nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2021‒09‒13
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Matching across Markets: An Economic Analysis of Cross-Border Marriage By So Yoon Ahn
  2. Climate anomalies and international migration: A disaggregated analysis for West Africa By Martinez Flores, Fernanda; Milusheva, Sveta; Reichert, Arndt R.
  3. Labor market choices of migrants and redistributive policies By Kerstin Mitterbacher; Stefan Palan; Jürgen Fleiß
  4. Free movement of inventors: open-border policy and innovation in Switzerland By Cristelli, Gabriele; Lissoni, Francesco
  5. Immigration and Entrepreneurship in the United States By Pierre Azoulay; Benjamin Jones; J. Daniel Kim; Javier Miranda
  6. Does welcoming refugees attract more migrants? The myth of the "Merkel effect" By Tjaden, Jasper Dag; Heidland, Tobias
  7. Sharing the little there is : towards a durable refugee-host relationship in Northern Uganda By Vancluysen, Sarah
  8. Externalisation in Refugee Sponsorship Through Refugee Status Determination Requirements By Van Haren, Ian
  9. Local governments and the sustainable integration of refugees in Ethiopia By Binkert, Eva; Flaig, Merlin; Frucht, Lukas; Grävingholt, Jörn; König, Jannis; Kuhnt, Jana; Lendle, Philipp; Muhumad, Abdirahman A.; Potinius, Katharina
  10. Global norms, regional practices: Taste-based and statistical discrimination in German asylum decision-making By Gundacker, Lidwina; Kosyakova, Yuliya; Schneider, Gerald
  11. Addressing the Impact of Border Enforcement Measures on the Self-Reported Health of Migrants Aiming to Enter Japan During the COVID-19 Epidemic. By Wels, Jacques
  12. What drives remittances during a global shock? Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico By Ambrosius, Christian; Campos Vázquez, Raymundo M.; Esquivel, Gerardo

  1. By: So Yoon Ahn (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    Abstract: Severe gender imbalances coupled with the stark income differences across countries are driving an increase in cross-border marriages in many Asian countries. This paper theoretically and empirically studies who marries whom, including how cross-border couples are selected, and how marital surplus is allocated within couples in the marriage markets of Taiwan (a wealthier side with male-biased sex ratios) and Vietnam (a poorer side with balanced sex ratios). Among the cross-border marriages that are predominantly made up of Taiwanese men and Vietnamese women, I nd that Taiwanese men are selected from the middle level of the socioeconomic status distribution, and Vietnamese women are positively selected for cross-border marriages. Moreover, I show that changes in costs of cross-border marriage, incurred by immigration-policy changes and proliferation of matching services, also affect the welfare of Taiwanese and Vietnamese who do not participate in cross-border marriages by altering marriage rates, matching partners, and intra-household allocations.
    Keywords: Taiwan, Vietnam, Asia, marriage market, sex ratios, socioeconomic status, marital matching
    JEL: C78 D10 D13 J11 J12 J18 F22
    Date: 2021–09
  2. By: Martinez Flores, Fernanda; Milusheva, Sveta; Reichert, Arndt R.
    Abstract: Migration is one of the channels West African populations can use to adjust to the negative impacts of climate change. Using novel geo-referenced and high-frequency data, this study investigates the extent to which soil moisture anomalies drive international migration decisions within the region and toward Europe. The findings show that drier soil conditions decrease (rather than increase) the probability to migrate. A standard deviation decrease in soil moisture leads to a 2 percentage point drop in the probability to migrate, equivalent to a 25 percent decrease in the number of migrants. This effect is concentrated during the crop-growing season, and likely driven by financial constraints. The effect is only seen for areas that are in the middle of the income distribution, with no impact on the poorest or richest areas of a country, suggesting that the former were constrained to start and the latter can address those financial constraints.
    Keywords: West Africa,climate change,migration,agriculture
    JEL: F22 O13 O15 Q54
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Kerstin Mitterbacher (Institute of Banking and Finance, University of Graz); Stefan Palan (Institute of Banking and Finance, University of Graz); Jürgen Fleiß (Business Analytics and Data Science-Center (BANDAS-Center), University of Graz)
    Abstract: We experimentally study economic migrants' willingness to take up work and integrate into society, and, in turn, destination country citizens' willingness to allow economic migrants to pursue formal work and integrate into society and its social security and welfare system. We find clear evidence for a reciprocal relationship between the individuals in these roles. The labor market participation of economic migrants co-moves with destination countries' openness to welcoming them. We conclude that supporting economic migrants in early labor market attachment is crucial to support a mutually beneficial co-existence in a society.
