nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2023‒01‒16
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. The cash-for-care reform and immigrant fertility. Fewer babies of poorer families? By Lars Dommermuth; Adrian Farner Rogne; Astri Syse
  2. Secure Communities as Immigration Enforcement: How Secure Is the Child Care Market? By Ali, Umair; Brown, Jessica H.; Herbst, Chris M.
  3. Automation and Low-Skill Labor By Mann, Katja; Pozzoli, Dario
  4. The Immigrant Next Door: Long-Term Contact, Generosity, and Prejudice By Leonardo Bursztyn; Thomas Chaney; Tarek Alexander; Hassan Aakaash Rao
  5. Picture This: Social Distance and the Mistreatment of Migrant Workers By Toman Barsbai; Vojtěch Bartoš; Victoria Licuanan; Andreas Steinmayr; Erwin Tiongson; Dean Yang
  6. "In-group bias in preferences for redistribution: a survey experiment in Italy". By Riccardo Bruni; Alessandro Gioffré; Maria Marino
  7. Immigrants’ Tolerance and Integration into Society By Berggren, Niclas; Ljunge, Martin; Nilsson, Therese
  8. Challenges and Resilience Strategies of Urban Refugee Entrepreneurs By Aysegul Kayaoglu; Zeynep Sahin Mencutek; Ching-An Chang
  9. A Multidimensional Approach to Measuring Vulnerability to Poverty of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon By Angela C. Lyons; Josephine Kass-Hanna; Alejandro Montoya Castano
  10. Minimum Wage in Germany: Countering the Wage and Employment Gap between Migrants and Natives? By Ingwersen, Kai; Thomsen, Stephan L.
  11. The Effect of International Migration on Tax Morale in the Home Country: Evidence from Poland By Jan Brzozowski; Nicola Daniele Coniglio
  12. Migration Gravity, Networks, and Unemployment By Basu, Arnab K.; Chau, Nancy H.; Lin, Gary C.
  13. Broadband Internet and Attitudes Towards Migrants: Evidence from Spain By Golin, Marta; Romarri, Alessio
  14. Cash Transfers and Food Vouchers for Syrian Refugees in Jordan: Do They Reach the Multi-Dimensionally Poor? By Ragui Assaad; Alma Boustati; Vishal Jamkar
  15. Navigating Through A Pandemic Amid Inflation and Instability: An Assessment of the Socio-Economic Impact of Covid-19 on Migrants in Eastern Sudan By Joris Jourdain; Elizabeth Griesmer; Raffaele Bertini; Lorenza Rossi

  1. By: Lars Dommermuth (Statistics Norway); Adrian Farner Rogne; Astri Syse
    Abstract: Cash-for care policies are contested in many contexts, as they represent an incentive for childrearing over work that may reduce labour market participation, especially among immigrant women. From 1 July 2017, immigrants (both the mother and the father) from outside the European Economic Area must have at least 5 years of residence in Norway to be entitled to cash-for-care benefits. Previous research indicates that this reform did not lead to increased labour market participation of mothers and fathers treated by the reform. In this article, we examine whether the changes in the cash-forcare benefits policy have resulted in a substantive change in income and if the reform had an impact on the childbearing behaviour among those affected by the reform. Our descriptive analyses indicate no change in employment rates and household income. To detect possible changes in fertility, we employ a Difference-in-Difference approach, in which we compare the treatment group with four comparison groups. Overall, we find no substantial effect of the cash-for-care reform on childbearing behaviour.
    Keywords: Fertility; cash-for-care; immigrant fertility
    JEL: J13 J6 J15
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: Ali, Umair (Center for Evaluation and Development (C4ED)); Brown, Jessica H. (University of South Carolina); Herbst, Chris M. (Arizona State University)
    Abstract: Immigrants comprise nearly 20% of the child care workforce in the U.S. This paper studies the impact of a major immigration enforcement policy, Secure Communities (SC), on the structure and functioning of the child care market. Relying on the staggered introduction of SC across counties between 2008 and 2014, we find that the program reduced children's participation in center-based child care programs. The estimated reductions are substantially larger among disadvantaged children, raising questions about the possibility of health and developmental spillovers. We also find that SC reduced the supply and wages of immigrant and native child care workers in the center-based sector. We provide descriptive evidence that immigrants and natives may not compete for the same jobs: immigrant child care teachers are more highly skilled, and the children assigned to their classrooms differ on some observable characteristics. Therefore, immigrants and natives are likely to be complements to child care service production.
