nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2023‒06‒26
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Is Mobile Money Changing Rural Africa? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Batista, Catia; Vicente, Pedro C.
  2. Does access to citizenship confer socio-economic returns? Evidence from a randomized control design By Hainmueller, Jens; Cascardi, Elisa; Hotard, Michael; Koslowski, Rey; Lawrence, Duncan; Yasenov, Vasil; Laitin, David
  3. Skill-Biased Imports, Skill Acquisition, and Migration By Jingting Fan; Lei Li
  4. Opening doors for immigrants: The importance of occupational and workplace-based cultural skills for successful labor market entry By Chiara Zisler; Damiano Pregaldini; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  5. Healthy immigrants, unhealthy ageing? analysis of health decline among older migrants and natives across European countries By Su Yeon Jang; Anna Oksuzyan; Mikko Myrskylä; Frank J. van Lenthe; Silvia Loi
  6. Career Trajectories of Foreign-born Workers in Europe: a Retrospective Study Using SHARELIFE Data. By Benjamin Huver
  7. Public Opinion and Immigration in Europe: Can Regional Migration Flows Predict Public Attitudes to Immigration? By Lenka Dražanová; Jérôme Gonnot
  8. What determines the shape of migrant and non-migrant populations’ attitudes toward immigration in Europe? By Michaela Šedovič; Lenka Dražanová
  9. Bangladeshi women’s experiences and vulnerabilities in Jordan’s garment sector By Nassif, Gabriella; Bhuiyan, Muhammad Mahbubul; Zahir, Md; Abdulrahim, Sawsan; Ringler, Claudia
  10. Social networks, collective organizing, and freedom of association: A qualitative participatory action research study with women migrant domestic workers in Lebanon By Abdulrahim, Sawsan; Adra, May
  11. People Who Move among Cultures and Languages Japanese Descendants in the U.S. from Peru By Derek K. Pinillos Matsuda

  1. By: Batista, Catia (Nova School of Business and Economics); Vicente, Pedro C. (Nova School of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: Rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa are typically underserved by financial services. Mobile money brings a substantial reduction in the transaction costs of remittances. We follow the introduction of mobile money for the first time in rural villages of Mozambique using a randomized field experiment. We find that mobile money increased migration out of these villages, where we observe lower agricultural activity and investment. At the same time, remittances received and welfare of rural households increased, particularly when facing geo-referenced village-level floods and household-level idiosyncratic shocks. Our work suggests that mobile money can accelerate urbanization and structural change in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: mobile money, migration, remittances, investment, agriculture, structural change, technology adoption, insurance, Mozambique, Africa
    JEL: O12 O15 O16 O33 G20 R23
    Date: 2023–04
  2. By: Hainmueller, Jens; Cascardi, Elisa (Stanford University); Hotard, Michael; Koslowski, Rey; Lawrence, Duncan; Yasenov, Vasil; Laitin, David
    Abstract: Based on observational studies, conventional wisdom suggests that citizenship carries economic benefits. We leverage a randomized experiment from New York where low-income registrants who wanted to become citizens entered a lottery to receive fee vouchers to naturalize. Voucher recipients were about 36 p.p. more likely to naturalize. Yet, we find no discernible effects of access to citizenship on several economic outcomes, including income, credit scores, access to credit, financial distress, and employment. Leveraging a multi-dimensional immigrant integration index, we similarly find no measurable effects on non-economic integration. However, we do find that citizenship reduces fears of deportation. Explaining our divergence from past studies, our results also reveal evidence of positive selection into citizenship, suggesting that observational studies of citizenship are susceptible to selection bias.
    Date: 2023–05–18
  3. By: Jingting Fan; Lei Li
    Abstract: Imported capital goods, which embody skill-complementary technologies, can increase the supply of skills in developing countries. Focusing on China and using a shift-share design, we show that city-level capital goods import growth increases the local skill share and that both skill acquisition and migration play a role. We develop and quantify a spatial equilibrium model with these two mechanisms to examine the aggregate effects of capital goods imports, accounting for trade and migration linkages between cities. Counterfactual experiments suggest that the growth in capital goods imports in China between 2000 and 2010 led to a 3.7-8.9 million increase in the stock of college graduates, representing 5.7-13% of the total increase over this period. However, this growth disproportionately favored coastal regions, exacerbating existing spatial disparities.
