nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2021‒04‒19
nineteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Social Isolation and Loneliness in the Context of Migration: A Cross-Sectional Study of Refugees, Migrants, and the Native Population in Germany By Lea-Maria Löbel; Hannes Kröger; Ana Nanette Tibubos
  2. Development Level of Hosting Areas and the Impact of Refugees on Natives’ Labor Market Outcomes By Dogu Tan Araci; Murat Demirci; Murat Guray Kirdar
  3. Syrian Refugees, Public Attitudes, Policy Areas and Political Parties in Turkey: A Systematic Analysis of Twitter Data By Osman Zeki Gökçe; Emre Hatipoglu
  4. Do Refugees Cause Crime? By Aysegul Kayaoglu
  5. ‘Assisted’ and ‘Voluntary’ Return? By Salihi, R.
  6. Ethnic Mixing in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment and a Structural Model By Boucher, Vincent; Tumen, Semih; Vlassopoulos, Michael; Wahba, Jackline; Zenou, Yves
  7. Fear and Loathing in Times of Distress Causal Impact of Social and Economic Insecurity on Anti-Immigration Sentiment By Gianmarco Daniele; Andrea F.M. Martinangeli; Francesco Passarelli; Willem Sas; Lisa Windsteiger
  8. Migrants and boomtowns: micro evidence from the U.S. shale boom By Isha Rajbhandari; Alessandra Faggian; Mark Partridge
  9. An Assessment of the Macroeconomic Implications of Foreign and Domestic Labour Supply Shocks in Malta By Germano Ruisi
  10. Culture and the cross-country differences in the gender commuting gap: Evidence from immigrants in the United States By Marcén, Miriam; Morales, Marina
  11. The accuracy of Statistics Norway’s national population projections By Rebecca F. Gleditsch; Adrian F. Rogne; Astri Syse; Michael Thomas
  12. Risk Sharing in Currency Unions: The Migration Channel By Wilhelm Kohler; Gernot Müller; Susanne Wellmann
  13. Another Brick in the Wall. Immigration and Electoral Preferences: Direct Evidence from State Ballots. By Olivier Bargain; Victor Stephane; Jérôme Valette
  14. How Foreign- and U.S.-Born Latinos Fare During Recessions and Recoveries By Pia M. Orrenius; Madeline Zavodny
  15. The fiscal impact of immigration in the EU By Michael Christl; Alain Bélanger; Alessandra Conte; Jacopo Mazza; Edlira Narazani
  16. The Dynamics of Return Migration, Human Capital Accumulation, and Wage Assimilation By Jérôme Adda; Christian Dustmann; Joseph-Simon Görlach
  17. Deepening or Diminishing Ethnic Divides? The Impact of Urban Migration in Kenya By Eric Kramon; Sarah Baird; Joan Hamory; Edward Miguel
  18. Postgraduate education and job mismatch: the role of migration By Martina Aronica; Alessandra Faggian; Debora Insolda; Davide Piacentino
  19. Immigrant Misallocation By Serdar Birinci; Fernando Leibovici; Kurt See

  1. By: Lea-Maria Löbel; Hannes Kröger; Ana Nanette Tibubos
    Abstract: The study of loneliness and social isolation has provided a lot of evidence for differences in the prevalence of the two, depending on the context of individuals. Given different social, legal, and economic differences for migrants and refugees, it has been documented that these groups show elevated levels of both social isolation and loneliness compared to the respective host population. Differences in association between social isolation and loneliness have received less emphasize. We test five competing hypotheses about the different sizes of association between social isolation and loneliness in the groups of migrants, refugees, and the host population in Germany. The hypotheses are informed by the differences in social, legal, and economic circumstances between the groups and their socioeconomic and psychological consequences. Using survey data from a large stratified random sample of the population, including migrants and refugees, we test our five hypotheses using a Bayesian Evaluation of Informative Hypotheses. We find highest relative support for the hypothesis about increased need for social networks and support among refugees, which would be indicated by a higher association of social isolation and loneliness for refugees than for the host and migrant population. However, further investigation of the results show all theory derived hypotheses perform poorly in explaining the major pattern in the data: The association of social isolation and loneliness is lowest for migrants (about 0.25 SD), with similar larger associations for refugees and the host population (about 0.5 SD). We discuss this contradiction of theory and evidence, proposing avenues for future research.
