nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2021‒04‒05
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Climate Change, International Migration, and Interstate Conflict By Cristina Cattaneo; Timothy Foreman
  2. Advancing gender equality in environmental migration and disaster displacement in the Caribbean By Bleeker, Amelia; Escribano, Pablo; Gonzales, Candice; Liberati, Cristina; Mawby, Briana
  3. Does growing up in a recession increase compassion? The case of attitudes towards immigration By Maria Cotofan; Robert Dur; Stephan Meier
  4. Differences in work conditions between natives and immigrants: preferences vs. outside employment opportunities By Eva Moreno Galbis
  5. Overqualification as Moderator for the Link Between Job Changes and Job Satisfaction Among Immigrated and Native-born People in Germany By Khalil, Samir; Lietz, Almuth; Mayer, Sabrina Jasmin
  6. The Skills of Rich and Poor Country Workers By Slichter, David; Taveras, Elisa; Monge, Daniela
  7. Labour immigration, per capita income growth, and unemployment in post-apartheid South Africa By Nyagweta, David Tinashe
  8. Real Exchange Rates and the Earnings of Immigrants By Christian Dustmann; Hyejin Ku; Tanya Surovtseva
  9. Remittances, migration and poverty. A study for Mexico and Central America By Nuñez, Roy; Osorio-Caballero, María Isabel
  10. Immigration and Inter-Regional Job Mobility: Evidence from Syrian Refugees in Turkey By Yusuf Emre Akgündüz; Altan Aldan; Yusuf Kenan Bagir

  1. By: Cristina Cattaneo (RFF†CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE), Centro Euro†Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici); Timothy Foreman (RFF†CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE), Centro Euro†Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici)
    Abstract: A number of factors contribute to interstate conflicts. One social element that has received little attention in the literature is the role of international migration. At the same time, the contribution of climate stress on interstate disputes has been underresearched. This paper analyses if climate stress represents a direct driver of interstate disputes and, at the same time, an indirect driver to conflicts through its effect on international migration. To do so, we use climate shocks to instrument for migration flows in a gravity setting in order to study its causal effect on international conflict. We find that a 1% increase in climate-induced migration increases the probability that the destination of the flows initiates conflict against the origin by 0.001 percentage points over a mean incidence of conflict of 0.13 percentage point per year. The results are consistent across different migration datasets and different specifications of defining the initiator in the conflict.
    Date: 2021–03
  2. By: Bleeker, Amelia; Escribano, Pablo; Gonzales, Candice; Liberati, Cristina; Mawby, Briana
    Abstract: Disaster displacement and environmental migration are among the most serious humanitarian challenges facing the Caribbean. As a subregion of small island developing States (SIDS) which are vulnerable and prone to extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change, the Caribbean is constantly faced with population displacement resulting from these events. Individuals experience these migration processes uniquely on account of their gender-specific inequalities, vulnerabilities, and access to resources and opportunities. It is critical to understand how the consequences of environmental migration and disaster displacement are gendered in order to address and prevent harm and to protect the rights of women and girls and people of all genders who experience intersecting forms of discrimination.
    Date: 2021–03–22
  3. By: Maria Cotofan; Robert Dur; Stephan Meier
    Abstract: Macroeconomic conditions during young adulthood have a persistent impact on people's attitudes and preferences. The seminal paper by Giuliano and Spilimbergo (2014) shows that people who grew up in a recession are more likely to favor government redistribution and assistance to the poor. Moreover, they are more likely to believe that bad luck rather than a lack of hard work causes poverty, i.e. they seem to be more compassionate towards the poor. In this paper, we investigate how inclusive this increase in compassion is by studying how macroeconomic conditions experienced during young adulthood affect attitudes towards immigration. Using data from the General Social Survey and the World Value Survey, we find strong evidence that bad macroeconomic circumstances during young adulthood strengthen attitudes against immigration for the rest of people's lives. In addition, growing up in difficult macroeconomic times increases parochialism, i.e. people become more outgroup hostile --- not just against immigrants. Our results thus suggest that the underlying motive for more government redistribution in response to a recession does not originate from a universal increase in compassion, but rather seems to be more self-interested and restricted to one's ingroup.
    Keywords: immigration, attitudes, social preferences, parochialism, redistribution, macroeconomic conditions, impressionable years
    JEL: D9 E7 J1
    Date: 2021–04
  4. By: Eva Moreno Galbis (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Immigrants are disproportionately employed in agriculture and construction, sectors with relatively high injury rates. What pushes immigrants to accept riskier and more strenuous work conditions? We propose a circular model and show that differences in average work conditions borne by natives and immigrants are driven by both preferences and unearned income. Using French data we find that, in line with the model's predictions, (i) rigid wages are associated with a larger immigrant-native gap in work conditions; (ii) high unearned income individuals benefit on average from better work conditions; (iii) for immigrants and natives with high unearned income, differences in demographic characteristics explain part of the immigrant-native gap in work conditions. In contrast, the gap largely persists among low unearned income people even once we have imposed identical demographic composition among them. This suggests that there must be other factors that influence preferences over work conditions and that are missing in our empirical analysis.
