nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2022‒01‒17
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Effects of Emigration on Gender Norms in Countries of Origin By Leonid V. Azarnert; Slava Yakubenko
  2. Cultural Assimilation: Learning and Sorting By Monteiro, Stein
  3. Urban Housing Prices and Migration's Fertility Intentions: Based on the 2018 China Migrants' Dynamic Survey By Jingwen Tan; Shixi Kang
  4. Land Security and Mobility Frictions By Tasso Adamopoulos; Loren Brandt; Chaoran Chen; Diego Restuccia; Xiaoyun Wei
  5. The spatial patterns of student mobility before, during, and after the Bologna process in Germany By Philipp Gareis; Tom Broekel;
  6. Immigrating into a Recession: Evidence from Family Migrants to the U.S. By Toman Barsbai; Andreas Steinmayr; Christoph Winter
  7. Migrants looking for opportunities - On destination size and spatial aggregation in the gravity equation for migration By Persyn, Damiaan
  8. Older Immigrants – New Poverty Risk in Scandinavian Welfare States? By Gustafsson, Björn Anders; Jakobsen, Vibeke; Mac Innes, Hanna; Pedersen, Peder J.; Österberg, Torun
  9. From Immigrant Entrepreneurship to Plurinational Firms: Evidence from Italy By Arrighetti, Alessandro; Gnarini, Daniela; Lasagni, Andrea; Semenza, Renata
  10. Immigrant peers in the class: responses among natives and the effects on long-run revealed preferences By Holmlund, Helena; Lindahl, Erica; Roman, Sara
  11. Inequality, Taxation, and Sovereign Default Risk By Minjie Deng
  12. Earnings dynamics of immigrants and natives in Sweden 1985–2016 By Friedrich, Benjamin; Laun, Lisa; Meghir, Costas
  13. Understanding the impact of gender and migration on high-ability students’ behavior: Exploring behavioral differences in business, law, and engineering students throughout their academic careers By Lisa Beck-Werz Author-1-Name-First: Lisa Author-1-Name-Last: Beck-Werz; Bernd Frick Author-2-Name-First: Bernd Author-2-Name-Last: Frick; Thomas Fritz Author-3-Name-First: Thomas Author-3-Name-Last: Fritz; Fabian Lensing Author-4-Name-First: Fabian Author-4-Name-Last: Lensing
  14. Le sort des migrants africains en Chine : L'afrophobie entrave la course de la Chine pour les ressources et les marchés de l'Afrique By Kohnert, Dirk
  15. African migrants plight in India: Afrophobia impedes India's race for Africa's resources and markets By Kohnert, Dirk

  1. By: Leonid V. Azarnert; Slava Yakubenko
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of emigration on gender norms in countries of migrants’ origin. We use an instrumental variable strategy that allows us to estimate a causal effect of emigration on gender inequality. Our findings suggest that emigration to countries with low (high) levels of gender inequality is associated with promotion of more (less) progressive gender norms. These effects are observed for a wide range of indicators and are robust to inclusion of a set of control variables. Moreover, countries with high levels of gender inequality benefit from this process disproportionately more. Based on the provided evidence we argue that this effect is channelled through “cultural remittances”.
    Keywords: migration, gender, cultural remittances
    JEL: F22 F63 J16
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Monteiro, Stein
    Abstract: Immigration from poorer source countries is larger than from richer countries, so that poor country immigrants have greater exposure to co-ethnics, leading to fewer incentives to learn the local culture and assimilate. In this paper, the exposure channel through which source country richness affects assimilating immigration is modelled through neighbour-hood location choices and incentives to learn the local culture in the host country. Two equilibrium outcomes are identified, in which, there is either only assimilating immigration in at least one neighbourhood of the host country (sorting equilibrium) when immigration is from a rich source country, or there is some non-assimilating immigration in all neighbourhoods (mixed equilibrium) when immigration is from a poor source country. The presence of this exposure channel is tested using data from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Canada: waves 1-3. Learning, rather than sorting into co-ethnic communities, is the main factor operating in the exposure channel between source country richness and assimilating immigration.
    Keywords: Cultural Assimilation; Language Proficiency; Pre-immigration Experience; Ethnic Enclaves; Sorting; Exposure
    JEL: J61 Z1
    Date: 2021–06–28
  3. By: Jingwen Tan; Shixi Kang
    Abstract: While the size of China's mobile population continues to expand, the fertility rate is significantly lower than the stable generation replacement level of the population, and the structural imbalance of human resource supply has attracted widespread attention. This paper uses LPM and Probit models to estimate the impact of house prices on the fertility intentions of the mobile population based on data from the 2018 National Mobile Population Dynamics Monitoring Survey. The lagged land sales price is used as an instrumental variable of house price to mitigate the potential endogeneity problem. The results show that for every 100\% increase in the ratio of house price to household income of mobile population, the fertility intention of the female mobile population of working age at the inflow location will decrease by 4.42\%, and the marginal effect of relative house price on labor force fertility intention is EXP(-0.222); the sensitivity of mobile population fertility intention to house price is affected by the moderating effect of infrastructure construction at the inflow location. The willingness to have children in the inflow area is higher for female migrants of working age with lower age, smaller family size and higher education. Based on the above findings, the study attempts to provide a new practical perspective for the mainline institutional change and balanced economic development in China's economic transition phase.
