nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2022‒01‒24
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Forced Displacement and Human Capital: Evidence from Separated Siblings By Giorgio Chiovelli; Stelios Michalopoulos; Elias Papaioannou; Sandra Sequeira
  2. Dreaming of Leaving the Nest? Immigration Status and the Living Arrangements of DACAmented By Gihleb, Rania; Giuntella, Osea; Lonsky, Jakub
  3. Marriage before children?. First family formation among the children of immigrants in Norway By Jennifer A. Holland; Kenneth Aa. Wiik
  4. Mobile Internet Access and the Desire to Emigrate By Joop Age Harm Adema; Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara
  5. Emigration Intentions and Risk Aversion: Causal Evidence from Albania By Michel Beine; Gary Charness; Arnaud Dupuy
  6. Information, Intermediaries, and International Migration By Samuel Bazzi; Lisa Cameron; Simone G. Schaner; Firman Witoelar
  7. Rethinking Border Enforcement, Permanent and Circular Migration By Basu, Arnab K.; Chau, Nancy H.; Park, Brian
  8. Does economic self-interest determine public attitudes toward immigrants? An econometric case study in Japan By Shingo Takahashi; Ana Maria Takahashi
  9. Finding the instrumental variables of household registration: A discussion of the impact of China's household registration system on the citizenship of the migrant population By Jingwen Tan; Shixi Kang
  10. African migrants plight in China: Afrophobia impedes China's race for Africa's resources and markets By Kohnert, Dirk
  11. Do remittances spur economic growth in Africa? By Taiwo, Kayode
  12. Locked up? The development and internal migration nexus in Colombia By Karina Acosta; Hengyu Gu

  1. By: Giorgio Chiovelli; Stelios Michalopoulos; Elias Papaioannou; Sandra Sequeira
    Abstract: We examine the impact of conflict-driven displacement on human capital. We focus on the Mozambican civil war (1977–1992), during which more than four million civilians fled to the countryside, cities, and refugee camps and settlements in neighboring countries. We leverage the full post-war census to compare siblings separated during the war, using those who stayed behind as a counterfactual to one’s displacement path. Uprooted children register higher investments in education. Second, we quantify the relative importance of place-based and displacement effects. The latter increases education and decreases attachment to agriculture by the same rate as being exposed to an environment approximately one standard deviation more developed than one’s birthplace. Third, we conduct a survey in Nampula, whose population doubled during the civil war. Those who fled to the city have significantly higher education than their siblings who remained in the countryside and they converged to the levels of schooling of non-mover urban-born individuals. However, those displaced exhibit significantly lower social/civic capital and have worse mental health, even three decades after the war. These findings reveal that displacement shocks can trigger human capital investments, breaking links with subsistence agriculture, but at the cost of long-lasting, social, and psychological traumas.
    JEL: J10 J15 J20 O1 O15 O18
    Date: 2021–12
  2. By: Gihleb, Rania (University of Pittsburgh); Giuntella, Osea (University of Pittsburgh); Lonsky, Jakub (University of Liverpool)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on the living arrangements and housing behavior of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Using an event-study approach and difference-in-differences (DID) estimates, we compare immigrants above and below eligibility cutoffs and demonstrate that after the adoption of the policy in June 2012, DACA-eligible immigrants were less likely to live with their parents or in multigenerational households (-11%) and more likely to live independently (+15.5%). We also reveal that DACA-eligible immigrants were less likely to live in the same house (+2%) and more likely to move out of ethnic enclaves (-3%). Lower rental costs (-4.5%) may have facilitated this transition into adulthood and the observed trends in living arrangements. DACA also led to a decline in marriage rates among DACA-eligible individuals, while we found no evidence of significant effects on cohabitation, divorce, and intermarriage. We also found no evidence of a clear impact on fertility.
    Keywords: immigration status, DACA, living arrangements, rental markets
    JEL: J1 J23 J24 R2
    Date: 2021–11
  3. By: Jennifer A. Holland; Kenneth Aa. Wiik (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Differences in the timing and pathway into family life provide insights into the social distance between majority and immigrant-background groups. Increasing similarity in these processes across immigrant generations may indicate blurring of group distinctions. We situate our study in Norway, a country on the forefront of family change with an increasingly diverse population. Using administrative register data and discrete-time event history models, we demonstrate differential timings and propensities to form families via marriage or a nonmarital first birth among the majority population and the children of immigrants from ten countries of (parental) origin in Europe, the Middle East, East Africa, South Asia, South-East Asia and Latin America. Results demonstrated a generational shift toward the Nordic late marriage pattern among women and men originating from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Iran and Vietnam and men with origins in Turkey. We find limited evidence of generational shifts in the propensity to form a family via a nonmarital first birth, however, in some context, those who form families via this pathway also follow the majority timing pattern, regardless of background or generation. Findings suggest that jointly investigating the timing of family formation and distinct pathways into family life provides new insights into the gradations in and the context of adaptation and diminishing social distance between groups in diverse societies.
