nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2021‒07‒12
sixteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The Problem of False Positives in Automated Census Linking: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century New York's Irish Immigrants By Tyler Anbinder; Dylan Connor; Cormac Ó Gráda; Simone Wegge
  2. Retrospective Causal Inference via Matrix Completion, with an Evaluation of the Effect of European Integration on Cross-Border Employment By Poulos, Jason; Albanese, Andrea; Mercatanti, Andrea; Li, Fan
  3. Run, graduate, run: Internationally mobile students' reactions to changing political landscapes in Europe By Weisser, Reinhard A.
  4. The ties that bind and transform: knowledge remittances, relatedness and the direction of technical change By Valentina DI IASIO; Ernest MIGUELEZ
  5. The Political Economy of Immigration, Investment, and Naturalization By Atisha Ghosh; Ben Zissimos
  6. Social Capital and Mobility: An Experimental Study By Rostislav Staněk; Ondřej Krčál; Štěpán Mikula
  7. Do preferences for urban amenities really differ by skill? By Arntz, Melanie; Brüll, Eduard; Lipowski, Cäcilia
  8. Keeping Refugee Children in School and Out of Work: Evidence from the World's Largest Humanitarian Cash Transfer Program By Aygün, Aysun Hızıroğlu; Kirdar, Murat G.; Koyuncu, Murat; Stoeffler, Quentin
  9. The Impact of an Un(der)Funded Inclusive Education Policy: Evidence from the 2013 China Education Panel Survey By Tani, Massimiliano; Zhu, Yu; Xu, Lei
  10. Determinants of Non-Performing Loans in Greece: the intricate role of fiscal expansion By Ioanna Katsounari; Phivos Phylactou; Helena Heracleous
  11. Migrants from High-Cost, Large Metro Areas during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Their Destinations, and How Many Could Follow By Stephan Whitaker
  12. Deeds or words? The local influence of anti-immigrant parties on foreigners’ flows in Italy By Cerqua, Augusto; Zampollo, Federico
  13. Local House Price Effects of Internal Migration in Queensland: Australia’s New Interstate Migration Capital By Isil Erol; Umut Unal
  14. The consequences of EU eastern enlargement on human capital accumulation and wages in Germany By Bernhard H. Wittek; Samuel Muehlemann
  15. Labor Migration in the European Union: The case of Central and Eastern Europe By Ondrej Schneider
  16. Migration in Asia: What skills for the future? By Catherine Gagnon; Jason Gagnon

  1. By: Tyler Anbinder; Dylan Connor; Cormac Ó Gráda; Simone Wegge
    Abstract: Automated census linkage algorithms have become popular for generating longitudinal data on social mobility, especially for immigrants and their children. But what if these algorithms are particularly bad at tracking immigrants? Using nineteenth-century Irish immigrants as a test case, we examine the most popular of these algorithms—that created by Abramitzky, Boustan, Eriksson (ABE), and their collaborators. Our findings raise serious questions about the quality of automated census links. False positives range from about one-third to one-half of all links depending on the ABE variant used. These bad links lead to sizeable estimation errors when measuring Irish immigrant social mobility.
    Keywords: Immigration; Census record matching; Social mobility
    JEL: N21 J61 R23
    Date: 2021–06
  2. By: Poulos, Jason (Duke University); Albanese, Andrea (LISER); Mercatanti, Andrea (LISER); Li, Fan (Duke University)
    Abstract: We propose a method of retrospective counterfactual imputation in panel data settings with later-treated and always-treated units, but no never-treated units. We use the observed outcomes to impute the counterfactual outcomes of the later-treated using a matrix completion estimator. We propose a novel propensity-score and elapsed-time weighting of the estimator's objective function to correct for differences in the observed covariate and unobserved fixed effects distributions, and elapsed time since treatment between groups. Our methodology is motivated by studying the effect of two milestones of European integration—the Free Movement of persons and the Schengen Agreement— on the share of cross-border workers in sending border regions. We apply the proposed method to the European Labour Force Survey (ELFS) data and provide evidence that opening the border almost doubled the probability of working beyond the border in Eastern European regions.
