nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2023‒03‒27
fifteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Disclosure Discrimination: An Experiment Focusing on Communication in the Hiring Process By Sona Badalyan; Darya Korlyakova; Rastislav Rehak
  2. What a manager wants: how return migrants’ experiences are valued by managers in the Baltics By Zane Varpina; Kata Fredheim
  3. Language Proficiency and Hiring of Immigrants: Evidence from a New Field Experimental Approach By Carlsson, Magnus; Eriksson, Stefan; Rooth, Dan-Olof
  4. Gains from Variety: Refugee-Host Interactions in Uganda By Rama Dasi Mariani; Furio Camillo Rosati; Pasquale Scaramozzino; Marco d'Errico
  5. Immigration, Female Labour Supply and Local Cultural Norms By Jonas Jessen; Sophia Schmitz; Felix Weinhardt
  6. Adapting to Climate Risk? Local Population Dynamics in the United States By Indaco, Agustín; Ortega, Francesc
  7. Online social integration of migrants: evidence from Twitter By Ji Su Kim; Soazic Elise Wang Sonne; Kiran Garimella; André Grow; Ingmar G. Weber; Emilio Zagheni
  8. Host Community Respecting Refugee Housing By Du\v{s}an Knop; \v{S}imon Schierreich
  9. Ukrainian asylum seekers in Latvia: the circumstances of destination choice By Zane Varpina; Kata Fredheim
  10. How Does Immigration Affect Housing Costs in Switzerland? By Helfer, Fabienne; Grossmann, Volker; Osikominu, Aderonke
  11. Immigration, The Long-Term Care Workforce, and Elder Outcomes in the U.S. By David C. Grabowski; Jonathan Gruber; Brian McGarry
  12. Who is more eager to leave? Differences in emigration intentions among Latvian and Russian speaking school graduates in Latvia By Zane Varpina; Kata Fredheim; Marija Krumina
  13. The Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on migrants’ decision to return home to Latvia By Zane Varpina; Kata Fredheim
  14. The Facts of Return Migration in the Wake of COVID-19: A Policy Framework for Reintegration of Pakistani Workers By Shujaat Farooq; G. M. Arif
  15. The COVID-19 and Filipino Migrant Workers: Looking into the Philippine Government’s Post-COVID-19 Support Mechanism By Tabuga, Aubrey D.; Vargas, Anna Rita P.; Baino, Madeleine Louise S.

  1. By: Sona Badalyan; Darya Korlyakova; Rastislav Rehak
    Abstract: We focus on communication among hiring team members and document the existence of discrimination in the disclosure of information about candidates. In particular, we conduct an online experiment with a nationally representative sample of Czech individuals who act as human resource assistants and hiring managers in our online labor market. The main novel feature of our experiment is the monitoring of information flow between human resource assistants and hiring managers. We exogenously manipulate candidates’ names to explore the causal effects of their gender and nationality on information that assistants select for managers. Our findings reveal that assistants disclose more information about family and less information about work for female candidates relative to male candidates. An in-depth analysis of the disclosed information suggests that gender stereotypes play an important role in this disclosure discrimination. Furthermore, assistants disclose less information about foreigners overall. This effect appears to be driven by the less attention assistants are willing to devote to the CVs of foreigners, measured by the extra effort to learn more about the candidates.
    Keywords: Information; Disclosure; Hiring; Discrimination; Foreigners; Women; Online Experiment;
    JEL: C90 D83 J71
    Date: 2023–02
  2. By: Zane Varpina (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies); Kata Fredheim (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies)
    Abstract: In the past two decades, the three Baltic countries lost a significant portion of their population. A combination of low birth rates, aging population, and emigration contributed to the decline. In the Baltics, similarly to other Central and Eastern European countries, return migration is often portrayed as the magic solution to improve the countries’ demographic trends, to reverse brain drain, and a way to turn migration into a source of net human capital gains. Policymakers and businesses may be responding to demographic shifts based on hunches. The lack of recent research contributes to the myths around returnees, entrepreneurs, and employers’ attitudes. Finding and staying in employment is key in attracting and retaining return migrants. Yet, how experience from abroad is valued in the labour market is a missing piece in the puzzle. This paper explores if and which foreign experiences are valued by managers in the Baltics. We present some of the first results of a large-scale, three-year Pan-Baltic study on return migration and brain gain. Using granular data from 67 interviews with managers and entrepreneurs in the three Baltic countries highlights manager’s views on the value of experiences of return migrants. Thus, the study fills a gap in the existing literature and looks beyond statistics to explore narratives and experiences. The data about the now and plans for the future could help policymakers and the business community. Through this research, we learn about the experiences of employers and business owners; to help respond to today’s opportunities and challenges.
