nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2022‒02‒07
six papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The Intended and Unintended Effects of Promoting Labor Market Mobility By Marco Caliendo; Steffen Künn; Robert Mahlstedt
  2. Too Cold to Venture There? January Temperature and Immigrant Self-Employment across the United States By Lee, Jun Yeong; Winters, John V.
  3. Giving Up Your Body to Enter Fortress Europe: Understanding the gendered experiences of sextortion of Nigerians migrating to the Netherlands By Van Heugten, Loes; Bicker Caarten, Ashleigh; Merkle, Ortrun
  4. Overcoming Barriers to Service Access: Refugees’ Professional Support Service Utilization and the Impact of Human and Social Capital By Ellen Heidinger
  5. Inconsistent response behavior: A potential pitfall in modeling the link between educational attainment and social network characteristics By Marina Lagemann; Peter Winker
  6. International student mobility and academic performance: Does timing matter? By Granja, Cintia Denise; Visentin, Fabiana

  1. By: Marco Caliendo (University of Potsdam, IZA Bonn, DIW Berlin, IAB Nuremberg); Steffen Künn (Maastricht University and ROA, IZA Bonn); Robert Mahlstedt (University of Copenhagen, IZA Bonn, DFI)
    Abstract: Subsidizing the geographical mobility of unemployed workers may improve welfare by relaxing their financial constraints and allowing them to find jobs in more prosperous regions. We exploit regional variation in the promotion of mobility programs along administrative borders of German employment agency districts to investigate the causal effect of offering such financial incentives on the job search behavior and labor market integration of unemployed workers. We show that promoting mobility – as intended – causes job seekers to increase their search radius, apply for and accept distant jobs. At the same time, local job search is reduced with adverse consequences for reemployment and earnings. These unintended negative effects are provoked by spatial search frictions. Overall, the unconditional provision of mobility programs harms the welfare of unemployed job seekers.
    Keywords: Job Search, Active Labor Market Policy, Labor Market Mobility, Unintended Consequence, Search Frictions
    JEL: J61 J68 D04 C21
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Lee, Jun Yeong (Iowa State University); Winters, John V. (Iowa State University)
    Abstract: Immigrant entrepreneurs are critical to regional and national economies. Immigrants in the USA have higher self-employment rates than natives, and immigrants have made outsized contributions as founders of numerous highly successful firms. However, we document that immigrant self-employment rates vary considerably across areas of the USA. Our main measure is the percentage of immigrant workers in an area who are self-employed; i.e., the self- employment rate for the foreign-born. Areas with colder winter temperatures have especially low self-employment rates among their immigrant populations compared to other areas of the USA. This relationship holds for numerous sub-samples of immigrants and is not driven by any particular group. The relationship persists after controlling for numerous individual and local area characteristics. Immigrant entrepreneurs appear to be especially forward-looking and responsive to warmer January temperature as a locational amenity. The results have important implications about the location choices of immigrant entrepreneurs.
    Keywords: self-employment, entrepreneurship, immigrants, amenities, temperature
    JEL: J61 L26 R23
    Date: 2021–12
  3. By: Van Heugten, Loes (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); Bicker Caarten, Ashleigh (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); Merkle, Ortrun (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Corruption is a frequent companion of irregular migrants along their journey, however, as they often have little financial resources available or deplete them quickly along the difficult route, paying for monetary bribes can be difficult. Therefore, this paper analyses the occurrence of a non‐financial form of corruption, i.e. sextortion. Sextortion is a largely unexplored form of corruption in which sexual favours function as means of payment. To establish a better understanding of the occurrence of sextortion, this paper explores the gendered experiences of this form of corruption for Nigerians migrating to the Netherlands. The paper is based on interviews with experts on migration, gender and corruption in the Nigerian and Dutch context. The results show that Nigerian migrants are most vulnerable to encounter sextortion in Nigeria, Libya, Niger, and Italy. The extortion of sexual favours often occurs in addition to financial bribes, making it not the primary purpose of the exchange, but not underplaying its importance. While women are most often seen as the survivors of sextortion, also men and nonbinary individuals are at risk to encounter sextortion. Besides gender, the results indicate that age, economic situation, and the availability of a social network influence a migrant’s vulnerability. Furthermore, Nigerian migrants often experience different sources of pressure to succeed their journeys which take away the element of choice when encountering sextortion.
