nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2020‒12‒21
eight papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Immigration Enforcement and Infant Health By Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Churchill, Brandyn F.; Song, Yang
  2. Impact of weather factors on migration intention using machine learning algorithms By John Aoga; Juhee Bae; Stefanija Veljanoska; Siegfried Nijssen; Pierre Schaus
  3. Labor Market Integration of Low-Educated Refugees: RCT Evidence from an Ambitious Integration Program in Sweden By Dahlberg, Matz; Egebark, Johan; Vikman, Ullrika; Özcan, Gülay
  4. Left Behind, but Not Alone: Changes in Living Arrangements and the Effects of Migration and Remittances in Mexico By Bertoli, Simone; Gautrain, Elsa; Murard, Elie
  5. The economic and political costs of population displacement and their impact on the SDGs and multilateralism By Kristinn Sv. Helgason
  6. The Political Impact of Refugee Migration: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy By Francesco Campo; Sara Giunti; Mariapia Mendola
  7. The regional impact of economic shocks: Why immigration is different from import competition By Christoph Albert; Joan Monràs
  8. Migration and Fiscal Externality: US vs. Europe By Assaf Razin

  1. By: Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (University of California, Merced); Churchill, Brandyn F. (Vanderbilt University); Song, Yang (Colgate University)
    Abstract: The past two decades have been characterized by an unprecedented increase in interior immigration enforcement and heightened stress due to fears of family separation and loss of income among undocumented immigrants. Using vital statistics on infant births from the National Center of Health Statistics for the 2003 through 2016 period and a difference-in-differences design, we compare the health outcomes of infants with likely undocumented mothers before and after the intensification of immigration enforcement within U.S. counties. We find that intensified enforcement, especially during the third trimester, increases the likelihood of low birth weight (
    Keywords: immigration enforcement, undocumented immigrants, infant health
    JEL: I10 I12 K37
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: John Aoga; Juhee Bae; Stefanija Veljanoska; Siegfried Nijssen; Pierre Schaus
    Abstract: A growing attention in the empirical literature has been paid to the incidence of climate shocks and change in migration decisions. Previous literature leads to different results and uses a multitude of traditional empirical approaches. This paper proposes a tree-based Machine Learning (ML) approach to analyze the role of the weather shocks towards an individual's intention to migrate in the six agriculture-dependent-economy countries such as Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. We perform several tree-based algorithms (e.g., XGB, Random Forest) using the train-validation-test workflow to build robust and noise-resistant approaches. Then we determine the important features showing in which direction they are influencing the migration intention. This ML-based estimation accounts for features such as weather shocks captured by the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) for different timescales and various socioeconomic features/covariates. We find that (i) weather features improve the prediction performance although socioeconomic characteristics have more influence on migration intentions, (ii) country-specific model is necessary, and (iii) international move is influenced more by the longer timescales of SPEIs while general move (which includes internal move) by that of shorter timescales.
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Dahlberg, Matz (Institute for Dialectology, Onomastics and Folklore Research); Egebark, Johan (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Vikman, Ullrika (Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Özcan, Gülay (Swedish Public Employment Service)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates an ambitious and newly designed program for increased integration in Sweden. The purpose of the program is to help newly arrived, low-educated refugees into employment. The program includes four main components: (1) intensive initial language training, (2) work practice under close supervision, (3) job search assistance, and (4) extended cooperation between the local public sector and firms. An important feature of the program is that the demand side of the labor market, represented by the largest real estate company in Gothenburg, is involved in designing the program. Our evaluation is based on a randomized controlled trial, where potential participants in one of the first waves were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. The paper presents results from the first two years after randomization. Using inference based on Fisher's exact test, we show that the program has positive effects on employment: around 30% of the individuals in the treatment group are employed each month during the first year following the end of the program, compared to an average of approximately 15% in the control group.