    Date: 2021–04
  3. By: Carlsson, Magnus (Linnaeus University); Eriksson, Stefan (Uppsala University); Rooth, Dan-Olof (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Labor markets in advanced economies have undergone substantial change in recent decades due to globalization, technological improvements, and organizational changes. Due to these developments, oral and written language skills have become increasingly important even in less skilled jobs. Immigrants – who often have limited skills in the host country language upon arrival – are likely to be particularly affected by the increase in language requirements. Despite this increase in literacy requirements, little is known about how immigrants' language proficiency is rewarded in the labor market. However, estimating the causal effect of immigrants' language skills on hiring is challenging due to potential biases caused by omitted variables, reverse causality, and measurement error. To address identification problems, we conduct a large-scale field experiment, where we send thousands of fictitious resumes to employers with a job opening. With the help of a professional linguist, we manipulate the cover letters by introducing common second-language features, which makes the resumes reflect variation in the language skills of real-world migrants. Our findings show that better language proficiency in the cover letter has a strong positive effect on the callback rate for a job interview: moving from the lowest level of language proficiency to a level similar to natives almost doubles the callback rate. Consistent with the recent development that language proficiency is also important for many low- and medium-skilled jobs, the effect of better language skills does not vary across the vastly different types of occupations we study. Finally, the results from employer surveys suggest that it is improved language skills per se that is the dominant explanation behind the language proficiency effect, rather than language skills acting as a proxy for other unobserved abilities or characteristics.
    Keywords: labor migrants, language proficiency, language skills, human capital, field experiment
    JEL: F22 J15 J24
    Date: 2023–02
  4. By: Rama Dasi Mariani (Roma Tre & CEIS, Università di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’); Furio Camillo Rosati (CEIS, Università di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’); Pasquale Scaramozzino (CEIS, Università di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’ & SOAS University of London); Marco d'Errico (ESA, FAO)
    Abstract: Refugees are mainly hosted in low-income countries, where they often remain for a long time. Therefore, it is important to assess how they integrate with the local economy and to what extent their presence can contribute to the transition to a more dynamic economic environment. Proximity between refugees and hosts might improve the welfare of both groups by increasing opportunities for mutually beneficial economic exchanges. In particular, welfare gains might be generated through the availability of a greater variety of commodities. In this paper we propose a theoretical model that uses the love for variety to frame the possible benefits arising from the interaction between hosts and refugees facilitated by geographical proximity. We complement the conceptual framework with an empirical analysis that makes use of a unique dataset covering around 80% of the refugee population living in Ugandan settlements and the adjoining host households. The empirical results show that proximity between groups increases the food expenditure and the variety of food consumption of both groups. We also found that exposition to inter-group interactions rises the non-food expenditure, and the probability to run a farm and a non-farm enterprise by refugee households, while hosts are not crowding out from production.
    Keywords: Forced Migrations, Love of Variety, Inter-Group Exchange, Distance
    JEL: F12 F63 I30 O19 O55
    Date: 2023–02–23
  5. By: Jonas Jessen; Sophia Schmitz; Felix Weinhardt
    Abstract: We study the local evolution of female labour supply and cultural norms in West Germany in reaction to the sudden presence of East Germans who migrated to the West after reunification. These migrants grew up with high rates of maternal employment, whereas West German families mostly followed the traditional breadwinner-housewife model. We find that West German women increase their labour supply and that this holds within households. We provide additional evidence on stated gender norms, West-East friendships, intermarriage, and child care infrastructure. The dynamic evolution of the local effects on labour supply is best explained by local cultural learning and endogenous child care infrastructure.
    Keywords: cultural norms, local learning, gender, immigration
    JEL: J16 J21 D1
    Date: 2022–11–18
  6. By: Indaco, Agustín (Carnegie Mellon University); Ortega, Francesc (Queens College, CUNY)
    Abstract: Using a new composite climate-risk index, we show that population in high-risk counties has grown disproportionately over the last few decades, even relative to the corresponding commuting zone. We also find that the agglomeration is largely driven by increases in the (white) working-age population. In addition, we show that high-risk tracts have typically grown more than low-risk tracts within the same county, suggesting the presence of highly localized amenities in high-risk areas. We also document heterogeneous population dynamics along a number of dimensions. Specifically, population has been retreating from high-risk, low urbanization locations, but continues to grow in high-risk areas with high residential capital. The findings above hold for most climate hazards. However, we document that tracts with high risk of coastal flooding have grown significantly less than other tracts in the same county.