    Keywords: child care, maternal employment, immigration, Secure Communities
    JEL: J13 J15 J21 K39
    Date: 2022–12
  3. By: Mann, Katja (Copenhagen Business School); Pozzoli, Dario (Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: Changes in the supply of low-skill labor may affect robot adoption by firms. We test this hypothesis by exploiting an exogenous increase in the local labor supply induced by a large influx of immigrants into Danish municipalities. Using the Danish employer-employee matched dataset over the period 1995-2019, we show in a shift-share regression that a larger share of migrants in a municipality leads to fewer imports of robots at the firm-level. We rationalize this finding in a simple model of robot adoption in which robots and low-skill workers are substitutes. As many advanced economies are facing labor shortages, this paper sheds light on the future of robotization.
    Keywords: labor supply, immigration, robots, shift-share
    JEL: E22 J20 J61 R23
    Date: 2022–12
  4. By: Leonardo Bursztyn (University of Chicago, NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research [New York] - NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research); Thomas Chaney (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Tarek Alexander (BU - Boston University [Boston], NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research [New York] - NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research); Hassan Aakaash Rao (Harvard University [Cambridge])
    Abstract: We study how decades-long exposure to individuals of a given foreign descent shapes natives' attitudes and behavior toward that group. Using individualized donations data from large charitable organizations, we show that long-term exposure to a given foreign ancestry leads to more generous behavior specifically toward that group's ancestral country. To shed light on mechanisms, we focus on attitudes and behavior toward Arab Muslims, combining several existing large-scale surveys, cross-county data on implicit prejudice, and a newly-collected national survey. We show that greater long-term exposure: (i) decreases both explicit and implicit prejudice against Arab-Muslims, (ii) reduces support for policies and political candidates hostile toward Arab-Muslims, (iii) leads to more personal contact with Arab-Muslim individuals, and (iv) increases knowledge of Arab-Muslims and Islam in general.
    Date: 2022–03
  5. By: Toman Barsbai; Vojtěch Bartoš; Victoria Licuanan; Andreas Steinmayr; Erwin Tiongson; Dean Yang
    Abstract: International migrant workers are vulnerable to abuses by their employers. We implemented a randomized controlled trial of an intervention to reduce mistreatment of Filipino women working as domestic workers (DWs) by their household employers in Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. The intervention – encouraging DWs to show their employers a photo of their family while providing a small gift when starting employment – caused DWs to experience less mistreatment, have higher satisfaction with the employer, and be more likely to stay with the employer. DWs’ families in the Philippines also come to view international labor migration more positively, while they generally remain unaware of the intervention. An online experiment with potential employers in Hong Kong and the Middle East suggests that a mechanism behind the treatment effect is a reduction in the employer’s perceived social distance from the employee. A simple intervention can thus help to protect migrant workers without requiring public policy changes in the destination country.
    Keywords: temporary labor migration, working conditions, contract enforcement, dictator game
    JEL: D9 J61
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Riccardo Bruni (University of Florence); Alessandro Gioffré (University of Florence); Maria Marino (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Using a new survey and experimental data, we investigate how information on inequality and immigration affect preferences for redistribution in Italy. Our randomized treatments show that preferences for redistribution are often inelastic to information. However, we find that provision of information on poverty statistics related to the native-immigrant composition of poverty reduces economic in-group bias by affecting exclusionary redistributive preferences: respondents are less likely to support policies which exclude immigrants from access to the welfare state once they learn that immigrants are less represented among the poor and natives are not as poor as they used to believe. Finally, we find some evidence of in-group bias by investigating the presence of heterogeneous treatment effects across groups.
    Keywords: Redistribution, Survey, Perceptions, Immigration, Inequality, Online Experiment. JEL classification: D72, D91, H2, H23, H41.
    Date: 2022–12
  7. By: Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Ljunge, Martin (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Nilsson, Therese (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: We highlight a new factor behind integration: tolerance in the immigrants’ background culture. We hypothesize that it is easier to partake of economic, civic-political, and social life in a new country for a person stemming from a culture that embodies tolerance towards people who are different. We test this by applying the epidemiological method, using a tolerance index based on two indicators from the World Values Survey – the share that thinks it important to teach children tolerance and the share that considers homosexuality justified – as our main independent variable. Our outcomes are indices of individual-level economic, civic-political, and cultural integration outcomes for immigrants of the second generation with data from the European Social Survey. The results indicate that tolerance in the background culture is a robust predictor of integration among children of immigrants in European societies.
