nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2021‒02‒08
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The Effect of Democracy on Migration: A Panel Data Approach By Azad, Kalam
  2. The Impact of Immigration on Workers Protection By Adam Levai; Riccardo Turati
  3. Migration, Information Gap, and Visible Consumption: Evidence from India By Shihas Abdul Razak; Upasak Das
  4. Buying Votes across Borders? A List Experiment on Mexican Immigrants in the US By Jaehyun Song; Takeshi Iida; Yuriko Takahashi; Jesús Tovar
  5. Do Remittances Influence Household Investment Decisions? Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Md Shahadath Hossain; Adesola Sunmoni
  6. Do you want to migrate to the United States? Migration intentions and Cultural Traits in Latin America By Riccardo Turati
  7. New York, Abu Dhabi, London or Stay at Home? Using a Cross-Nested Logit Model to Identify Complex Substitution Patterns in Migration By Michel Beine; Michel Bierlaire; Frédéric Docquier
  8. Employment mobility and labour market flexibility in the EU By Vassilis Monastiriotis; Stylianos Sakkas
  9. Heterogeneity in Migration Responses to Climate Shocks: Evidence from Madagascar By Marchetta, Francesca; Sahn, David E.; Tiberti, Luca; Dufour, Johany
  10. Employment Effects of Immigration to Germany in the Period of Migration Policy Liberalization, 2005–2018 By Isil Erol; Umut Unal

  1. By: Azad, Kalam
    Abstract: We study the effect of democracy on migration using different panel data estimators. Our analysis controls for persistence in migration and country fixed effects. Employing the dynamic fixed effects estimation, we find a significantly positive and robust effect of democracy on migration. Our baseline results show that migration increases by 29\% in the long-run due to democracy. When addressing the endogeneity of democracy with instruments, our models provide comparable results.
    Keywords: Migration, Immigration, democracy, Incentives, Human rights, democratization waves
    JEL: P16
    Date: 2020–03–31
  2. By: Adam Levai (IRES/LIDAM, UCLouvain); Riccardo Turati (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Even though the current literature investigating the labor market impact of immigration assumes implicitly or explicitly labor market regulation as exogenous to immigration (both in terms of size and composition), this is not necessarily the case. This paper shows that the composition of the immigrant population affects, in the medium and long-run, the labor market regulation. We build a new workers protection index based on 36 labor law variables over a sample of 70 developed and developing countries from 1970 to 2010. Exploiting a dynamic panel setting using both internal and external instruments, we find that migrants impact the destination countries’ workers protection mainly through the degree of workers protection experienced in their origin countries, captured by an ”epidemiological” effect. On the other hand, the size of the immigrant population has a small and rather insignificant effect. The results are robust to alternative and competing immigration effects such as diversity, polarization and skill-selection. The effects are particularly strong across two dimensions of the workers protection index: worker representation laws and employment forms laws. This paper provides suggestive evidence that immigrants’ participation to unions and its implications for the political actors is one of the potential mechanisms through which the epidemiological effect could materialize. Finally, calculations based on the estimated coefficients suggest that immigration contributes to a reduction of the degree of workers protection, particularly in OECD high-income countries
    Keywords: Migration, Labor Market Institutions, Labor Regulation, Workers Protection
    Date: 2021–01
  3. By: Shihas Abdul Razak; Upasak Das
    Abstract: Using representative migration survey data from the Indian state of Kerala, this paper assesses the impact of transnational migration on social signaling through the consumption of visible goods. Using the plausibly exogenous variation in migration networks in the neighborhood and religious communities to account for the potential endogeneity, we find significant and positive effects on conspicuous consumption. In terms of the mechanisms, we put forward three possible channels. While we are unable to rule out the associated changes in preferences driving up the spending on status goods, we observe only modest effects of peer group spending due to higher status competition. A key channel that we propose through a theoretical framework is a potential information gap among permanent residents about the income levels of a migrant. This we argue can be leveraged by migrants to increase the visible consumption to gain higher status in the society.
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Jaehyun Song (Waseda Institute of Advanced Studies, Waseda University); Takeshi Iida (Department of Political Science, Doshisha Universit); Yuriko Takahashi (School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University); Jesús Tovar (Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México)
    Abstract: Although immigrant populations have grown worldwide, their electoral connections with their home countries have been understudied. This study investigated vote-buying in the overseas ballot. Focusing on the 2018 federal elections in Mexico, we assumed that the recent reform of extending voting rights abroad, the lower socioeconomic status of the immigrants, the dubious secret ballot, and the weak oversight mechanisms in overseas ballots provided favorable conditions for buying expatriates' votes through the cross-border networks. Our list experiment found that approximately 32 percent of Mexican immigrants in the US experienced vote-buying during the electoral campaign. Furthermore, multivariate analysis showed that the most susceptible to vote-buying were those who were female, young, full-time workers, contacted by party activists, supporters of PAN (Partido Acción Nacional) and MORENA (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional), and living where there was a high concentration of Hometown Associations (HTAs).
    Keywords: vote-buying; overseas ballot; list experiment; immigration; Mexico; US
    Date: 2020–01
  5. By: Md Shahadath Hossain (Department of Economics, Binghamton Univeristy); Adesola Sunmoni (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: The impact of remittances on left behind households is ambiguous a priori due to competing income and substitution effects. Similarly, empirical evidence in the literature is inconclusive. We offer new evidence on the effect of remittances on household investment decisions. We enrich our analysis by considering different types of capital investment and remittance sources. We use data from the World Bank’s Migration and Remittances Household Survey, a recursive bivariate probit model, and instrumental variables approach to account for endogeneity concerns. We find that remittance-receiving households in sub-Saharan Africa are more likely to invest in human and social capital compared to non-remittance receiving households. However, there is substantial variation in investment behaviour across countries. We also show the heterogeneous effect of remittance sources on investment behaviour. Our study is relevant for policymakers seeking to maximise the impact of remittances to foster local economic opportunities.
