nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2022‒10‒17
eleven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Can Information and Alternatives to Irregular Migration Reduce “Backway” Migration from The Gambia? By Tijan L. Bah; Catia Batista; Flore Gubert; David McKenzie
  2. Conflict intensity in the region of birth increases religiosity among refugees By Frank van Tubergen1,2,; Yuliya Kosyakova; Agnieszka Kanas
  3. Tax incentives for high skilled migrants: evidence from a preferential tax scheme in the Netherlands By Lisa Marie Timm; Massimo Giuliodori; Paul Muller
  4. City Size, Family Migration, and Gender Wage Gap: Evidence from Rural-Urban Migrants in China By Xing, Chunbing; Yuan, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Junfu
  5. Workplace Segregation and the Labour Market Performance of Immigrants By Sébastien Willis
  6. Emigration and Fiscal Austerity in a Depression By Guilherme Bandeira; Jordi Caballe; Eugenia Vella
  7. New Region, New Chances: Does Moving Regionally for University Shape Later Job Mobility? By Felix Ehrenfried; Thomas A. Fackler; Valentin Lindlacher; Thomas Fackler; Thomas Fackler
  8. Biased Beliefs about Immigration and Economic Concerns: Evidence from Representative Experiments By Patrick Dylong; Silke Uebelmesser
  9. COVID-19 among migrant farmworkers in Canada employment strain in a transnational context By Vosko, Leah F.,; Basok, Tanya,; Spring, Cynthia,; Candiz, Guillermo,; George, Glynis,
  10. Do Low-skilled Immigrants Improve Native Productivity but Worsen Local Amenities? Learning from the South Korean Experience By Hyejin Kim; Jongkwan Lee; Giovanni Peri
  11. What Drives Risky Prescription Opioid Use? Evidence from Migration By Amy Finkelstein; Matthew Gentzkow; Dean Li; Heidi L. Williams

  1. By: Tijan L. Bah; Catia Batista; Flore Gubert; David McKenzie
    Abstract: Irregular migration from West Africa to Europe across the Sahara and Mediterranean is extremely risky for migrants and a key policy concern. A cluster-randomized experiment with 3,641 young men from 391 settlements in The Gambia is used to test three approaches to reducing risky migration: providing better information and testimonials about the risks of the journey, facilitating migration to a safer destination by providing information and assistance for migration to Dakar, and offering vocational skill training to enhance domestic employment opportunities. Current migration to Senegal was increased by both the Dakar facilitation and vocational training treatments, partially crowding out internal migration. The vocational training treatment reduced intentions to migrate the backway and the number of steps taken toward moving. However, the backway migration rate from The Gambia collapsed, even in the control group, resulting in no space for a treatment effect on irregular migration from any of the three interventions.
    Keywords: Irregular migration, Migration deterrence, Information interventions, Vocational training, Cash transfer, Randomized experiment
    JEL: O15 F22 J61
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Frank van Tubergen1,2, (Utrecht University,); Yuliya Kosyakova (University of Groningen); Agnieszka Kanas (University of Bamberg)
    Abstract: Do violent conflicts increase religiosity? This study draws on evidence from a large-scale survey on refugees in Germany linked with data on time-varying conflict intensity in refugees’ birth regions prior to the survey interview. The results show that the greater the number of conflict-induced fatalities in the period before the interview, the more often refugees pray. The relationship between conflict and praying holds equally across demographic subgroups. Evidence suggests that both short- and long-term cumulative fatalities in refugees’ birth regions affect how often they pray. Additionally, the link between conflict and praying is stronger for refugees who have family and relatives still living in their country of origin. Finally, we show that the conflicts that matter are those occurring within the refugees’ specific region of birth rather than in other regions in the country. Implications for existential insecurity theory and cultural evolutionary theory are discussed.
