nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2022‒12‒19
sixteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Naturalization and Immigrants' Health By Aparicio Fenoll, Ainoa
  2. New trends in South-South migration: The economic impact of COVID-19 and immigration enforcement By Roxana Gutierrez-Romero; Nayeli Salgado
  3. Emigration and Capital Flows: Do Migrants’ Skills Matter? By Dramane Coulibaly; Blaise Gnimassoun
  4. Pathways for Labor Migration from Northern Central America: Five Difficult but Necessary Proposals By Clemens, Michael A.
  5. Internal Migration and Drug Violence in Mexico By Aldeco Leo Lorenzo Rodrigo; Jurado Jose A.; Ramírez-Álvarez Aurora A.
  6. Risk-laden migration as a response to relative deprivation: A hypothesis By Stark, Oded
  7. Background matters, but not whether parents are immigrants: outcomes of children born in Denmark By Mathias Fjaellegaard Jensen; Alan Manning
  8. Misrepresentation and Migration: Differences between Voters and Politicians in Sweden By Kärnä, Anders; Öhberg, Patrik
  9. Migration and Welfare States By Afonso, Alexandre; Negash, Samir; Wolff, Emily Anne
  10. US Immigration from Latin America in Historical Perspective By Gordon H. Hanson; Pia Orrenius; Madeline Zavodny
  11. Violence in Guatemala pushes adults and children to seek work in Mexico By Roxana Gutierrez-Romero
  12. Agglomeration, pollution, and migration: A substantial link, and policy design By Stark, Oded; Pang, Yu; Fan, Simon
  13. China's diaspora policy under Xi Jinping: Content, limits and challenges By Schäfer, Carsten
  14. Female Rural–Urban Migrants and Online Marketplaces in Emerging Economies: Evidence from Thailand and Viet Nam By Nguyen, Trung Thanh; Do, Manh Hung
  15. Job Changing Frequency and Experimental Decisions: A Field Study of Migrant Workers in the Manufacturing Industry By Li, Lingfang (Ivy); Wu, Yuting; Zhu, Xun; Chu, Rongwei; Hung, Iris
  16. The Impact of Sending Top College Graduates to Rural Primary Schools By Hilmy, Masyhur

  1. By: Aparicio Fenoll, Ainoa (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The "healthy immigrant effect" refers to the well-documented fact that immigrants are healthier than natives upon arrival, but their health level converges to that of natives over time. Unfortunately, little is known about whether environmental, institutional, or selective return migration mechanisms are behind the convergence. In this paper, I test whether immigrants' naturalization influences health convergence speed. Using restricted-access Spanish health data from the National and European Health Surveys, I estimate the impact of naturalization on health by exploiting that naturalization is possible after two years of residence for Latinoamerican immigrants and after ten years for all other immigrants. I find that naturalization worsens immigrants' health and thus accelerates the speed of convergence to natives' health. In particular, naturalization increases the propensity to suffer from varicose veins, cervical problems, lower back pain, constipation, depression, and anxiety. Changes in dietary habits and increases in employment are potential mechanisms behind these effects.
    Keywords: naturalization, immigrants' health, healthy immigrant effect
    JEL: J15 J61 I14
    Date: 2022–10
  2. By: Roxana Gutierrez-Romero (School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London.); Nayeli Salgado (Vienna University of Economics.)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of the pandemic and enforcement at the United States and Mexican borders on the emigration of Guatemalans during 2017-2020. We show that the number of crossings from Guatemala fell by 10% during the pandemic according to the Survey of Migration to the Southern Border of Mexico. Yet, there was a rise of nearly 30% in the number of emigration crossings of male adults travelling with their children. By and large, the surge of emigrants travelling with their children is driven by the acute economic shock that Guatemala experienced during the pandemic. During this period air pollution fell by 4%, night light per capita by 16% and homicide rates by 40%. Unlike previous years, emigrants are not fleeing violence, but poverty as their families and municipalities experienced substantial income loss. Our findings suggest that a reduction in violence alone will not be sufficient to reduce emigration flows from Central America, but that economic recovery is needed.