    Keywords: Children of immigrants; Second generation; Family formation; Marriage; Parenthood; Norway
    JEL: J10 J12 J15 Y8
    Date: 2021–12
  4. By: Joop Age Harm Adema; Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara
    Abstract: How does mobile internet access affect the desire to emigrate and migration plans? To answer this question, we combine survey data on more than 600,000 individuals from 110 countries with data on worldwide 3G mobile internet rollout. We show that an increase in mobile internet access increases desire to emigrate. This effect is particularly strong for higher-income individuals in low-income countries. We identify three potential mechanisms. Access to the mobile internet lowers the cost of acquiring information and leads to a drop in perceived material well-being and trust in government. Using municipal-level data from Spain, we also document that 3G rollout increased actual migration flows.
    Keywords: Gender pay gap, university student employment, job types
    JEL: F22
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Michel Beine; Gary Charness; Arnaud Dupuy
    Abstract: Estimating the impact of risk aversion on emigration at the individual level is complicated by selection issues. In this paper, we use original data from Albania on mobility intentions and elicited risk aversion to provide causal estimates on this relationship. Our identification strategy relies on the occurrence of two earthquakes during data collection that unambiguously led to upward shifts in risk aversion as shown in a companion paper (Beine et al., 2021). While OLS estimates fail to capture a (negative) relationship between risk aversion and emigration intention, a Control Function strategy using the two earthquakes as instruments uncovers such a relationship. We argue that our results highlight a new channel through which risk preferences explain the trapped population phenomenon documented in the climate change and migration literature.
    Keywords: emigration, risk aversion, earthquakes, trapped population phenomenon
    JEL: F22 O15 P16 O57
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Samuel Bazzi; Lisa Cameron; Simone G. Schaner; Firman Witoelar
    Abstract: Job seekers often face substantial information frictions related to potential job quality. This is especially true in international labor markets, where intermediaries match prospective migrants with employers abroad. We conducted a randomized trial in Indonesia to explore how information about intermediary quality shapes migration choices and outcomes. Information reduces the migration rate, lowering use of low-quality intermediaries. However, workers who migrate receive better pre-departure preparation and have higher-quality job experiences abroad, despite no change in occupation or destination. Information does not change intentions to migrate or beliefs about the return to migration or intermediary quality. Nor does selection explain the improved outcomes for workers who choose to migrate with the information. Together, our findings are consistent with an increase in the option value of search: with better ability to differentiate offer quality, workers become choosier and ultimately have better migration experiences. This offers a new perspective on the importance of information and matching frictions in global labor markets.
    JEL: D83 F22 L15 O15
    Date: 2021–12
  7. By: Basu, Arnab K. (Cornell University); Chau, Nancy H. (Cornell University); Park, Brian (Cornell University)
    Abstract: Canonical models of migration feature border enforcement as a strategy to contain undocumented immigration by effectively exacting a mobility cost. This paper revisits the role of border enforcement policy in a task-based model of the labor market where employers simultaneously hire circular migrants to take temporary tasks at low wages, in addition to permanent and native workers who perform complementary tasks at the efficiency wage. We show that stricter border enforcement is effectively a tax on temporary employment, and as such it incentivizes the reallocation of work along the task spectrum. Employers’ dependence on low-wage transient work force diminishes, while more migrants prefer permanent migration, with labor market tightness consequences that favor both native and migrant workers. We explore the empirical implication of this finding, by investigating the pattern of spousal reunion among Mexican agricultural workers in the United States subsequent to major border enforcement reforms in the 1990’s.
    Keywords: labor shortages, family migration, circular migration, border enforcement
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2021–11
  8. By: Shingo Takahashi (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hiroshima University); Ana Maria Takahashi (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Department of Global Studies, Faculty of Global Engagement / Research Fellow, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)
    Abstract: We examine two economic self-interest hypotheses of the determinants of public attitudes towards immigrants: (1) labor market hypothesis, which states that the employment and wage impacts of immigration determine public attitudes and (2) the welfare state hypoth- esis, which states that natives negatively perceive immigrants for fear of straining the country’s welfare budget. The first hypothesis predicts that natives’ education will af- fect pro-immigrant attitudes more positively when the immigrants are from lower-income countries. The second hypothesis predicts that natives’ income will affect the pro-immigrant attitudes more negatively when the immigrants are from lower-income countries. We use the Japanese General Social Survey, which asks respondents’ tolerance toward immigrants from different countries, allowing us to remove the unobserved individual characteristics in a fixed effect estimation. Our results show no difference in education and income effects on pro-immigrant attitudes regardless of whether immigrants are from high- or low-income countries. We conclude that economic self-interests do not explain Japanese public attitudes towards immigrants. We discuss policy implications on how to improve public attitudes to- wards immigrants.