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Dogu Tan Araci (Prosus); Murat Demirci (Department of Economics, Koç University); Murat Guray Kirdar (Department of Economics, Bogazici University)
    Abstract: We examine how the impact of refugees on natives’ labor market outcomes varies by the development level of hosting areas, which has important implications for the optimal allocation of refugees across regions and countries. For this purpose, in the context of the largest refugee group in the world in a single country, Syrian refugees in Turkey, we exploit the significant variation in the development level across regions of Turkey, several of which host a substantial number of refugees. We find that the impact of refugees on natives’ labor market outcomes becomes significantly less adverse as regional development level rises. For instance, the negative effects of the refugee shock on employment and labor force participation of women observed at the mean level of development vanish at high levels of development. Moreover, while the impact of the refugees on employment of men is negative for the least developed regions, it is positive for highly developed regions. Our findings imply that developed regions and countries are in a better position in terms of protecting their local population from the adverse effects of refugees in the labor market.
    Keywords: refugees, optimal refugee allocation, labor market impact, development level, employment and wages of men and women.
    JEL: J61 O15 F22 R23 R58
    Date: 2021–04
  3. By: Osman Zeki Gökçe (Istanbul Medipol University); Emre Hatipoglu (KAPSAR King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Riyadh)
    Abstract: The Syrian refugee problem has become an important topic in Turkish politics. Although public opinion has played an important role in shaping policies towards Syrian refugees, our knowledge of how these attitudes are formed is scant. Taking a four-month snapshot of Turkish tweets on Syrian refugees and utilizing a novel clustering technique allowing hand-coding of their content feasible, this study assessed the relative salience of issues raised relating to refugees and tested users assign culpability to Turkish political parties regarding these issues. Findings confirm the salience of security issues and suggest that attitudes towards Syrian refugees are highly politicized
    Date: 2021–04–20
  4. By: Aysegul Kayaoglu (Istanbul Technical University)
    Abstract: The impact of immigration on crime continues to stir heated debates in public policy circles around the world whilst surveys indicate that host societies favor mitigating measures because they are concerned of what they perceive as an impingement on their security with each new wave of migration inflow. Whether there is any truth to such perceptions, however, remains a mystery for the case of developing countries since causal evidence is extremely limited. That those countries host the overwhelming majority of the global refugee population makes it paramount for researchers to supply the missing scientific link. Propelled by the magnitude of this need, this paper analyzes the impact of refugees on crime rates using the case of Turkey that hosts the world’s largest refugee population within any national borders. In doing so, it uses instrumental variables, Difference-in-Differences (DiD) and Staggered DiD methods to explain if the war-fleeing Syrian refugees pushed Turkey’s crime rates higher both in the short and the long-run. Controlling for various time-varying characteristics of provinces and presenting a battery of robustness checks against various identification threats, its findings show either null or negative effects of refugees on the incidence of criminal activity in the country.
    Date: 2021–04–20
  5. By: Salihi, R.
    Abstract: Afghanistan signed a ‘return, readmission, and reintegration’ agreement with the European Union in 2016, the Joint Way Forward, and legally entered the assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) schemes. However, the refugees only reaped the aftermath of this decision, many reporting to have received little to none of the assistance they were promised before return. Their narrative of the voluntariness of their return also seems to be very colourful and is an interesting area to investigate what they perceive as voluntary and how they define these programmes. Drawing upon 25 interviews with Afghans who were returned during 2015-2018 from multiple European states, this research analyses these return ‘decisions’ and its voluntariness and the assistance provided for returns that have taken place under AVRR programmes in the Afghan context. This research will attempt to understand and analyse this missing narrative of returnees within the global migration governance and politics, including an investigation into the role of the IOM, the EU and few other European States, and the Afghan government.
    Date: 2021–04–13
  6. By: Boucher, Vincent (Université Laval); Tumen, Semih (TED University); Vlassopoulos, Michael (University of Southampton); Wahba, Jackline (University of Southampton); Zenou, Yves (Monash University)
    Abstract: We study the social integration of ethnic minority children in the context of an early childhood program conducted in Turkey aimed at preparing 5-year-old native and Syrian refugee children for primary school. We randomly assign children to groups with varying ethnic composition and find that exposure to children of the other ethnicity leads to an increase in the formation of interethnic friendships, especially for Turkish children. We also find that the Turkish language skills of Syrian children are better developed in classes with a larger presence of Turkish children. We then develop a model of friendship formation with two key mechanisms: preference bias and congestion in the friendship formation process. Structural estimation of the model suggests that interethnic exposure reduces the share of own-ethnicity friends (homophily) and has a non-monotonic effect on the propensity to form own-ethnicity friendships beyond what would be expected given the size of the group (inbreeding homophily). Counterfactual analysis indicates that improvement in the language skills of Syrian children can offset more than half of the effect that ethnic bias has on friendship formation patterns. Finally, we find that for Syrian children exposure to Turkish children in the pre-school program has a long-term effect on primary school absenteeism.