    Date: 2021–07–20
  4. By: Cristelli, Gabriele; Lissoni, Francesco
    Abstract: We study the innovation effects of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP), signed by Switzerland and the EU in 1999. Using geocoded patent data, complemented by matched inventor-immigrant-census records, we identify a large number of cross-border inventors (CBIs), commuters from neighbouring countries working in Swiss R&D labs. We show that, during the AFMP implementation phase, the influx of CBIs increased differentially across regions at different driving distances from the border, causing a 24% increase in patents, mostly due to large and medium patent holders (as opposed to very large ones) and to inventor teams mixing CBIs and natives. We do not detect any adverse effect on native inventors and show that Swiss incumbent inventors collaborating with CBIs increased their productivity. Our evidence suggests complementarity between CBIs’ and Swiss incumbents’ knowledge assets.
    Keywords: Immigration, Innovation, Patents, Inventors, Free Movement of Persons
    JEL: F22 J61 O31 O33
    Date: 2020–11
  5. By: Pierre Azoulay (MIT Sloan School of Management, and NBER); Benjamin Jones (Northwestern University, and NBER); J. Daniel Kim (University of Pennsylvania); Javier Miranda (Friedrich-Schiller University Jena and Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH))
    Abstract: Immigrants can expand labor supply and compete for jobs with native-born workers. But immigrants may also start new firms, expanding labor demand. This paper uses U.S. administrative data and other data sources to study the role of immigrants in entrepreneurship. We ask how often immigrants start companies, how many jobs these firms create, and how firms founded by native-born individuals compare. A simple model provides a measurement framework for addressing the dual roles of immigrants as founders and workers. The findings suggest that immigrants act more as "job creators" than "job takers" and play outsized roles in U.S. high-growth entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, immigration, innovation, administrative data, Survey of Business Owners, Fortune 500, job creation, earnings, growth
    JEL: J15 L26 M13 O3
    Date: 2021–09–06
  6. By: Tjaden, Jasper Dag; Heidland, Tobias
    Abstract: In 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to allow over a million asylum seekers to cross the border into Germany. One key concern at the time was that her decision would signal an open-door policy to aspiring migrants worldwide - thus, increasing migration to Germany in the long-term. With the continued global rise in forced displacement, Merkel's decision in 2015 provides a unique case study for the fundamental question of whether welcoming migration policies have sustained effects on migration towards destination countries. We analyze an extensive range of data on migration inflows, intentions, and interest between 2000 and 2020. The results reject the 'pull effect' hypothesis while reaffirming states' capacity to adapt to changing contexts and regulate migration.
    Keywords: migration,migration policy,asylum and refugee policy,policy signaling,pull effects
    JEL: F22 F68
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Vancluysen, Sarah
    Abstract: This paper explores the nature of the relationship between South Sudanese refugees and their Ugandan hosts. Situated in northern Uganda, a context characterized by chronic underdevelopment and poverty, it examines if and how peaceful coexistence between nationals and refugees is maintained. Overall, their relationship can be described as ‘cordial’. However, based on extensive fieldwork, including interviews with refugees, local leaders and settlement authorities, three critical challenges are identified. Most importantly, the management of land currently is and will remain a critical challenge. While unstable conditions in South Sudan do not yet allow a safe and voluntary repatriation, other barriers are impeding the South Sudanese to fully integrate with their Ugandan hosts. More specifically, the rural settlement approach discourages refugees to settle independently; and legal ambiguities refrain refugees from obtaining citizenship. Nonetheless, there is a relatively high degree of de facto integration, as the refugees, supported by Ugandan nationals, come up with their own coping strategies.
    Keywords: Uganda; South-Sudan; refugees
    Date: 2021–09
  8. By: Van Haren, Ian
    Abstract: Refugee Status Determination (RSD) processes are currently a requirement for some types of refugee sponsorship to Canada, which limits access to these programs. This paper discusses the 2012 decision to impose the RSD requirement for certain types of refugee sponsorship applications and the implications of this requirement on sponsors hoping to assist refugees who are unable to obtain the RSD documentation.
