nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2022‒08‒22
four papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Forced migration and food crises By Federico Carril-Caccia; Jordi Paniagua; Marta Suarez-Varela
  2. Job Prospects and Labour Mobility in China By Huaxin Wang-Lu; Octasiano Miguel Valerio Mendoza
  3. Strategic Choices of Migrants and Smugglers in the Central Mediterranean Sea By Katherine Hoffmann Pham; Junpei Komiyama
  4. At the intersection of adverse life course pathways: the effects on health by nativity By Silvia Loi; Peng Li; Mikko Myrskylä

  1. By: Federico Carril-Caccia (University of Granada); Jordi Paniagua (University of Valencia and Kellogg Iinstitute, University of Notre Dame); Marta Suarez-Varela (Bank of Spain)
    Abstract: Food insecurity is a pressing global concern and little is known of its economic outreach. This paper quantifies the effects of food crises on international forced migration (FIMs) flows using a structural gravity model. We construct a novel dataset that measures to the severity, intensity, and causes of the food crises. Results suggest that even mild food crises tend to increase international forced migration. Severe food crises skew FIM toward less developed countries. Our results are consistent with the fact that food crises tighten liquidity constraints on migration, worsening as food crises intensify.
    Keywords: Forced migration; Food crises; Gravity equation
    JEL: A1
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Huaxin Wang-Lu; Octasiano Miguel Valerio Mendoza
    Abstract: China's structural changes have brought new challenges to its regional employment structure, entailing spatial redistribution of workforce. However, Chinese research on migration decisions involving future outcomes and on city-level bilateral longitudinal determinants is almost non-existent. This paper sheds light on the effects of sector-based job prospects on individual migration decisions across prefecture boundaries. To this end, we created a proxy variable for job prospects, compiled a unique quasi-panel of 66,427 individuals from 283 cities during 1997--2017, expanded the random utility maximisation model of migration by introducing the reference-dependence, derived empirical specifications with theoretical micro-foundations and applied various monadic and dyadic fixed effects to address multilateral resistance to migration. Multilevel logit models and two-step system GMM estimation were adopted for the robustness check. Our primary findings are that a 10% increase in the ratio of sector-based job prospects in cities of destination to cities of origin raises the probability of migration by 1.281--2.185 percentage points, and the effects tend to be stronger when the scale of the ratio is larger. Having a family migration network causes an increase of approximately 6 percentage points in migratory probabilities. Further, labour migrants are more likely to be male, unmarried, younger, or more educated. Our results suggest that the ongoing industrial reform in China influences labour mobility between prefecture-level cities, providing important insights for regional policymakers to prevent brain drain and to attract relevant talent.
    Date: 2022–07
  3. By: Katherine Hoffmann Pham; Junpei Komiyama
    Abstract: The sea crossing from Libya to Italy is one of the world's most dangerous and politically contentious migration routes, and yet over half a million people have attempted the crossing since 2014. Leveraging data on aggregate migration flows and individual migration incidents, we estimate how migrants and smugglers have reacted to changes in border enforcement, namely the rise in interceptions by the Libyan Coast Guard starting in 2017 and the corresponding decrease in the probability of rescue at sea. We find support for a deterrence effect in which attempted crossings along the Central Mediterranean route declined, and a diversion effect in which some migrants substituted to the Western Mediterranean route. At the same time, smugglers adapted their tactics. Using a strategic model of the smuggler's choice of boat size, we estimate how smugglers trade off between the short-run payoffs to launching overcrowded boats and the long-run costs of making less successful crossing attempts under different levels of enforcement. Taken together, these analyses shed light on how the integration of incident- and flow-level datasets can inform ongoing migration policy debates and identify potential consequences of changing enforcement regimes.
    Date: 2022–07
  4. By: Silvia Loi (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Peng Li (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Adverse life events are major causes of declining health and well-being, but the effects are not the same across subpopulations. We analyze how the intersection of nativity and two main adverse life events, job loss and divorce, affect individual health and well-being trajectories. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (1984-2017), we apply descriptive techniques and individual fixed-effects regressions to analyze how job loss and divorce influence health. Our results support the hypothesis of the intersectional effects of disadvantage and adversities on health and well-being, with immigrants suffering more from adverse life events than natives in both the short and the long run. Compared to natives, immigrants have a health advantage at younger ages, which turns into a disadvantage at older ages. The observed health declines are particularly steep among immigrants who experienced adverse life events. These results help to explain the vanishing health advantage of immigrants by showing that they are exposed to a double disadvantage over the life course: i.e., immigrants are more likely than natives to suffer from adverse life events, and such events typically have a larger impact on the health of immigrants than of natives. Our findings are the first to provide evidence on the effects of different adverse life events intersecting with each other and with nativity. Moreover, our results highlight the importance of intersectional analyses in research on immigrant health.
    Keywords: Germany, health, inequality, migrants
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2022

This nep-mig issue is ©2022 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.