    Keywords: Religiosity, existential insecurity, refugees, praying, war
    Date: 2022–10
  3. By: Lisa Marie Timm (University of Amsterdam); Massimo Giuliodori (University of Amsterdam); Paul Muller (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper examines to what extent an income tax exemption affects international mobility and wages of skilled immigrants. We study a preferential tax scheme for foreigners in the Netherlands, which introduced an income threshold for eligibility in 2012 and covers a large share of the migrant income distribution. By using detailed administrative data ina difference-in-differences setup, we find that the number of migrants in the income range closely above the threshold more than doubles, whereas there is little empirical support for a decrease of migration below the threshold. Our results indicate that these effects are driven mainly by additional migration, while wage bargaining responses are fairly limited. We conclude that the preferential tax scheme is highly effective in attracting more skilled migrants
    Keywords: international migration, income tax benefits, wage bargaining, bunching.
    JEL: F22 J61 H24 H31
    Date: 2022–09–27
  4. By: Xing, Chunbing (Renmin University of China); Yuan, Xiaoyan (Shanghai University); Zhang, Junfu (Clark University)
    Abstract: Finding suitable employment in a city is more challenging for married than unmarried migrants. This paper provides empirical evidence that the denser and more diversified labor markets in large cities help alleviate the colocation problem of married couples. Using data from China, we show that the gender wage gap among married migrants is significantly smaller in larger cities, and this is mainly because large cities have higher employer and population densities. Large cities make married women more likely to be employed and to secure suitable jobs after family migration. We find no evidence for alternative explanations for the correlation between city size and married women's relative wages.
    Keywords: city size, family migration, colocation choice, gender gap
    JEL: J31 R12 R23 O15
    Date: 2022–09
  5. By: Sébastien Willis
    Abstract: Immigrants are more likely to have conationals as colleagues, however the consequences of such workplace segregation is an open question. I study the effect of the conational share in an immigrant’s first job on subsequent labour market outcomes using register data from Germany. I instrument for the conational share using hiring trends in the local labour market and find that a ten-percentage-point increase in the initial conational share lowers employment rates by 3.1 percentage points six or more years after the start of the first job, an effect not observed for non-conational immigrants, with no effect on wages conditional on employment. The employment effect appears to be due to the effect of differences in the composition of social networks induced by differences in the initial workplace on subsequent job search behaviour, although differential Germany-specific human capital acquisition cannot be entirely ruled out.
    Keywords: employment, segregation, coworker networks, immigrant earnings dynamics
    JEL: J61 J64 J31
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Guilherme Bandeira (New South Wales Treasury); Jordi Caballe (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and Barcelona GSE); Eugenia Vella
    Abstract: What is the role of emigration in a deep recession when the government implements fiscal consolidation? To answer this question, we build a small open economy New Keynesian model with matching frictions and emigration. In simulations for the Greek Depression, fiscal austerity accounts for almost 1/3 of the GDP decline and 12% of emigration. A nomigration scenario under-predicts the bust in output by 1/6 and the rise in the debt-to-GDP ratio by 8 percentage points. The link between emigration and austerity is bi-directional. Emigration increases the labour tax hike and time required to reduce the debt ratio due to endogenous revenue leakage. In turn, tax hikes intensify emigration, while unproductive government spending cuts have a mild, ambiguous impact as they exhibit opposite demand and wealth effects. However, productive spending cuts display a fiscal multiplier above one, which incentivizes emigration. Emigration then amplifies the productive spending multiplier through internal demand. Similarly, the cumulative labour tax multiplier after five years rises from 0.86 without migration to 1.27 when the unemployed emigrate and 1.47 when both the unemployed and the employed emigrate.
    Keywords: fiscal austerity, emigration, on-the-job search, matching frictions, Greek crisis, fiscal multipliers
    JEL: E32 F41
    Date: 2022–08–08
  7. By: Felix Ehrenfried; Thomas A. Fackler; Valentin Lindlacher; Thomas Fackler; Thomas Fackler
    Abstract: The extensive literature on university graduates’ regional mobility highlights the importance of early mobility but is primarily descriptive. We contribute the identification of the effect of mobility upon high-school graduation on subsequent mobility across labour market regions. The data permit a novel identification strategy that uses the distance to university as an instrument. To ensure comparability, we select high-school graduates from only the suburban region of a large German agglomeration in a university graduate survey. We find that early mobility leads to a sizable increase in later labour mobility, which has implications for labour market efficiency and distributional policy concerns.