    Keywords: Tolerance; Culture; Immigration; Integration; Values
    JEL: F22 F66 J15 Z13 Z18
    Date: 2022–12–09
  8. By: Aysegul Kayaoglu (Istanbul Technical University); Zeynep Sahin Mencutek (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies); Ching-An Chang (National Chengchi University)
    Abstract: Refugee entrepreneurship is key to promoting self-reliance and resilience among refugees. It ensures a smoother transition from humanitarian to development programs, so it is considered mutually beneficial for the refugees, their hosts, and the overall humanitarian-development aid sector. Its success, however, relies on the development of multidimensional resilience strategies since refugee entrepreneurship is a complex phenomenon related to capabilities and structures for integration. Little is known about the resilience strategies of urban refugee entrepreneurs in the face of legal, economic, and sociocultural challenges; therefore, they should be addressed. Studying the case of Syrian refugees in Turkey, we show that urban refugee entrepreneurs are heterogenous and their resilience strategies depend on factors such as the size of their businesses, sectoral dynamics, access to financial markets, trade options, social acceptance in the host society, local economic structure, and costs of production. Our empirical analysis shows that they navigate these challenges by adopting certain strategies according to their capabilities.
    Date: 2022–11–20
  9. By: Angela C. Lyons (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Josephine Kass-Hanna (University of Beirut); Alejandro Montoya Castano (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    Abstract: This study uses vulnerability assessment data collected by the UNHCR, WFP, and UNICEF from Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a country that hosts an estimated 1.5 million refugees from neighboring Syria and the highest per capita proportion of refugees in the world. The data are used to construct a multidimensional livelihood index (MLI) to identify refugee households who are currently poor. The MLI is then used to assess households’ vulnerability to future poverty using a 3-stage Feasible Generalized Least Squares (FGLS) model. Our findings support the view that poverty is a dynamic phenomenon and not a static condition. The analysis allows us to identify more clearly which households and geographical locations are more vulnerable to experiencing prolonged poverty. This study is among the first to adapt the multidimensional poverty framework to the context of protracted forced displacement. It does this using a forward-looking approach to identify who, where, and how to target humanitarian assistance and development interventions more optimally, to prevent rather than simply alleviate immediate poverty
    Date: 2021–05–20
  10. By: Ingwersen, Kai (Leibniz University of Hannover); Thomsen, Stephan L. (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of the introduction of a statutory minimum wage in Germany on the wages and employment of migrants. Migrants are an overrepresented group in the low-wage sector and can be expected to particularly benefit from a minimum wage. We combine a "differential trend adjusted difference-in-differences estimator" (DTADD) and descriptive evidence to evaluate the impact of the minimum wage introduction in 2015 on hourly wages, monthly salaries, working hours and changes in employment and wage distribution. Contrary to expectations, our results show that the introduction of the minimum wage has weakened the position of migrants in the low-wage sector compared to their native counterparts. We observe an increase in part-time employment, a less pronounced decline in unemployment and a greater reduction in weekly working hours among migrants. The introduction of the minimum wage caused a temporary convergence in hourly wages between migrants and natives, which subsequently turned into a wage divergence. Migrant men in the low-wage sector have been particularly negatively affected by the introduction of the minimum wage. Moreover, increasing hourly wages have not translated into higher monthly salaries, thus widening wage inequality between migrants and natives.
    Keywords: minimum wage, migrants, differential trend adjusted difference-in-differences, SOEP
    JEL: J31 J63 J38 J21
    Date: 2022–12
  11. By: Jan Brzozowski (Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland.); Nicola Daniele Coniglio (University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy)
    Abstract: International migration represents a potential channel for the transmission of norms, attitudes, and values back to the home countries. In this paper, we explore how the international migration of individuals affects tax morale and aversion to the free-riding of their household members left in the home country. We use a rich longitudinal household-level database which is representative of Polish society in the period 2007- 2015 — one of the most important countries of emigration in the EU — and allows us to observe social attitudes and values of individuals before and after the actual migration of a member of the household. Our results show that having a migrant in the household has a significant and positive effect on tax morale and increases aversion toward free-riding of those who stay put. We demonstrate that the transmission of this important form of social remittances crucially depends on the characteristics — gender, level of education, role in the household — of both those who migrate and those who stay put within the household. The identification of the effects relies on individual-level longitudinal data which allows us to rule out any time-constant confounding factor affecting both international migrations of family members and individual attitudes toward tax avoidance.