    Keywords: refugees, early childhood, randomized field experiment, structural estimation, network formation, non-cognitive skills
    JEL: D85 J15 J18 Z13
    Date: 2021–04
  7. By: Gianmarco Daniele; Andrea F.M. Martinangeli; Francesco Passarelli; Willem Sas; Lisa Windsteiger
    Abstract: The causal nexus between socio-economic stressors and anti-immigration sentiments remains unclear despite increasing evidence over their correlation. We exploit the social and economic disruptions brought about by the epidemic outbreak in March 2020 to randomly provide survey respondents with, at the time of the survey, pessimistic information about the economic and health consequences of the epidemic. Both economic and social stressors causally induce upsurges in anti-immigration sentiment and demand for ï¬ scal pressure retrenchment. However, radicalised attitudes are accompanied by political radicalisation only when the negative economic consequences of the epidemic are highlighted.
    Keywords: economic crisis, social crisis, immigration, survey experiment, radical political preferences
    JEL: D72 H51 H53 H55 O52 P52
    Date: 2020–12
  8. By: Isha Rajbhandari (University of Puget Sound); Alessandra Faggian (Gran Sasso Science Institute); Mark Partridge (Ohio State University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between oil and gas development and in-migration of workers into boomtowns, taking into account their human capital. Using zero-inflated negative binomial estimation methodology, we find that shale development has differing scale and demand shock impacts on U.S. interregional migration flows. The results demonstrate the heterogeneity of migration responses to shale developments with a disproportionately higher positive effect for medium-high human capital workers with technical degrees or trainings common in the energy industry. Furthermore, labor demand shocks from oil and gas development have a modest association with migration flows, which is contrary to the assumption that natural resource boom is a considerable attraction for migrants. This study highlights the types of human capital gained by oil and gas development areas characterized as being rural and sparsely populated, which can have important implications for the long-run growth and economic resilience of the boomtowns.
    Keywords: migration, shale gas boom, human capital
    JEL: J23 J24 Q33 R11 R23
    Date: 2020–12
  9. By: Germano Ruisi (Central Bank of Malta)
    Abstract: Over the recent years Malta has experienced a remarkable increase in its labour force due to a large influx of immigrants and an unprecedented increase in the domestic participation. Driven by the observation of such a phenomenon, this paper aims at assessing the impact of foreign and domestic labour supply shocks on the Maltese economy by estimating a number of structural vector autoregressions (VARs) identified through sign restrictions. The VARs are estimated by using data over the 2004Q1- 2019Q2 period and the results point toward a relevant impact of the identified shocks on domestic production, wages and unemployment as well as on a number of other key variables, e.g., government revenue and expenditure, rents and measures of productivity.
    JEL: C11 C32 E32
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Marcén, Miriam; Morales, Marina
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of the gender equality culture in cross-country gender commuting gap differences. To avoid inter-relationships between culture, institutions, and economic conditions in a simple cross-country analysis, we adopt the epidemiological approach. We merge data from the American Time Use Survey for the years 2006–2018 on early-arrival first- and second-generation immigrants living in the United States with their corresponding annual country of ancestry’s Gender Gap Index (GGI). Because all these immigrants (with different cultural backgrounds) have grown up under the same laws, institutions, and economic conditions in the US, the gender differences among them in the time devoted to commuting to/from work can be interpreted as evidence of the existence of a cultural impact. Our results show that a culture with more gender equality in the country of ancestry may reduce the gender commuting gap of parents. Specifically, an increase of 1 standard deviation in the GGI increases women’s daily commuting time relative to men by almost 5 minutes, a sizeable effect representing 23 percent of the standard deviation in the gender commuting gap across countries of ancestry. A supplementary analysis provides possible mechanisms through which culture operates and is transmitted, showing the potential existence of horizontal transmission and the importance of the presence of children in commuting. Our results are robust to the use of different subsamples, geographical controls, and selection into employment and telework.