    Keywords: Conflict, local economy, migration enforcement, Central America, pandemic
    JEL: C26 D74 F22 J15 K37
    Date: 2022–11
  3. By: Dramane Coulibaly; Blaise Gnimassoun
    Abstract: Emigration from developing countries to advanced countries leads to two-way capital flows. The life cycle theory predicts a contraction in savings and a deterioration of the external balance in the countries of origin. Depending on their impact on savings and investment, migrant remittances can reduce or even counterbalance this effect. We find robust empirical evidence for subSaharan African countries that only high-skilled emigration has a significant and negative impact on the current account in these countries. The brain drain induces net capital (savings) flight. We also find that highly-skilled emigrant’s contribution to remittances is less important compared to that of low-skilled emigrants. Incentives for the financing of home economies by skilled migrants would be beneficial.
    Keywords: international migration, saving, remittances, external imbalances, SSA.
    JEL: F22 F32 O55
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Clemens, Michael A. (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Very few labor-based pathways for regular migration are available for people in Northern Central America, often called the 'Northern Triangle' of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. This note briefly summarizes the state of labor-based migration channels in the region. It then argues that extending those channels is a necessary complement to asylum reform even for the goal of humanitarian protection. It concludes by arguing that five recommendations for long-term reform, though difficult, are needed to unleash the maximum shared benefit of these pathways.
    Keywords: migration, migrant, immigrant, irregular, illegal, unauthorized, undocumented, pressure, development, restrictions, visa, regulation, border, crisis, channels, smugglers, clandestine, Central America, Latin Americastine
    JEL: J61 O15
    Date: 2022–10
  5. By: Aldeco Leo Lorenzo Rodrigo; Jurado Jose A.; Ramírez-Álvarez Aurora A.
    Abstract: This document studies the effect of the homicide rate on internal migration in Mexico. Reduced form evidence shows that net migration of skilled workers decreases into local labor markets where homicide rates increased after 2007, suggesting workers prefer destinations with lower homicide rates. This result is due to lower inflows, without effects on outflows, pointing to the existence of moving costs. To quantify the welfare cost of increasing homicides, we use workers' migration decisions and a spatial equilibrium model. Skilled workers' average willingness to pay to decrease the homicide rate by 1% is estimated at 0.58% of wages. The welfare cost is in the order of several points of GDP per year, depending on the assumptions. Workers who do not migrate bear the largest share of the overall welfare cost.
    Keywords: Internal Migration;Homicide Rates;Instrumental Variables;StructuralEstimation
    JEL: K42 O15
    Date: 2022–11
  6. By: Stark, Oded
    Abstract: Received migration research has it that higher relative deprivation strengthens the incentive for people to migrate, and that migration is often a risky enterprise. Relative deprivation has been seen as a push factor in migration, and the level of risk involved in migration has been understood to reduce its attraction. Here we show a positive relationship between the level of relative deprivation experienced at origin and willingness to undertake risk-laden migration: we show that higher relative deprivation is matched by riskier acceptable migration options. In expanding the range of acceptable risk-laden migration options, relative deprivation experienced at origin acts also as a pull factor for migration.
    Keywords: Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Labor and Human Capital, Public Economics
    Date: 2022–12–06
  7. By: Mathias Fjaellegaard Jensen; Alan Manning
    Abstract: On average, children born in Denmark with immigrant parents (first-generation locals) have lower earnings, higher unemployment, less education, more welfare transfers, and more criminal convictions than children with local-born parents. This is different from the US where first-generation locals often have better unconditional outcomes. However, like the US, when we condition on parental socio-economic characteristics, first-generation locals generally perform as well or better than the children of locals. There is little distinctive about being a child of immigrants, other than the fact that they are more likely to come from deprived backgrounds.
