nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2021‒08‒16
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Firm Relocations, Commuting and Relationship Stability By Kristina Hrehova; Erika Sandow; Urban Lindgren
  2. The laws of attraction: Economic drivers of inter-regional migration, housing costs and the role of policies By Orsetta Causa; Michael Abendschein; Maria Chiara Cavalleri
  3. Low-Skilled Jobs, Language Proficiency and Refugee Integration: An Experimental Study By Ek, Simon; Hammarstedt, Mats; Skedinger, Per
  4. Paternal Circular Migration and Development of Socio-Emotional Skills of Children Left Behind By Davit Adunts
  5. Immigration and the Short- and Long-Term Impact of Improved Prenatal Conditions By Lavy, Victor; Schlosser, Analia; Shany, Adi
  6. Mobile money and shock-coping: Urban migrants and rural families in Bangladesh under the COVID-19 shock By Egami, Hiroyuki; Mano, Yukichi; Matsumoto, Tomoya
  7. Re-examining the Impact of Remittances on Human Development: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Umar Mohammed
  8. Labor Market Competition and the Assimilation of Immigrants By Christoph Albert; Albrecht Glitz; Joan Llull
  9. The Effect of 3.6 Million Refugees on Crime By Murat Guray Kirdar; Ivan Lopez Cruz; Betul Turkum
  10. Local Shocks and Internal Migration: The Disparate Effects of Robots and Chinese Imports in the US By Marius Faber

  1. By: Kristina Hrehova; Erika Sandow; Urban Lindgren
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the impact of firm relocations on commuting distance and the probability of married couples and cohabiting couples with children separating. We use Swedish register data for 2010-2016 and select employees of relocating firms with one workplace and more than 10 employees. Focusing on this sample allows us to use plausibly exogenous variation in the commuting distance arising from the relocation. We extend the literature on the effect of commuting on relationship stability by reducing the possibility for unobserved time-variant factors to bias our estimates. While previous literature has focused on the difference between short- and long-distance commuting, we focus on changes in the commuting distance that are externally induced by firm management. We find a small but statistically significant negative effect of increased firm relocation distance on family stability. A 10 km change in commuting distance leads to a 0.09 percentage point higher probability of separation if the commuter remains with the firm for the next 5 years.
    Keywords: separation; marriage; commuting time; commuting distance; quasi-experiment; spatial mobility;
    JEL: J32 J61 R23 R41
    Date: 2021–07
  2. By: Orsetta Causa; Michael Abendschein; Maria Chiara Cavalleri
    Abstract: This paper sheds light on inter-regional migration, housing and the role of policies, drawing on a new comparative cross-country approach. The results show that OECD countries exhibit stark variation in both levels and trends in inter-regional migration, which is found to be highly responsive to local housing and economic conditions. In turn, a large number of policies in the area of housing, labour markets, social protection and product markets influence the responsiveness of inter-regional migration to local economic conditions. For instance, more flexible housing supply makes inter-regional migration more responsive to local economic conditions while higher regulatory barriers to business start-ups and entry in professions significantly reduce the responsiveness of inter-regional mobility to local economic conditions. The capacity of workers to move regions in response to local economic shocks is one key dimension of labour market dynamism which could, at the current juncture, contribute to the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. In this context, the paper proposes articulating structural with place-based policies to help prospective movers as well as stayers.
    Keywords: housing markets, Internal migration, labour markets, place-based policies, regional disparities, regional economic conditions, regional house prices, regional mobility, social protection, structural policies
    JEL: R23 R12 R50 R58 J61 H20
    Date: 2021–08–13
  3. By: Ek, Simon (Department of Economics, Uppsala University, and); Hammarstedt, Mats (Department of Economics and Statistics, Linnaeus University, and); Skedinger, Per (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: We study the causal effects of previous experience and language skills when newly arrived refugees in Sweden apply for job openings by means of a field experiment. Applications were sent from randomly assigned fictitious Syrian refugees with experience in jobs with low skill requirements and completed language training in Swedish to employers advertising low-skilled job vacancies. We find no evidence of sizeable effects from previous experience or completed language classes on the probability of receiving callback from employers. However, female applicants were more likely than males to receive a positive response. We conclude that previous experience and completed language training seem to provide at best a small positive signaling value when refugees apply for low-skilled jobs through formal channels.
    Keywords: Integration of immigrants; Language skills; Job mobility
    JEL: J15 J24 J61
    Date: 2021–08–11
  4. By: Davit Adunts
    Abstract: This study investigates the short-run effect of paternal absence due to circular migration on the socio-emotional skills of their children left behind. To address the endogeneity of the migration decision, and building on previous studies, this study focuses on children whose fathers have all engaged in circular migration. Furthermore, using quasi-exogenous variation in the timing of return migration induced by bilateral migration laws between Ukraine and Poland, I circumvent the bias related to the return migration decision. The findings of this study suggest that current paternal absence due to circular migration negatively affects the socioemotional skills of children left behind. Overall, this result suggests that circular migration is not necessarily a "triple-win" solution that benefits all involved parties.