    Keywords: Imported capital goods, capital-skill complementarity, skill acquisition, migration
    JEL: F14 F16 F66 J24 J61
    Date: 2023–06
  4. By: Chiara Zisler; Damiano Pregaldini; Uschi Backes-Gellner
    Abstract: Young immigrants who often lack country-specific human capital face greater challenges in the transition from education to the labor market (e.g., lower employment probabilities, longer unemployment spells) than native adolescents. This paper analyzes the importance, for a successful transition, of occupational skills and workplace-based cultural skills that workers can acquire only at the work. We exploit the Swiss vocational education and training (VET) setting, in which students acquire occupational skills in one of two different types of vocational education programs: either dual programs with training in firms based on employment contracts and complemented by vocational schooling, or school-based programs without employment contracts. While well-defined curricula ensure identical occupational skills in both programs, the training of workplace-based cultural skills differs systematically. As young immigrants lack these essential workplace-related cultural skills compared to natives, we expect that additional workplace-based cultural skills training in dual VET improves immigrants' transition into the labor market and thereby their longer-term employment prospects. Using administrative data, we compare how both programs affect the labor market entry of immigrant groups with pronounced cultural disadvantages. To estimate causal effects on employment outcomes, we use differences in VET traditions across Swiss language regions as an instrument. Results show that completing dual VET leads to significantly reduced unemployment probabilities for young immigrants compared to natives in the first year after graduation, suggesting that beyond well-defined curricula for occupational skills, workplace-based cultural skills are crucial for immigrants' transitions from education into the labor market.
    Keywords: Age of arrival, Assimilation, Cultural distance, Immigrants, Labor market integration, Skills
    JEL: J24 J61
    Date: 2023–06
  5. By: Su Yeon Jang (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Anna Oksuzyan (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Frank J. van Lenthe; Silvia Loi (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Immigrants face a particularly high risk of unhealthy ageing. It is well-known that the probability of having multiple chronic conditions simultaneously, or multimorbidity, tends to increase with age. This study investigates the immigrant-native disparities in age-related health decline, focusing on the number of chronic health conditions; and considers the heterogeneity of this decline within immigrant populations by origin and receiving country. We use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe on adults aged 50 to 79 from 28 European countries, and employ fixed-effects regression models to account for the unobserved heterogeneity related to individual characteristics, including migration background. Our results indicate that immigrants have a higher number of chronic conditions at all ages relative to their native-born peers, but also that the immigrant-native differential in the number of chronic conditions decreases from age 65 onwards. When considering differences by origin country, we find that the speed of chronic disease accumulation is slower among immigrants from the Americas and the Asia and Oceania country groups than it among natives. When looking at differences by receiving country group, we observe that the speed of health decline is slower among immigrants in Eastern Europe than among natives, particularly at older ages. Our findings suggest that age-related trajectories of health vary substantially among immigrant populations by origin and destination country, which underscore that individual migration histories play a persistent role in shaping the health of ageing immigrant populations throughout the life course.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Benjamin Huver (CLERSÉ - Centre Lillois d’Études et de Recherches Sociologiques et Économiques - UMR 8019 - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In Europe, migration flows are often related to work reasons. For some countries with tight and/or aging labor markets and facing long-term hiring difficulties in specific sectors, recruiting foreign-born employees could be a promising solution in the coming years. However, improving the professional integration of these migrants remains a big challenge. To better understand the mechanisms of this integration, we focus on the career trajectories of foreign-born workers based on the European survey SHARE. Thanks to the retrospective SHARELIFE component of this survey, it is possible to reconstruct professional careers year by year. We reach several interesting conclusions using the sequence analysis methodology and descriptive indicators suited to studying individual trajectories. Our results confirm a greater complexity of migrant careers compared to natives. This complexity either takes the form of greater precarity (low-skilled or episodic employment) or results from more frequent upward transitions, especially for migrants from OECD countries. Thus, although migrant workers often experience overqualification for their first job, a form of catch-up seems possible. Finally, it should be noted that the careers of second-generation migrants (whose parents were both born abroad) no longer significantly differ from natives, which indicates successful long-term integration.
