nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2021‒01‒18
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Frictional Spatial Equilibrium By Benoît Schmutz; Modibo Sidibé
  2. Immigrant Supply of Marketable Child Care and Native Fertility in Italy By Mariani, R. D.; Rosati, F. C.
  3. Being on the Frontline? Immigrant Workers in Europe and the COVID-19 Pandemic By Fasani, Francesco; Mazza, Jacopo
  4. Network Sorting and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Chaotic Dispersal of the Viet Kieu By Parsons, Christopher; Reysenbach, Tyler; Wahba, Jackline
  5. Identity and Labor Market Outcomes of Immigrants By Carillo, Maria Rosaria; Lombardo, Vincenzo; Venittelli, Tiziana
  6. An Empirical Assessment of Workload and Migrants' Health in Germany By Ingwersen, Kai; Thomsen, Stephan L.
  7. Global Mobility and the Threat of Pandemics: Evidence from Three Centuries By Clemens, Michael A.; Ginn, Thomas
  8. Paraísos Fiscales, Wealth Taxation, and Mobility By David R. Agrawal.; Dirk Foremny; Clara Martinez-Toledano
  9. Rural outmigration and the gendered patterns of agricultural labor in Nepal By Slavchevska, Vanya; Doss, Cheryl; Mane, Erdgin; Kaaria, Susan; Kar, Anuja; Villa, Victor
  10. Consequences of a Massive Refugee Influx on Firm Performance and Market Structure By Akgündüz, Yusuf Emre; Bağır, Yusuf Kenan; Cilasun, Seyit Mümin; Kirdar, Murat G.
  11. Why U.S. Immigration Barriers Matter for the Global Advancement of Science By Agarwal, Ruchir; Ganguli, Ina; Gaule, Patrick; Smith, Geoff
  12. Emigration and development. What are the links? By Murat, Marina

  1. By: Benoît Schmutz (Ecole Polytechnique and CREST); Modibo Sidibé (Duke University)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a theory of cities based on a general equilibrium search and matching model where heterogeneous firms and workers continuously decide where to locate within a set of imperfectly connected local labor markets and engage in wage bargaining using both local and remote match opportunities as threat points. The model allows us to introduce the structural origins of workers’ sorting, firms’ selection and matching-based agglomeration economies into a unified framework and discuss their relationship with the city size distribution. Simulations show that power laws in city size do not require increasing returns to scale in matching or production, but may simply result from the combination of imperfect labor mobility, positive assortative matching between labor and capital, and agglomeration economies in the matching between workers and firms. By-products include sufficient statistics to identify sorting and agglomeration using city-level variation and a rationale for the geographic diversity of urban networks.
    Keywords: city size; local labor market; frictions; on-the-job search; migration
    JEL: R1 J2 J3 J6
    Date: 2021–01–04
  2. By: Mariani, R. D.; Rosati, F. C.
    Abstract: The availability of child-care services has often been advocated as one of the instruments to counter the fertility decline observed in many high-income countries. In the recent past large inflows of lowskilled migrants have substantially increased the supply of child-care services. In this paper we examine if the flow of immigrants as actually affected fertility exploiting the natural experiment occurred in Italy in 2007, when a large inflow of migrants - many of them specialized in the supply of child care - arrived unexpectedly. With a difference-in-differences method, we show that newly arrived immigrant female workers have increased the number of native births by roughly 2 per cent. We validate our result by the implementation of an instrumental variable approach and several robustness tests, all concluding that the increase in the supply of child-care services by immigrants has positively affected native fertility choice.
    Keywords: Household Economics,Fertility,Immigrant Labour,International Migration
    JEL: D12 F22 J13 J61
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Fasani, Francesco (Queen Mary, University of London); Mazza, Jacopo (European Commission, Joint Research Centre)
    Abstract: We provide a first timely assessment of the pandemic crisis impact on the labour market prospects of immigrant workers in Europe by proposing a novel measure of their exposure to employment risk. We characterize migrants' occupations along four dimensions related to the role of workers' occupations in the response to the pandemic, the contractual protection they enjoy, the possibility of performing their job from home and the resilience of the industry in which they are employed. We show that our measure of employment risk closely predicts actual employment losses observed in European countries after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We estimate that, within industries and occupations, Extra-EU migrants and women are exposed to higher risk of unemployment than native men and that women are losing jobs at higher rates than equally exposed men. According to our estimates, more than 9 million immigrants in the EU14+UK area are exposed to a high risk of becoming unemployed due to the pandemic crisis, 1.3 million of which are facing a very high risk.