    Keywords: causal inference, cross-border employment, European integration, matrix completion, panel data
    JEL: C21 C31 J21 J61
    Date: 2021–06
  3. By: Weisser, Reinhard A.
    Abstract: Over the last decades, Europe attracted an increasing number of internationally mobile students. The related influx of talent into European labour markets constituted an important factor to the knowledge economy. This research addresses the question whether changing political landscapes in Europe, e.g. an increasing scepticism concerning migrants or support for right-wing parties, translated into a diminishing attractiveness of European economies. To this end, international graduates' staying behaviour in 28 European destination countries is investigated based on bilateral stay rates for almost 150 countries of origin in the years 2009 to 2019. Controlling for various immigration regimes and institutional settings, international graduates are found to display a high level of sensitivity with respect to political dynamics: A distinct dominance of the right political spectrum may lower the number of international graduates willing to stay by up to 50%. The effect is particularly strong in election years when voters' political preferences become more salient. Eventually, this amounts to a considerable loss for European economies since international graduates have acquired destination country specific human capital and are easily integrated into host societies.
    Keywords: migration policies,graduate mobility,labour market integration,political preferences
    JEL: J61 D91 F22 I23
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Valentina DI IASIO; Ernest MIGUELEZ
    Abstract: This study investigates whether high-skilled immigration in a sample of OECD countries fosters technological diversification in the migrants' countries of origin. We focus on migrant inventors and study their role as vectors of knowledge remittances. Further, we particularly analyze whether migrants spark related or unrelated diversification back home. To account for the uneven distribution of knowledge and immigrants within the host countries, we break down the analysis at the metropolitan area level. Our results suggest that inventors' diasporas have a positive effect on the home countries' technological diversification, particularly for developing countries and technologies with less related activities around - thus fostering unrelated diversification.
    Keywords: high-skilled migrants, diversification, relatedness, unrelatedness, technological development
    JEL: O31 O33 F22
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Atisha Ghosh (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Ben Zissimos (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)
    Abstract: This paper provides the first economics-based rationale for the purpose of naturalization. It presents a new political-economy model of immigration featuring a hold-up problem between the government and capital owners over immigration policy, that causes under-investment in capital. Naturalization plays the role of an institution that the government can use to ‘tie its hands’ to the presence of naturalized immigrants, partially resolving the hold-up problem. The model is used to explain the Koopmans-Michalowski paradox: that while dictatorships are more open in terms of policies towards immigrants, democracies are more open in terms of extending immigration rights through naturalization.
    Keywords: hold-up problem, immigration policy, institution, migration, naturalization
    JEL: D02 F22 J61 O43 P16
    Date: 2021–06–02
  6. By: Rostislav Staněk (Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University, Lipová 41a, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic); Ondřej Krčál (Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University, Lipová 41a, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic); Štěpán Mikula (Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University, Lipová 41a, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: Theoretical models of social capital (David, Janiak, and Wasmer 2010; Bräuninger and Tolciu 2011) predict that communities may find themselves in one of two equilibria: one with a high level of local social capital and low migration or one with a low level of local social capital and high migration. There is empirical literature suggesting that immigrants who join communities high in social capital are more likely to invest in local social capital and that the whole community will then end up in the equilibrium with high local social capital and low migration. However, this literature suffers from the selection of immigrants, which makes the identification challenging. In order to test the causal influence of the initial level of local social capital, we take the setup used in the theoretical models into the laboratory. We treat some communities by increasing the initial level of social capital without affecting the equilibrium outcomes. We find that while most communities end up in one of the two equilibria predicted by the theoretical models, the treated communities are more likely to converge to the equilibrium with a high level of local social capital and low migration.
    Keywords: social capital, integration, equilibrium selection, laboratory experiment
    JEL: C92 J15
    Date: 2021–06
  7. By: Arntz, Melanie; Brüll, Eduard; Lipowski, Cäcilia
    Abstract: City-level policies often aim at attracting skilled workers by improving urban amenities. However, due to endogeneity problems, studies relying on revealed preferences have difficulties in providing evidence for the basic premise that skilled workers place a higher value on urban amenities than less skilled individuals. Therefore, we use a stated- preference experiment to directly examine preferences for urban amenities. In a custom survey, we elicit hypothetical job choices between two cities that differ in wages and a set of urban amenities. We find that amenities are important determinants of city choice, with respondents willing to forgo a significant fraction of their wage to live in a city with better amenities. Most strikingly, we do not find any preference heterogeneity between workers differing by education or creative class membership. Instead, we uncover large heterogeneities mainly along family-related mobility constraints and unobserved dimensions. Our results imply that there is not much scope for amenity-oriented policies to improve the local skill mix. Rather, the urban skill bias reflects the incapability of less skilled individuals to afford living in and moving to their preferred places, resulting in significant welfare losses.