    Abstract: En Europe, d'importants mouvements migratoires sont liés à des raisons professionnelles. Certains pays, dont le marché du travail est tendu et/ou vieillissant, connaissent des difficultés de recrutement durables dans certains secteurs. L'embauche de collaborateurs nés à l'étranger peut alors constituer une solution prometteuse pour les années à venir. Encore faut-il que l'intégration professionnelle de ces migrants soit réussie : voilà le défi à relever. Pour mieux comprendre les mécanismes de cette intégration, nous nous intéressons aux trajectoires de carrière des travailleurs nés à l'étranger, sur la base de l'enquête européenne SHARE. Grâce au volet rétrospectif SHARELIFE, il est possible de reconstituer les carrières professionnelles année par année. En utilisant la méthodologie de l'analyse de séquences, ainsi que des indicateurs permettant la description de trajectoires individuelles, nous parvenons à plusieurs conclusions. Nos résultats confirment une plus grande complexité des carrières de migrants, comparativement aux natifs. Cette complexité se manifeste soit sous la forme d'une plus grande précarité (emploi peu qualifiés et/ou épisodiques), soit au travers de transitions ascendantes plus fréquentes, en particulier pour les travailleurs originaires de pays de l'OCDE. Bien qu'une surqualification des travailleurs migrants soit observable pour leur premier emploi, une forme de rattrapage semble donc possible. Enfin, on notera que les migrants de seconde génération (dont les deux parents sont nés à l'étranger) ne se distinguent plus significativement des natifs, ce qui témoigne d'une intégration réussie à plus long terme.
    Keywords: Career trajectories, migration, sequence analysis, labor market integration
    Date: 2023–05–17
  7. By: Lenka Dražanová; Jérôme Gonnot
    Abstract: This article investigates how European public opinion has responded to short-term variations inregional foreign-born immigration over the past decade (2010-2019). Combining data from theEuropean Social Survey and the European Union Labour Force Survey, we test how natives’opinions over migration policy and the contribution of immigrants to society have changed with thenet rate of international migrants in 183 EU regions from 21 countries. We find that while EuropeanUnion natives living in regions with a higher share of foreign-born populations are generally less antiimmigrant, a short-term increase in the number of immigrants within a given region is associated withmore negative attitudes in Western Europe only. Moreover, our gender and origin decompositionindicate that male immigrants and those born outside of the European Union are driving most ofthe negative association between public opinion and changes in the level of immigration in WesternEuropean countries, while the educational attainment of migrants makes little difference. The scopeof our analysis for Central and Eastern Europe is more limited due to the smaller share of foreignbornimmigrants living in those regions. Despite this caveat, our analysis suggests that inflows ofEuropean migrants in Central and Eastern Europe are generally associated with more positiveviews towards immigration, regardless of their skill level. Our findings demonstrate the importanceof temporal dynamics for attitudes to immigration. They also point to the need to analyse not onlycross-country differences but also regional differences in those attitudes.
    Keywords: Attitudes to immigration, migration flows, public opinion, regions
    Date: 2023–03
  8. By: Michaela Šedovič; Lenka Dražanová
    Abstract: Attitudes toward immigration are usually investigated from the non-migrant residents’ perspective. Much less is known about how perceptions of immigration policy and immigrants vary across immigration background lines, especially in the wider European context, and whether migrants´ attitudes toward immigration are affected by the same factors and in the same way as those of the nonmigrant population. With still-growing populations of migrants and their descendants in Europe, it is, however, crucial to study interethnic relations not only between migrant and non-migrant populations but also among different immigrant groups. Firstly, we investigate whether immigration attitudes among European migrants are based on intergroup solidarity or, rather, an intergroup threat toward new immigrants and whether minority-specific characteristics have differential effects across the (non-)migrant populations. Employing nine rounds of the European Social Survey from 20 European countries and by estimating multilevel regression models of individual factors affecting (non-)migrants’ attitudes we uncover that first- and second-generation immigrants’ attitudes toward immigration are mostly guided by intergroup solidarity with other immigrants. We further show that minority-specific characteristics work differently across our three sub-samples and that first-generation immigrants’ attitudes become more negative the longer they stay in the host country. The findings contribute to our broader understanding of social cohesion, social inclusion, and intergroup conflict.
