nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2021‒05‒31
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. How residence permits affect the labor market attachment of foreign workers: Evidence from a migration lottery in Liechtenstein By Berno Buechel; Selina Gangl; Martin Huber
  2. COVID-19, Working from Home and the Potential Reverse Brain Drain By Bakalova, Irina; Berlinschi, Ruxanda; Fidrmuc, Jan; Dzyuba, Yuri
  3. Barriers to humanitarian migration, victimisation and integration outcomes: evidence from Germany By Freitas-Monteiro, Teresa; Ludolph, Lars
  4. Civil War Violence and Refugee Outflows By James D. Fearon; Andrew Shaver
  5. Economic Consequences of Mass Migration: The Venezuelan Exodus in Peru By Cesar Martinelli; Cynthia Boruchowicz; Susan W. Parker
  6. The Paradox of Large Scale Emigration for Economic Reasons from the Western Balkans By Matoshi, Ruzhdi; Mulaj, Isa
  7. Migration from Africa, the Middle East and European Neighbouring Countries to the EU: An Augmented Gravity Modelling Approach By Michael Landesmann; Isilda Mara
  8. Population Aging and Migration By Poutvaara, Panu
  9. Names, diversity and innovation By Kremer, Anna

  1. By: Berno Buechel; Selina Gangl; Martin Huber
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of obtaining a residence permit on foreign workers' labor market and residential attachment. To overcome the usually severe selection issues, we exploit a unique migration lottery that randomly assigns access to otherwise restricted residence permits in Liechtenstein (situated between Austria and Switzerland). Using an instrumental variable approach, our results show that lottery compliers (whose migration behavior complies with the assignment in their first lottery) raise their employment probability in Liechtenstein by on average 24 percentage points across outcome periods (2008 to 2018) as a result of receiving a permit. Relatedly, their activity level and employment duration in Liechtenstein increase by on average 20 percentage points and 1.15 years, respectively, over the outcome window. These substantial and statistically significant effects are mainly driven by individuals not (yet) working in Liechtenstein prior to the lottery rather than by previous cross-border commuters. Moreover, we find both the labor market and residential effects to be persistent even several years after the lottery with no sign of fading out. These results suggest that granting resident permits to foreign workers can be effective to foster labor supply even beyond the effect of cross-border commuting from adjacent regions.
    Date: 2021–05
  2. By: Bakalova, Irina; Berlinschi, Ruxanda; Fidrmuc, Jan; Dzyuba, Yuri
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial increase in the prevalence of working from home among white-collar occupations. This can have important implications for the future of the workplace and quality of life. We discuss an additional implication, which we label reverse brain drain: the possibility that white-collar migrant workers return to live in their countries of origin while continuing to work for employers in their countries of destination. We estimate the potential size of this reverse flow using data from the European Labor Force Survey. Our estimates suggest that the UK, France, Switzerland and Germany each have around half a million skilled migrants who could perform their jobs from their home countries. Most of them originate from the other EU member states: both old and new. We discuss the potential economic, social and political implications of such reverse brain drain.
    Keywords: Covid-19,working from home,return migration,brain drain
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Freitas-Monteiro, Teresa; Ludolph, Lars
    Abstract: In this paper, we link the peril of asylum seekers’ migratory journey to economically quantifiable outcomes in the destination country using refugee survey data from Germany collected in the aftermath of the 2015 refugee crisis. We start by showing that, accounting for selection effects, physical victimisation during the journey to Germany is strongly associated with significantly lower mental well-being and general health upon arrival in the destination. The physical victimisation experience severely distorts the human capital investment decision by leading affected refugees to favour joining the labour force and engaging in part-time and marginal employment over pursuing host-country education. We place our findings into both the psychiatric and experimental economic literature, which suggest that experiencing physical trauma in vulnerable situations results in a "loss of future directedness" or "impatience" among the victimised, leading them to discount future payoffs more heavily.
    Keywords: refugees; victimisation; labour market integration; education
    JEL: F22 J15 J21 O15
    Date: 2021–05–01
  4. By: James D. Fearon (Stanford University); Andrew Shaver (University of California Merced)
    Abstract: Conflict forces millions of individuals from their homes each year. Using a simple structural model and new refugee data, we produce the first set of estimates relating outflows to annual conflict magnitudes. The theory underlying the structural model implies that standard panel data approaches will underestimate the impact of conflict violence, by differencing out the effect of prior and expected levels of violence on the decisions to flee. We estimate that whereas a shock that doubles conflict deaths in one year increases outflows in that year by 40% on average, doubling conflict deaths in all years increases annual outflows by 100%. We further estimate an average of 30 refugees per conflict death (median 18), with higher rates for conflicts closer to an OECD country and possibly for ethnic wars and in lower income countries. The analysis illustrates a broader methodological point: It can be hazardous to try to identify a causal effect using shocks to a presumed causal factor if the outcome variable is the result of decisions based not only on shocks but also on levels.