    Keywords: Urban amenities,regional policy,internal migration,skill selective migration
    JEL: R12 R22 R58
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Aygün, Aysun Hızıroğlu (Istanbul Technical University); Kirdar, Murat G. (Bogazici University); Koyuncu, Murat (Bogazici University); Stoeffler, Quentin (Istanbul Technical University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether unconditional cash transfers can keep refugee children in school and out of work. We raise this question in the unique context of Turkey, which hosts the world's largest refugee population (including 3.6 million Syrians). Refugees in Turkey are supported by the world's largest cash transfer program for refugees, the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN). We exploit a program eligibility criterion to identify the causal impacts of the ESSN program using a regression discontinuity design. The results show a large effect on child labor and school enrollment among both male and female refugee children. Being a beneficiary household reduces the fraction of children working from 14.0 percent to 1.6 percent (a decrease of 88 percent) and the fraction of children aged 6–17 not in school from 36.2 to 13.7 percent (a reduction of 62 percent). By unpacking the mechanisms at play, we show that ESSN cash transfers become a significant part of a household's income, substantially alleviate extreme poverty, and reduce a family's need to resort to harmful coping strategies. Investigating the reasons for children not attending school, we find that the beneficiary households become more likely to send children to school because the cash transfer addresses both the opportunity cost and direct cost of schooling— although the former is more important. The findings have important implications for the design of policies aimed at supporting refugee children at scale.
    Keywords: refugees, cash transfers, education, child labor, regression discontinuity design, program evaluation, Turkey
    JEL: F22 I21 I28 I38 J21 O15 O22
    Date: 2021–06
  9. By: Tani, Massimiliano (University of New South Wales); Zhu, Yu (University of Dundee); Xu, Lei (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR))
    Abstract: Using the 2013 China Education Panel Survey (CEPS), we study the impact of a 2008 inclusive education policy, through which the central government mandated urban public schools to exempt migrant children from tuition and temporary schooling fees. Whereas the non-disclosure rule regarding geographical location of CEPS sampling units precludes the control of locational characteristics, we identify the causal effect of the policy through a novel identification strategy, which relies on the types of primary sampling units. Specifically, we only use non-migrant rural hukou children living in counties in the nationally representative sample as the control group (the never-takers), while, in the treatment group, we only include migrant children who are currently living in China's top 120 migrant-receiving counties or city districts, and Shanghai. We also distinguish migrant children who started urban schooling before and after 2008 as separate treatment groups of always-takers and compliers, respectively. Using the Inverse Probability Weighted Regression Adjustment (IPWRA) approach, we find that the average treatment effect of the policy on migrant children is around 0.18 SD, as measured by a standardised cognitive test score – a large effect. We also present complementary evidence that the average treatment effect tends to be larger for municipalities and provincial capitals, consistently with the notion that the (potential) value-added of attending urban schools is higher the larger the initial gap with rural schools.
    Keywords: school access reform, migrant children, discrimination, inclusive education
    JEL: I21 I24 I25 I28 J15
    Date: 2021–06
  10. By: Ioanna Katsounari; Phivos Phylactou; Helena Heracleous
    Abstract: Education is a right for every child and a critical opportunity. For refugee children and adolescents, it holds the key to a life with less poverty, better health and an increased ability to take the future into their own hands. This research paper aims to investigate the current situation in Cyprus in regard to the integration of refugee children in the educational system and suggest strategies and policies that will have an impact on the educational chances of these children. It combines data from desk research, interviews with key actors and educators, as well as interviews with refugee children and parents. Findings address the main barriers to integration in the educational system for refugee children and provide the background for recommendations to be made that will increase the educational success of these children.
    Keywords: Refugee Children, Asylum Seekers, Cyprus, Educational Integration, Educational System
    Date: 2021–07
  11. By: Stephan Whitaker
    Abstract: This data brief presents estimates of the number of people who have already migrated from the high-cost, large population centers to lower-cost and less-populated regions during the pandemic. It also presents the potential impacts on lower-cost regions that might receive more remote workers.2 Migration away from high-cost, large metro areas did spike during the pandemic. Even if the percentage of remote workers following these recent migration patterns is small, the number of these workers may be large enough to provide other regions the opportunity to substantially grow their workforces.
    Keywords: remote work; urban migration
    Date: 2021–03–25
  12. By: Cerqua, Augusto; Zampollo, Federico
    Abstract: We investigate the influence of anti-immigrant parties on foreigners' location choices in Italy. Considering municipal elections from 2000 to 2018, we create a database that includes a scientific-based classification on the anti-/pro-immigration axis of all Italian political parties based on experts' opinions. Via the adoption of a regression discontinuity design, we find that the election of a mayor supported by an anti-immigrant coalition significantly affect immigrants' location choices only when considering the most recent years. This finding does not appear to be driven by the enactment of policies against immigrants but by an 'inhospitality effect', which got stronger over time due to the exacerbation of political propaganda at the national and local level.
