
    Date: 2020–12
  2. By: Cai, Shu; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
    Abstract: Previous research has found identity to be relevant for international migration, but has neglected internal mobility as in the case of the Great Chinese Migration. However, the context of the identities of migrants and their adaption in the migration process is likely to be quite different. The gap is closed by examining social assimilation and the effect on the labor market outcomes of migrants in China, the country with the largest record of internal mobility. Using instrumental variable estimation, the study finds that identifying as local residents significantly increase migrants' hourly wages and reduce hours worked, although their monthly earnings remained barely changed. Further findings suggest that migrants with strong local identity are more likely to use local networks in job search, and to obtain jobs with higher average wages and lower average hours worked per day.
    Keywords: Social assimilation,identity,labor market,migration
    JEL: J22 J31 J61 Z13
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Cevat Giray Aksoy (King’s College London); Panu Poutvaara (University of Munich and Ifo); Felicitas Schikora (Freie Universität Berlin and DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: We study the causal effect of local labor market conditions and attitudes towards immigrants at the time of arrival on refugees’ multi-dimensional integration outcomes (economic, linguistic, navigational, political, psychological, and social). Using a unique dataset on refugees, we leverage a centralized allocation policy in Germany where refugees were exogenously assigned to live in specific counties. We find that high initial local unemployment negatively affects refugees’ economic and social integration: they are less likely to be in education or employment and they earn less. We also show that favorable attitudes towards immigrants promote refugees’ economic and social integration. The results suggest that attitudes toward immigrants are as important as local unemployment rates in shaping refugees’ integration outcomes. Using a machine learning classifier algorithm, we find that our results are driven by older people and those with secondary or tertiary education. Our findings highlight the importance of both initial economic and social conditions for facilitating refugee integration, and have implications for the design of centralized allocation policies.
    Keywords: International migration, refugees, integration, allocation policy
    JEL: F22 J15 J24
    Date: 2020–12
  4. By: Damelang, Andreas; Kosyakova, Yuliya (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "In this article, we analyze individual factors and situational conditions under which immigrants are more or less likely to invest in host country-specific human capital. Theoretically, we root our ex-pectations in a strand of the immigrant human capital investment model combined with a basic model of educational decisions. Using a choice experiment, we simulate a decision process among refugees in Germany and examine the determinants of investment decisions into host country-specific credentials such as vocational education. The choice experiment was introduced in the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees (2020), a representative longitudinal survey of recently arrived refugees in Germany. We find that refugees' probability of investing in vocational education is guided by the transferability of foreign human capital, the time horizon to reap investments, and rational cost-benefit considerations. The probability of success is influential on its own but also bolsters the relevance of costs and benefits in educational choices." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Geflüchtete, Bildungsinvestitionen, berufliche Integration, Entscheidungsfindung, Berufsausbildung, IAB-BAMF-SOEP-Befragung von Geflüchteten, Kosten-Nutzen-Analyse, berufliche Qualifikation, Gleichwertigkeit, Determinanten, Erwartung, Aufenthaltsdauer, Rückwanderungsbereitschaft
    JEL: I24 I26 J24 J61 F22
    Date: 2020–10–19
  5. By: Yuan Tian
    Abstract: Economic institutions that impede factor mobility become more costly when an economy experiences substantial transitions such as trade liberalization. I study how trade triggers changes in labor institutions that regulate internal migration in the context of China’s Hukou system. Using a newly-collected dataset on prefecture-level migration policies, I document an increase in pro-migrant regulations following WTO entry and estimate the impact of prefecture-level trade shocks on migration regulations from 2001 to 2007. I find that regions facing more export market liberalization enacted more migrant-friendly regulations.
    Keywords: Trade Liberalization, Institution, Migration Policy
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Lin, Carl (Bucknell University); van der Meulen Rodgers, Yana (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: This article uses an innovative rural-urban migrant survey to assess how social disadvantage is associated with children's nutritional status in migrant households. Measures of social disadvantage are based on China's hukou system of household registration (designed to limit domestic migration flows by denying urban public services to migrants with rural registrations) and on son preference (stemming in part from the strict one-child policy). Regression results indicate that a rural hukou status is negatively associated with children's weight-for-age Z-scores, even after controlling for household characteristics, and girl children exhibit poorer nutritional status than boys. Results from a quantile decomposition procedure confirm that left-behind children have lower nutritional scores than children who migrate with their parents, and the gaps are biggest at lower portions of the distribution.