    Keywords: Sextortion, Migration, Corruption, Gender-based violence, Sexual violence, Nigeria, South-North Migration, Migration Policy, European Union
    JEL: D73 F22 F59 O15
    Date: 2021–12–15
  4. By: Ellen Heidinger
    Abstract: After arriving in a new country, refugees are most often dependent on professional support to reestablish their livelihood. It is however well documented that refugees face barriers when seeking access to services aimed at facilitating their settlement and integration. This study examines refugees’ support service needs and their actual utilization and investigates the impact of social and human capital on support service utilization. Employing data from the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees, this paper highlights the diversity of refugees’ support service needs as well as large differences in utilization in eight different domains. It furthermore provides evidence for an overall positive association between predictors of human and social capital and service utilization in general and additionally reveals differences in service domains. While language proficiency is positively associated with service utilization across all service domains in the sample, previous work experience in the country of origin especially increased utilization of services related to employment and the labor market. The analyses additionally find a positive association of inter-ethnic networks, whereas intra-ethnic connections are negatively associated with service utilization across a variety of domains. These findings are especially relevant since they support the hypothesis of exclusive host community knowledge, which benefits those refugees engaging with individuals outside their own ethnic network in their efforts regarding integrational outcomes. The findings of this study accentuate the need to acknowledge the diversity in refugees’ service needs as well as the barriers to service utilization that only well-equipped refugees seem to be able to overcome.
    Keywords: refugees, service utilization, professional support services, human capital, social capital
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Marina Lagemann (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen); Peter Winker (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen)
    Abstract: An important role is ascribed to students’ social networks in explaining both social and ethnic differentials in educational achievement and attainment. For example, students’ social networks are assumed to influence their probability of success by providing educationally-relevant resources and by promoting effort and educational investments. The direction and strength of the network’s effect on students’ educational success is assumed to depend on the network’s precise characteristics, such as educational and migration background. As track selection by school performance (as is the case in Germany) goes hand in hand with a segregation of students by characteristics like social and migration background, it can be assumed that educational success itself has an influence on the social resources students have access to at later stages of their educational careers. Given the complexity of instruments commonly applied in self-administered questionnaires to assess students’ social resources, the quality of data on measures of network characteristics is likely to depend on the respondents’ abilities. As regards the estimation of the association between network characteristics and educational success, biased measurement of social network characteristics apparently constitutes a challenge as spurious correlation may be observed between measures of educational achievement and network characteristics if the bias systematically correlates with education. We report empirical findings on a complex instrument used in a self-administered questionnaire applied in the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) to 9th-graders in the classroom, which was designed to measure the social resources young people have at their disposal at the point of transition from general into vocational education. The data allows identifying population subgroups who face particularly strong difficulties in completing the relevant set of questions in a consistent way. Specifically, this selection can be shown to be significantly correlated with different measures of educational achievement as well as with the respondents’ migration background. As the network characteristics we investigate, i.e., the network members’ educational and migration background, have been found to correlate with students’ educational success, ignoring this selection can be shown to heavily bias estimates of the association between educational achievement and social network characteristics.
    Keywords: Social networks; network characteristics; network composition; social resources; answering behavior; cognitive skills; measurement bias; migration background; educational success; educational attainment
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Granja, Cintia Denise (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and Institute of Geosciences, University of Campinas); Visentin, Fabiana (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: In this study, we examine the impact of exchange programs’ timing on students’ academic performance, focusing on the moment in which students travel and the length of the period spent abroad. To provide causal evidence, we exploit unique data of more than 10,000 students from a well-known and internationalized Brazilian university from 2010 to 2020. By combining Propensity Score Matching with Difference in Differences techniques, we find that international mobility impacts groups of students differently. Students who travel closer to the end of their undergraduate courses benefit the most from the mobility experience (an increase of 0.06 points on final standardized grades), while negative effects (-0.05 points) are found for those who travel at the beginning of their university program. Our results also show that, while student mobility impacts positively and significantly students who participate in programs lasting from one semester to one year (0.08 points), negative effects are associated with shorter periods abroad (-0.1 points).
    Keywords: Tertiary education, international student mobility, academic performance, grades, student achievement, propensity score matching, difference in differences
    JEL: I23 I26 J24 O15 O34
    Date: 2021–12–14

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