    Date: 2021–12
  4. By: Tasso Adamopoulos; Loren Brandt; Chaoran Chen; Diego Restuccia; Xiaoyun Wei
    Abstract: Developing countries are characterized by frictions that impede the mobility of workers across occupations and space. We disentangle the role of insecure property rights from other labor mobility frictions for the reallocation of labor from agriculture to non-agriculture and from rural to urban areas. We combine rich household and individual-level panel data from China and an equilibrium quantitative framework that features the sorting of workers across locations and occupations. We explicitly model the farming household and the endogenous decisions of who operates the family farm and who potentially migrates, capturing an additional channel of selection within the household. We find that land insecurity has substantial negative effects on agricultural productivity and structural change, raising the share of households operating farms by almost 30 percentage points and depressing agricultural productivity by more than 10 percent. Quantitatively, land insecurity is as important as all other labor mobility frictions. We measure a sharp reduction in overall labor mobility barriers over 2004-2018 in the Chinese economy, all of which can be accounted for by improved land security, consistent with reforms covering rural land in China during the period.
    Keywords: land, labor mobility, agriculture, misallocation, household, productivity, China.
    JEL: O11 O14 O4 E02 Q1
    Date: 2022–01–09
  5. By: Philipp Gareis; Tom Broekel;
    Abstract: The paper contributes to the literature investigating students’ spatial mobility. By focusing on German higher education students with a novel dataset providing data from 1999 to 2015, we evaluate the impact of the change from a one-tiered to the two-tiered study structure of bachelor and master degrees (Bologna reform) on their inter-regional mobility and its underlying drivers. Our analysis confirms the system change to slightly alter inter-regional mobility of students. However, differences distinguish between different fields of study and universities und universities of applied sciences and indicate that the German higher education system is fairly resilient in its allocation of students. A Bologna-Drain of students moving from rural to urban regions to study master programs, can partially be confirmed for students of business studies. Our results reject the idea of (low) tuition fees discouraging students from enrolling in specific locations.
    Keywords: student mobility, Germany, Bologna, higher education
    JEL: I23 I25 R12
    Date: 2022–01
  6. By: Toman Barsbai; Andreas Steinmayr; Christoph Winter
    Abstract: We analyze how economic conditions at the time of arrival affect the economic integration of family-sponsored migrants in the U.S. Our identification strategy exploits long waiting times for family-sponsored immigration visas that decouple the migration decision from economic conditions at the time of arrival. A one pp higher unemployment rate at arrival decreases annual wage income by four percent in the short run and two percent in the longer run. The loss in wage income is the result of substantial occupational downgrading, lower hourly wages, and a reduction in working hours. Family migrants who immigrate into a recession draw on migrant and family networks to mitigate the negative labor market effects. As a result, they take up occupations with higher concentrations of fellow countrypeople. They are also more likely to reside with family members, potentially reducing their geographical mobility.
    Keywords: Immigrant integration, family reunification, migrant networks, labor market, business cycle
    JEL: E32 F22 J31 J61
    Date: 2022–01
  7. By: Persyn, Damiaan
    Abstract: I consider a RUM model for migration where destination countries or regions are viewed as collections of ‘opportunities’ which are the fundamental units of choice for migrants. The best opportunity for a prospective migrant is more likely to be found in a destination that has many and diverse opportunities. Recent contributions in economics studying migration rather consider entire regions or countries as the fundamental, atomistic, units of choice. The key role of the size of destinations and the diversity within them is therefore often not fully recognised, which may lead to biased inference. I argue that the coefficient on size equals 1 in the ideal RUM model. This is also required for the gravity model for migration to have some intuitive properties: only then migration flows scale proportionally when aggregating destinations, and there is zero net migration between otherwise similar regions of different size. Models omitting size or using a coefficient on size different from 1 violate these properties. Imposing proportional scaling also has implications for how different sets of opportunities should be combined. The approach is showcased in a study of internal migration and urbanisation in Ethiopia.