    Keywords: regional mobility, job mobility, distance to university, students, spatial, instrumental variables estimation
    JEL: J61 R23 I23
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Patrick Dylong; Silke Uebelmesser
    Abstract: We investigate the link between biased beliefs about immigrants, economic concerns and policy preferences. Conducting representative survey experiments with more than 8000 respondents, we first document substantial biases in respondents’ beliefs about the immigrant population in various domains. Exposure to different types of signals about immigrants reduces concerns about adverse effects of immigration on the welfare state. On the contrary, different types of signals offset their effects on concerns about increasing labor market competition. Employing a data-driven approach to uncover systematic effect heterogeneity, we find that prior beliefs about immigration explain conditional average treatment effects. While attitudinal change is thus more pronounced among individuals with pre-intervention biases about immigrants, education and attitudes towards cultural diversity are additional drivers of heterogeneity. Treatment effects on welfare state concerns persist in a five to eight week follow-up.
    Keywords: immigration attitudes, biased perceptions, belief updating, welfare state, labor market, causal forest
    JEL: C90 D83 F22 H20 J15
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Vosko, Leah F.,; Basok, Tanya,; Spring, Cynthia,; Candiz, Guillermo,; George, Glynis,
    Abstract: This study analyzes the conditions that migrant farmworkers in Canada endured prior to and during theCOVID-19 pandemic (January 2020-March 2022). It draws on policy analysis and open-ended interviews with workers in Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), as well as non-status migrants employed in agriculture. It evaluates policies and measures adopted by Canadian authorities to address labour shortages in agriculture and protect the health of migrant farmworkers
    Keywords: agricultural worker, migrant worker, COVID-19, working conditions, hazardous work, labour shortage, precarious employment, occupational safety, occupational health, occupational injury
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Hyejin Kim; Jongkwan Lee; Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: In this study, we first evaluate the effect of a significant increase in low-skilled immigration in Korean municipalities from 2010-2015 on the internal migration of natives. Using Korean survey data we are able to distinguish between natives moving for work-related and non-work-related reasons. Using a change in immigration policy and the pre-existing networks of immigrants to construct an instrument for immigration across Korean municipalities, we find that locations experiencing significant low-skilled immigration attracted natives who moved for working purposes. However, these locations saw outflows of natives that moved for non-work-related reasons, such as due to housing and local amenities. We then estimate that immigration had positive effects on local firm creation and on native wages but reduced the quality of local amenities. It had small to no impact on local housing prices. These facts together suggest that immigration attracted natives who value labor income over local amenities but pushed out those who place a higher value on local amenities. Thus, immigration, while generating little net native migration, changed the composition of natives in Korean municipalities.
    JEL: J21 J61 R12 R31
    Date: 2022–09
  11. By: Amy Finkelstein; Matthew Gentzkow; Dean Li; Heidi L. Williams
    Abstract: We investigate the role of person- and place-specific factors in the opioid epidemic by developing and estimating a dynamic model of risky prescription opioid use. We estimate the model using the relationship between cross-state migration and risky use among adults receiving federal disability insurance from 2006 to 2015. Event studies suggest that moving to a state with a 3.5 percentage point higher rate of risky use (roughly the difference between the 20th and 80th percentile states) increases the probability of risky use by 1.0 percentage point on-impact, followed by an additional increase of 0.30 percentage points per subsequent year. Model estimates imply large place effects in both the likelihood of transitioning to addiction and the availability of prescription opioids. A one standard deviation reduction in all place effects would have reduced risky use by two-thirds over our study period. Reductions in place effects on addiction have a larger cumulative effect than analogous reductions in place effects on availability. However, their relative efficacy is reversed in the first few years, suggesting a temporal tradeoff among policy options.
    JEL: H51 I12
    Date: 2022–09

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