    Keywords: attitudes toward immigration, interethnic relations, group membership, diversity, immigrants’ integration
    Date: 2023–01
  9. By: Nassif, Gabriella; Bhuiyan, Muhammad Mahbubul; Zahir, Md; Abdulrahim, Sawsan; Ringler, Claudia
    Abstract: Jordan’s garment sector employs a large number of women migrants from South Asia who face various challenges and vulnerabilities in their work environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated some of these vulnerabilities, leading to income losses. However, little information is available about this migration corridor. This study implemented qualitative phone survey interviews with returnee women migrants in Bangladesh to identify interventions that the organizations, such as the International Labor Organization and other actors supporting women’s safe migration could undertake to reduce women’s vulnerabilities in migration. The study identified networks of discipline and power, the perception of appropriate behavior at work and beyond and racialization as key areas that mediate vulnerabilities of women. We recommend increasing awareness of conditions at Jordan’s garment sector as part of pre-departure training, which is supported by the main recruitment practice of garment workers through BOESL in the country. Awareness raising includes information on the role of the Al Hassan Workers’ Center as well as on the role of the embassy of Bangladesh in Jordan. A second recommendation is to translate contractual documents into Bengali so that women migrants can better understand work conditions, including salaries. The final recommendation focuses on the need to continue research on the uneven power dynamics in Jordan’s garment sector to support dismantling networks of discrimination and power and racialization of the work environment.
    Keywords: BANGLADESH; SOUTH ASIA; JORDAN; WESTERN ASIA; ASIA; clothing; women; migrants; migrant labour; vulnerability; income; surveys; interviews; intervention; behaviour; institutions; languages; contracts; working conditions; gender; phone surveys; garment sector
    Date: 2023
  10. By: Abdulrahim, Sawsan; Adra, May
    Abstract: Worldwide, women migrant domestic workers (WMDWs) occupy a weak position in the global economy due to intersections of gender, race, and global economic inequalities. Lebanon hosts more than 250, 000 WMDWs who are recruited and employed through the infamous Kafala system that binds a worker to one employer. With Lebanon’s economic crisis, a large number of WMDWs are currently working as freelancers whereby giving and receiving support from other workers plays a crucial role in their adaptation and economic survival. This study is a component of an international evaluation of the Work in Freedom Project carried out by the International Labour Organization. It focuses on Lebanon and aims to assess the impact of the project on the ability of WMDWs in Lebanon to maintain viable social networks and organize collectively. Its main objective is to investigate the different ways in which WMDWs have maintained social networks and engaged in collective organizing efforts (at the individual, meso- and macro-levels), to improve their lives and to ensure non-exploitative work conditions.
    Keywords: LEBANON; WESTERN ASIA; ASIA; women; gender; domestic work; economic activities; shock; social networks; collective action; working conditions; migrant workers; Kafala system
    Date: 2023
  11. By: Derek K. Pinillos Matsuda (Gunma University, Japan)
    Abstract: In this paper, the writer will review the trajectory of the Japanese who immigrated to Peru during the first half of the 20th century and ended up in the United States during World War Ⅱ. This hidden history has been told less often; however, they experienced three cultures and languages at that time and have overcome many issues in different countries. Their life trajectory can give the readers a hint to think about people who move and try to settle in a new environment. This paper aims to describe how their trajectory can be illustrated as a transnational movement and try to apply the transnationalism theory to the routes they experienced. In most cases, they moved around in families, and their children experienced a different educational environment at schools. This is because of the educational policy of each country. In some cases, adapting to a new environment was challenging, especially when the language and culture differed. Transnationalism has been focused on people’s adaptation to the new land and how they made transnational bonds with their “motherland, †but not that much on how they transmitted their experiences to the next generation. In this paper, the readers will see how the next generation inherited Japanese descendants’ cultural identity and how their experiences are unique but can be generalized in nowadays transnational movements.
    Keywords: transnationalism, root and routes, Nikkei, cultural identity
    Date: 2023–03
  12. By: Sunna, Claudia; Ricciardo, Traci M.
    Abstract: This study deals with the debate which took place among Italian economists and statisticians at the turn of the 20th century on the economic effects of mass emigration. In particular, it is focused on a controversy between Vilfredo Pareto, Alberto Beneduce on the one side, and Francesco Coletti on the other. It analyzes the way these scholars struggled with: (i) the problem of properly elaborating a specific cost-benefit analysis referred to emigration and (ii), as a consequence, the problem of recognizing a clear set of economic policies designed to manage the complex economic and social processes connected to emigration. The paper demonstrates the enduring character of the problems encountered in the early Italian debates, by showing that these questions are similar to those debated in the vast literature developed from the 1950s on the subject of brain drain, and suggests an explanation for the lack of conclusive results in this literature. We think that it is possible to understand this impasse by highlighting that in the analyzed literature a problem of ‘fallacy of composition’ emerges between the microeconomics and macroeconomics of emigration.
    Date: 2023–05–17

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