    Keywords: Immigration, Denmark, first-generation, deprived background
    Date: 2022–10–17
  8. By: Kärnä, Anders (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Öhberg, Patrik (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: Normative theories of representative democracy imply that politicians should be better informed of the consequences of a policy than ordinary voters. However, in real life, politicians can have strong convictions that risk blinding them to arguments against their positions. Policy engagement can lead politicians into motivated reasoning whereby they dismiss voters’ preferences and resist information counter to their own policy position. In this paper, we argue that Sweden’s generous migration policy is an example of a case where politicians’ policy engagement led them to motivated reasoning and to a rather optimistic view of the implications of welcoming a large influx of refugees. We show that Swedish politicians favoured a much more generous policy towards accepting refugees than their own voters. Despite limited evidence that a generous refugee policy is economically favourable in the long run, politicians on average held that belief.
    Keywords: Political Misrepresentation; Immigration Policy; Moral Psychology; Political Failure
    JEL: O15 P16 P35
    Date: 2022–11–23
  9. By: Afonso, Alexandre (Leiden University); Negash, Samir; Wolff, Emily Anne
    Abstract: Abstract. In this chapter, we review existing research analysing the relationship between immigration and welfare states. This relationship is analysed in both directions, namely how immigration affects the welfare state, and how the welfare state affects migration. The chapter focuses on 5 prominent research questions in the field, namely 1) how different welfare regimes accommodate immigrants 2) how immigration may affect political support for the welfare state 3) the fiscal effects on immigration on the welfare state 4) welfare magnets and 5) welfare chauvinism. The chapter then draws on available evidence to highlight two relevant research agendas for the future.
    Date: 2022–06–15
  10. By: Gordon H. Hanson; Pia Orrenius; Madeline Zavodny
    Abstract: The share of US residents who were born in Latin America and the Caribbean plateaued recently, after a half century of rapid growth. Our review of the evidence on the US immigration wave from the region suggests that it bears many similarities to the major immigration waves of the 19th and early 20th centuries, that the demographic and economic forces behind Latin American migrant inflows appear to have weakened across most sending countries, and that a continued slowdown of immigration from Latin America post-pandemic has the potential to disrupt labor-intensive sectors in many US regional labor markets.
    JEL: F20 J6 O15
    Date: 2022–11
  11. By: Roxana Gutierrez-Romero (School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London.)
    Abstract: This article estimates the impact of violence on emigration crossings from Guatemala to Mexico as final destination during 2009-2017. To identify causal effects, we use as instruments the variation in deforestation in Guatemala, and the seizing of cocaine in Colombia. We argue that criminal organizations deforest land in Guatemala, fueling violence and leading to emigration, particularly during exogenous supply shocks to cocaine. A one-point increase in the homicide rate differential between Guatemalan municipalities and Mexico, leads to 211 additional emigration crossings made by male adults. This rise in violence, also leads to 20 extra emigration crossings made by children.
    Keywords: violence, emigration, unaccompanied children, Central America, deforestation.
    JEL: C26 D74 F22 J15 K37
    Date: 2022–11
  12. By: Stark, Oded; Pang, Yu; Fan, Simon
    Abstract: We study a developing countries setting in which agglomeration efficiency of urban production attracts rural-to-urban migration, whereas urban pollution deters rural-to-urban migration. By means of a general equilibrium model we study the formation of policies aimed at striking a socially optimal balance between supporting efficient levels of urban agglomeration and mitigating urban pollution in the presence of endogenous rural-to-urban migration. We show that without government intervention, although rural-to-urban migration contributes to agglomeration economies, it does not improve social welfare because it also exacerbates environmental degradation. We also show that urban pollution problems cannot be resolved by means of environmental regulation alone: for example, an emissions tax aimed at curbing urban pollution can backfire as and when it increases the appeal of rural-to-urban migration. A policy of emissions tax in conjunction with a subsidy to rural individuals is an effective means of enhancing urban productivity while reducing urban pollution.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Labor and Human Capital, Public Economics
    Date: 2022–11–30
  13. By: Schäfer, Carsten
    Abstract: China estimates the number of people of Chinese origin outside the People's Republic to be 60 million. Beijing considers them all to be nationals of China, regardless of their citizenship. Xi Jinping views overseas Chinese as playing an 'irreplaceable role' in China's rise as a world power. Beijing is working hard to harness overseas Chinese resources for its own goals in the fields of economics, science and technology, as well as diplomacy and soft power. Beijing also expects people of Chinese origin in Germany to deepen rela­tions between China and Germany. But not only that: As 'unofficial ambassadors', they are also expected to spread China's narratives to the German public, defend China's 'core interests', and help with the trans­fer of knowledge and technology to China. Nevertheless, there are limits to China's diaspora policy: Chinese migrants' reactions to China's ambitions are heterogeneous. They range from wil­lingness to cooperate to disinterest or open rejection. German actors should develop a comprehensive understanding of Chinese diaspora policy and the goals and practices associated with it. Just as in Beijing, diaspora policy should be perceived as an important component of Chinese foreign policy.Only on this basis can answers to China's ambitions be found wherever German interests, legal principles, or social values are affected - without at the same time exposing people of Chinese origin to general suspicion. German actors should also expand their engagement in communities of people with a Chinese migration background instead of leaving this field to Chinese authorities.