    Keywords: refugees, civil war
    JEL: F22 D74 C23
    Date: 2021–04
  5. By: Cesar Martinelli (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University); Cynthia Boruchowicz (University of Maryland); Susan W. Parker (University of Maryland, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE))
    Abstract: We study the effects of mass migration from Venezuela on Peruvian labor markets. In 4239–423:, about :92,222 Venezuelans migrated to Peru; about :6% settled in the Lima metropolitan area, where the percentage of Venezuelans in the working age population went from nil to over 32%. Migrants were more educated in average than the local labor force, and did nor face large cultural barriers. We propose a simple assignment model of the labor market, which suggests that migration will lead to a reallocation of local workers toward lower skill jobs. Using synthetic control methods, and comparing Lima with a group of other Peruvian cities, we find evidence of adjustment in occupational structure in the direction predicted by the model. Overall, market adjustment to a large shock in labor supply was strikingly smooth.
    Date: 2021–05
  6. By: Matoshi, Ruzhdi; Mulaj, Isa
    Abstract: Emigration from economic hardships has always been a phenomenon and it will be in the future. The search for a better life and economic welfare is also one of the main pushing factors. Among many others, emigration for security reasons is a necessity. This was exactly the primary cause of mass emigration from the Western Balkans during the civil wars of 1990s. As the war affected areas in this part of Europe were reconstructed and better living conditions than before emerged, mass emigrations towards western European countries resurged after the outbreak of civil war elsewhere – in Syria, by using the massive flow of refugees from the Middle East as an opportunity to migrate with them. This became apparent especially in Kosovo, Albania, and Northern Macedonia since 2014 onwards. Unlike the Syrian refugees fleeing for their own security, the overwhelming majority of emigrants from the Western Balkans are listed as economic asylum seekers. Yet, back to their home countries which currently are peaceful, the living conditions of the emigrants are relatively good and considerably much easier than ever before, but they still chose to emigrate for their uncertain economic perspective to the Western Europe. Much of them after emigration find their economic life even harder than in their home country they left, and that still does not serve as a lesson to many more of their countrymen whose main ambition is to emigrate. Although their main public complaint is the economic reason, this paper finds that they mostly emigrate from social injustice, bad governance, and inefficient or selective rule of law, nepotism and discriminatory group interests, and high level of corruption behavior. After all, leaving the economic reasons aside, the emigrants want to live in the countries where the system has the rule of law that applies fairly, efficiently and treats them better. Many emigrants are even selling their property or diminishing their actual economic welfare at home just to search for a more relaxed life for themselves and their family members in the West.
    Keywords: Western Balkans, emigration, economic asylum seekers, living conditions.
    JEL: F22 J61 N94
    Date: 2021–03–30
  7. By: Michael Landesmann (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Isilda Mara (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: The South-North migration corridor, i.e. migration flows to the EU from Africa, the Middle East and EU neighbouring countries in the East, have overtaken the East-West migration corridor, i.e. migration flows from Central and East European countries to the EU15 and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). This is likely to dominate migration flows into the EU+EFTA over the coming decades. This paper applies a gravity modelling approach to analyse patterns and drivers of the South-North migration corridor over the period 1995-2020 and explores bilateral mobility patterns from 75 sending countries in Africa, the Middle East and other EU neighbours to the EU28 and EFTA countries. The study finds that income gaps, diverging demographic trends, institutional and governance features and persisting political instability, but also higher climate risks in the neighbouring regions of the EU, are fuelling migration flows along the South-North corridor and will most likely continue to do so.
    Keywords: Migration, Africa, Middle East, Eastern EU partnership countries, migration to EU, demographic developments, refugees, migration policies, gravity modelling, climate risks
    JEL: F22 J11 J61 O15
    Date: 2021–05
  8. By: Poutvaara, Panu (University of Munich)
    Abstract: International migration flows largely reflect demographic patterns and economic opportunities. Migration flows increase in expected income and other pull factors in potential destinations, and in push factors in the origin, like high unemployment, low wages, and high population growth. Migration flows decrease in the geographic and cultural distance between the potential origin and destination, and in other migration costs. To the extent that migrants are employed, immigration can alleviate challenges arising from population aging. For origin countries, the effects of migration may go either way, depending on whether increased incentives to invest in education are sufficient to compensate the loss of skilled workers. Throughout the 20th century, Northern America and Australia and New Zealand attracted highest immigration flows. Latin America was consistently a continent of emigration. Europe went through a major reversal from a continent of emigration until 1950s to a continent of immigration. In the 21st century, crucial questions for demographic and migration research are how fertility rate and emigration rate are going to develop in Africa. Even modest increases in emigration from Africa would generate major increases in immigration pressure in the rest of the world, mostly in Europe. Other major questions on the future research agenda are the effects of the climate change and rapid improvements in information technology.
    Keywords: international migration, population aging, demographic trends, fertility, immigrant workers
    JEL: F22 O15 J11 J13 J61
    Date: 2021–05
  9. By: Kremer, Anna
    Abstract: Diversity of a country is often measured by the amount and spread of nationalities that live there. But also within a country, regions vary in their traditions and culture. Cultural homogeneity within communities is mixed up by (internal) migration, that, like international migration, increases diversity of a place. In a novel approach I therefore look at diversity in German municipality associations measured by different family names and investigate the effect it has on the number of generated patents. I show that cultural diversity and openness of a place affect its economic performance positively in terms of innovation also when referring to intra-country differences.
    Keywords: cultural diversity,innovation,openness,phonebook,patents,local level,Germany,kulturelle Diversität,Innovation,Offenheit,Telefonbuch,Patente,lokal,Deutschland
    JEL: O31 R12 Z10 J61 O1
    Date: 2021

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