    Keywords: climate risk, agglomeration, migration
    JEL: J3 J7
    Date: 2023–03
  7. By: Ji Su Kim (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Soazic Elise Wang Sonne (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Kiran Garimella; André Grow (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Ingmar G. Weber; Emilio Zagheni (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: As online social activities have become increasingly important for people’s lives and well-being, understanding how migrants integrate into online spaces is crucial for providing a more complete picture of integration processes. We curate a high-quality data set to quantify patterns of new online social connections among immigrants in the United States. Specifically, we focus on Twitter, and leverage the unique features of these data, in combination with a propensity score matching technique, to isolate the effects of migration events on social network formation. The results indicate that migration events led to an expansion of migrants' networks of friends on Twitter in the destination country, relative to those of users who had similar characteristics, but who did not move. We found that male migrants between 19 and 29 years old who actively posted more tweets in English after migration also tended to have more local friends after migration compared to other demographic group, which indicates that migrants' demographic characteristics and language skills can affect their level of integration. We also observed that the percentage of migrants' friends who were from their country of origin decreased in the first few years after migration, and increased again in later years. Finally, unlike for migrants' friends networks, which were under their control, we did not find any evidence that migration events expanded migrants' networks of followers in the destination country. While following users on Twitter in theory is not a geographically constrained process, our work shows that offline (re)location plays a significant role in the formation of online networks.
    Keywords: America, World, immigrants, immigration, integration, social network
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Du\v{s}an Knop; \v{S}imon Schierreich
    Abstract: We propose a novel model for refugee housing respecting the preferences of accepting community and refugees themselves. In particular, we are given a topology representing the local community, a set of inhabitants occupying some vertices of the topology, and a set of refugees that should be housed on the empty vertices of graph. Both the inhabitants and the refugees have preferences over the structure of their neighbourhood. We are specifically interested in the problem of finding housings such that the preferences of every individual are met; using game-theoretical words, we are looking for housings that are stable with respect to some well-defined notion of stability. We investigate conditions under which the existence of equilibria is guaranteed and study the computational complexity of finding such a stable outcome. As the problem is NP-hard even in very simple settings, we employ the parameterised complexity framework to give a finer-grained view on the problem's complexity with respect to natural parameters and structural restrictions of the given topology.
    Date: 2023–02
  9. By: Zane Varpina (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies); Kata Fredheim (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies)
    Abstract: Russian invasion in Ukraine in 2022 has created the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since WWII. Close to 7 million people have left the country as of August 2022 and figures keep growing. Latvia has accommodated a mere 36 thousand of them, but it exemplifies other smaller countries in the refugee flows. Patterns and factors of asylee destination decisions for less popular destinations have not been explored making one wonder what makes refugees deviate from the mainstream migration flows. We explore why and how Ukrainian war-displaced people have chosen Latvia using the narratives of Ukrainian displaced people who arrived in Latvia in early stages of the conflict. Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews with refugees in Latvia, we find that networks are the primary determinant of the choice to flee to Latvia. The closeness of kinship is not as important as the fact of having the contact as such, nor does it determine the level of support. Close or distant relatives and friends are the first instance to turn to for war-displaced civilians, while financial factors do not appear to be decisive. In the situation of acute displacement, the first asylee strategy is to seek support in kinship and other networks.
    Date: 2022–07
  10. By: Helfer, Fabienne (University of Fribourg); Grossmann, Volker (University of Fribourg); Osikominu, Aderonke (University of Hohenheim)
    Abstract: This paper examines the short-run immigration effects on prices for owner-occupied housing and rents in Switzerland, exploiting regional variation at the level of 106 local labour markets ("Mobilité Spatiale" regions) and 26 cantons, respectively. We propose two empirical strategies that exploit the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) with the European Union (EU), enacted in 2002, as an exogenous shock to immigration. The first approach uses the AFMP reform within an instrumental variable approach, instrumenting current regional inflows of immigrants based on the historical distribution of immigrants across regions. The second conducts an event study of housing price changes before and after the reform, distinguishing between regions with historically high, medium, and low immigration from EU-15 countries. The analysis based on data at the level of local labour markets for the years 1985-2016 suggests that immigration triggered off by the AFMP reform substantially raises prices of single-family homes and of owner-occupied apartments. Estimates based on cantonal data for the years 1998-2016, suggest that immigration raises rental prices even more than prices of owner-occupied housing.