    Keywords: Commuting,culture,immigrants,American Time Use Survey
    JEL: R41 J16 Z13
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Rebecca F. Gleditsch; Adrian F. Rogne; Astri Syse; Michael Thomas (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Statistics Norway projects the population by age, sex and immigrant background at the national level. This paper examines the accuracy of the Norwegian population projections produced between 1996 and 2018. We assess deviations between projected and registered numbers, both for the total population and for several key components, such as age structure, total fertility rate and number of births, period life expectancy at birth and number of deaths, as well as net international migration. While fertility proved to be the most difficult component to project during the post-war period, net international migration has been the main source of inaccuracy in the national population projections produced since 1996. The projections produced in 1996, 1999, 2002 and 2005 underestimated longterm population growth due to the unforseen increase in immigration following EU expansion in 2004. Subsequent projections have not, however, produced a consistent under- or overprojection of net migration, and the deviations between the projected and registered total populations have been moderate. Overall, the projections for life expectancy at birth have proven to be consistently lower than the real development in life expectancy in Norway, at least until very recently. Fertility, on the other hand, has continued to be overprojected since observed fertility started to decline in 2009. Nevertheless, the deviations between projected and realised trends in births and deaths have been small compared to the observed deviations for net international migration.
    Keywords: Accuracy; Errors; Fertility; Methods; Migration; Mortality; Population Projections
    JEL: C53 J11
    Date: 2021–03
  12. By: Wilhelm Kohler; Gernot Müller; Susanne Wellmann
    Abstract: Country-specific business cycle fluctuations are potentially very costly for member states of currency unions because they lack monetary autonomy. The actual costs depend on the extent to which consumption is shielded from these fluctuations and thus on the extent of risk sharing across member states. The literature to date has focused on financial and credit markets as well as on transfer schemes as channels of risk sharing. In this paper, we show how the standard approach to quantify risk sharing can be extended to account for migration as an additional channel of cross-country risk sharing. In theory, migration should play a key role when it comes to insulating per capita consumption from aggregate fluctuations, and our estimates show that it does so indeed for US states, but not for the members of the Euro area (EA). Consistent with these results, we also present survey evidence which shows that migration rates are about 20 times higher in the US. Lastly, we find, in line with earlier work, that risk sharing is generally much more limited across EA members.
    Keywords: risk sharing, currency unions, labour migration, migration rates, Euro area
    JEL: F41 F22 G15 J61
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Olivier Bargain; Victor Stephane; Jérôme Valette (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Using information on actual ballots rather than survey data, we investigate the impact of immigration on both electoral outcomes and immigrant-related motives underlying political preferences. We take advantage of 94 votes, namely 54 policy propositions and 40 elections for candidates, that took place in Californian general elections between 2010 and 2018. We first analyze how the share of immigrants at the census tract level affects electoral outcomes. We find that a rise in immigration is associated with a decrease in people's support for the Democratic party and for liberal measures. Using proposition topics, we show that this effect is driven by policies pertaining to redistribution, public good provision and justice/crime, while other propositions, less directly related to immigration are not impacted. The effect is stronger when immigrants are less assimilated and originate from poor and culturally distant countries.
    Date: 2021–04–01
  14. By: Pia M. Orrenius; Madeline Zavodny
    Abstract: Latinos make up the nation’s largest ethnic minority group. The majority of Latinos are U.S. born, making the progress and well-being of Latinos no longer just a question of immigrant assimilation but also of the effectiveness of U.S. educational institutions and labor markets in equipping young Latinos to move out of the working class and into the middle class. One significant headwind to progress among Latinos is recessions. Economic outcomes of Latinos are far more sensitive to the business cycle than are outcomes for non-Hispanic whites. Latinos also have higher poverty rates than whites, although the gap had been falling prior to the pandemic. Deep holes in the pandemic safety net further imperiled Latino progress in 2020 and almost surely will in 2021 as well. Policies that would help working-class and poor Latinos include immigration reform and education reform and broader access to affordable health care.
    Keywords: Hispanics; immigrants; working class; business cycle
    JEL: J11 J15 E24
    Date: 2021–04–02
  15. By: Michael Christl (European Commission - JRC); Alain Bélanger; Alessandra Conte; Jacopo Mazza; Edlira Narazani
    Abstract: The increasing flows of immigrants in Europe over the last decade has generated a range of considerations in the policy agenda of many receiving countries. One of the main considerations for policy makers and public opinions alike is whether immigrants contribute their "fair" share to their host country tax and welfare system. This paper seeks to answer this question based on an empirical assessment of the net fiscal contributions of immigrants in the 27 EU member states using EUROMOD, a EU-wide tax-benefit microsimulation model. In addition to the traditional view of the tax-benefit system, we add indirect taxation and in-kind benefits to the analysis of net contributions. Our findings highlight that migrants on average contributed about 250 euro per year more than natives to the welfare state in 2015. However, when we take an average age-specific life-cycle perspective, we find that natives generally show a higher net fiscal contribution than both, intra-EU and extra-EU migrants, while extra-EU migrants contribute on average less than intra-EU migrants.