    Keywords: circular migration; children left behind; perseverance skills; formation of socioemotional skills;
    JEL: F22 O15 J24
    Date: 2021–07
  5. By: Lavy, Victor (Hebrew University, Jerusalem); Schlosser, Analia (Tel Aviv University); Shany, Adi (Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of immigration from a developing country to a developed country during pregnancy on offspring's outcomes. We focus on intermediate and long-term outcomes, using quasi-experimental variation created by the immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel in May 1991. Individuals conceived before immigration experienced dramatic changes in their environmental conditions at different stages of prenatal development depending on their gestational age at migration. We find that females whose mothers immigrated at an earlier gestational age have lower grade repetition and dropout rates in high school. They also show better cognitive performance during primary and middle school and in the high school matriculation study program. As adults, they have higher post-secondary schooling, employment rates, and earnings than those whose mothers migrated at a later stage of pregnancy.
    Keywords: prenatal, immigration, human capital
    JEL: I24 I25 I15 J15
    Date: 2021–07
  6. By: Egami, Hiroyuki; Mano, Yukichi; Matsumoto, Tomoya
    Abstract: People in developing economies face substantial income risks and use diverse strategies to mitigate the negative welfare impact. Rural households often send migrants to diversify income sources and depend on remittances to cope with income risks. To examine the risk-coping mechanism of urban migrants and their rural families against the aggregate shock due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we analyze the seven-round Bangladeshi household panel covering the period before and after the first implementation of COVID-19 lockdown policies. Our event study finds that urban migrants experienced more substantial income loss than their rural families and reduced but not ceased remittances to cope with the aggregate shock jointly. Notably, mobile money services allowed them to continue sending remittances even under the lockdown policies.
    Keywords: migrants, remittances, risk coping, aggregate shock, mobile money, COVID-19
    JEL: O12 O15 F23
    Date: 2021–08
  7. By: Umar Mohammed (Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey)
    Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continues to lose its skilled workers through migration in a form of brain drain. In return remittances from these migrant workers to the region have been surging and now constitute a major external source of finance. Do these increasing inflow of remittances contribute to human development? This paper examines the impact of remittances on human development in 30 SSA countries using the system Generalized Method of Moments (sGMM) approach for the period 2004-2018. The empirical results show that remittance inflows impact positively on human development in SSA. Based on the empirical results, it is imperative for SSA countries to have a clear-cut policy framework and strategies on migration to attract, increase and harness the full benefit of remittances.
    Keywords: Brain drain, Generalized Method of Moments, Human development, Remittances
    Date: 2021–05
  8. By: Christoph Albert (Christoph Albert); Albrecht Glitz (Albrecht Glitz); Joan Llull (Joan Llull)
    Abstract: In this paper, we show that the wage assimilation of immigrants is the result of the intricate interplay between individual skill accumulation and dynamic equilibrium effects in the labor market. When immigrants and natives are imperfect substitutes, increasing immigrant inflows widen the wage gap between them. Using a simple production function framework, we show that this labor market competition channel can explain about one quarter of the large increase in the average immigrant-native wage gap in the United States between the 1960s and 1990s arrival cohorts. Once competition effects and compositional changes in education and region of origin are accounted for, we find that the unobservable skills of newly arriving immigrants increased over time rather than decreased as traditionally argued in the literature. We corroborate this finding by documenting closely matching patterns for immigrants’ English language proficiency.
    Keywords: Immigrant Assimilation, Labor Market Competition, CohortSizes, Imperfect Substitution, General and Specific Skills
    JEL: J21 J22 J31 J61
    Date: 2021–08
  9. By: Murat Guray Kirdar (Department of Economics, Boğaziçi University); Ivan Lopez Cruz (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Sabanci University); Betul Turkum (Department of Economics, European Economic Institute)
    Abstract: Most studies examining the impact of migrants on crime rates in hosting populations are in the context of economic migrants in developed countries. However, we know much less about the crime impact of refugees in low- and middle-income countries—whose numbers are increasing worldwide. This study examines this issue in the context of the largest refugee group in any country—Syrian refugees in Turkey. Although these refugees are much poorer than the local population, have limited access to formal employment, and face partial mobility restrictions, we find that total crime per person (including natives and refugees) falls due to the arrival of the refugees. This finding also applies to several types of crime; the only exception is smuggling, which increases due to the population influx. We also show that the fall in crime does not result from tighter security; we find no evidence of a change in the number of armed forces (military and civil personnel) in the migrant-hosting regions.
    Keywords: refugees, refugees, crime, security, immigration-crime nexus, civil war.
    JEL: J15 K42 D74
    Date: 2021–08
  10. By: Marius Faber
    Abstract: Migration has long been considered one of the key mechanisms through which labor markets adjust to economic shocks. In this paper, we analyze the migration response of American workers to two of the most important shocks that hit US manufacturing since the late 1990s – Chinese import competition and the introduction of industrial robots. Exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in exposure across US local labor markets over time, we show that robots caused a sizable reduction in population size, while Chinese imports did not. We rationalize these results in two steps. First, we provide evidence that negative employment spillovers outside manufacturing, caused by robots but not by Chinese imports, are an important mechanism for the different migration responses triggered by the two shocks. Next, we present a model where workers are geographically mobile and compete with either machines or foreign labor in the completion of tasks. The model highlights that two key dimensions along which the shocks differ – the cost savings they provide and the degree of complementarity between directly and indirectly exposed industries – can explain their disparate employment effects outside manufacturing and, in turn, the differential migration response.
    Keywords: Migration, employment, technology, trade.
    JEL: J21 J23 J61
    Date: 2021–07

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