nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2022‒02‒14
seven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Impact of Microcredit on Labour Migration Decisions: Evidence from a Cambodian Household Survey By Chan Mono Oum; Gazi M. Hassan; Mark J. Holmes
  2. Do Remittances Increase Household Indebtedness: Evidence from a Cambodian Household Survey By Chan Mono Oum; Gazi M. Hassan; Mark J. Holmes
  3. Reducing vulnerability to forced labor and trafficking of short-term, low-skilled women migrant workers in the South Asia to Middle East corridor By ElDidi, Hagar; van Biljon, Chloe; Alvi, Muzna Fatima; Ringler, Claudia; Ratna, Nazmun; Abdulrahim, Sawsan; Kilby, Patrick; Wu, Joyce; Choudhury, Zahid ul Arefin
  4. How the political participation of refugees is shaped on the local level: Self-organisation and political opportunities in Cologne By Jacobi, Milan
  5. The Political Economy of Open Borders: Theory and Evidence on the role of Electoral Rules By Matteo Gamalerio; Massimo Morelli; Margherita Negri
  6. Strangers and Foreigners: Trust and Attitudes toward Citizenship By Graziella Bertocchi; Angelo Dimico; Gian Luca Tedeschi
  7. The Economics of Internal Migration: Advances and Policy Questions By Ning Jia; Raven S. Molloy; Christopher L. Smith; Abigail Wozniak

  1. By: Chan Mono Oum (University of Waikato); Gazi M. Hassan (University of Waikato); Mark J. Holmes (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: The new economics of labour migration (NELM) suggests that migration substitutes for inaccessible credit markets. However, in a paradigm shift towards profit orientation, microfinance organizations in developing countries offer greater access to credit to potential migrants. That casts doubt on the prior understanding of the link between access to microcredit and migration. Exploiting survey data from 422 households in the northern part of Cambodia, this study examines the relationship between microcredit borrowing and migration decisions through the NELM theory in the South-South Migration (SSM) perspective. We employ the Endogenous Switching Probit model (ESP) to control for selection bias in borrowing decisions and the structural differences between borrowing and non-borrowing decisions that influence migration decisions. After instrumenting, the findings suggest that households with access to credit are more likely to have migrated family members than their non-borrowing counterparts, refuting the notion of migration as a substitute for credit. Household with borrowings from financial institution increase the likelihood of migrating by 5.6 percent while households with informal borrowing have a propensity to migrate about 3.2 percent. Our results have a number of policy implications, including guiding policymakers in rethinking the role of microcredit provision and redesigning microfinance programmes to maximise the return on labour migration.
    Keywords: formal credit; informal credit; microcredit; migration decisions; Cambodia
    JEL: F22 G51 R23
    Date: 2022–01–11
  2. By: Chan Mono Oum (University of Waikato); Gazi M. Hassan (University of Waikato); Mark J. Holmes (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: This paper examines the direct impact of remittances on household debt performance and levels of indebtedness using survey data from 422 households in the northern part of Cambodia. We employ the Two-Step Heckman selection model to alleviate concerns regarding the endogeneity issues derived from self-selection bias, reverse causation, and omitted variable bias. The Tobit model is then employed to estimate household debt performance and the indebtedness impact of remittances. We first show that remittances are viewed as transitory incomes tending to decay as a migrant's length of stay outside the household increases. In the second stage of estimation, remittances positively affect household debt performance, particularly in low debt performance households. Remittances are also found to reduce household indebtedness in the recipient households. Because remittances contribute to reducing household indebtedness, which is a critical component in the financial system, policy responses should be targeted toward lowering the actual cost of sending remittances and thereby enabling migrant workers, and their left-behind household the ability to access formal and digitalized platforms in order to sending and receiving remittances.
    Keywords: remittances; household indebtedness; debt performance; Cambodia
    JEL: F24 R23 G51 D15
    Date: 2022–01–12
  3. By: ElDidi, Hagar; van Biljon, Chloe; Alvi, Muzna Fatima; Ringler, Claudia; Ratna, Nazmun; Abdulrahim, Sawsan; Kilby, Patrick; Wu, Joyce; Choudhury, Zahid ul Arefin
    Abstract: Millions of female migrants experience various forms of exploitative and unsafe conditions when migrating for employment and income generation, both in countries of origin and in destination countries. Vulnerabilities increased further due to the Covid-19 pandemic, causing income and job losses, entrapment in countries of destination without financial or social support and stigmatization upon return. One of the key migration routes travelled by millions of migrants is from South Asia to the Middle East. We examine this migration route for low-skilled female migrant workers highlighting the impacts of interventions along the migration pathway to determine the effectiveness of alternative mechanisms for reducing forced labour and trafficking. We draw lessons from the literature as well as from interviews with key informants in the field, including academics, development partners, NGO workers, and policymakers, to identify promising interventions that successfully reduce the vulnerability of women migrants. We find that, while Covid-19 has increased migrant vulnerability, it has also exposed the current system’s violations in facilitating trafficking and exacerbating poor working conditions.