    Keywords: Migration Microsimulation Tax-benefit system EUROMOD
    JEL: J15 H2 H5
    Date: 2021–04
  16. By: Jérôme Adda (Bocconi University, BIDSA and IGIER); Christian Dustmann (University College London and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration); Joseph-Simon Görlach (Bocconi University, BIDSA, CReAM, IGIER and LEAP)
    Abstract: This paper develops and estimates a dynamic model where individuals differ in ability and location preference to evaluate the mechanisms that affect the evolution of immigrants’ careers in conjunction with their re-migration plans. Our analysis highlights a novel form of selective return migration where those who plan to stay longer invest more into skill acquisition, with important implications for the assessment of immigrants’ career paths and the estimation of their earnings profiles. Our study also explains the willingness of immigrants to accept jobs at wages that seem unacceptable to natives. Finally, our model provides important insight for the design of migration policies, showing that policies which initially restrict residence or condition residence on achievement shape not only immigrants’ career profiles through their impact on human capital investment but also determine the selection of arrivals and leavers.
    Keywords: International migration, human capital, expectations
    JEL: F22 J24 J61
  17. By: Eric Kramon (George Washington University); Sarah Baird (George Washington University); Joan Hamory (University of Oklahoma); Edward Miguel (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: The impact of urban migration on ethnic politics is the subject of long-standing debate. “First-generation†modernization theories predict that urban migration should reduce ethnic identification and increase trust between groups. “Second-generation†modernization perspectives argue the opposite: Urban migration may amplify ethnic identification and reduce trust. We test these competing expectations with a three-wave panel survey following more than 8,000 Kenyans over a 15-year period, providing novel evidence on the impact of urbanmigration. Using individual fixed effects regressions, we show that urban migration leads to reductions in ethnic identification; ethnicity’s importance to the individual diminishes after migrating. Yet urban migration also reduces trust between ethnic groups, and trust in people generally. Urban migrants become less attached to their ethnicity but more suspicious. The results advance the literature on urbanization and politics and have implications for the potential consequences of ongoing urbanization processes around the world.
    Date: 2021–08
  18. By: Martina Aronica (Università di Palermo); Alessandra Faggian (Gran Sasso Science Institute); Debora Insolda (Università di Palermo); Davide Piacentino (Università di Palermo)
    Abstract: Despite the increase of doctoral studies, PhD holders face many obstacles in finding non-academic jobs matching their competencies. This paper explores this phenomenon under three angles: overeducation, overskilling and satisfaction. While considering a rich set of determinants, we particularly focus on the role of migration. Spatial mobility may represent not only a way to favour the education-job match at an aggregate level, but also a way to get a stronger motivation in searching a suitable job at an individual level. Looking at the case of Italy, we find a positive effect of migration on the education-job matching. We also find two evident gaps. The first between domestic and foreign labour markets and the second between genders.
    Keywords: PhD degree, education-job mismatching, human capital migration, Italian regions
    JEL: I21 J24 J61 R23
    Date: 2020–11
  19. By: Serdar Birinci; Fernando Leibovici; Kurt See
    Abstract: We quantify the barriers that impede the integration of immigrants into foreign labor markets and investigate their aggregate implications. We develop a model of occupational choice with natives and immigrants of multiple types whose decisions are subject to wedges which distort their allocation across occupations. We estimate the model to match salient features of U.S. and cross-country individual-level data. We find that there are sizable GDP gains from removing the wedges faced by immigrants in U.S. labor markets, accounting for approximately one-fifth of the overall economic contribution of immigrants to the U.S. economy. These effects arise from both increased flows from non-participation to predominantly manual jobs as well as from reallocation within the market sector that raises productivity in non-routine cognitive jobs. We contrast our findings for the U.S. with estimates for 11 high-income countries and document substantial differences in the magnitude of immigrant wedges across countries. Importantly, we find differences in the distribution of immigrant wedges across occupations lead to substantial variation in the gains from removing immigrant misallocation, even among countries with similar average degrees of distortions.
    Keywords: Immigration; Occupational Barriers; Mobility; Misallocation
    JEL: J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2021–04

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