    Keywords: migration, regional economics, spatial modelling, gravity equations, discrete choice
    JEL: C25 F2 R23
    Date: 2021–12–11
  8. By: Gustafsson, Björn Anders (University of Gothenburg); Jakobsen, Vibeke (VIVE - The Danish Centre for Applied Social Science); Mac Innes, Hanna (University of Gothenburg); Pedersen, Peder J. (Aarhus University); Österberg, Torun (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: Many European high-income countries face a rapid increase in the number of immigrants from low- and middle-income countries reaching the normal pension age. Thus, it is increasingly relevant to ask: how are older migrants from such countries faring? Here we study poverty rates and determinants of poverty among natives and persons born in Bosnia, Iran, Iraq, Yugoslavia and Turkey living in Denmark or Sweden in 2010. Income data on all such persons aged 65 to 82 living in the two destination countries are analysed. In both Denmark and Sweden, we report much higher poverty rates among the immigrants studied than among natives. Estimated probability models show that being poor is related to a person's education, family status and age, as well as year of arrival in the destination country and the labour market and his or her residential status at the age of 55. However, the labour market in the destination country at the time of arrival also matter. Persons born in Yugoslavia or Turkey who had immigrated to Denmark during the '70s and '80s were more likely to be in poverty in 2010 that their counterparts with the same characteristics who had immigrated to Sweden.
    Keywords: Denmark, Sweden, poverty, older immigrants
    JEL: I32 J14 J15 J61
    Date: 2021–11
  9. By: Arrighetti, Alessandro; Gnarini, Daniela; Lasagni, Andrea; Semenza, Renata
    Abstract: The article contributes to the current debate on the relationship between migration and entrepreneurship, highlighting the evolution of processes and practices, from the traditional monoethnic firm towards new models, we defined as “plurinational”. It refers precisely to the cases, widespread in the evolving cosmopolitan society, where both entrepreneurs and workers belong to different nationalities. The article outlines the findings of a qualitative research study, based on interviews with a series of entrepreneurs of plurinational firms in Italy. Firstly, we found that plurinational firms originate from “weak ties” (through acquaintances and previous work experiences) rather than “strong ties” (through family and co-ethnic community networks). Secondly, far for being univocal models, we found a variety of plurinational entrepreneurships which derives from different scales of priority assigned by ownership or management to plurinationalism as “opportunity” or plurinationalism as “value”.
    Keywords: immigrant entrepreneurship,plurinationalism,migration,break-out strategies,organizational diversity,Italy
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Holmlund, Helena (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Lindahl, Erica (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Roman, Sara (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: We investigate whether exposure to immigrant peers at school affects natives’ future interactions with ethnic minorities. Identification is based on variation in immigrant exposure across cohorts within school catchment areas in Sweden. We document that natives respond to immigrants by changing school and develop an IV strategy that accounts for such endogenous responses. Our results show that minority exposure at the extensive margin increases the probability that natives form inter-ethnic romantic partnerships, which is suggestive of altered preferences for interacting with immigrants. We also find that minority exposure affects women’s educational choices and family formation decisions in a family-oriented direction.
    Keywords: contact hypothesis; peer effects; intermarriage
    JEL: I20 J12 J15
    Date: 2021–11–15
  11. By: Minjie Deng (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: Income inequality and worker migration significantly affect sovereign default risk. Governments often impose progressive taxes to reduce inequality, which redistribute income but discourage labor supply and induce emigration. Reduced labor supply and a smaller high-income workforce erode the current and future tax base, reducing the government’s ability to repay debt. I develop a sovereign default model with endogenous non-linear taxation and heterogeneous labor to quantify this effect. In the model, the government chooses the optimal combination of taxation and debt, considering its impact on workers’ labor and migration decisions. With the estimated model, I find that income inequality and its interactions with migration explain one-third of the average U.S. state government spread.
    Date: 2021–12
  12. By: Friedrich, Benjamin (Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.); Laun, Lisa (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Meghir, Costas (Yale University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes earnings inequality and earnings dynamics in Sweden over 1985–2016. The deep recession in the early 1990s marks a historic turning point with a massive increase in earnings inequality and earnings volatility, and the impact of the recession and the recovery from it lasted for decades. In the aftermath of the recession, we find steady growth in real earnings across the entire distribution for men and women and decreasing inequality over more than 20 years. Despite the positive trend, large gender differences in earnings dynamics persist. While earnings growth for men is more closely tied to the business cycle, women face much higher volatility overall. Earnings volatility is also substantially higher among foreign-born workers, reflecting weaker labor market attachment and high risk of large negative shocks for low-income immigrants. We document an important role of social benefits usage for the overall trends and for differences across sub-populations. Higher benefits enrollment, especially for women and immigrants, is associated with higher earnings volatility. As the generosity and usage of benefit programs declined over time, we find stronger earnings growth among low-income workers, consistent with higher self-sufficiency.