    Keywords: immigration,political parties,regression discontinuity design
    JEL: D72 J61 C13
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Isil Erol (University of Reading); Umut Unal (University of Marburg)
    Abstract: This paper examines the causal impact of internal migration on house price changes in Queensland – Australia’s new capital of interstate migration. We study annual housing price growth across 82 Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3) regions between 2014 and 2019 by employing a spatial correlation approach. We also estimate the impact of the increasing share of migrants from New South Wales on the local housing markets in Queensland. The main findings are summarised as follows: (1) an annual increase in the inflow of migrants equal to 1% of a region's initial population leads to a 0.6%–0.7% annual increase in Queensland’s house prices across different empirical specifications; (2) internal migration inflow increases house prices in Greater Brisbane metropolitan area, whereas internal migration has a negative impact on housing price changes in the Rest of State regions; (3) migrants tend to move towards SA3 regions where house prices grow more slowly conditional on the local area controls and the time fixed effects; (4) the increasing share of migration from New South Wales does not have a significant effect on house price growth in Queensland. Our findings have important policy implications related to sustainable local economic development since sustainable development is, for the most part, achieved by attracting newcomers to the cities/towns and completed through the involvement of migrants in local housing and labour markets.
    Keywords: Housing prices; Internal Migration; Shift-share instrument; Australia; Queensland
    JEL: R12 R23 R31
    Date: 2021
  14. By: Bernhard H. Wittek; Samuel Muehlemann
    Abstract: The eastward enlargement rounds of the European Union (EU) between 2004 and 2007 represent a broad regulatory expansion of the European labor market that facilitated the recruitment of individuals from new member states. We focus on the effects of EU enlargement on human capital accumulation and wages in Germany. The analysis employs linked employer-employee data from 2004 to 2017 to investigate the association between the immigration of apprentices from new eastern and central European member states and wages in the German labor market. Descriptive statistics reveal a clear and continuous increase in the number of foreign apprentices from new member states in the years following the removal of transitional restrictions. We find strong positive selection effects, as these immigrants were better educated and subsequently employed in higher-paying establishments compared to individuals who entered the German apprenticeship market prior to EU enlargement. Moreover, the study provides the first extensive evidence of apprentice wage developments in the context of immigration. As apprenticeship graduates eventually become skilled workers, we also analyze indirect effects of migration on the labor market, highlighting the temporal dimension of considerations around the substitutability between foreign and domestic workers.
    Keywords: wages, immigration, vocational education and training, apprenticeship, firm-sponsored training
    JEL: J24 J31 J61 M53
    Date: 2021–06
  15. By: Ondrej Schneider (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: This paper examines migration trends in the European Union since the enlargements of 2004-2007, which brought 100 million citizens of eleven Central and Eastern European countries into the EU. We examine country- and regional-level data on migration trends and show how European integration depleted the labor force in new member countries. Several of them lost 10% of their population since 2006, most of it via negative net migration. In 2019, 18% of Romanians, 14% of Lithuanians, 13% Croats, and Bulgarians lived in another EU country. The quantitative analysis shows that migration contributed positively to regional convergence, as every percentage point of net migration increased GDP per capita by roughly 0.01% and reduced unemployment by 0.1-0.2 percentage points. Further analysis will be needed to disentangle aggregate migration effects to quantify its impact on regions that lose their population via migration.
    Keywords: migration, labor markets, convergence, European Union
    JEL: F22 F66 J61 O15 R11 R23
    Date: 2021–07
  16. By: Catherine Gagnon; Jason Gagnon
    Abstract: The world is increasingly facing a technologically changing employment landscape and such changes are directly affecting the future demand for skills. For regional economies built on labour migration, the impending changes will affect migrants and their families, their countries of origin and the recruitment systems they are attached to – and ultimately disrupt the development benefits of migration. This paper investigates how the future of the employment landscape will affect migration within the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, a regional consultative process for migration in Asia. It investigates the impending changes in the demand for skills in countries of destination, how such changes will affect migration processes and whether countries of origin are ready for the changes. It provides recommendations on how regional consultative processes can foster dialogue between key actors from both countries of origin and destination to better navigate future changes and ensure a smooth transition.
    Keywords: employment, future of work, international migration, labour migration, regional co-operation, skills
    JEL: F22 O15 J24 J61 F66
    Date: 2021–07–05

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