    Keywords: immigrants,work conditions,outside employment opportunities,preferences,composition effects
    Date: 2020–11
  5. By: Khalil, Samir; Lietz, Almuth; Mayer, Sabrina Jasmin (University of Duisburg-Essen)
    Abstract: Job satisfaction is a major driver of an individual’s subjective well-being and thus affects public health, societal prosperity, and organizations, as dissatisfied employees are less productive and more likely to change jobs. However, changing jobs does not necessarily lead to higher job satisfaction in the long run: instead, previous studies have shown that changing jobs only increases job satisfaction for a shorter period of time before it gradually falls back to similar levels as before. This phenomenon is known as the honeymoon-hangover pattern. In our study, we identify an important new moderator of the relation between job changes and job satisfaction: the job-education match of job change. Based on relative deprivation theory, we argue that a job change out of overqualification lowers the likelihood of negative comparisons and thus increases the honeymoon period and lessens the hangover. In addition, we investigate whether this moderating effect is weaker for immigrants, since the phenomenon of overqualification occurs more frequently among them. We use data from the Socio-Economic Panel ranging from 1994-2018 and focus specifically on individual-periods of employees before and after job changes (N=134,417). Our results confirm that a change to a qualificationadequate job has a stronger and longer-lasting effect on job satisfaction which is lower for respondents born abroad.
    Date: 2021–03–20
  6. By: Slichter, David; Taveras, Elisa; Monge, Daniela
    Abstract: We use information on the occupation choices and earnings of immigrants to measure differences in specific skills between workers from rich and poor countries. We have several findings. First, the skills which rich country workers specialize in mirror the skills which high-income individuals specialize in. Second, rich country workers have the greatest advantage in skills related to the ability to generate ideas (like creativity and critical thinking) rather than scientific or technical knowledge. Third, the skills in which rich country workers have the greatest advantage align closely with the skills used in management occupations. Fourth, workers from rich countries are more varied in their skills (e.g., what one Canadian is good at is different from what another Canadian is). These findings do not appear to be accounted for by the non-randomness of immigration or mismeasurement of skills. Overall, our results suggest that rich country workers have skills particularly well-adapted to production processes involving the coordinated efforts of large groups of people.
    Keywords: skills, immigration, development
    JEL: J24 O15
    Date: 2021–02–11
  7. By: Nyagweta, David Tinashe
    Abstract: Since the inception of the post-apartheid era, South Africa has experienced considerable increase in immigration. This increase has mostly been enticed by the socio-economic outlook of the rainbow nation relative to developing nations. Unfortunately, increased immigration, particularly labour-based immigration, has spurred fierce debates on outcomes that, in many instances, manifested into xenophobic violence. Thus, this study sought to evaluate whether labour-based immigration contributes to changes in per capita income growth and unemployment using both macro and micro level data. Results from the autoregressive distributed lag, ordinary least squares, difference, and instrumental variable estimations showed that labour immigration has an insignificant causal effect on both per capita income growth and unemployment. Hence, contrary to pessimistic public and political sentiment, per capita income and unemployment are caused by broader socio-economic factors. Policies should be aimed at ensuring equitable human development with strong ties to inclusivity, job creation, constitutional obligations, and international solidarity.
    Keywords: immigration, post-apartheid, income growth, instrumental variable, autoregressive distributed lag, unemployment
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2020–10
  8. By: Christian Dustmann (University College London, Department of Economics and CReAM); Hyejin Ku (University College London, Department of Economics and CReAM); Tanya Surovtseva (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Department of Economics and Business and CReAM)
    Abstract: Higher price levels in the destination relative to the origin increase the effective real wages of immigrants, thereby affecting immigrants’ reservation and entry wages as well as their subsequent career trajectories. Based on micro-level longitudinal administrative data from Germany and exploiting within-country and across-cohort variations in the real exchange rate (RER) between Germany and countries that newly joined the European Union in the 2000s, we find that immigrants arriving with high RERs initially settle for lower paying jobs than comparable immigrants arriving with low RERs. In subsequent periods, however, wages of high RER arrivals catch up to that of their low RER counterparts, convergence achieved primarily through changes to better paying occupations and firms. Our findings thus point to the persistent regional price differences as one possible reason for immigrants’ downgrading, with implications for immigrants’ career profiles and the assessment of labor market impacts of immigration.
    Keywords: real exchange rate, reservation wage, immigrant downgrading, earnings assimilation
    JEL: J24 J31 J61 O15 O24
    Date: 2021–03
  9. By: Nuñez, Roy; Osorio-Caballero, María Isabel
    Abstract: In the last two decades, remittances have acquired great importance as a source of external income for various developing economies. In the particular case of the Latin America region, the United States represents the most important destination, with nearly 25 million Latinos living in this country. This paper analyses the effect that migration and the sending of remittances have on poverty in Mexico and Central America. The results show that a 10% increase in migration to the United States (as a percentage of the population in the destination country) translates into an 8.6% reduction in the population living on less than US$ 1.90 a day; while the poverty gap is reduced by 12.8%. With regard to the sending of remittances, a reduction of 6.7% is observed in the poor population and 10% in relation to the poverty gap. These results are in line with previous literature and, in general, are maintained to various specifications.
    Keywords: Worker remittances, poverty, international migration, instrumental variables
    JEL: F22 F24 I32 O15
    Date: 2021–02–10
  10. By: Yusuf Emre Akgündüz (Sabanci University); Altan Aldan (Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey); Yusuf Kenan Bagir (Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey)
    Abstract: We analyze the relationship between large-scale refugee inflows and the inter-regional job mobility of natives. Using a sudden inflow of Syrian refugees into Turkey, we identify the province level impact of hosting refugees on inward and outward job mobility of provinces using administrative social security data. We find that after the arrival of Syrian refugees, net job mobility towards hosting provinces declined. The negative effect is driven by a decline in inward mobility rather than an increase in outward mobility. A percentage point increase in Syrian to native population ratio decreases job mobility to a province by 2%. We find no corresponding effect on total internal migration, suggesting that the effect on job movers in the private sector can differ from the effect on the population at large.
    Date: 2021–02–20

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