nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2021‒11‒22
seven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Immigration and Occupational Comparative Advantage By Gordon H. Hanson; Chen Liu
  2. Population growth, immigration, and labour market dynamics By Elsby, Michael W.L.; Smith, Jennifer C.; Wadsworth, Jonathan
  3. Labor Market Impact of Immigration in the European Union By Joe, Dong-Hee
  4. Asylum Recognition Rates in Europe: Persecution, Policies and Performance By Hatton, Timothy J.
  5. A Real-Options Analysis of Climate Change and International Migration By Marius Braun
  6. Cousins from overseas: the labour market impact of half a million Portuguese repatriates By Lara Bohnet; Susana Peralta; Joao Pereira dos Santos
  7. Trade Networks, Heroin Markets, and the Labor Market Outcomes of Vietnam Veterans By Lonsky, Jakub; Ruiz, Isabel; Vargas-Silva, Carlos

  1. By: Gordon H. Hanson; Chen Liu
    Abstract: Job choice by high-skilled foreign-born workers in the US correlates strongly with country of origin. We apply a Fréchet-Roy model of occupational choice to evaluate the causes of immigrant sorting. In a gravity specification, we find that revealed comparative advantage in the US is stronger for workers from countries with higher education quality in occupations that are more intensive in cognitive reasoning, and for workers from countries that are more linguistically similar to the US in occupations that are more intensive in communication. Our findings hold for immigrants who arrived in the US at age 18 or older (who received their K-12 education abroad) but not for immigrants who arrived in the US as children (who received their K-12 education domestically). We obtain similar results for immigrant sorting in Canada, which supports our interpretation that origin-country education quality, rather than US immigration policy, is what drives sorting patterns. In counterfactual analysis, we evaluate the consequences of reallocating visas for college-educated immigrants according to origin-country education quality.
    JEL: F22 I25 J61 O15
    Date: 2021–10
  2. By: Elsby, Michael W.L. (University of Edinburgh); Smith, Jennifer C. (University of Warwick, CAGE, Migration Advisory Committee); Wadsworth, Jonathan (Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE, CReAM at UCL and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of population flows on labour market dynamics across immigrant and native-born populations in the United Kingdom. Population flows are large, and cyclical, driven first by the maturation of baby boom cohorts in the 1980s, and latterly by immigration in the 2000s. New measures of labour market flows by migrant status uncover both the flow origins of disparities in the levels and cyclicalities of immigrant and native labour market outcomes, as well as their more recent convergence. A novel dynamic accounting framework reveals that population flows have played a non-trivial role in the volatility of labour markets among both the UK-born and, especially, immigrants.
    Keywords: Immigration ; worker flows ; labour market dynamics JEL Classification: E24 ; J6
    Date: 2021
    Abstract: Immigration is one of the factors often considered as the causes of Brexit. Researchers find evidences that regions with more immigrants from the new member states of the European Union (EU hereinafter) in eastern Europe tended to vote more in favor of Brexit in the 2016 referendum. Similar relations between the size of immigrant population and anti-immigration attitudes or far-right voting are found in other richer EU member states. A common explanation for this relation is the concern that immigrants negatively affect the outcome in the host labor market. Immigration is drawing attention in Korea too. Although immigrants' share in population is still substantially smaller in Korea than in the EU, its increase is noticeable. Also, certain industries in Korea are known to be already heavily reliant on immigrant labor. Recently, as entry into the country was tightened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, firms and farms are reported to have faced a disruption in production. This trend of increasing presence of immigrants in population and in the labor market, vis-à-vis the low fertility rate and rapid aging in Korea, is raising interest and concern on the socioeconomic impact of immigration. To offer some reference for the debates related to immigration in Korea, KIEP researchers (Joe et al. 2020 and Joe and Moon 2021) look at the EU, where immigrants' presence was much higher from much earlier on, and where the greater heterogeneity among the immigrants allows for richer analyses. This World Economy Brief presents some of their findings that are salient for Korea.