    Keywords: SOUTH ASIA; ASIA; MIDDLE EAST; AFRICA; labour; forced labour; migration; women; vulnerability; Coronavirus; coronavirus disease; Coronavirinae; COVID-19; migrant labour; working conditions; policies; labour trafficking; low-skilled work
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Jacobi, Milan
    Abstract: Six years have passed since the so-called 'long summer of migration' of 2015, and the numbers of newly arriving asylum-seekers in Germany have flattened. However, as one of the main receiving countries of refugees, other challenges are coming into focus. Besides labour market participation and cultural participation, political participation is crucial to social life. But how to enable the political participation of refugees in host countries remains a challenge. This study examines how refugees without the condition of citizenship, who, thus, lack formal, electoral means of participation, can engage in political activities. To this end, it first uses a qualitative approach to examine how various self-organisations in the city of Cologne, Germany, use their resources to bring their interests into the political decision-making process. Second, it examines the political opportunity structures that exist at the local level to enable refugee self-organisations (RSOs) to engage in political activities. For this purpose, interviews were conducted with representatives of the organisations as well as the municipality and other civil society actors in Cologne. The results show that RSOs can be important partners for municipal decision-makers when it comes to refugee-specific issues. However, the results also suggest that opportunity structures are unevenly distributed among organisations and affect the organisations' resource endowments, thus limiting access.
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Matteo Gamalerio; Massimo Morelli; Margherita Negri
    Abstract: Institutions matter for the political choice of policies, and hence the consideration of the median voter's preferences should not be considered sufficient. We study theoretically and empirically how different electoral systems affect the level of openness of a country or city, zooming on the labor market as the main source of heterogeneous economic preferences towards immigration. The general result is that a polity is more open to immigration the less likely it is that policy making can be supported by a plurality of voters who do not constitute the absolute majority. There is evidence for this result at all levels in terms of correlations, and we establish causality via regression discontinuity design for the Italian case.
    Keywords: Electoral Rules, Immigration, Occupational Choice
    JEL: D72 J24 J61 R23
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Graziella Bertocchi; Angelo Dimico; Gian Luca Tedeschi
    Abstract: We analyze the relationship between natives' attitudes towards citizenship acqui- sition for foreigners and trust. Our hypothesis is that, in sub-Saharan Africa, the slave trade represents the deep factor behind contemporary attitudes toward citi- zenship, with more intense exposure to historical slave exports for an individual's ethnic group being associated with contemporary distrust for strangers, and in turn opposition to citizenship laws that favor the inclusion of foreigners. Wefind that individuals who are more trusting do show more positive attitudes towards the ac- quisition of citizenship at birth for children of foreigners, that these attitudes are also negatively related to the intensity of the slave trade, and that the underlying link between trust and the slave trade is cofirmed. Alternative factors- conflict, kinship, and witchcraft beliefs|that, through trust, may ffect attitudes toward citizenship, are not generating the same distinctive pattern of linkages emerging from the slave trade.
    Keywords: Citizenship, Trust, Slave Trade, Migration, Ethnicity, Conflict, Kinship, Witchcraft.
    JEL: J15 K37 N57 O15 Z13
    Date: 2022–01
  7. By: Ning Jia; Raven S. Molloy; Christopher L. Smith; Abigail Wozniak
    Abstract: We review developments in research on within-country migration, focusing on internal migration in the U.S. We begin by describing approaches to modelling individuals' migration decisions and equilibrium outcomes across local areas. Next, we summarize evidence regarding the impact of migration on individuals' outcomes, implications of migration for local labor market adjustment, and interactions between migration and housing markets. Finally, we discuss evidence on the efficacy of policies aimed at encouraging migration and conclude by highlighting important unanswered questions that are critical for informing migration-related policy.
    Keywords: Internal migration; Migration; Mobility
    JEL: J60 J61 J68 R10
    Date: 2022–02–02

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