    Keywords: China,diaspora,overseas Chinese,Xi Jinping,China-Germany relations,Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council (OCAO),Communist Party of China (CPC)
    Date: 2022
  14. By: Nguyen, Trung Thanh (Asian Development Bank Institute); Do, Manh Hung (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: We examine the factors affecting the participation of female rural–urban migrants in online marketplaces, and the welfare gains and their distribution from their participation. Our analysis was based on a unique data set of rural households, villages, and rural–urban migrants in Thailand and Viet Nam. Online market participation is classified into three activities: financial transaction, trading, and business. We accounted for the endogeneity issue of online market participation in welfare impact assessment by using an instrumental variable approach. Our results show that the participation has a positive effect on the consumption of female migrants only when they participate in the complete bundle of online market activities. In addition, we also find that the poor benefit insignificantly from online marketplaces. This raises a concern regarding increasing welfare inequality and suggests that the poor should be supported in order not to be left behind.
    Keywords: impact; welfare; poverty; endogenous; heterogeneity; instrumental variable
    JEL: I30 O18 R11
    Date: 2022–08
  15. By: Li, Lingfang (Ivy); Wu, Yuting; Zhu, Xun; Chu, Rongwei; Hung, Iris
    Abstract: Migrant workers form a very important part of the labor force in the economic development of many countries. Their turnover decisions may affect the stability of the performance of manufacturing industries. It is important to understand what kind of individual behavioral preferences may affect their job changing frequency. This study conducts a lab-in-the-field experiment through a large online-to-offline job-matching platform to elicit manufacturing migrant workers’ preferences, such as uncertainty attitudes, intertemporal choices and social preferences, especially difference aversion. The study also surveyed their demographic characteristics and other factors related to their job choices. We find that subjects who are more risk seeking change jobs more frequently. We also use the job record data from the platform and conduct empirical analysis to investigate one explanation of this result: risk-seeking subjects possess more optimistic expectations of potential job opportunities and they are more likely to sample different jobs and thus generate higher job changing frequency. Our findings may help policy-makers and employers design policies or mechanisms to prevent exorbitant job-changing behavior.
    Keywords: migrant worker, preference, job turnover, job search, experiment
    JEL: C91 J01
    Date: 2022
  16. By: Hilmy, Masyhur (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Teacher quality is crucial to deliver good education. However, improving teacher quality in developing countries can be a tough problem. We investigate the impact of a teacher placement program that sends college graduates with a strong academic track record to teach in rural primary schools in Indonesia on student test scores. Using a difference-in-difference approach, we find that exposure to program teachers for a semester is associated with a 0.16 standard deviation increase in their students' average mathematics scores. The weakest students benefited more, with an increase in score by 0.20 standard deviation. Students receiving direct instructions from program teachers during scheduled classroom periods benefited even more. Attracting better talents to teach in rural schools could be an important pathway to improve the academic achievements of the weakest students at rural schools.
    Keywords: education; alternative teacher placement; Indonesia
    JEL: I21 I24 I25 O15
    Date: 2022–06

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