    Keywords: Refugee immigration; Integration; Randomized experiment; Labor market program
    JEL: C93 J08 J15 J23 J61
    Date: 2020–12–08
  4. By: Bertoli, Simone (CERDI, Université Clermont Auvergne); Gautrain, Elsa (CERDI, Université Clermont Auvergne); Murard, Elie (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: We provide evidence that the occurrence of an international migration episode is associated with a variation in the living arrangements of the household members left behind. The migration of a married Mexican man typically induces his spouse and children to join the household of the wife's parents, a pattern that is at odds with the prevailing patrilocal norm. This change in living arrangements, which involves the extended family of the migrant, has two relevant implications for the analysis of the effects of paternal migration and remittances on the children left behind. First, it can give rise to an important heterogeneity in the effects of interest, which has not been explored in the migration literature. Second, it leads to attrition in longitudinal household surveys that is non-random with respect to potential outcomes.
    Keywords: extended family, living arrangements, household structure, remittances, migration, schooling
    JEL: D10 F22 C83
    Date: 2020–12
  5. By: Kristinn Sv. Helgason
    Abstract: While migration and population displacement has always been part of the human experience, the context within which it occurs today has materially changed. Migration has become an important part of economic globalization and closely related to countries´ development process. Conflicts, poverty, natural disasters and climate events are also forcing people to migrate in an ever-increasing number. For many low-income countries with large number of internally-displaced people, on the other hand, the high economic costs are making it more difficult for them to invest in SDG implementation. Developing countries also host most of the externally-displaced people at high economic costs, which similarly affects their ability to achieve the SDGs. The political costs of hosting large number of refugees in developed states have also been significant in recent years, particularly in the aftermath of the 2015 European Refugee Crisis. The refugee crisis triggered intense politicization of migration and sharp rise in anti-immigration sentiments and support for populist parties in many countries of the region, leading some governments to tighten their borders, introduce more restrictive immigration policies and retreat from multilateral migration efforts. There is at the same time growing recognition that population displacement and migration is a contemporary global challenge that can only be solved through effective multilateral cooperation. In this context, it becomes important for states to build on the current nascent governance architecture such as the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Migration so that the benefits of migration and population displacement can be more effectively harnessed for the achievement of the SDGs.
    Keywords: migration, population displacement, climate change, conflicts, populism, multilateralism, SDGs
    JEL: F22 Q01
    Date: 2020–05
  6. By: Francesco Campo; Sara Giunti; Mariapia Mendola
    Abstract: The ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe has created a public opinion backlash. Italy has been on the frontline of this crisis but little is known about its political impact on voting behavior and electoral outcomes. We collect unique administrative data on the refugee relocation system across Italian municipalities during the crisis (2014-2017) to assess the causal effect of the inflow of asylum seekers on political support for radical-right anti-immigration parties and vote shares in parliamentary elections. We exploit exogenous variation in refugee settlement induced by the Italian Dispersal Policy, set up in 2014 as to exceptionally enlarge the national reception capacity. We find a positive and significant effect of the share of asylum seekers on right-wing-populist support. The effect is significantly heterogeneous across municipality characteristics, yet robust to dispersal policy features. We show that the anti–immigration backlash is not rooted in adverse economic effects, while it is triggered by radical–right propaganda.
    Keywords: Immigration, Refugee Crisis, Political Preferences, Dispersal Policy
    JEL: H53 I38
    Date: 2020–12
  7. By: Christoph Albert; Joan Monràs
    Abstract: Prior literature has documented large and persistent employment effects in regions exposed to import competition, but non-lasting effects in locations receiving large immigrant waves. Import competition and immigration are comparable to the extent that imports are thought of as the labor embedded in imported goods. We explain this puzzle by arguing that a fundamental difference between trade and immigration is that whereas immigrants systematically enter metropolitan areas with high housing prices, import competition affects all kinds of local labor markets. We argue that when housing expenditure is decreasing as a share of income, internal migration is more responsive to local shocks in high-price locations. We provide evidence that, irrespective of the local shock, internal migration is indeed more responsive in high than in low housing price locations. Hence, conflicting findings in the literature reflect differences between the average local labor markets receiving each shock, rather than systematic differences in how local labor markets absorb those different shocks.
    Date: 2019–11
  8. By: Assaf Razin
    Abstract: The paper compares migration policy and welfare state generosity between America and Europe. There is more selective skill-based migration policy in the US compared to the European Union. Policy coordination among states within the federal system on migration, taxes, and social benefits among states within the US federal system is stronger than among countries within the European Union. Fiscal externality, triggered by migration and tax competition among members of the federal system may explain in part these US-Europe differences in policies.
    JEL: F0 H0
    Date: 2020–11

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