    Keywords: agreement on the free movement of persons, immigration, shift-share instrument, event study, house prices, rental rates
    JEL: F22 O18 R31
    Date: 2023–02
  11. By: David C. Grabowski; Jonathan Gruber; Brian McGarry
    Abstract: Although debates over immigration remain contentious, one important sector served heavily by immigrants faces a critical labor shortage: nursing homes. We merge a variety of data sets on immigration and nursing homes and use a shift-share instrumental variables analysis to assess the impact of increased immigration on nursing home staffing and care quality. We show that increased immigration significantly raises the staffing levels of nursing homes in the U.S., particularly in full time positions. We then show that this has an associated very positive effect on patient outcomes, particularly for those who are short stayers at nursing homes, and particularly for immigration of Hispanic staff.
    JEL: I11 I18 J61
    Date: 2023–02
  12. By: Zane Varpina (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies); Kata Fredheim (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies); Marija Krumina (Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies)
    Abstract: Data on migration flows suggest that young people are highly mobile. Yet, there are gaps in the evidence concerning the factors driving young people’s international migration in Latvia. Latvia is a potentially interesting case because of the high rate of migration from the country, but also because it is a complex ethnic and linguistic environment. Latvian and Russian speaking populations are shown to have diverse migration drivers, and this study addresses the differences in attitudes to studying and living abroad for adolescents at the time of school graduation. Literature suggests that Russian-speaking population have higher propensity to emigrate. We aim to contribute to the literature by exploring differences in migration intentions between Latvian and Russian speaking high school graduates. This study is based on individual-level survey data of secondary school graduates in Latvia in 2020, amidst COVID-19 pandemic. We analyse the strength of migration intentions from definitely not leaving Latvia to surely planning to emigrate. We conclude that Russian-speakers exhibit stronger intentions to emigrate compared Latvian-speaking youngsters, driven by wider networks and expected higher returns to their human capital abroad.
    Date: 2021–05
  13. By: Zane Varpina (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies); Kata Fredheim (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies)
    Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic restricted people’s movement but also changed their course of life. For some migrants, this meant re-evaluating opportunities abroad and back home. This paper uses findings from interviews with those who returned to Latvia during the pandemic to gain insight into the ways the pandemic influenced their decision to return. We find that the pandemic impacted how people think of return. It was both a reason and a catalyst, accelerating life events and leading to decisions to return. For some who contemplated return the pandemic accelerated decision, motivated by missing people, loneliness, and missing community. The pandemic and its immediate consequences also directly affected migrants; livelihood and work; some returned quickly. For some of these migrants, the pandemic also acted as a barrier to leaving again soon after a return. Circular migration journeys of coming back and leaving again feed into the narrative that for many migrants returning is more a stop in their journey than the destination itself. The much anticipated great wave of return, it seems was more like a tide. People moved back and forth between borders, seeking safety and community in times of uncertainty while trying to maintain their work and studies.
    Date: 2022–06
  14. By: Shujaat Farooq (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics); G. M. Arif (Ex-Joint Director, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)
    Abstract: COVID-19 has caused massive return migration around the globe. Current research investigates the adverse impacts of the pandemic on overseas migration— outflows and inflows. The key objective is to propose a policy framework for the successful reintegration of return migrants in the local labour market. The findings reveal that around 2 million overseas Pakistanis have been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where 1.5 million could not go abroad, and another 0.3 to 0.4 million had to return from the Middle East. The reintegration measures for returnees were mainly made on a smaller scale, and most of the returnees lacked information on governmental support and follow-up mechanisms. Our proposed reintegration framework suggests that intending or potential migrants and their families must be educated about their reintegration or resettlement in their home communities when they plan for overseas employment.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Overseas Migration, Pakistan, Reintegration, Return Migration
    Date: 2023
  15. By: Tabuga, Aubrey D.; Vargas, Anna Rita P.; Baino, Madeleine Louise S.
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented event that tested the Philippine government’s capacity to keep migrant workers and their families protected and secured. It was not only a matter of a simple repatriation process, but it also entailed a multidimensional system encompassing repatriation, health interventions (e.g., testing for COVID-19, treatment, and health monitoring), accommodation and logistical support for quarantine, and economic interventions in the form of financial grants to eligible workers, among others. Existing policy frameworks have guided government response whenever applicable. However, nothing has prepared the system for the scale of effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought. Thus, managing the influx of returning overseas migrants in the tens and even hundreds of thousands required no less than a whole-of-nation approach. Government agencies involved were forced to expand their networks, innovate their systems, and adapt to changing events. This entailed a range of interrelated activities and programs facilitated by close collaboration and consistent communication among various actors. Based on the findings of the paper, it is crucial to build on the existing digital systems created during this period, strengthen newly formed and existing partnerships, reexamine OFW’s insurance and social protection coverage, and consider the creation of, or expansion of existing, contingency fund to address future events of similar nature and magnitude. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: overseas Filipino workers;COVID-19 response;migration policy;crisis management;OFW
    Date: 2022

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