    Keywords: international migration, social remittances, values’ transfer, tax morale
    JEL: D83 F22 F24 H26 P20 Z10
    Date: 2022–12
  12. By: Basu, Arnab K. (Cornell University); Chau, Nancy H. (Cornell University); Lin, Gary C. (Johns Hopkins University)
    Abstract: We develop and estimate a theory-consistent gravity model for interregional migration flows in the presence of unemployment. Micro-founded in a setting where search friction regulates labor market transitions, we derive a migration gravity equation for bilateral mobility that embodies a co-determined local unemployment term. As a theory of migration, our model connects directly with longstanding migration puzzles (e.g. declining internal mobility) as well as more novel concepts (e.g. home bias). As a model of unemployment, a migration gravity approach uncovers hitherto under-appreciated interregional roots of local unemployment, and furnishes an unemployment sufficient statistic interpretation to the familiar multilateral migration resistance term. We empirically test the predictions of the model using U.S. county-level data on bilateral migration and unemployment rates, bilateral connectedness data such as Facebook friendship links, and instrumental variable identification based on a novel similarity index of counties' historical ethnic-composition.
    Keywords: friendship networks, gravity equation, internal migration
    JEL: J61 J64 R23
    Date: 2022–12
  13. By: Golin, Marta (University of Zurich); Romarri, Alessio (University of Milan)
    Abstract: In this paper, we empirically evaluate the effect of exposure to broadband Internet on attitudes towards immigrants. We combine innovative survey data from Spain with information on the characteristics of the Spanish telephony infrastructure. To address the endogeneity of Internet availability, we exploit the fact that high-speed Internet in its early phases was supplied through the existing fixed telephone lines. We use landlines penetration as an instrument for broadband diffusion at the municipality level, and use data from both the pre- and post-Internet period to estimate a difference-in-difference instrumental variable model. We document a positive effect of broadband Internet penetration on attitudes towards immigrants at the municipality level. This result is particularly strong among young and urban individuals. Looking at mechanisms, we find that broadband Internet is associated with a better knowledge of (national) immigration dynamics and smaller concerns about the effects of migration on the labor market. Finally, using a combination of survey and electoral data, we find that broadband Internet penetration reduces political support for the Partido Popular, Spain's traditional right-wing party.
    Keywords: internet, attitudes, immigration
    JEL: D72 D83 J15
    Date: 2022–12
  14. By: Ragui Assaad (Humphrey School of Public Affairs in the University of Minnesota); Alma Boustati; Vishal Jamkar
    Abstract: We examine in this paper the determinants of access to transfers in the context of the Syrian refugee influx to Jordan, and, in particular, whether vulnerable refugees based on a multidimensional poverty index, have access to different kinds of transfers. We use a publiclyaccessible, nationally-representative dataset that includes both registered and unregistered refugees to assess the adequacy of targeting of transfers. We analyze access to cash assistance and food vouchers as a function of refugee characteristics separately for those residing in camps and in host communities to identify different patterns of access across the two settings. Our findings indicate that transfers appear to be well-targeted to some vulnerable households in both settings including those with disabled members, those with a higher ratio of children among their members, and those with no workers. However, other markers of vulnerability, such as having an older household head, a high proportion of elderly members, or no educated members in the household, appear to be associated with reduced access to transfers. As a result, 37 percent of multidimensional poor households in both settings do not have access to any transfers. Outside the camp setting, these markers of vulnerability are also associated with a lack of registration, which is itself a major barrier to accessing transfers.
    Date: 2022–08–20
  15. By: Joris Jourdain (International Organization for Migration); Elizabeth Griesmer; Raffaele Bertini; Lorenza Rossi
    Abstract: The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its associated containment measures have impacted numerous dimensions of the lives of migrants, including their health, education, livelihoods and economic security, social cohesion, and mobility. As part of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) efforts to draw attention to the adverse consequences of the pandemic for migrants in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, this study focuses on international migrants (mainly from Ethiopia and Eritrea) living in the states of Kassala and Gedaref in Sudan. To differentiate between various forms of mobility between countries of origin and Sudan, this report disaggregates the impact of the pandemic across three categories of migrants: 1) long-term migrants in Sudan, 2) migrants in transit who seek to settle in a third country other than Sudan, and 3) seasonal migrant workers whose stay in Sudan is temporary and who migrate between Sudan and their country of origin regularly. The study primarily examines the socio-economic outcomes of migrants living in Kassala and Gedaref, regardless of their reason for coming to Sudan. The research team conducted qualitative interviews with 30 key informants and collected quantitative information from 937 respondents using a household survey. The questions posed to key informants and migrants considered the multidimensional consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic along six pillars, as adapted from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Group’s (UNSDG) framework for evaluating the immediate socio-economic impact of the health emergency: 1) Health, 2) Protection and access to basic services, 3) Economic response and recovery, 4) Macroeconomic response and multilateral collaboration, 5) Social cohesion and community resilience, and 6) Mobility (2020). Key findings of the paper are summarized under these six pillars
    Date: 2022–06–20

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