    Keywords: Remittances, Investments, Africa, Physical capital, Human capital, Social Capital
    JEL: F24 F22 O15 O24 J61
    Date: 2021–01–30
  6. By: Riccardo Turati (IRES/LIDAM, UCLouvain; Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates whether aspiring emigrants from nineteen Latin American countries to the United States hold a different set of cultural traits compared to stayers. Using Gallup World Poll data and proxy on individual pro social behaviors and political attitudes towards the president of the United States, we observe that aspiring migrants share more pro social behaviors and support more the U.S. political leader than stayers. We find that already existing migration network reduces cultural selection on social behaviors, which holds mainly among the young and less educated population, and in less developed countries. The paper shows that such cultural self-selection is unlikely to affect the distribution of cultural traits in the origin countries, avoiding potential negative effects for Latin American countries. If any, culturally selected immigrants should have a beneficial effect to the United States
    Keywords: International migration, migration intentions, self-selection, cultural traits, Latin America region
    Date: 2021–01
  7. By: Michel Beine; Michel Bierlaire; Frédéric Docquier
    Abstract: The question of how people revise their decisions about whether to emigrate, and where to, when facing changes in the global environment is of critical importance in migration literature. We propose a cross-nested logit (CNL) approach to generalize the way deviations from the IIA (independence from irrelevant alternatives)) hypothesis can be tested and exploited in migration studies. Compared with the widely used logit model, the structure of a CNL model allows for more sophisticated substitution patterns between destinations. To illustrate the relevance of our approach, we provide a case study using migration aspiration data from India. We demonstrate that the CNL approach outperforms standard competing approaches in terms of quality of fit, has stronger predictive power, implies stronger heterogeneity in responses to shocks, and highlights complex and intuitive substitution patterns between all possible alternatives. In particular, we shed light on the low degree of substitutability between the home and foreign alternatives as well as on the subgroups of countries that are considered by potential Indian movers as highly or poorly substitutable.
    Keywords: International migration; Discrete choice modelling; Independence from irrelevant alternatives; Cross-nested logit; Migration aspirations
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2020–01
  8. By: Vassilis Monastiriotis (London School of Economics); Stylianos Sakkas (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: Does employment flexibility facilitate cross-regional adjustments via labour mobility? Or is it instead a hinderance to cross-regional equilibration in the labour market? We examine this, drawing on a sample of 11 European countries belonging to different 'varieties' of European capitalism. We identify two opposing potential effects of employment flexibility on outmigration (a negative necessitating effect and a positive facilitating effect) and provide original evidence on the ways in which employment flexibility impacts of the responsiveness of inter-regional outmigration to regional unemployment. We find that employment flexibility is at large associated with less cross-regional adjustability. This is especially so for numerical aspects of flexibility (non-standard forms of employment contracts) and more true for countries in the European south and Scandinavia; while for internal aspects of employment flexibility (irregular hours and patterns of work), as well as for countries of the Continental 'variety' (coordinated market economies), employment flexibility appears to be more synergetic to cross-regional adjustability (via outmigration). We draw implications for our understanding of cross-regional equilibration and for labour market and wider EU policies.
    Keywords: Employment flexibility, regional migration, labour market adjustment
    JEL: R11 R23 J08 J61
    Date: 2021–01
  9. By: Marchetta, Francesca (CERDI, University of Auvergne); Sahn, David E. (Cornell University); Tiberti, Luca (Partnership for Economic Policy (pep)); Dufour, Johany (Université Laval)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of climate events on migration among a cohort of young adults residing in rural Madagascar. We find a strong negative impact of drought on the decision of youth to migrate in the year after the adverse weather shock. Household assets and access to savings institutions attenuate this impact, consistent with the notion that wealth and savings cushion the blow of the shock on the resources required to finance migration. We also find that households that report more social connections outside their villages are more likely to have their young adult members migrate. Our findings suggest that the liquidity constraints from climate shocks that prevent youth migration are more binding for young women who migrate largely for reasons of marriage and education. Males, in contrast, are more likely to migrate in search of employment, which often has higher economic returns than migration motivated by marriage and education. These factors likely explain why drought deters migration of young women, but not so for young men who still choose to migrate in search of a job.
    Keywords: climate shocks, Madagascar, youth migration, internal migration
    JEL: O15 J13 N3 N57
    Date: 2021–01
  10. By: Isil Erol (Queensland University of Technology); Umut Unal (Philipps University Marburg)
    Abstract: Germany has undergone a significant migration policy shift since the early 2000s. This paper examines the total employment effect of immigration during the liberalization of migration policies from 2005 to 2018 using a spatial approach. A set of methods, along with static and dynamic macro-econometric models, were applied on a balanced panel formed by a unique and manually collected data for 156 statistical regions based on the definition of the German Federal Employment Agency. We find suggestive evidence that there has been a significant adverse impact of new immigrants on the overall employment rate, and this negative effect is substantially larger than those reported in previous studies on the employment effect of immigration in the German labour market. In a further step, we divide our sample into two subsamples to capture the employment effect of the massive humanitarian inflows that began in 2015. Our results indicate that, in addition to the new immigrants' lower rate of integration into the local labour markets, a sudden influx of asylum seekers may possibly lead to a substantial fall in the employment rates, because asylum seekers are not immediately allowed to work in the country.
    Keywords: Immigration, Labour market, Employment, Labour Economics, Asylum seekers
    JEL: J00 J15 J61
    Date: 2021

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