    Date: 2021–08–29
  9. By: Binkert, Eva; Flaig, Merlin; Frucht, Lukas; Grävingholt, Jörn; König, Jannis; Kuhnt, Jana; Lendle, Philipp; Muhumad, Abdirahman A.; Potinius, Katharina
    Abstract: Ethiopia is the second largest refugee-hosting country in Africa; it accommodates around 700,000 refugees, mostly from neighbouring countries. Humanitarian and development actors are increasingly highlighting the local integration of refugees as a durable solution to protracted refugee situations. Hosting states are called upon to include refugees in their national public services, rather than to sustain a parallel (humanitarian) system, and to empower refugees to secure their own livelihoods as part of the local community. The international community has endorsed this idea by adopting the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and vowing financial support. Ethiopia is one of the pilot countries implementing this framework. However, the execution of the ambitious approach faces many challenges. This paper focusses on the role of local governments within the CRRF implementation process; they have not yet been the focus of attention even though sustainable solutions largely depend on them. Results show that the CRRF implementation process has slowed down considerably in the past years, mostly remaining on a project base. Shifting political priorities, a lack of leadership and coordination at the national level as well as the unclear role and low capacities of local governments are major barriers to the local integration of refugees.
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Gundacker, Lidwina; Kosyakova, Yuliya; Schneider, Gerald
    Abstract: Asylum policy-making in advanced democracies frequently faces the accusation that prejudice and stereotyping lead to erroneous decisions. The model of taste-based discrimination suggests that the biases of decision-makers or their peers against certain groups of applicants influence the evaluation of an asylum claim. Conversely, the concept of statistical discrimination implies that a dearth of information forces impartial decision-makers to resort to stereotypes. We examine both forms of discrimination, evaluating whether they shape asylum-seekers' chances to receive protection in Germany, currently a key recipient country. Our empirical examination of a representative refugee survey in Germany confirms that asylum decisions are subject to tastebased discrimination: males, Muslims, and applicants assigned to regions with a conservative population or government are less likely to obtain asylum or other forms of protection. Conforming to the theory of statistical discrimination, stereotyping against male or Muslim applicants' manifests most pronouncedly if decision-makers suffer under high workload or possess little information. However, high information costs do not alter stereotyping in more conservative regions. Altogether, our study reveals that extra-legal reasons in the form of prejudice and stereotypes considerably undermine what should be the key criterion in assessing an asylum claim: the credibility of an individual's need for protection.
    Keywords: Asylum recognition,principal-agent models,federalism,immigration attitudes,Germany,discrimination
    JEL: F22 H83 J16 K37 K38
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Wels, Jacques
    Abstract: Following the spread of COVID-19 in early 2020, Japan has implemented border enforcement measures to ban most foreigners, including tourists, workers and students from entering Japan for the time being, except for special humanitarian circumstances. For about a year, many migrants have been unable to enter Japan and had to postpone their plans. Using an online questionnaire (N=478), this study aimed to assess the impact of border enforcement measures on migrants’ health and wellbeing. Results indicate that border enforcement measures have generated insecurities, both from a financial and personal point of view. These have had strong negative effects on physical health and, to a greater extent, on sleep quality, level of stress and quality of life. The article demonstrates that insecurity is key for understanding Japanese border policies and, consequently, migrants’ health as it shapes a spectrum between the insiders and the outsiders that is determined by factors that take little account of individuals’ situation and that the state of exception reveals a gradient that is independent from the epidemic situation. It concludes with five points to be discussed further to protect migrants’ heath in case of travel ban: allow a fair treatment of migrants, developing international remote work possibilities, discussing the portability of the costs related to border enforcement measures, allow non-married couples to reunite and give a greater visibility to international migrants.
    Date: 2021–09–01
  12. By: Ambrosius, Christian; Campos Vázquez, Raymundo M.; Esquivel, Gerardo
    Abstract: During a global shock two forces act upon international remittances in opposite directions: income losses among migrants may reduce their ability to send remittances and, at the same time, migrants' concern for their family's wellbeing may prompt them to send more remittances back home. Which of these drivers prevail is an empirical matter. We assemble quarterly data at the subnational level in Mexico to study the behavior of remittances during the Covid-19 pandemic. We estimate elasticities of remittances with respect to employment conditions at both origin and destination places of Mexican migrants. Our results show that destination country conditions have been the main driver of remittances to Mexico, whereas origin country conditions had no discernible effect on remittances during the pandemic. We also show that contractions in consumption in Mexico are associated with reductions in remittances. We conclude that risk-coping via remittances provides limited protection during global crises.
    Keywords: Migration,COVID-19,Remittances,Consumption,Mexico
    JEL: F22 F24 J23 O54
    Date: 2021

This nep-mig issue is ©2021 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.