    Keywords: migration, China, children, health, nutrition
    JEL: I10 J61
    Date: 2020–11
  7. By: Ibanez, Ana Maria (Inter-American Development Bank); Rozo, Sandra V. (USC Marshall School of Business); Bahar, Dany (Brookings Institution)
    Abstract: How can the regularization of approximately half a million migrant's impact crime reports in hosting areas? To identify the effects of this large amnesty, we match confidential administrative data on the location of undocumented migrants with department-monthly data from crime reports and compare crime outcomes in departments that were granted different average time windows to register for the amnesty online, before and after the amnesty roll-out. We document that the regularization caused a reduction of domestic crime and an increment on sexual crime reports. Both results are in line with qualitative evidence suggesting that the regularization empowered migrants to report crimes against them and also improved their mental health.
    Keywords: migration, crime, regularization
    JEL: D72 F2 O15 R23
    Date: 2020–11
  8. By: Bertoli, Paola; Grembi, Veronica; Nguyen, The Linh Bao
    Abstract: Combining a unique dataset of birth records with municipal-level real estate infor- mation, we assess the impact of the 2008 recession on the health of immigrant newborns in Italy. Health at birth (e.g., low birth weight) of immigrants deteriorated more than health at birth of Italians. The negative effects on immigrants are not equally dis- tributed across ethnicities, but rather they are driven by the main economic activity of the ethnicity and its related network at the municipal level. Immigrants whose ethnicity is mainly employed in the sectors most affected during the recession, suffered the most. By contrast, the recession hardship is mitigated for immigrants in municipalities where their ethnic network is organized through more registered immigrant associations. The characteristics of ethnic groups and their organization at the municipal level do not explain the heterogeneous effects on Italian newborns and this confirms network rather than neighborhood effects.
    Keywords: Recessions,Immigrants,Low birth weight,Premature babies,Networks
    JEL: I1 I12 J15 J60
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Sharma, Rishi (Colgate University); Sparber, Chad (Colgate University)
    Abstract: The H-1B program allows firms in the United States to temporarily hire high-skilled foreign citizens. H-1B workers are highly concentrated among a small number of firms. We develop a theoretical model demonstrating that this phenomenon is an artifact of policy design: When the government restricts foreign labor inflows and allocates H- 1B status by random lottery, it creates a negative externality by incentivizing firms to search for more workers than can actually be hired. Some firms rationally move toward specializing in hiring foreign labor and contracting out those workers' services to third- party sites. This outsourcing behavior further exacerbates total search costs and lottery externalities, resulting in an annual economic loss in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
    Keywords: skilled workers, H-1B, outsourcing
    JEL: J61 J68 F22
    Date: 2020–11
  10. By: Omoniyi B Alimi (University of Waikato); David C Maré (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Jacques Poot (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Income inequality in New Zealand has been a growing concern since the 1980s. Inequality did indeed increase since then, particularly in metropolitan areas. At the same time, policies of encouraging permanent and temporary immigration led to the foreign born accounting for a growing share of the population, again particularly in metropolitan areas. This paper investigates the impact of immigration, by skill level and length of stay, on the distribution of income in urban areas. We apply, and reconcile, sub-group and Shapley-value regression decomposition methodologies to census microdata. We find that over the 1986-2013 period the inequality-increasing effects of immigration size and composition are together somewhat larger than the inequality-reducing effects of changes in the size and composition of the New Zealand born population. Additionally, changes in the skill distribution of the work force in New Zealand have been very important for changes in the distribution of income, regardless of migration status. While the sub-group decomposition of inequality change yields qualitatively similar contributions to 1986-2013 change as regression decomposition, the numerical effects differ markedly between the two methodologies.
    Keywords: Decomposition; Immigration; Income inequality; Shapley-value; Urban areas; New Zealand
    Date: 2020–12

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