    Keywords: employment risk, COVID-19, key occupations
    JEL: F22 J61 J20
    Date: 2020–12
  4. By: Parsons, Christopher (University of Western Australia); Reysenbach, Tyler (Productivity Commission); Wahba, Jackline (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: Immigrants' social networks exert considerable influence over their labor market opportunities and yet the pre-sorting of co-nationals by ability and across space, endures as a key challenge for empiricists attempting to establish causal network effects. To surmount this issue, we leverage the chaotic dispersal of Vietnamese refugees across the U.S. in 1975, which was demonstrably exogenous in both initial network size and quality, in tandem with an absence of pre-existing networks of co-nationals, to causally identify the effects of network size and network quality on refugees': occupational outcomes, skill intensity and skill upgrading. Our administrative data provide refugee's precise initial locations and pre-placement characteristics in Vietnam, which we uniquely employ as additional controls, as well as longitudinal information about their locations and occupations six years hence. We construct instruments from the initial quasi-random refugee allocations of network size and quality and leverage refugees' geo-locations to insulate our results from the Reflection Problem. Overall, network quality is a far more important determinant of refugees' labor market outcomes when compared to network size, one interpretation of which is that the type of referrals network members receive are more important than the overall number of referrals. Blue-collar networks: increase the probability of refugees' working in blue-collar jobs, draw additional workers into more manual and less complex intensive employment and serve to up-skill individuals along the manual skill dimension. Given the protracted circumstances under which the Viet Kieu entered the U.S., the composition of their networks played a pivotal role in their ultimate success.
    Keywords: networks, refugees, migration, labor markets
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2020–12
  5. By: Carillo, Maria Rosaria; Lombardo, Vincenzo; Venittelli, Tiziana
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between social identity and labor market outcomes of immigrants. Using survey data from Italy, we provide robust evidence that immigrants with stronger feelings of belonging to the societies of both the host and home country have higher employment rates, while those who exclusively identify with the host country culture do not have a net occupational advantage. Analysis of the potential mechanisms suggests that, although simultaneous identification with host and home country groups can be costly, the positive effect of multiple social identities is especially triggered by the enlarged information transmission and in-group favoritism that identification with, and membership of, extended communities ensure.
    Keywords: Migration,Integration,Ethnic identity,Acculturation,Culture,Labor market
    JEL: F22 J15 J61 Z1
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Ingwersen, Kai (Leibniz University of Hannover); Thomsen, Stephan L. (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: Workload and its physical and mental burden can have detrimental effects on individual health. As different jobs are associated with specific patterns of health development, occupational selection of socioeconomic groups can be attributed to health differences in society. Despite a long economic literature that has established native-migrant differences in occupational choice and health behaviour, surprisingly little research so far has been devoted to workload differences and the influence on individual health in this context. We consider differences in workload and related health status for migrants and native Germans through a detailed characterisation of occupational conditions. Based on labour force survey data for the years 2006, 2012 and 2018, our analysis takes a comprehensive set of work-related aspects into account, e.g., work tasks, job requirements, and working conditions. The empirical results show an enhanced perception of workload and related health problems among migrants. Working at the capacity limit has a particularly strong effect on emotional exhaustion, which is countered by a good working atmosphere being beneficial to health. Native Germans are more heavily burdened by high job requirements than migrants, both physically and mentally. However, as job-related factors show similar effects on the health status of males, the poorer health status of migrants could therefore be attributed to a lower utilization of health services.
    Keywords: workload, working conditions, migrants, self-reported health, BIBB/BAuA
    JEL: I14 J15 J81
    Date: 2020–12
  7. By: Clemens, Michael A. (Center for Global Development); Ginn, Thomas (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Countries restrict the overall extent of international travel and migration to balance the expected costs and benefits of mobility. Given the ever-present threat of new, future pandemics, how should permanent restrictions on mobility respond? A simple theoretical framework predicts that reduced exposure to pre-pandemic international mobility causes slightly slower arrival of the pathogen. A standard epidemiological model predicts no decrease in the harm of the pathogen if travel ceases thereafter and only a slight decrease in the harm (for plausible parameters) if travel does not cease. We test these predictions across four global pandemics in three different centuries: the influenza pandemics that began in 1889, 1918, 1957, and 2009. We find that in all cases, even a draconian 50 percent reduction in pre-pandemic international mobility is associated with 1–2 weeks later arrival and no detectable reduction in final mortality. The case for permanent limits on international mobility to reduce the harm of future pandemics is weak.
    Keywords: migration, pandemic, epidemic, disease, health, COVID-19, Coronavirus, flu, influenza, HIV, Zika, SARS, MERS, Spanish flu, Asian flu, Russian flu, Swine flu, H1N1, health systems, mortality, morbidity, mobility, movement, border, international, global, globalization
    JEL: H23 I18 J68
    Date: 2020–12
  8. By: David R. Agrawal. (University of Kentucky); Dirk Foremny (UB - Universitat de Barcelona); Clara Martinez-Toledano (WIL - World Inequality Lab , Columbia Business School - Columbia University [New York])
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of wealth taxation on mobility and the consequences for tax revenue and wealth inequality. We exploit the unique decentralization of the Spanish wealth tax system in 2011—after which all regions levied positive tax rates except for Madrid—using linked administrative wealth and income tax records. We find that five years after the reform, the stock of wealthy individuals in the region of Madrid increases by 10% relative to other regions, while smaller tax differentials between other regions do not matter for mobility. We rationalize our findings with a theoretical model of evasion and migration, which suggests that evasion is the mechanism most consistent with all of the mobility response being driven by the paraíso fiscal. Combining new subnational wealth inequality series with our estimated elasticities, we show that Madrid's status as a tax haven reduces the effectiveness of raising tax revenue and exacerbates regional wealth inequalities.