    Keywords: EU; labor market; immigration; Brexit
    Date: 2021–04–15
  4. By: Hatton, Timothy J. (University of Essex)
    Abstract: A minority of applicants for asylum in Europe gain some form of recognition as refugees, and this has been a controversial issue. From the early 2000s the EU introduced a series of directives to prevent a race to the bottom in asylum policies and to harmonise policy between destination countries but the results have not been fully assessed. In this paper I examine the determinants of recognition rates for asylum applicants from 65 origin countries to 20 European destinations from 2003 to 2017. The outcomes of the EU directives have been mixed, but taken together they are associated with increased recognition rates. These made a modest contribution to the trend increase in recognition rates most of which is due to increased political terror and human rights repression in origin countries. But differences between European countries remain large, even after accounting origin country composition and for differences in the adoption of EU directives. Some of this may be accounted for by differences in bureaucratic frameworks through which policy is administered.
    Keywords: refugees, asylum, recognition rates
    JEL: F51 J15 J61 K37
    Date: 2021–11
  5. By: Marius Braun (Justus Liebig University Giessen)
    Abstract: The potential impact of climate change on international migration patterns has recently received considerable attention in both the public and academic debate. Yet, much of the empirical literature fails to find increases in international migration due to climate change. The current paper attempts to resolve this “immobility paradox†by applying a real-options framework to the relationship between climate change and international migration. This framework suggests that individuals may postpone their migration response to climate change in the face of uncertainty and only migrate once impacts of climate change have exceeded certain thresholds. I test this prediction using semiparametric regression methods which allow me to empirically identify the threshold effects implied by the real-options framework. However, the findings are generally inconsistent with such threshold effects. Rather, the results suggest that in low-income countries, individuals’ migration response is hampered by the existence of liquidity constraints. These are likely to become more binding due to climate change-induced decreases in agricultural productivity.
    Keywords: climate change, international migration, real-options, semiparametric methods
    JEL: C14 F22 Q54
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Lara Bohnet; Susana Peralta; Joao Pereira dos Santos
    Abstract: This paper uses detailed census data to investigate the labour market consequences of a large, exogenous, labour market shock, exploiting the unexpected inflow of repatriates to Portugal following the end of the Portuguese Colonial War in 1974. The labour supply shock entails a composition dimension, as the repatriates were more than twice as likely to have secondary or higher education. We take advantage of the fact that most of the repatriates were Portuguese born to build novel shift-share instrumental variables based on their region of birth. We explore the impact on regional labour force participation, unemployment, employment, and entrepreneurship, for both male and female natives. We find substantial gender differences in the effects, with females absorbing the bulk of the shock. Native workers are driven out of employment as employees, with a sizeable 15% decrease for males and 55% for females. Men compensate for this loss by moving to low quality self-employment, while women move to inactivity. Our results are robust to changing the instrumental variable, the geographical unit of analysis, and to various sample restrictions.
    Keywords: Immigration, labour market, labour supply, entrepreneurship, instrumental variable
    JEL: F22 J20 R23
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Lonsky, Jakub; Ruiz, Isabel; Vargas-Silva, Carlos
    Abstract: The role of ethnic immigrant networks in facilitating international trade is a well-established phenomenon in the literature. However, it is less clear whether this relationship extends to illegal trade and unauthorized immigrants. In this paper, we tackle this question by focusing on the case of the heroin trade and unauthorized Chinese immigrants in the early 1990s United States. Between mid-1980s and mid-1990s, Southeast Asia became the dominant source of heroin in the US. Heroin from this region was trafficked into the US by Chinese organized criminals, whose presence across the country can be approximated by the location of unauthorized Chinese immigrants. Instrumenting for the unauthorized Chinese immigrant enclaves in 1990 with their 1900 counterpart, we first show that Chinese presence in a community led to a sizeable increase in local opiates-related arrests, a proxy for local heroin markets. This effect is driven by arrests for sale/manufacturing of the drugs. Next, we examine the consequences of Chinese-trafficked heroin by looking at its impact on US Vietnam-era veterans - a group particularly vulnerable to heroin addiction in the early 1990s. Using a triple-difference estimation, we find mostly small but statistically significant detrimental effects on labor market outcomes of Vietnam veterans residing in unauthorized Chinese enclaves in 1990.
    Keywords: Trade networks,heroin markets,Vietnam veterans,labor market outcomes
    JEL: F16 F22 J15 K42
    Date: 2021

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