    Date: 2022–01
  9. By: Jingwen Tan; Shixi Kang
    Abstract: Due to the specificity of China's dualistic household registration system and the differences in the rights and interests attached to it, household registration is prevalent as a control variable in the empirical evidence. In the context of family planning policies, this paper proposes to use family size and number of children as instrumental variables for household registration, and discusses qualitatively and statistically verifies their relevance and exogeneity, while empirically analyzing the impact of the household registration system on citizenship of the mobile population. After controlling for city, individual control variables and fixed effects, the following conclusions are drawn: family size and number of children pass the over-identification test when used as instrumental variables for household registration; non-agricultural households have about 20.2\% lower settlement intentions and 7.28\% lower employment levels in inflow cities than agricultural households; the mechanism of the effect of the nature of household registration on employment still holds for the non-mobile population group.
    Date: 2021–12
  10. 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: China, Africa, international migration, xenophobia, Afrophobia, racism, political violence, Afro-China relations, informal sector, illegal immigration, forced migration, slave-trade, minorities, remittances
    JEL: F16 F22 F24 F51 F54 I24 I31 J46 J61 N15 N35 O15 O17 O35 Z13
    Date: 2022–01–02
  11. By: Taiwo, Kayode
    Abstract: Remittance flows to developing countries are now triple official development assistance and larger than foreign direct investment. The surge in remittances now occupies important position in development equation as remittances are seen as cheap resources for development. African governments are no exception among developing nations chasing remittances. Policymakers are making efforts to attract remittances to provide needed resources for economic transformation. In this study, an attempt is made to explore the impact of remittance flows on economic growth in Africa, considering efforts at attracting remittances. The impact of remittances is estimated using static and dynamic panel methods with data spanning 1975 to 2015. The study finds that remittances do not have an impact on economic growth in Africa. This conclusion is hinged on measurement issues, internal conditions, labour market implications, and the effect of remittances on tradable sectors.
    Keywords: Migration, Remittances, Economic growth, Panel data, Africa
    JEL: C33 F22 F43
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Karina Acosta; Hengyu Gu
    Abstract: Although a sizable number of studies have been exploring the migration development nexus in international settings, there is still a reduced number on internal contexts in recent years. This research aims to estimate the causal effect of origin economic conditions on internal population migration using a time series of the Colombian states between 2012 and 2019. This analysis provides a macro perspective of associations and causation between population dynamics and development in the current changes observed using spatial interaction models. Likewise, it analyses the current portray of internal migration in Colombia (defined by five-years and one-year flows). The evidence shows that the migration hump depends on the scale at which it is analyzed. At an aggregated scale, initial economic conditions are negatively associated with migration until a threshold where this relationship is reversed. The opposite is observed in the rural migrants subsample. **** RESUMEN: Aunque un número considerable de estudios ha estado explorando el nexo entre la migración y el desarrollo en entornos internacionales, todavía hay un número reducido de estos estudios en contextos internos en los últimos años. Esta investigación tiene como objetivo principal estimar el efecto causal de las condiciones económicas de origen sobre la migración interna de la población colombiana utilizando una serie de tiempo de departamentos entre 2012 y 2019. Este análisis proporciona una perspectiva macro de asociaciones y causalidad entre la dinámica poblacional y el desarrollo en el país utilizando modelos de interacción espacial. Asimismo, analiza el retrato actual de los migrantes internos en Colombia (definida por flujos de cinco y un año). La evidencia en este caso específico muestra que la llamada U invertida de la migración depende de la escala utilizada. Por departamentos agregados, las condiciones económicas iniciales se asocian negativamente con la migración hasta un umbral en el que esta relación se invierte. Un comportamiento inverso se encuentra en la submuestra de migrantes rurales.
    Keywords: Internal migration, development, migration hump, spatial interaction models, Colombia, migración interna, desarrollo, curva de migración, modelos de interacción espacial, Colombia.
    JEL: O15 O1 C21
    Date: 2022–01

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