    Date: 2020–12
  9. By: Slavchevska, Vanya; Doss, Cheryl; Mane, Erdgin; Kaaria, Susan; Kar, Anuja; Villa, Victor
    Abstract: In Nepal, as in many developing countries, male outmigration from rural areas is significant and is rapidly transforming the sending communities. Using primary data collected from households in rural Nepali communities, this study analyzes the effects of male out-migration from rural agricultural areas on women’s and men’s work on and off the farm. Using an instrumental variable approach to correct for endogeneity related to outmigration, the study finds differential impacts on agricultural labor for the men and women who remain. Men reduce labor in non-farm work without significantly increasing their labor allocation to other activities. Women, on the other hand, increase their work on the farm taking on new responsibilities and moving from contributing family workers to primary farmers. Despite their growing roles as primary farmers, women in households with a migrant do not increase their work in higher value activities, and remain predominantly concentrated in producing staple grains. The analysis highlights the importance of recognizing the changing roles of rural women, especially with respect to the management of the family farm, but it also raises questions about the sustainability and resilience of rural livelihoods to shocks in remittance incomes.
    Keywords: NEPAL; SOUTH ASIA; ASIA; migration; rural areas; gender; labour; agriculture; women; men; households; remittances; rural outmigration; labour supply
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Akgündüz, Yusuf Emre (Sabanci University); Bağır, Yusuf Kenan (Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey); Cilasun, Seyit Mümin (Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey); Kirdar, Murat G. (Bogazici University)
    Abstract: This study combines an administrative dataset of the full population of Turkish firms and the setting of the sudden mass migration of Syrian refugees to Turkey to identify the effect of migrants on firm performance and market structure. As a result of the migrant shock, existing firms expand and new firms are established. Quantitatively, a 10 percentage-point rise in migrant-to-native ratio increases average firm sales by 4% and the number of registered firms by 5%. While the number of firms rises, new firms are more likely to be small. The resulting market structure shows less concentration and firms reduce the share of workers formally employed. We further document an increased propensity to export and an increase in the variety of exported products. The impact on exports is driven by a rise in competitiveness of firms in regions hosting Syrians as a decline in export prices is observed. We also uncover evidence for an effect of migrants' skills and networks on exports, as the export value and variety of products to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region increase more than those to the EU region among exporters while the prices of products exported to the two regions show similar changes.
    Keywords: refugees, firm performance, market structure, sales, informality, exports, migrant business networks
    JEL: J15 J61 F16 L11
    Date: 2020–12
  11. By: Agarwal, Ruchir (International Monetary Fund); Ganguli, Ina (Stockholm School of Economics); Gaule, Patrick (University of Bath); Smith, Geoff (University of Bath)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of U.S. immigration barriers on global knowledge production. We present four key findings. First, among Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medalists, migrants to the U.S. play a central role in the global knowledge network— representing 20-33% of the frontier knowledge producers. Second, using novel survey data and hand-curated life-histories of International Math Olympiad (IMO) medalists, we show that migrants to the U.S. are up to six times more productive than migrants to other countries—even after accounting for talent during one's teenage years. Third, financing costs are a key factor preventing foreign talent from migrating abroad to pursue their dream careers, particularly talent from developing countries. Fourth, certain 'push' incentives that reduce immigration barriers – by addressing financing constraints for top foreign talent – could increase the global scientific output of future cohorts by 42% percent. We conclude by discussing policy options for the U.S. and the global scientific community.
    Keywords: immigration, science, talent, universities
    JEL: O33 O38 F22 J61
    Date: 2021–01
  12. By: Murat, Marina
    Abstract: The ‘mobility transition’ hypothesis – with emigration first increasing and then decreasing as a country develops – (Zelinsky, 1971) is often interpreted as a stylised fact, which bears the implication that immigration into rich countries will grow as low-income countries develop. This paper tests the relationships between development and emigration from 130 developing countries during 25 years. Results, robust to different semiparametric and parametric specifications, show that emigration from low to middle-income countries declines as income increases, education improves or population growth slows down. The stage of development at home also affects the main destinations of emigration. Immigration into rich economies increases from countries at intermediate levels of development. Hence, policies supporting development in low-income countries are associated with less emigration to all destinations, including that to rich economies.
    Keywords: emigration,income,development,demographic transitions
    JEL: F22 J11 O11
    Date: 2021

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