    Keywords: Earnings inequality; earnings volatility; immigration; social insurance
    JEL: D31 E24 J15 J31 J61
    Date: 2021–11–09
  13. By: Lisa Beck-Werz Author-1-Name-First: Lisa Author-1-Name-Last: Beck-Werz (University of Paderborn); Bernd Frick Author-2-Name-First: Bernd Author-2-Name-Last: Frick (University of Paderborn); Thomas Fritz Author-3-Name-First: Thomas Author-3-Name-Last: Fritz (FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences); Fabian Lensing Author-4-Name-First: Fabian Author-4-Name-Last: Lensing (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: Using a large sample with detailed information on 32,296 high-ability business, law, and engineering students, we explore gender- and migration-related differences in behaviour to better understand the persistent under-representation of women and migrants in the executive suites of German companies. Since in this homogenous group of ‘high-achievers‘, students are quite similar in their intellectual abilities, observable differences in behaviour can be mainly attributed to differences in gender- and migration-related preference patterns. We find that irrespective of migration background, men are more likely to pursue activities that increase their human capital, such as completing a doctorate, while women tend to engage in lower-level temporary jobs and complete their studies faster. In contrast, in this selective sample of high-ability students, migration background has a marginal effect on students’ behaviour only. Perhaps most surprising, we find that the behaviour of women with a migration background – who potentially face ‘double discrimination‘ – is not different from that of their male peers.
    Keywords: High-ability students; higher education, gender gap; migration; education; intersectionality
    JEL: I23 Z13
    Date: 2022–01
  14. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: The social fabric of the migrant’s host country largely embodies major traits of the exclusion of ‘strangers’. The latter often focus on ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender. This applies also to the Afrophobia which spreads in contempory China. Thus, current news focused on the eviction of African migrants from apartments and hotels in China. Actually, an estimated 500.000 Africans live in China. The Corona pandemic aggravated their situation. The scarcity of Chines immigration assistance posed a challenge for Africans looking to secure residence permits, renew visas, or amend their status in other ways. They had to rely on informal or illicit networks to remain in the country. The African Union, various African governments and even the United States put pressure on Beijing over the ill-treatment of migrants, predominantly from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. Shortly before, five Nigerians had been reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 in Guangzhou, the metropolis where most Africans live and work, nicknamed ‘Little Africa’. These reports seem to be what has sparked the current wave of suspicion and anti-foreigner sentiment. Many African students and other migrants had left China already at the start of the outbreak. The remaing got stranded and chased around. Yet, even Chinese state media admitted that non-African foreigners like Americans and Filipinos, who accounted for more than half of foreigners living in Guangzhou who had the virus, were not singled out as scapegoats. However, racist attacks on Africans in China had a depressing long tradition, related to the expansion of bilateral petty trade of Chinese in Sub-Sahara Africa since the early 2000s and the subsequent influx of African traders in China. Already in 2008 African migrants had blocked a major street in Guangzhou protesting against the death of a Nigerian in an immigration raid.
    Keywords: Chine, Afrique, relations sino-africaines, migration internationale, xénophobie, afrophobie, racisme, violence politique, BRICS, secteur informel, immigration illégale, migration forcée, minorités, envois de fonds,
    JEL: F16 F22 F24 F51 F54 I24 I31 J46 J61 N15 N35 O15 O17 O53 Z13
    Date: 2022–01–03
  15. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: Africa and India share a long history of trade, investment and slavery. The Portuguese alone brought up to 80,000 slaves from Mozambique to India since the 16th century. Unlike slaves in other parts of the world, African slaves, soldiers, and traders had a strong military and cultural influence on India's culture and society. Some of the slaves even held privileged positions. Today India competes with other global players, especially China, for African resources and markets. Growing racism and Afrophobia towards African migrants, however, could hamper the ambitions of the New-Delhi government. India's social networks and political leaders are increasingly looking for scapegoats and “strangers” to blame for their failures due to religious, racist and linguistic prejudice. Racism and Afrophobia did not appear first under Modi's administration, but they have become more daunting and contagious. The famous Indian writer and political activist, Arundhati Roy, rated Indian racism towards black people as almost worse than white peoples‟ racism. For example, Africans, who were often summarily disqualified as „Nigerians‟, were generally accused of being drug dealers and even suspected of „cannibalism‟. Yet, Indian authorities at all political levels did not effectively counter this. On the contrary, they not infrequently encouraged these prejudices. Modi, for example, compared breakaway Indian regions to „Somalia‟.
    Keywords: India, Africa, international migration, xenophobia, Afrophobia, racism, violence, Afro-Indian relations, informal sector, illegal migration, forced migration, slave-trade, minorities, remittances
    JEL: E26 F62 F66 N35 N95 Z13
    Date: 2021–12–14

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